Nment im­ple­ments 80% O rec­om­men­da­tions in 2016

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

stu­dent pop­u­la­tion had only in­creased by three per cent.

In their jus­ti­fi­ca­tion, which was re­jected by the NAO, MEDE said that costs could not sim­ply be com­pared to stu­dent pop­u­la­tions, high­light­ing that the three new church schools had opened since 2011, which in to­tal have 127 teach­ing grades, re­sult­ing in an in­crease of 85 teach­ers within five years.

Re­cent col­lec­tive and sec­toral agree­ment have in­creased church school ex­penses by 2.5 per cent, while the in­crease in Learn­ing Sup­port As­sis­tants (LSAs), the num­ber of lessons, the in­tro­duc­tion of new sub­jects and new ser­vices have also played a fac­tor.

The MEDE then elected to seek en­ve­lope fund­ing to meet church school fi­nan­cial re­quire­ments. On the NAO’s rec­om­men­da­tion, a task has been ap­pointed to ex­plore this, while monthly rec­on­cil­i­a­tions have also been ini­ti­ated to en­sure that there is no over or un­der­spend­ing.

The lack of doc­u­men­ta­tion to sup­port bud­get al­lo­ca­tion was also a con­cern, with the rel­e­vant doc­u­men­ta­tion made avail­able four weeks af­ter the NAO’s re­quest, de­spite nu­mer­ous re­minders. Work­ings pro­vided showed a bud­geted expenditure of slightly more than €62 mil­lion; how­ever, no con­sid­er­a­tion was given to the an­nual in­ter­est for church schools, which amounted to €3.5 mil­lion.

In its jus­ti­fi­ca­tion, which was also re­jected by the NAO, the min­istry said that the doc­u­men­ta­tion was late be­cause the Di­rec­tor for Fi­nance and Ad­min­is­tra­tion was abroad. With re­gard to the in­ter­ests, the min­istry said that it was de­ducted from the salaries due to schools as in­di­cated in au­dited ac­counts. and that no au­dit­ing pro­ce­dures could be car­ried out to as­cer­tain the ac­cu­racy and va­lid­ity bal­ances, which have also hin­dered the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion of va­ca­tion leave do­nated. The Min­istry for Home Af­fairs in­sisted that the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion of leave and TOIL bal­ances have been avail­able from Jan­uary 2016, while the hourly rate and over­time have been set­tled ac­cord­ing to reg­u­la­tions.

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