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Monday, August 2, 2021

Egregious Corruption At Office of Chief Minister

According to the auditors, they observed that the sum of Le112,810,188.25 was expended for local travelling for staff to the regions on official activities but payment vouchers were not supported by documents such as signatures of recipients and back-to-office reports as required by the FMR.

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One would have expected that the office of the Chief Minister would not have been involved in malfeasance as was exposed by the protector of the public purse in the 2019 Audit Report.

According to the auditors, they observed that the sum of Le112,810,188.25 was expended for local travelling for staff to the regions on official activities but payment vouchers were not supported by documents such as signatures of recipients and back-to-office reports as required by the FMR.

The auditors stated that the monies may not have been expended for their intended purposes and as such recommended that the Director of Finance submit all the required supporting documents for inspection or the said amount be refunded into the Consolidated Fund.

In his response, the Permanent Secretary stated that relevant documents such as signature of recipient and back-to-office report to substantiate local travelling amounting to Le112,810,188.25 are available for inspection by the ASSL.

But that During audit verification, supporting documents for a total amount of Le 86,962,137 out of queried amount were submitted and verified but no evidence was provided for the balance 0f Le34,544,288 and as such the issue remained unresolved.

“We observed that the Office of the Chief Minster expensed the sum of Le13,500,000 to staff as accommodation for which there was no policy no legal justification for the use of fund, “ 2019 Audit Report exposed.

That they (Auditors) recommended that the Director of Finance should submit all the required supporting documents, otherwise, the said amount should be refunded into the Consolidated Fund and evidence of payment forwarded to the Audit Service for verification.

In his response, the Permanent Secretary stated that ‘the said amount was expensed for the medical treatment for two staff who fell ill whilst on official duties and that this expenditure was urgently needed to save lives of dedicated staff on duty for which receipts of medical bills are available to substantiate for these expenses.

But when the so called evidence was provided, from a total amount of Le13,500,000, supporting documents such as receipt for the medical treatment for two staff who fell ill for an amount totalling Le2,500,000 was submitted and verified leaving a balance of Le11,000,000 without supporting documents..

The report continued that they observed that the sum of Le92,350,000 was expensed by the Office of the Chief Minister but there was no retirement of fund.

“We recommend that the Director of Finance should submit all the required supporting documents otherwise, the said amount should be refunded into the Consolidated Fund and evidence of payment forwarded to the Audit Service for verification,” the Auditors pointed out

In his response, the Permanent Secretary stated that the retirement file for the sum of Le92,350,000 is available for inspection but from a total amount of Le92,350,000, retirement documents for an amount totallingLe35,000,000 were submitted and verified,leaving a balance of Le57,350,000 without supporting documents.

“Therefore, the issue of the remaining Le57,350,000 remains unresolved,” the auditors maintained. More on this in subsequent editions.

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