first_imgAuditor General 2016 report…Accountant General advises check into employment statusHundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries over paid to staff of the Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) Administration were flagged by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Monday. The meeting revealed that since the Auditor General cited the issue in his 2016 report, not much has changed.Region Six REOKim Williams-StephensIn the Auditor General’s 2016 report, overpayment of salaries was flagged as a prior year issue that was partially implemented. Regional Executive Officer (REO) for Region Six, Kim Williams-Stephens appeared before the PAC and related that the overpayments amounted to $345,000.“These overpayments were in relation to deduction agencies,” she explained. “They were written to with a view of recovering the overpayments. To date, we were not able to recover any of the outstanding amounts from these agencies.”“With regard to the deducting agencies, we would have written them in 2017, because we have a system in place where we write them and in 2017 we were able to recover amounts from the deducting agencies. However, with regards to 2016 the deducting agencies are asking for additional information to be resubmitted. We are periodically following up.”Asked about the last time the region followed up the matter with the former employees, Williams-Stephens deferred to the Chief Accountant who informed the committee that follow up information was submitted. They noted that while a part of the net salary was recovered, the net balance remained outstanding.Accountant General Jennifer Chapman enquired into whether these persons are employed at other agencies and whether steps were taken to verify this. Upon the REO responding in the negative, she advised that a letter be written to the Accountant General requesting this verification.In the Auditor General’s 2015 report, it was recorded that “Fourteen and seventeen employees were overpaid net salaries for the years 2012 and 2014, respectively with the related deductions also being overpaid to the various agencies. Although the regional administration made some progress with recovery of these overpayments, this situation recurred in 2015 with nine employees being overpaid. However, to date there has been no progress with the recovery of the deductions paid over to the various agencies.”It was also reported that “Unpaid net salaries totalling $9.838 million were refunded to the Consolidated Fund for the years 2012 to 2014. However, the related deductions totalling $2.075 million paid to various agencies were still not recovered. Similarly, for 2015, amounts totalling $1.471 million were refunded to the Consolidated Fund as unpaid salaries for thirty-six.” Employees and the related deductions of $308,946 paid to the various agencies were also not recovered.”last_img

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