The Office of the Pensions Ombudsman is a small Office in one unit. There is a total staff of 6, including the
Ombudsman, a Head of Investigations, one investigator, an office manager and two further officials. The responsibility for ensuring that an effective system of Internal Controls is maintained and operated falls to myself, as Ombudsman.
The system can only provide reasonable and not absolute assurance that assets are safeguarded, transactions
authorised and properly recorded, and that material errors or irregularities are either prevented or would be detected in a timely period.
The staff of this Office and I have taken steps to ensure that there is an effective system of financial control in
place, by implementing a system of internal control based on regular information on expenditure being supplied to
management, administrative procedures including segregation of duties, and a system of delegation of responsibility.
This includes the following procedures:
An annual estimate of fi nancial requirements is provided to our parent Department, the Department of Social and Family Affairs.
A twice yearly report is provided to the Department which compares estimated and actual expenditure.
All expenditure by this Offi ce is recorded on the Department’s general ledger accounting system. A monthly
expenditure report is prepared by the Department’s Accounts branch. This is then checked by the offi ce
manager against the records held in the Office.
The offi ce manager prepares a monthly statement of expenditure which compares estimated and actual
expenditure. This is circulated to all members of staff and is reviewed by myself.
A segregation of duties exists between the preparation, authorisation and execution of payments.
An internal audit function will be provided by the Department of Social and Family Affairs.
I confi rm that I reviewed the Office’s system of internal fi nancial control during the year 2003.
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