OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL

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LESOTHO


OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL


PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT ON THE ISSUANCE OF REGULAR PASSPORTS
BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PASSPORT
SERVICE
S

IN

THE
MINISTRY OF HOME
AFFAIRS, P
UBLIC SAFETY AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS









FEBRUARY 2011


OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL


VISION

We aspire to be a leading Supreme Audit Institution that promotes
public accountability and transparency.

Mission

To promote sustainable public accountabil
ity and transparency, by
providing professional auditing services to all stakeholders whilst
creating a respectful workplace where our diverse workforce can
strive for excellence and realize the full career potential.


Values

We focus on the following valu
es when conducting the work and ourselves;



Independence and objectivity.



Serving the public interest.



Respectful workplace.



Trust and integrity.



Disciplined workforce.






24 February 2011


FOR
E
WORD


In its endeavor to promote economy, efficiency and effe
ctiveness within
the Public Sector, the Office of the Auditor General undertook a
performance audit on the issuance of regular passports within the
Department of Passport Services in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Public
Safety and Parliamentary Affairs (MO
HAPS). The objective of this audit
was to determine the causes for delays in the issuance of regular
passports. The audit examined the application and production processes
and some causes for delays were identified and measures for improvement
suggested.


I trust that this report will help MOHAPS to improve the issuance of
regular passports by implementing proper management measures and
controls relating to the processing of passports.


The audit was conducted by P. Diaho, M. Lekhetho, M. Hlapisi and L.
M
akoala. I would like to extend my gratitude to the Management and Staff
of MOHAPS for their cooperation during the execution of the audit.



____________________

L.L LIPHAFA (MRS)

AUDITOR GENERAL


TABLE OF CONTENTS

FOREWORD

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

CHAPTER 1


1.
INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background
………………………………………………………………………………………………
1

1.2 Statutory Mandate
…………………………………………………………………………………..
1


1.3 Organizational Structure
.......
……………………………………………..
..2



1.4 Resources……………………………………………………………………
.
2


1.4.1 Budget…
………………………………………………………………..2


1.4.2 Recurrent Revenue……………………………………………………
..
..3


1.4.3 Transport………………………………………………………………
...
.3


1.4.4 Human Resource…………………………………………………………4


1.5 Design of the Audit………………
……………………………………
.
……
5


1.5.1 Audit Objective………………………
……………………………
.........
.5


1.5.2 Scope………………………………………………………………
.
…….5


1.5.3 Methods of data collection…………………………………………
.
……5


CHAPTER 2




2. A
PPLICATION AND ISSUANCE OF REGULAR PASSPORTS

2.1 Application and Issuance process ….
…………………………………….8

2.1.1 District

Passport offices………………….
…………………………
.

..8

2.1.2 Inspection Unit…………………………………
…………………
..

…9

2.1.3 Production Unit…………………………………………………………10

2.1.4 Dispatch Unit………………………………………………………
...
….11

2.1.5 Collection of Passports at district office……………………………
..
….11

2.1.6 Ap
plication for Emergency Passports…………………………………
...
12


2.2 Maintenance Process……………………………………………………
.
…12


CHAPTER 3

3.

FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

3.1 Delays in the application and issuance of regular passports…………………

16


3.1.1

Application…
…………………………………………………………
...
.16


3.1.2 Inspection………………………………………………………………
..
17


3.1.3 Backlog of in the production unit………………………………………
..
21


3.1.4 Collection of passports……
……………………………………………...
35



3.2 Administrative problems causing delays…………………………………………………
.
38


3.2.1 Inadequate planning…………………………………………………
…..
38


3.2.2 Lack of Monitoring………………………………………………………38


3.2.3 Inadequate communication………………………………………………39


3.2.4 Irregular collection of revenue…………………………………………
..
.40




LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES

TABLES













Table 1: Immigration and Passport Services Budget and expenditure for 2005/2006


2009/2010

Table 2: Revenue collection for the financial years 2005/2006


2008/2009

Table 3: Vehicle Fleet as at November 2009

Table 4: Department of Passport Services

staff complement as at November, 2009

Table 5: Total expected and Actual figures of passports per month in the production unit

Table 6: Figures of applications for the off
-
peak and peak

months


FIGURES

Figure 1: Application and issuance of regular passpor
ts

Figure 2: Emergency Passports for the perio
d 2005
-

2009

Figure 3: Cumulative figures of application forms versus finished passp
orts for the period
2007
-
2009


LIST OF APPENDICES

Appendix 1: Organizational Structure for the Department of Passport Services

as at
November, 2009

Appendix 2: List of documents reviewed

Appendix 3: List of people interviewed

Appendix 4: System Incident Report Form

















Executive Summary

Background

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Public Safety and Parliamentary Affairs
through
the Department of Passport Service
,

is mandated to provide issuance and
revocation of Lesotho Passports, travel documents and matters incidental to as
per Lesotho Passports and Travel documents Act No 15 of 1988. A passport is an
important document

which validates citizenship and used for identity. There
was a public outcry that there were delays in the production of passports; it
took atmost three (3) years for a person to obtain a passport. As a result, the
Office of the Auditor General undertook
an audit to determine the causes for
delays in the production of passports.


Methods of Data Collection

Data was collected through document
s

review, interviews and observations.
Documents that were reviewed included among others strategic plans,

Audit

insp
ection reports
, Lesotho Passports and Travel Documents

Act 0f 1988 and
Directorate of Corruption, Internal Audit, Accountant General, Auditor General
and Lesotho Mounted Police Service (DIAAL)

investigation

report. Interviews
were held with management, sta
ff and applicants. Observations were made on
the different stages in the production of passports and on stores where blank
and finished passports were kept.


Findings and Recommendations

Causes for delays

a) Delays to communicate queries

It was found out t
hat different

d
istricts used different ways of communication
with the applicants in case of queries such as use of notice boards and
purchasing of stamped envelopes by applicants so that queries were sent by
post. Sometimes applicants knew about the querie
s after a year or two when
they came to inquire about their passports as the above methods proved to be
ineffective if ever used.

Recommendation

The

management of the

department should utilise the contact details provided on
the application forms to commun
icate with the applicants. That could be by
telephone, registered mail and media if information provided on the application
form proves to be insufficient.



b) Backlog of forms in the Production Unit

The audit found out that there was a huge backlog of a
pplication forms in the
Production Unit waiting to be processed. The following were identified as problems
which caused backlog and delays within the Production Unit.

i) Idling machines

During observations in the Production Unit, it was discovered that not

all the machines
were fully operational or manned. The maximum daily production was less than five
hundred (500) passports per day or seven thousand, three hundred and ten (7,310)
passports per month
.
The reason advanced was that there was shortage of staf
f within
the production unit. It was indicated that the unit was manned with fifteen (15) staff
members while it required thirty
-
four (34) to meet the planned maximum daily and
monthly passport production. However, it was established that the department
wa
s
being restructured and the recruitment process was underway.


Recommendation



The management of the
department should ensure that the
established positions are filled so that machines are fully manned to
maximize the production of passports.




Management s
hould ensure that available resources are utilized
efficiently and effectively for maximum production of passports.


ii) Late response to breakages of Printing and Laminating Machines

The Production Unit experienced frequent breakages of printing and lamin
ating
machines and there were delays in responding to these breakages by the suppl
ier. It
took approximately two
weeks to three months to attend malfunctioning machines.

The cause of this was that the supplier seemed to be committed to serve other
countrie
s and disregarded the terms and conditions of the contract
.
There were no
records for example,

system incident

reports to determine the waiting time for
response to breakages of machines
.



Recommendation

The Ministry must ensure that the supplier adheres
to the maintenance contract
and take action where there is a breach of
contract and also to consider utilizing
suppliers from within the region. This will curb the backlog in the production of
passports leading to unnecessary delays.



c) Increasing appl
ications for emergency passports

It was found out that there was an increase in the number of applications for
emergenc
y passports during the period

2006 to 2009. The reason for increasing number
of emergency passports was due to delays in obtaining a regu
lar passport and weak
controls such as leniency in ensuring that applica
tions

are supported with valid proof
when applying for an emergency passport. The increase in the applications for
emergency passports resulted in the following:



Disturbance in the nor
mal flow of production of passports as some application
forms were misplaced when tracing application forms for emergency passports.



The focus of attending to regular applications being shifted towards issuance of
emergency passports. However, there were a
bout 834 uncollected emergency
passports.


Recommendation



Regular passports should be produced within a stipulated time to avoid
application for emergency passports which delay the process further.




Management should exercise strict controls regarding the

provision of
emergency passports.





d) Several applications by one applicant

It was discovered that

applicant
s made several applications for regular passports
without submitting required evidence. It was found out that some people

would apply
several t
imes

after the initial application. The reasons for several applications
obtained from staff were that:



Some people applied for passports at different places hoping that they might get
one in time.



People applied in different names in order to defraud ret
ailers, creditors or banks
and to avoid heavy penalty charges at the border posts.



People who lose or claim their passports lost and apply for new ones.


Recommendation



The Department should check applications against lost passports before
processing and

inform people about a register of lost passports kept by the
Department.



Management should ensure that all lost passports are taken to Immigration
Offices and can use radios and newspapers to inform the public about these lost
passports.



The Department co
uld consider using a system (Biometric Authentication
S
ystem) that will detect several

applications as this will curb the problem of
backlogs. Or they can liaise with Interpol for the introduction of thumb
-
print
system.