Aimless SOE

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Audit finds SI Ports Authority without key policies

By Alfred Sasako

SOLOMON Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) does not have key polices despite it being the nation’s oldest State-Owned Enterprise (SOE), an external audit has found.

KPMG Fiji, which last year audited SIPA’s accounts for the year ending September 30, 2015, in the middle of SIPA’s tumultuous period, said such a situation raises “serious concern considering the nature and significance of its operations and the volume of transactions”.

Island Sun has obtained a copy of the audit report.

”Policies and procedures for the key processes for SIPA is not only critical but fundamental to the effectiveness and efficiency of activities carried out. We noted that the key policies for SIPA are non-existent and this is a serious concern considering the nature and significance of its operation and the volume of transactions.

“The following issues had occurred due to the lack of effective policies and procedures. Numerous instances of significant breaches in the norms due to the lack of an effective procurement, tender and payments processes. The matters raised against Mr Colin Yow is a notable example of significant losses absorbed by SIPA due to non-existence of policies and procedures,” KPMG said.

It recommended that Management “consider developing the following as a matter of high priority:”

  • Procurement and Tender
  • Delegated level of authority
  • Fixed asset management
  • Project Management
  • Finance; and
  • Corporate Governance

In response, Management said it would engage an external party to “develop policies and processes” for the six areas KPMG has identified.

“These should enable SIPA operations and activities more aligned to international practices. These will also help reduce wastage, fraud risk, instil efficiency and can be used as a learning tool not only to the Finance staff but other departments as well,” Management said in its response.

Whether or not Management has carried out the recommendations is not clear.

Many of these issues have now polarised the relations between staff and management and have the potential bring down the organisation.

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