Qualifying issues won’t recur, says Lesuma

WE’VE restructured our accounts team to ensure we are more effective in addressing the accounting issues that have been brought forward in the audit.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport deputy secretary Manasa Lesuma made the comment to the Public Accounts Committee during their submission on the 2016 Auditor-General’s report on their 2016 accounts yesterday.

The OAG had qualified the ministry’s accounts on two major issues, namely that the TMA Balance Sheet did not disclose cash at bank account after numerous receipts and payments were recorded through the TMA Profit and Loss Statement; and the Consolidated TMA Balance Sheet cash at bank balance and the actual bank reconciliation had a variance of $1,272,176.

The second qualifying issue was the variance of $210,188 in the subsidiary debtors’ records and the FMIS accounts receivable at the end of July 2016.

Mr Lesuma said the ministry had put in place strategies to avoid these two qualifying issues from happening again.

“We’ve ensured there’s clear demarcation of roles in the appropriate areas and we’ve restructured our accounts team to ensure we are more effective in addressing the issues that have been brought forward in these areas.”

PAC chairman Ashneel Sudakhar noted that in the numerous anomalies raised in the audit, most related to accounting staff not attending to their roles and responsibilities.

“Why is this because it’s causing a direct loss; what was amiss?” Mr Sudakhar asked.

The ministry’s principal accounts officer Sen Jeet said they had centralised all their accounting systems in one centre in each of the divisions to ensure the improvement in their work.

“We have brought accounts staff to a central control and now all these anomalies are being fixed,” Mr Jeet said.