Manitoba auditor general issues reports on missing money, questionable payments

WINNIPEG — Manitoba's auditor general is calling for more oversight on how public money is spent after three investigations into missing money and questionable payments.

Norm Ricard found one former employee of the provincial pharmacare program was able to process $236,000 in suspicious payments over several years.

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Ricard's report says the individual was able to enter information manually about prescription drug purchases and the information was not double-checked by a supervisor.

The money ended up being given to several individuals and, in 2014, police took one person into custody.

Another audit found an unknown amount of money was misappropriated at a sustainable development department office in Thompson that sold hunting licenses and other permits.

A third audit found some $33,000 in unsupported credit card transactions over four years at the Rural Municipality of De Salaberry.

Such problems could be prevented or diminished with stricter controls over how money is paid out, Ricard said in his report Tuesday.

"The findings in this report highlight what can occur in weak control environments and why risk assessments, and more specifically fraud exposure evaluations, are so very important," Ricard wrote.

Ricard's recommendations include having a supervisor review all manual transactions in the pharmacare program.

In the sustainable development department, Ricard says separate people should sell licences, control the inventory and make bank deposits.

Ricard called on De Salaberry to develop clear guidelines on what kind of expenses can be charged on municipal credit cards, and to spell out clear requirements for receipts and other documentation.

© Copyright 2018 Westman Journal

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