MCC rot exposed

MCC rot exposed

MASERU-An audit has revealed how the Maseru City Council (MCC)’s recruitment and human resources manager is chaotic. The report by Auditor General, Monica Besetsa, paints a picture of a city council that lacks basic management systems.

Focusing on the financial year ended 31 March 2019, the report says sometimes the council’s recruitment is politically influenced and junior staff are hired without proper procedure.
“It was not based either on vacancy factor or established positions but was mostly influenced by external forces,” the report says.

“Without a clear organisational structure with specific numbers of required personnel and allowing externally influenced recruitment, MCC runs a risk of absorbing more staff than required while attracting a huge wage bill.”
Besetsa also says promotions, especially for lower grades, were not transparent.

She says promotions were not approved by the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) “and there was also no indication of the availability of vacancies”.
She noted that without that approval it was difficult for the MCC to offer the promoted officers the corresponding salaries and they were instead offered benefits as compensation.

Besetsa also found that the MCC staff performance was not monitored because the appraisal system was not implemented.
“Officers filled in the performance appraisal forms only when they were to be promoted or given incentive allowances.”

She says the MCC was paying some staff allowances against the regulations because they were treated as part of the basic salary.
The audit revealed that MCC was paying M76 754 per month, which translated to M921 048 per year, in allowances for 72 officers.
The MCC’s cell phone allowance policy was not well managed, the report says.

For example, in December 2018 and January 2019 the total cost for cell phone contracts was M25 955 but the MCC paid service providers M72 602, resulting in an overpayment of M46 647. The two-month entitlement for the MCC Administrative Secretary was M2 000 but the MCC paid M20 892.
In the same period the Administrative Secretary who acted as Town Clerk for three weeks accumulated an M8 727 bill when their limit was M3 000.
The report also revealed that the MCC did not have a database of areas eligible to pay rates “hence property taxes were not collected from them”.

It says because valuations to update the status of the properties were not done the rates were charged on as assessment last done in 2004.
The report also shows that the council did not have a system to monitor what parking marshals collected.
“It was further established that MCC was running a loss by paying parking marshals as they were bringing very little to the council against the cost of their engagement.”

This, the report said, was because a cost and benefit analysis was not done.
In 2019 the MCC paid about M2.8 million to 80 parking marshals who collected just above M1.4 million for the financial year ended March 2019.
Besetsa also noted that there were inadequate controls in the management of petty cash, as it was not used for emergency expenditure but for other items that could be bought by the procurement unit.

“There were no receipts attached to the payment vouchers to validate cash payments making it difficult to ascertain whether it was used for intended purposes,” she says.
The other finding was that the MCC was not remitting Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) tax to the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) monthly as required by law.

“Management response was that the grant MCC received has been systematically decreasing as a result they have only been able to pay net salaries and barely paid for operational costs.”

Staff Reporter

Previous PS claps back at Ambassador
Next District council warned of sloppy accounting

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