The Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation diverted funds from the Care and Protection Allowance, Welfare Graduation Program, expanded food voucher programs and the poverty benefit scheme allocation to pay for project officers in 2014.
While presenting the Ministry’s submission on the 2014 Auditor General’s Report to the Public Accounts Committee, Permanent Secretary for Women Children and Poverty Alleviation Dr Josefa Koroivueta says they did not have a workforce at that time and needed to meet that demand as they did not have a proper system in place.
It was stated in the Auditor General’s Report 2014 that the Ministry recruited additional staff, on the understanding that the Ministry of Finance will increase the budgetary allocation, however the Ministry of Finance did not approve the increase in the payroll budget and advised the Ministry to cease the new appointments.
The Ministry took funds from the Care and Protection Allowance, Welfare Graduation Program, Expanded Food Voucher Program, Poverty Benefit Scheme, Commission Charges, Power Supply, Office Supplies and Telecommunications allocations to meet the over expenditure in payroll allocations.
Koroivueta says they had to establish a new support unit for the Ministry to pull funds from to ensure that payments were possible because at the end of the day they had to submit to higher authorities.
He says they knew that they had to do it but it was in a true spirit of actually bringing up a workforce that was able to serve the disadvantaged, the women and children.
The Permanent Secretary says the staffing capacity of the Ministry is 311 compared to 147 in 2014.