Audit of Nukuoro shows poor cash controls for 2015 and 2016

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

March 7, 2018

Nukuoro, Pohnpei—A Pohnpei Office of the Public Auditor (OPA) report on an audit of Nukuoro Municipal Government covering the years 2015 and 2016 showed that NMG was exposed to a high risk of loss, abuse and mismanagement of its financial resources.  The exposure was due to the lack of “proper internal control measures to govern and safeguard its cash receipts and cash disbursement activities.”

The Executive Summary of the recently released audit was dated February 15, 2018.

Auditors said that they could not be assured that all cash revenues collected during the two year audit period had been deposited into the bank.  NMG didn’t have a cash receipt journal or equivalent to keep track of its cash receipts.  Auditors could find no evidence that there had been any management oversight review of the revenue collection of NMG during the two year period.

On cash disbursements auditors discovered instances of checks that were made payable to “cash” that were not monitored and accounted for properly.  NMG allowed blank endorsement checks.  Some payments to vendors were issued in the name of an employee.  A $5000 donation to a non-governmental organization was unauthorized.  Cash disbursements were made without supporting documents.  It said that there was insufficient documentation to support payrolls and other cash disbursements and NMG also allowed payroll advances to its officials and employees.

The audit report said that previous audits had demonstrated similar uncorrected weaknesses.

In his response to the audit report, Mayor Senard Leopold agreed with all of the findings and said that he looked forward to working with OPA during the monitoring period to be sure that NMG corrects all of the identified problems.  He committed to ensuring that like findings never occur again.