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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Violations in KPSM, expired fire extinguishers and gaps in the attendance report-Findings of the Ministry of Health Audit

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Παραβσεισσ&epsilon ; ΚΨΜ, ληγμeνοι πυροσβεστorρεσ κα ι κενa σε δελτο παρουσιoν-Τα ευ&rho orματα Ελεγκτικorς για ΥΠΑΜ

A special report, for the Ministry of Defense, was published by the Audit Service, in which a number of findings are recorded. The Audit Service notes that the audits carried out resulted in individual findings and deviations that, in the majority of them, related to deficiencies and weaknesses in the application of established procedures.

The Audit Service reiterates its recommendation for the establishment of a reliable internal control system, which will ensure on the one hand compliance with the regulatory framework and existing procedures and on the other hand the implementation and monitoring of the Service's recommendations, within the framework of the principles of good administration.

The most important findings

♦ Safety rules were not observed in Unit ammunition depots which are specified in the relevant Standing Order (Standing Order) of the EOEF and concern both the stacking of ammunition within the warehouses and their marking with the appropriate signs, indicating the various relevant risks.

♦ Certain batches of hand grenades were deemed unsuitable by the EOEF and required to be returned to the supply body, however an EO Unit still kept a significant quantity of the ammunition in question at its premises, which was finally removed after 39 days.

< p data-block-key="fc6kq">♦ Fire extinguisher located in a fire station near Unit ammunition stores, marked with an expiration date of 2014, not maintained since then.

♦ Fire extinguishers used to fireproof ammunition stores of two Units were locked inside the stores, rather than outside, and in one case, the extinguishers did not have an expiration date. In two other warehouses (ammunition and food) there were no fire points.

♦ Administrators make corrections of errors, both in the general record register (EF 402), and in the warehouse records (EF24), using correction fluid or even using a blue pen, smudging the said forms. The Audit Office also identified cases where material details are entered in pencil in the said records.

♦ The Audit Office identified numerical errors in the warehouse records (ΕΤ24), which were not detected by the Administrators when preparing the comparative statements, which demonstrates that they were not prepared with due care.

♦ Five smoke grenades issued according to the warehouse card (EF24) of a particular Unit, were not located in the corresponding warehouse card of the receiving Unit.

♦ No tracked forms were found in a Unit , which included a significant number of supporting documents for the receipt or provision of supplies/materials (ΕΤ1).

♦ From a surprise check in the canteen of the central offices of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, numerous violations of the relevant Standing Order (Standing Order), concerning the organization, operation and accounting system of the Entertainment Centers (KΨM), as well as the sound practices of prudent financial management were found management.

♦ In an audit at a specific Unit of the Public Works Department, it was found that the Attendance Sheet of the Hourly Government Personnel (OKP) was not kept, to be signed both when coming in and when leaving work. Out of the total of nine hourly workers employed at the Unit, only three were present during our inspection. One was absent for a personal reason, without recording the time of his departure from work, and for the remaining five we were told that they were absent on a day's rest leave. It is noted that, upon the arrival of the Control Service at the camp, there was a total delay of half an hour until we were allowed to check, which raises reasonable questions.

♦ The PAD of the GEF, which refers to the calculated time of command of the officers of the GEF that they are required to complete in their current rank, in order to be entitled to promotion to the next rank, includes, among other things, a number of positions that do not pertain to military departments and services of the Army and therefore are not covered by a corresponding Table of Organization and Material (WHO), which is inconsistent with the provisions of the current legislation.

♦ A non-commissioned officer of the Ministry of Defense was approved to fill a specific foreign position in order to serve together with her husband (officer of the Ministry of Defense), without the Ministry of Foreign Affairs determining any criteria or qualifications required for the position in question and without notifying the personnel of the Ministry of Defense, through of the Chief of the Force, his intention to fill the specific position, in violation of the corresponding legislative provision. The Ministry of the Interior told us that the filling of the above position does not entail additional costs.

For all the above issues, the Audit Service submitted specific recommendations, which, together with the corresponding comments and opinions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, are presented in the Report.

The the most important findings of the financial audit are the following:

♦ The expenses of Chapter 11.03 “National Guard”, amounting to €166.18m. are presented in the Budget (P/Y) as a total expenditure and the corresponding explanatory memorandum, which constitutes an indicative distribution of the above total expenditure, is not submitted for approval to the House of Representatives. Therefore, any redistribution of credits during the implementation of the P/Y is done without any authorization from the Minister of Defense and the written notification of the Minister of Finance.

♦ Pending, from 2019, the completion of the creation of Asset Registers for the new buildings of the Ministry of Health, in violation of the relevant provisions of the Warehouse Regulations.

♦ Even though the General Staff of the National Guard (GNF) pointed out to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2012 the need to conclude a contract with the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CTA), for the provision of telecommunications services to the Cyprus National Guard, and the Cabinet of Ministers (SC) issued a relevant Decision in 2017 , no substantial progress has been made so far. The amount of these services amounted to €3.12m. in 2022 and the results of our audit showed possible indirect state aid to ATHIK.

♦ Based on relevant audit findings, the Audit Service expressed the opinion that the payment of additional amount to Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) upon their retirement is not legal.

♦ An increased special monthly allowance was erroneously paid to a recently promoted NCO, as his accounting YPAM did not take into account a relevant circular of the Ministry of Finance in time, as a result of which an overpayment was created and later recovered, with a delay.

Source: reporter.com.cy

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