Thursday, August 24, 2017

"VIRTUALLY NOTHING IS MOVING"

BY PATRICK GEORGES PILLAY (AKA TON PAT)

"Seychelles is greater than me." This statement has often been uttered by the Head of State, Danny Faure. It has also been uttered by yours truly as well as both leaders in the National Assembly. I believe that Seychelles is greater than all the four of us put together and therefore whatever action we take as leaders must be in the interest of Seychelles FIRST and not in the interest of our own agenda or that of our political party.

Sole protester on the day of the Solar Eclipse and new moon
I need not explain why I joined Ryan Moncherry in his protest in Central Victoria on Tliesday 22 August 2017. However, I wish to do precisely that so that there is no misunderstanding on either side of the political divide, especially as I have had mixed reactions from different people. Let me start by stating a number of facts:

1. LDS in its post-September 2016 political campaign has said time and again that it will fight for early presidential elections since Mr. Faure is not an elected President but got to State House through the 'pas baton' provision in our Constitution. This has since been amended and that is the end of it.

LDS Chairman leads the protest for fresh Presidential elections in September 2016
2. Early on Tuesday morning, I mailed the Chairman of the LDS Council, Roger Mancienne, to inform him that I will be joining Ryan Moncherry in his protest at midday in my personal capacity and as Leader of Lalyans Seselwa. I recognized that I had neither the blessing nor the endorsement of the LDS Council to do what I was planning to do. Ryan Moncherry did a solo protest and when I learnt about it I was full of admiration and pride for this young man wrho has been an ardent supporter of our party 'Lalyans Seselwa' from its inception. Let me add 'en passant' that even when he had his barber's shop on Espace Building, I used to go there for my haircut and the trimming of my beard.

3. I must be loud and clear in saying that I have nothing against Mr. Faure, Mr. Meriton or Mrs. Mondon. If truth be told, I consider them as friends and work wrell with them. This fact must be obvious to all Seychellois as I sit on various committees with them and contribute fully to the discussions.

4. At no time have I said the President Faure must resign. Ryan and others who joined him have said so and I respect their views. On the board, that I carried was printed on one side "We want fresh Presidential elections" and on the flip side "We want an elected President." I will explain further down what I really wish for Seychelles...

5. One of the mails I received referred to "violent civil disobedience campaign." Let me make it clear that at no time have I said (or for that matter thought) about civil disobedience. As for violence, anybody who knows me will be very aware that I am a follower of Mahatma Ghandhi's Ahimsa i.e. non-violence. I am absolutely against violence in any form...

As a matter of fact I made it clear to all who joined Ryan on Tuesday that this will be a silent and peaceful protest. There will be no speeches, no music, no shouting or disturbance of the public at large.

Let me now explain why I joined Ryan Moncherry in his protest.

Speaker of the National Assembly of Seychelles joins protest
At the last sitting of the National Assembly, before we adjourned for recess I made a strong statement from the Chair about lack of service delivery from certain quarters in the Executive branch of Government. I targeted two ministries: Education and Agriculture. I will not repeat what I said.

This Monday 21 August I did my usual clinic' at Anse Boileau and one of the last constituents wrhom I saw brought to my attention his case which can best be described as the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. There is a young man who is an inhabitant of Anse Boileau who is specialised in the field of Education. He has a B Ed. From Australia and a Master's in 'Educational Leadership' from a university in New Zealand. This gentleman, and indeed he is one, has been in the country since November 2016 and all this time he has been doing what we in creole would call "bous trou." I have been a facilitator of learning (commonly called a teacher, I have been an educational administrator, I have been PS (Editor's note: principal secretary) of Education and I have been a Minister of Education. After listening to this young man with so much potential in educational leadership being sidelined when there is a dire need for male role models and strong and skillful male head teachers in a system that is in disarray especially in regards to indiscipline in secondary school, to say that I wras angry w’ould be a gross understatement. There and then I decided that I will now go into a higher gear to have a change of Government. This is when I decided to join Ryan Moncherry and ask for early and fresh Presidential elections.

My quest is simple to understand. I as leader of 'Lalyans Seselwa' do not believe that the co-habitation is working. I have been for it in the interest of Seychelles and have done my best to make it work. However I now firmly believe that the Executive is taking us for a ride and virtually nothing is moving (for reasons best known to themselves). In the case of the Educationalist from Anse Boileau - he had seen and met with President Danny Faure, with Minister Joel Morgan and Dr. Odile de Commarmond and still one year on he has not been given a headship even when he has proven experience as a Deputy Headteacher. Is this a repeat of the saga of the ex-A Level students teaching in the secondary schools for peanuts? ... I would like to believe that complacency is so pervasive in the public service simply because there is no leadership. Take the case of the Police. If I start writing about the lack of leadership in the police you will be reading until tomorrow’ night. And who is the Commissioner of Police answerable to? Who is his boss? You see my dear friends this country needs fresh Presidential elections within a reasonable time frame, at least by June 2018 and not in 2020.

On a final note: Regarding President Faure. He agreed and assented to scrapping the article in the Constitution that permitted the famous 'pas baton'. He should then take the matter to its logical conclusion and have fresh presidential elections. It is not healthy if we are on a journey towards a modern and robust democracy to have a selected or 'pas baton' President representing us at Summits overseas. We need an elected President. This is what credibility and good governance is all about.

After all if Mr. Faure calls for fresh presidential elections in let us say April 2018 and he participates as a presidential candidate, he may actually win. Why does he have to wait for the end of his 'mandate'? Who gave him this 'mandate' anyway?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

REPORT ON THE SPECIAL AUDIT OF PAYMENTS BY NDEA AND FIU


Introduction

1. The National Drugs Enforcement Agency (NDEA) was set up under the Act 20 of 2008, which came into force in August 2008, to lead, manage, co-ordinate and implement the national efforts of the Republic to combat drug offences. Responsibilities of the NDEA falls under the Chief Officer appointed by the President under the Act. Effective October 2016, the statutory functions of the Agency was transferred from the President to the Minister responsible for Home Affairs vide S.I.73 of 2016.

2. The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) was created under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2006 and was established as a Unit within the Central Bank of Seychelles. Effective 18 August 2008, the Unit was formed into a Body Corporate vide the Anti-Money Laundering Amendment Act, 2008. The primary objectives of the Unit is to monitor, train and enforce compliance by reporting entities with the obligations imposed in Part 2 of the Act. The Director of the Unit reports to the President, pursuant to Part 3, Section 16 (8) of the Anti-money laundering (Amendment) Act, 2008.

3. The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee requested the intervention of the Auditor General vide letter dated 27 March 2017, to investigate a number of payments made by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the National Drugs Enforcement Agency (NDEA) from funds allocated in the national budget.

4. The FPAC informed that it was involved in an investigation and asked the Auditor General to provide detailed information on payments, specifically consultancy (local and foreign) and other fees made by the above two entities from 2007 to 2016 with with special emphasis on the remittances to two companies, namely, Solas Beo and Tech Ltd.

5. Taking into consideration the request, Office of the Auditor General (OAG) undertook a special audit of the accounts and records of the NDEA and FIU (Entities), as mandated by Article 158 of the Constitution and under Section 22 (1) of the Auditor General Act, 2010, in order to submit a special report to the National assembly.

6. The principal audit objective was to carry out sufficient audit procedures to establish as to whether (a) the selected transactions were relevant to the Entities ; (b) adequate and satisfactory books of accounts and records were maintained by the Entities in relation to the execution of the transactions; (c) the entities complied with the prescribed financial procedures (i.e. Financial Instructions, Accounting Manual, PFMA, 2012 and PFMA Regulations, 2014) and the relevant legislative provisions (i.e. tax and procurements); and (d) adequate internal controls existed in the Entities to ensure integrity of financial transactions and accounting records.

Methodology

7. The audit was mainly conducted as follows:
• Obtained all payment transactions from the Treasury Information System (TIS) relevant to the Entities for the period under audit (2009-2016);
• Selected transactions for further testing placing emphasis on foreign or local consultancy services of recurring nature charged to the account codes and significant and repetitive overseas procurements;
• Scrutinised the payments details in relation to respective payment vouchers, remittance advice, bank transfer payment voucher (BKTR), invoices, contract agreements and other supporting documents, including payment instructions to the Ministry of Finance. Further, Audit scrutinised the invoices to verify their genuineness/authenticity, relevance to the Entities and as well as the company details, contact information and bank account details of the payees.
• Assessed the processes followed against the prescribed financial policies, procedures regulations and the control environment;
• Interviewed the Director and the Head of Administration and Finance of FIU and the Director of Human Resources and Administration at the NDEA for obtaining information.
Scope limitation

8. Audit could not obtain supporting documents, such as, payment vouchers, invoices and other relevant documents in respect of 2009 and 2010 although the treasury system revealed some payment transactions for the 2 years. Thus the audit covered the details of payments for the period 2011 to 2016 only. Audit did not examine the records of the Central Bank of Seychelles to establish as to whether the foreign exchange payments selected from the Treasury records were actually remitted to the respective company/personal accounts as appearing in the relevant documents. Instead, reliance was placed on the BKTR documents raised by the Treasury for the payments having been effected. Furthermore, Audit could not obtain all the information it required from the Entities in view that the senior management personnel had left the Entities at the time of the audit.

Disclaimer

9. The report that follows discusses the exceptions that came to light in the course of the audit during the period April to June 2017. It is to be noted that mentioning of the names of any business entity, person, or an individual made in this report is without any prejudice or ill will to such persons but only for the purpose of better understanding of the issues arising from the audit. An audit report is not based on proof but sufficient and reasonable evidence collected during the audit exercise and as the matters appeared to the auditors with sufficient knowledge of government financial systems and procedures.

Summary of conclusions

10. A contract for consultancy service would typically contain terms and conditions of deliverables, timelines, fees, arbitration, etc. In the absence of the contracts with Solas Beo Inc, Tech Limited, Calendula, and Barry Galvin & Son (for the period prior to 05.01.2015) Audit could not determine the justification for the variable amounts paid to these companies.

11. The invoices for payments of services appeared to have been raised internally, for example in one instance, an invoice supposedly issued by Calendula was in fact on Solas Beo letter head with particulars of bank account of Calendula.

12. The nature of services provided could not be determined as they were not specified, nor had any reports been kept by both Entities as evidence of the services provided/received. Generally, there was a lack of documentation of services required and the receipt of such
services in support of significant financial transactions. However, if the documentation was done, then there was a failure to retain the same for future reference and audit purpose.

13. There were indications of significant management influence with limited scope for segregation of functions/duties in both Entities. All payment documents including Application for Payment in Foreign Currency – Central Bank of Seychelles (SWIFT) payment instructions forms were completed and submitted by the two Chief Officers (Head of entities), to the Ministry of Finance for endorsement and ultimately forwarded to the Central Bank for payment. It appeared that both Entities and the MoF approved the above applications for transfer of funds to various accounts in the absence of a documented proof of receipt of services as per the relevant contracts but only on the basis of the invoices.

14. Requests for exemption of the consultancy services from the procurement regulations, when submitted were approved on the basis that it stated “for reasons of state security”. Furthermore, the requests were approved on the basis of invoices, which was after the services have been delivered but not prior to procurement, as normally the case.

15. Where the consultancy contracts were drawn with existing expatriate senior personnel on the payroll and paid in Seychelles Rupees, it is not clear if payments on contract in foreign exchange related to extra duties/services or additional remuneration for the same position.

16. Calendula and Tech Limited were registered as International companies (offshore company-IBC) with the Financial Services Authority through a local agent and deriving revenue from and operating in the Seychelles. Although IBCs are not subject to tax, it is not clear whether these companies were liable to business tax.

Recommendations

17. According to circular No. 1 of 2015 issued in December 2015 by Procurement Oversight Unit of (POU) the Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy and pursuant to Section 10(1) and (2) of the Public Procurement Regulations 2014, copies of signed contracts, which also includes the provision of consultancy services, approved by the National Tender Board (award Committee) must be submitted to the Procurement Oversight Unit. In addition, the Procurement Oversight Unit, Circular No 1 issued in November 2011, states that the POU will not entertain any request for “retrospective approval” for an adopted procurement procedure. The Procurement Oversight Unit must ensure that these provisions are applied in all procurement cases involving national budgetary provisions.

18. The Ministry of Finance must ensure that prior to endorsing the ‘Application for Payment in Foreign Currency – Central Bank of Seychelles (SWIFT)’ payment instructions forms for foreign exchange payments, checks are performed to ensure that valid contracts are available, amounts paid are in accordance with obligations and further, approval/exemptions have been obtained from the POU where applicable.

19. The Entities (FIU/NDEA) must ensure that appropriate documentation of the financial transactions are kept and procedures stipulated in the Public Finance Management Regulations/Financial Instructions are adhered so as to provide an audit trail as well as to safeguard financial records in good condition for reference in the future. These should cover fixed assets and inventory items owned and operated by the Entities.

20. Where there are doubts with regards to the liability for any tax by the IBCs registered in Seychelles, doing business in Seychelles and earning an income in Seychelles, the matter should be referred to the SRC for a determination. Similarly, the liability for personal income tax (PIT) of the personnel who were also on the payroll of the two Entities or elsewhere in Seychelles, needs to be established in consultation with the SRC. Also, the withholding tax liability of the non-resident legal service provider must be referred to SRC for a ruling. These are matters that would require the close attention of SRC as similar cases may exist in other governmental entities, particularly, consultancy services.

System outline

21. The Head of Administration and Finance of FIU was responsible for the accounting function and verifying all invoices for receipt of goods/services. The Director (Chief Officer) approved all invoices, payment vouchers as well as completed Application for Payment in Foreign Currency – Central Bank of Seychelles (SWIFT) payment instructions forms to be submitted to the Ministry of Finance. In the case of NDEA, Director of Human Resources and Administration was responsible for the accounting function and certifying all invoices for payment. The Chief Officer approved all invoices, payment vouchers and Application for Payment in Foreign Currency – Central Bank of Seychelles (SWIFT) payment instructions forms to be submitted to the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Finance approved the completed forms and forwarded them to the Central Bank of Seychelles for effecting transfers. Once effected, the CBS advised the Ministry of Finance/Treasury through a debit note which was used by the Treasury to raise the Bank Transfer Payment document (BKTR) and the relevant voucher to update the general ledger. It is from this ledger that Audit extracted the financial transactions for further examination in relation to their payment documents. However, the Treasury ledger did not show the financial transactions of both FIU and NDEA for the years prior to 2009 whereas for the payments effected prior to 2011 by NDEA the records were unavailable according to the Director of Human Resources and Administration of the Agency.
Solas Beo Inc

22. The NDEA and FIU effected regular quarterly payments to Solas Beo Inc, which according to online search was a registered company, incorporated in Mauritius on 10.12.2007 bearing company ID no number C076299. The registration address of the company was C/O Beresford Trust & Corporate Services Ltd, 1001, Alexander House, 35 Ebene, Cybercity, Mauritius. At the time of the audit, the offshore company’s status was Active. The Directors and Shareholders of the Company could not be determined. See Attachment 1 for relevant information.

23. The Central Bank was requested to effect payments to the beneficiary’s (Solas) Euro bank account (number 7643621) with the Barclays Bank, Seychelles, following the approval of the Ministry of Finance on the basis of payment request/instructions submitted by the Chief Officers of FIU and NDEA.

24. All payments to Solas Beo Inc for the period 2009 to 2015 by FIU amounted to SR 41,999,846 as appeared from the relevant documents examined while all payments from NDEA for the period 2009 to 2015 amounted to SR48,765,843, with a combined total of SR 90,765,689. See Attachment 2 for details of the payments examined.

Findings

25. Of the sum of SR48,765,843 by NDEA, Audit could not verify a sum of SR13,262,083 incurred during 2009 (SR6,111,920) and 2010 (SR7,150,162) in view that there were no supporting documents. See Attachment 2 (a) page 2 for details.

26. Fees invoiced for ‘expatriate services’ and corresponding payments had increased significantly over the years, from €47,500 in 2009 to €88,000 in 2015, in the case of FIU without a documented justification. In addition to ‘expatriate services’, also included on invoices were variable amounts ranging from €28,500 to €58,750 (FIU) charged as “special duties”. The same applied to NDEA with sums ranging from €97,000 to €165,000 per quarter. However, nature/details of the work performed were not specified on invoices or by way of reports or some other documentation.

27. Payments to Solas Beo were effected on a quarterly basis in variable amounts by both Entities. However, Audit could not determine the basis upon which fees were calculated in view that invoices issued merely stated “expatriate services” for the respective quarter and were vague, which did not permit the identification of the nature of services provided. Audit could not obtain the relevant contracts (or a valid copy of the same) stipulating the terms and conditions despite requests made to the Director FIU and the Director Human Resources and Administration of NDEA.

28. Of 20 payments made by NDEA, 18 were not supported by original invoices. Further, in all cases, information typically found on invoices, such as, contact information (telephone no., fax and e-mail address) invoice number and signature of the company representative authorising the invoices were not found stated on the face of the invoices.

29. In all instances, in the case of FIU, Audit did not find the approval of the Procurement Oversight Unit and National Tender Board nor were requests submitted by the FIU, contrary to the requirement of the Public Procurement Act, 2009 and Public Procurement Regulations, 2014, (regulations 9 & 11, Schedule 1) in respect of consultancy services. In the case of NDEA, in 14 out of 20 payments were without the approval of POU. Where the POU approval was sought, it was noted that, approval was sought retrospectively at the end of the quarter on the basis of the invoice and not prior to soliciting of services.

30. The Ministry of Finance approved ‘Application for Payment in Foreign Currency – Central Bank of Seychelles (SWIFT)’ payment instructions form was not sighted in one case and the relevant BKTR document was not sighted in 18 cases in the case of FIU. In the case of NDEA, the relevant BKTR document was not sighted in 7 cases.

31. In two cases of FIU, invoices paid in 2009 (i.e. 23.11.2009 for Euro 45,650 and 20.09.2009 for Euro 47,500) were signed by one Mr Joseph Cully as Director of Solas Beo. Further audit scrutiny revealed that in 2010, Mr Cully was on the payroll of FIU as an ‘asset agent’. The payroll for the year 2009 was not available for audit inspection to confirm if the said person was in fact in employment with FIU when signing the invoice on behalf of Solas Beo and the services invoiced were not already being performed internally by the said persons in post.

Tech Company Ltd

32. Tech Limited was registered with the Financial Services Authority on 01 April 2011 as an international business company (company number 088982). Although requested, Audit was not provided with particulars of the Directors and Shareholders by FSA stating that the information was not available on the company file. It is to be noted that the certificate of official search from FSA dated 28.04.2017 indicates the company as “not in good standing”. See details in Attachment 3. According to banking details on the invoices, all transfers were effected by the Central Bank on behalf of NDEA to a Euro account (2801001340302) with ABC Banking Corporation Ltd in Mauritius.

33. All payments to Tech Limited for the period 2013 to 2016 by NDEA amounted to SR18,421,559 as appeared from the relevant documents examined; details in Attachment 4.

Findings

34. It was noted from the invoices examined that Tech company was charging for “Project Development in relation to classifieds Project SRU” from July 2013 to Oct 2015 on a quarterly basis at a fee of US Dollar 142,548.76 initially which was then revised to €137,000 in 2015 and further increased to €137,740 in 2016. The nature of services as shown on invoices was “personnel, investigative and legal services”. The Agency, however, could not produce the contract (or a valid copy of it) with the above company to confirm the nature of services and other terms and conditions of obtaining such services.

35. Further, the contact details, such as, the complete address of the company, telephone numbers and email address and invoice number, which are typically found on an invoice were not included on the face of the invoices. The signature of the representative of the company was also not shown on the invoices. Further, 3 out of 10 invoices were not original but copies.

Calendula Ltd.

36. Calendula Ltd was registered with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) on 05 March 2013 as an International Company (company number 120570).Audit requested particulars of the Directors and Shareholders and was informed by FSA that the information was not available on the company file. It is to be noted that the certificate of official search from FSA (28.04.2017) indicates the company as “not in good standing”. See Attachment 5. According to banking details on the invoice, all transfers were effected by the Central Bank on behalf of FIU to a Euro account number (002801001340402) with ABC Banking Corporation Ltd in Mauritius.

37. All payments to Calandula Ltd for the period 2015 to 2016 by FIU amounted to SR13,060,944 as appeared from the relevant documents examined; see details in Attachment 6.

Findings

38. The Unit could not produce the contract ( or a valid copy of it) with Calendula for the Audit to determine the nature of services expected to be provided/received and the amounts payable according to the contract. The Unit received two invoices per quarter in variable amounts, one for ‘expatriate services’ and the other for ‘special duties and operations’.

39. Invoices lacked pertinent details, such as, complete address of the company, contact details (telephone, email address/website), invoice number and the signature of company
representative. The initial invoice dated 15.07.2015 for Calendula was an invoice drawn on Solas Beo headed paper which was crossed out by hand with the name “Calendula” inserted. See Attachment 7 for details.

40. Application for Payment in Foreign Currency – Central Bank of Seychelles (SWIFT) payment instructions forms approved by the Ministry of Finance were not sighted in 7 out of 13 payments made. In addition, BKTR document was not sighted in 10 out of 13 payments made.
Christopher Mooney

41. Mr Mooney was employed as a ‘senior asset agent’ with FIU from 01 October 2011 to April 2016 and was paid a local monthly salary of SR 27,069. Effective, June 2013, Mr Mooney received a supplementary payment of €15,000 on a quarterly basis, charged as foreign consultancy, which according to payment vouchers related to his services as ‘operation consultant’ to SeyPIC (Seychelles Piracy Intelligence Cell). Payments were effected to Mr. Mooney’s Euro account (0101043169) with Barclays Bank, Seychelles.

42. All payments to Mr. Mooney charged to overseas consultancy services, excluding salaries, during the period June 2013 to April 2016 was equivalent to SR.3,071,223, as appeared from the relevant documents examined; see details in Attachment 8.

Findings

43. According to his employment contract dated 28.12.2013, effective for the year 2014, his post title was stated as ‘Senior Asset Agent’ despite the relevant invoices showing as ‘Operation Consultant’.

44. Personal Income Tax (PIT) was not deducted and remitted to the Seychelles revenue Commission from the fees paid in foreign exchange in respect of which the employee would have been liable. Total liability for the period 2013 to April 2016 was SR460,683; (SR3,071,223*0.15).

45. Application for ‘Payment in Foreign Currency – Central Bank of Seychelles (SWIFT)’ payment instructions forms were not sighted in 3 out of 13 payments made.

Barry Galvin and Son

46. Barry Galvin & Son was a Solicitor, based in Ireland responsible for providing legal services to the FIU. Fees of €40,000 in 2013, which increased to €50,000, quarterly, charged by the above were paid to his account with Allied Irish Bank (22612010) in Cork, Ireland. In addition, Mr Galvin claimed for ancillary fees, such as, travelling costs, subsistence allowances and others, the re-imbursement thereof was also transferred to his account in Ireland.

47. All payments to Barry Galvin and Sons for the period 2010 to 2016 by FIU amounted to SR 18,319,967 as appeared from the relevant documents examined; see details in Attachment 9.

Findings

48. Other than a letter of appointment dated 05.01.2015, contracts with Barry Galvin & Son dating back to 2013, when the services were solicited could not be produced to Audit to ascertain the terms and conditions including amounts payable although the letter of appointment refers to a contracted services specified in Appendix 1, Appendix 2, Appendix 3, Appendix 4 and Appendix 5, which was stated to be Classified. Audit did not sight these Appendixes nor the contract.

49. In all cases, payments were effected on the basis of proforma invoices instead of originals which is contrary to the Financial Instructions 0520 which states no payment should be authorised unless payment vouchers are supported by the original invoices and/or other suitable documentation such as receipt, GRN and delivery note, etc.

50. There was no evidence to indicate that withholding tax payable on technical services fees by non-residents which would amount to SR2,747,995.13, see details in Attachment 10, was paid to the Seychelles Revenue Commission in accordance with Section 66 (1) of the Business tax Act, 2009, Section (3) of the First Schedule, had he been liable.

51. In 4 cases, the Ministry of Finance approved ‘Application for Payment in Foreign Currency – Central Bank of Seychelles (SWIFT)’ payment instructions form was not sighted. In another 5 cases, BKTR document was not sighted.

Local consultancy

52. One Mrs M.H was appointed as a Consultant Analyst with the FIU effective 01 January 2015 for a period of two years, at a fee of SR.30,000 per month according to a (undated) letter/contract. The role of the Consultant Analyst was to conduct due diligence checks of foreign personnel in relation to travel records, immigration data, work permits and other data available in the department of immigration according to an attachment to the letter mentioned above.

53. All payments to the above person for the period 2014 to 2016 by FIU amounted to SR 960,000 as appeared from the relevant documents examined.

Findings

54. No contract was available prior to 2015 despite payments commencing on 05.06.2014, which totalled SR240,000 up to the end of 2014. The contract was undated and signed by Mrs M.H only; the signature of the Chief Officer was not sighted. According to this letter she was entitled to leave at the rate 1.75 days per completed month of service, not to be accumulated beyond 42 days, implying that it was some sort of employment contract with FIU.

55. Narrative on the invoices indicated ‘general consultancies’ whereas details appended to the ‘letter of contract’ was specifically in relation to ‘immigration consultancies’.

56. Personal Income tax totalling SR144,000 (SR960,000*0.15) was not deducted from the payments totalling SR 960,000 made for the period June 2014 to December 2016.

Daniel Technologies

57. Daniel Technologies is a company in Ireland which supplies security equipment and uniforms to NDEA upon order. All payments to Daniel Technologies for the period 2011 to 2016 by NDEA amounted to SR6,947,386, which was paid to AIB Bank, Dublin (a/c 01610009) as appeared from the relevant documents examined; see details in Attachment 11.

Findings

58. In most cases, the original invoices were not found by Audit in support of the payments made and the supplier’s signature was not found on invoices. Further, the POU approval was not sighted in respect of 15 cases.

59. Various items of supplies paid for could not be traced to inventory records in evidence of receipt of the items purchased. According to the Agency, inventory records were not maintained, contrary to the requirements of Financial Instructions 1203.

60. In 10 cases, the Ministry of Finance approved ‘Application for Payment in Foreign Currency – Central Bank of Seychelles (SWIFT)’ payment instructions form was not sighted while the BKTR document was not sighted in another 25 cases.

Finbarr O’Leary and Thomas Quilter

61. Mr. Finbarr O’Leary was appointed by the Director (signed) as Deputy Director of FIU for a period of 18 months effective 02 April 2015, to cease on 30 November 2016. Similarly, Mr. Thomas Quilter was appointed by the Director (signed) as Director of the FIU under for a period of 24 months effective 10 March 2015. Both officers were paid monthly salaries on the payroll of FIU. Other than monthly salaries both officers received monthly ‘relocation allowances’ charged as consultancy services and paid quarterly. This provision was cited as being “in accordance with the overall service provision contract between State House and the Service Provider, Calendula Ltd.” Relocation allowances were transferred to the respective beneficiaries’ bank accounts in Ireland; Bank of Ireland (40931088) and IPBS (54208089).

Findings

62. Sums paid for relocation allowance varied each quarter ranging from Euro 4,700 to Euro 6,400 per quarter. According to the contract, the terms and rates of allowance was in accordance with the overall service provision contract between the State House and the service provider Calandula Ltd. However, Audit could not ascertain amounts payable as they were not specified in the respective contracts of appointment. Moreover, as the contract with Calandula was not sighted, Audit could not confirm the arrangements.

63. Personal income tax (PIT) which would amount to SR.76,059.30 (SR507,062*0.15) and SR. 132,205.80 (SR881,372*0.15) in respect of Mr Finbarr O’Leary and Mr Thomas Quilter, had they been liable, was not deducted from relocation benefits/consultancy services paid in the sums of SR507,061 and SR881,372 respectively. See details of payments in Attachment 12.

64. Mr O’ Leary was last included on the payroll in November 2016. He was, however, paid a gross salary of SR42,199.95 on 21.12.2016 which appeared to be an overpayment in view he was no longer employed by FIU. The justification for the payment was not documented on the payment voucher and supporting documents.


65. In 2 cases, the BKTR document was not sighted by Audit in respect of the payments made the above personnel.

Niall Scully, Declan Barber(top) and Barry Galvin; the Irish hired by James Alix Michel