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Telecoms Ministry implementing recommendations on 2016 Audit Report

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The Ministry of Public Telecommunications (MoPT) has said it is in the process of implementing every recommendation made by the Auditor General in their two-page Audit Report on the entity.

One of the recommendations was that the Ministry ensures that the four employees who hold “temporary” National Insurance Scheme (NIS) numbers have their statuses changed to “permanent.”

A statement from the Ministry on Friday explained that as soon as Permanent Secretary, Derrick Cummings, was apprised by the Auditor General in September 2017, he immediately notified the affected employees.

“They received guidance from the Ministry’s Personnel office with respect to their approach to NIS.  The Insurance Scheme’s regulations dictate that transactions of this nature must be completed by the contributors themselves,” the statement outlined.

In October, three of the four employees received their permanent NIS numbers, and the NIS has given the assurance that it is their standard policy to transfer all employee contributions from temporary to permanent policies.

The Ministry explained that the fourth MoPT employee is still to conclude her part of the procedures and she is being encouraged to do so without further delay.

The Permanent Secretary said that human error was the most likely cause of the failure to flag the different status of the four employees.  As such, he has implemented a procedural change to ascertain that every new employee receives “permanent” status by the NIS within three months of employment.

The Ministry further noted that the other four recommendations from the Report are also being implemented, specifically the creation and maintenance of a fuel register and a security register; early reconciliation of payments for electricity with IFMAS accounts; and ensuring that the stocks of laptop computers are physically checked periodically for accurate conciliation.

The Permanent Secretary made it clear that the MoPT is an 18-month-old Ministry with oversight of several older agencies including the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) and the e-Government Unit/National Data Management Authority (NDMA).

He said that the main challenges arise from the very necessary changes to be made to ensure that the entire Ministry is compliant with the trajectory of the Administration, and with the introduction of new technologies.

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