Housing department raises staffing issues

Permanent secretary for Housing Joshua Wycliffe during the submission to the Public Accounts Committee today. Picture: RAMA

Permanent secretary for Housing Joshua Wycliffe during the submission to the Public Accounts Committee today. Picture: RAMA

Update: 3:18PM THE Department of Housing says most of the issues highlighted in the audit report arose because of the lack of accounting staff.

The department made this known in its submission to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) today on the Office of the Auditor-General’s (OAG) audit issues on its accounts for 2016.

PAC chairman Mohammed Dean asked the Ministry of Economy officials if they were aware of this and if a request had been sent to them by the Department of Housing.

“What is the status of this request?” Mr Dean asked.

The Ministry of Economy official said any request for additional staff would go through the budget process and they had to make their request during budget time.

Permanent Secretary for Housing Joshua Wycliffe had said earlier in his submission that the number of his accounting staff was inadequate, which was the reason for the late submission of reconciliations and the variances that gave rise to a lot of the audit issues.

“But we’ve now got three new posts this year through our budget submissions,” Mr Wycliffe said.

He said the department also received help in their reconciliations from other ministries prior to them obtaining additional staff.