Consular staff abused finances | The Tribune


Tribune Chief Reporter


THE Auditor Basic has highlighted abuse of instructional allowance within the quantity of $167,000 on the Consulate Basic of the Bahamas Miami workplace.

In a report tabled within the Home of Meeting, Auditor Basic Terrence Bastian famous that an officer stationed on the workplace obtained allowance for a kids instructional bills, however that little one didn’t go to a faculty that required tuition charges.

Additional, cheques for tuition weren’t made out to the training establishments, however quite printed within the officers names.

Seconded workers with kids are given an academic allowance of $22,000 per little one yearly.

There have been two officers within the Miami consulate that obtained this allowance, Officer A has three kids and Officer B has one little one, the report for the interval July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018 famous.

Upon requesting documentary proof on the cost of those allowances, neither the Miami Consulate, nor the Ministry of International Affairs may produce proof to help enrollment and attendance of those officers kids.

Additional we noticed that one in all Officer As kids didn’t attend non-public highschool however a public highschool for which tuition shouldn’t be required.

It was additionally noticed that allowance cheques within the quantity of $167,445 have been written within the officers names quite than the tutorial establishment. This didn’t look like in accordance with authorities procedures.

Officer A obtained a complete of $137,800, whereas Officer B was given $29,645 for instructional allowance.

The auditor normal really useful that the Ministry of International Affairs present documentation to help the expenditure.

As well as, officers on the Miami workplace have been discovered to be utilizing debit playing cards improperly.

There have been a lot of purchases made by debit cardholders that had no supporting documentation, the report mentioned.

There have been no quotes, requisitions, buy orders and invoices evidenced for these transactions, which isn’t in accordance with Public Treasury procedures.

We additionally famous that the debit playing cards didn’t have assigned limits and 4 cardholders spent $156,290 in the course of the two fiscal durations below audit.

An additional breakdown into the spending discovered that one officer spent $91,857.10 over the 2 fiscal durations. One other officer spent $32,157.81.

Officer three spent $26,408.43, whereas officer 4 spent $5,867.30.

The federal governments chief auditor additionally discovered that there had been haphazard deposits and money stored by a supervisor.

In the course of the examination of the workplaces accounting information, Mr Bastian mentioned money collected was inconsistently deposited into the income checking account.

Upon evaluation of the financial institution deposit slips, we famous that money amounting to $17,215 and $13,890 was allowed to build up within the two deposit examples cited on this discovering. This seemed to be a typical incidence on the Miami Consulate.

Upon inquiry as to the safeguarding of money, it was revealed that the money held was being stored within the desk drawer of the income supervisor.

This supervisor was answerable for safeguarding the money on the finish of the day, checking the receiving officers every day receipts, writing up the financial institution deposit slips, depositing the case and posting the income transactions to the overall ledger.

One particular person performing all of those capabilities presents a major segregation of duties difficulty within the income course of.

In some situations, money was being held on the workplace for 21 days, 17 days and 16 days. The most important holding interval was 28 days.

Mr Bastian really useful that administration implement robust controls across the safeguarding of the federal governments money.

He mentioned: Each time an worker has custody of money and money equivalents there’s a danger of loss by means of worker errors and/or misappropriation of the asset if the suitable monitoring shouldn’t be occurring.

He mentioned insurance policies and procedures across the dealing with of belongings needs to be documented and carried out amongst different enhancements.

An official on the consulate workplace couldn’t be reached as much as press time. Nevertheless, Minister of International Affairs Darren Henfield mentioned the officers in query are now not employed on the consulate.

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