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REVENUE DEPARTMENTS, AND POST OFFICE PACKET AND TELEGRAPE SERVICES

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1.- APPROPRIATIONS IN AID.--Year ended 31st March 1906.

NATURE OF RECEIPT.

Amount Estimated.

Amount Received.

Explanation of the Causes of Variation between Estimates and Receipts.

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Due to certain Anglo-French Cables having been repaired by this country at the request of

the French Adminstration.

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6,855

9,715 5 8

See explanation under Sub-Head M.-Post Office Vote-Common Services,

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304 15 1

Total

£. 63,055

74,520 152

In addition the sum of 41. 88. 7d., the final balance of the Telegraph Irregularities Fine Fund was paid into the Exchequer as an Extra Receipt.

REVENUE DEPARTMENTS, AND POST OFFICE PACKET AND TELEGRAPH SERVICES.

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REVENUE DEPARTMENTS, AND POST OFFICE PACKET AND TELEGRAPH SERVICES.

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The Surplus of 94,4081. -S. 8d., shown in the Account of Vote V., " Post Office Telegraphs," or the year ended 31st March 1905, has been surrendered.

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i certify that this Account has been examined by officers under my directions, in accordance with the 29th Section of the Act 29 and 30 Vic., c. 39, including a test audit as directed by Treasury Minute of 27th March 1899, and that, subject to the observations in the annexed Report, the Account is correct.

Examined,

W. M. Martin,

John A. Kempe, Comptroller and Au litor General.

REVENUE DEPARTMENTS, AND POST OFFICE PACKET AND TELEGRAPH SERVICES.

VOTE 5.

POST OFFICE TELEGRAPHS.

from

year 1906-7 to

REPORT OF THE COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL 1. EXPENDITURE in excess of the Estimate has taken place under the following Excess. Sub-Heads, viz. :

A. 3, 5, 9, 11.—Maintenance of the Postal Telegraph System.
B. 3.— Telegraph Works.
C. 3, 5.--Central Telegraph Office, London.
D. 2.-London Telephone Service.

E.—Railway Companies and others for transaction of Public Telegraph business.

G.–Purchase, &c., of Telegraph Engineering Stores.

H.-Share of Expenses common to the Postal and Telegraph Services, transferred from the Post Office Estimate III. (Sub-Head L.). 2. The Savings under Sub-heads A. 1, C. 1, and D. 1. would have been greater but Transfer of for the decision, in the circumstances described in my Report upon the Post Office

Vote, Salaries that Head Quarter Salaries should be paid on the last day of the period to which the payments relate. In accordance with this ruling a total sum of 4,2801. 138. ld., year 1905-6. apportioned between the three Sub-Heads mentioned, has been transferred from the Post Office Telegraphs Vote for the year 1906–7 to that for the year now under consideration.

3. With reference to paragraph 2 of my Report of last year, I have to remark that Loss on the Stock Balancing Statement furnished to my Department for the year 1905-6 shows Rate Book a loss on Rate Book prices of 24,6791. The result of this is that the various works, Prices. Telegraph and Telephone, have been undercharged at the expense of Sub-head G., Purchase, &c., of Telegraph Engineering Stores, and the Telephone Suspense Head respectively; the variation represents about 1.65 per cent. on the total value of the stores handled.

4. In addition to the sum of 74,5201. 18. 5{d. realised as Appropriations in Aid of the Extra Vote, a sum of 41. 8s. 7d., representing the final balance of the Telegraph Irregularities Receipts. Fine Fund, has been paid direct into the Exchequer. 5. The Amount to be Surrendered is, as shown by the Account, 75,821l. 128. 84d. Surplus.

£.

d. Grant (Gross)

4,835,602 Expenditure (Gross)

- 4,771,245 8 9
Net Surplus

£. 64,356 11 23
Add,
Appropriations in Aid realised in excess of the Estimate 11,465 1 54

8.

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Post OFFICE TELEGRAPHS (TELEPHONIC SYSTEM). 6. Appended to this Report is an Account of the Receipts and Payments by the Post- Telephone master-General in connection with the development of the Telephonic System, under the Capital provisions of the Telegraph (Money) Acts, 1892 to 1904.

Account. This is the 14th Account of Expenditure under the above Acts, which authorised the issue, out of the Consolidated Fund, of sums amounting to 7,300,0001. for this service.

Issues were made from the Consolidated Fund in 1905–6 to the amount of 750,0001., raising the total issues to 5,750,0001., and leaving an unissued balance of 1,550,0001.

Net expenditure was incurred in 1905-6 to the amount of 762,0331. 158. 4}d., making, with that previously recorded, a total of 5,756,8191. 148. 8£d., the excess of 6,8191. 14s. 8}d. being temporarily met out of Advances from Postal Revenue.

Of the total sum of 7,300,0001. authorised by the Acts above specified, there remained, ou the 31st March 1906, a balance of 1,543,1801.58.3}d. available for further expenditure.

REVENUE DEPARTMENTS, AND Post OFFICE PACKET AND TELEGRAPH SERVICES.

VOTE 5.- Post OFFICE TELEGRAPHS-continued. The amount recorded under the Suspense Head, which, in the year 1904-5, was shown as 211,6091. 108. ld, has now been reduced to 199,2071, 14s. 3d. The difference of 12,4011. 15s. 10d. is due, I have been informed, “to the fact that the value of Stores allocated to Works exceeded the payments for Stores purchased plus the usual Rate Book percentages for Stores used."

An Annuity of 70,5361. 108. -d. has been created to repay the money borrowed in the calendar year 1905, raising the total of the Annuities created under the Acts to 469,8871. 158. -d., provision for which has been made under Sub-Head R. of the Post Office Vote, 1906-7.

The Annuities created up to 1902 run for periods varying from 12 to 20 years from the date of borrowing. Those created since 1902 run for a period of 15 years.

Terminable
Annuities.

STORE AND EXPENSE ACCOUNTS.

Test
Examination

7. A test examination has been applied by my Officers to the Accounts at the
Office of the Controller of Stores in London, at the Telegraph Factories at Mount
Pleasant and Holloway, and at the Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff, and
Woolwich (Sub-marine) Depôts.

In view of the remarks of the Committee of Public Accounts in their Second Report for the year 1906, a further test examination has been made of the Accounts of the Royal Engineers, the stations selected being Basingstoke and Wandsworth; and I am able to state that the improvement, to which reference was made in my Report of

last year, has been fully maintained during the financial year now under review. Allocation In connection with the tests at Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Cardiff, cases were brought of Wages.

to my notice, as in the Districts dealt with in the preceding year, in which wages

had been charged to works other than those on which the men were actually employed. Stock taking Discrepan

At Cardiff it was observed (1) that a large proportion of the discrepancies disclosed at cies and the local stocktaking had not been reported to the Controller of Stores ; and (2) that, in Irregular many instances, Accounts had been adjusted, by the transfer of Stores from one work Transfers. to another, in order to effect an agreement, as far as possible, between expenditure and

the authorised estimate for each individual work. In reply to Queries that I raised on this matter, I have been informed that the irregularities, the serious nature of which

is admitted, have been brought under the notice of the Postmaster-General. Store

In continuation of the remarks contained in paragraph 5 of my Report of last year, Accounting upon the question of Store Accounting at Manchester, I have since been informed that

the Postmaster-General, having called for a special Report upon this subject, deemed Manchester. it his duty to take serious notice of the matter as regards each of the Officers in fault,

and inflicted such punishment in each case as seemed to him justified. It was further stated that the Postmaster-General had before him proposals for securing a better control of Engineering Accounts, bụt that he was not yet in a position to decide thereon.

I may add that, on the occasion of the test examination conducted by my officers in July last, the accounting at this Depôt showed a great improvement, which is doubtless due to the measures recently adopted by the Post Office authorities.

at

Orders for 8. In the course of the examination at the Factories at Mount Pleasant and Holloway
Engineering it was noticed that certain orders for Engineering Stores had been placed with those
Stores
placed with

Factories, although the stores, as shown by the tenders received, could have been the Fac- supplied by contractors at a considerably lower cost. tories In a letter to the Postmaster-General on this subject, I pointed out that the stores in instead of

question did not appear on the Statement of Work which normally was to be regarded with Contractors.

as appropriate to the Factories, and asked for an explanation of the necessity for adopting a course which seemed to have entailed an additional and apparently avoidable loss on Public Funds.

In reply I have been informed that orders were given specially to the Post Office Factories in the early part of 1906, with the sole object of obviating the discharge of hands which would otherwise have been necessary in consequence of the slackness of work. It was further stated that the Postmaster-General has lately considered the whole matter fully, and has assigned to the Factories the manufacture of certain additional classes of stores; and it was hoped that he would thus be able to keep the

number of hands employed at the Factories fairly constant. System of

9. At present the Post Office has no system of check to ensure that the issues and cross-check. receipts of stores between the various Engineering districts, Store-depôts, and Factories

duly correspond. The necessity for such a system was recognised by a Committee on the Department of the Controller of Telegraph Stores in 1902, who recommended that a "cross-check” should be instituted between these Branches. In reply to an inquiry on the subject, I have been informed that a proposal to give effect to this recommendation,

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