Compliance audit report flags corruption at DPRS

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has flagged corrupt practices and a poor working environment in the compliance audit report of the Department of Penitentiary and Rehabilitation Services (DPRS) released last week.

The report was compiled between December 22, 2010 and January 10 this year to ascertain the level of compliance with civil service laws and regulations as well as the code of conduct. The DPRS report is the second compliance audit report to be made public following the Islamic Ministry’s report.

The report identified 46 problems in 16 areas that needed to be reformed, including alleged abuse of lower-ranked employees by senior officials, use of office vessels for personal use and salaries paid out to staff on holiday.

“We note that the department’s vehicles and sea vessels are used for personal purposes,” it reads. “The speedboat used at Maafushi jail sometimes comes to Male’, is not sent back for a whole day and is used to carry employees’ goods.”

Some employees meanwhile complained of sexual abuse, the report noted, “however nothing of the sort can be seen from the records. And we note that a mechanism to record such matters has not been established.”

Due to a lack of coordination between the human resources section and the budget section, the report found that salary payments were made to dismissed staff, employees on no-pay leave and employees with poor attendance.

The CSC noted that additional amounts paid out with the salary were deducted without “revealing details of the accounts and making the required amendments to the documents.”

“As a result, it is not possible to determine for what reason the amounts were deducted,” it states.

The report found that on occasion employees were not paid for overtime hours while senior employees filled out a slip to show that they arrived at the office on time after coming late.

Moreover, some employees at Maafushi jail were paid risk allowance after they were transferred to the main office at Male’. Conversely, employees transferred to the jail were not paid a risk allowance.

Employees also took longer than the one-hour lunch break during working hours and “going out to tea during official hours was common.” Some employees were paid salaries during official leave in violation of civil service regulations, it added.

The department “did not make adequate use” of over Rf400,000 allocated in the budget for training purposes.

“We note that employees are discriminated against in taking disciplinary measures,” the report observed, noting that records were not properly maintained.

The report also found that “a safe environment for staff has not been established at the Male’ jail.”

“The ladder that leads to the staff office is also used by inmates,” it noted.

DPRS staff and their responsibilities did not fit the administrative structure approved by the commission, it continued, and staff at Maafushi jail were also taking care of “administrative tasks, HR tasks, maintaining security at the jail, maintaining the jail office and cafeteria, carrying food, providing health treatment and performing as Imams at the staff mosque.”