WINDHOEK - The only accrual-based stakeholders that managed to receive three consecutive unqualified audit opinions between 2014 and 2017 were the Erongo Regional Council and the Aroab Village Council. This was revealed by Auditor General (AG), Junias Kandjeke, yesterday when he launched the first-ever Activity Report for the Office of the Auditor General. The AG’s office is currently not required to submit an annual activity report to the National Assembly. However, the submission of the report is regarded as best practice in line with the International Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs).
Accrual-based clients include all regional councils, municipalities, town and village councils and some statutory bodies. The newly launched report provides stakeholders and the general public information regarding activities of the Office of the Auditor-General, for a period of three years and provides a general view of the office’s performance in a bid to enhance accountability.
“A major challenge with these stakeholders was the none or delayed submission of financial statements through the years; however, improvement on this matter can be seen especially with the Village Councils and the Municipalities,” said Kandjeke while launching the report in the auditorium of the AG’s Office.
On the sidelines of the launch, Kandjeke emphasised that delayed financial statements makes it difficult for his office to fulfil its mandate. “When financial statements are delayed it causes delays in my office informing taxpayers how their money was used,” Kandjeke stressed.
During the period under review (2014 to 2017), the Activity Report covers the execution of the audit mandate of regularity, performance, environmental and other specialised audits, including the establishment of information systems, compliance, forensic audit and quality assurance units.
This Activity Report highlights audit opinions for both cash-based and accrual-based clients. The cash-based audit clients include offices, ministries and agencies and audit opinions improved with 40 percent of unqualified audit opinions from 2013/14 to 2015/16.
On the other hand, qualified audit opinions decreased with 26.5 percent. Institutions with steady unqualified audit opinions for the years 2013/14 – 2015/16 are the Anti-Corruption Commission, Office of the Auditor-General, Electoral Commission of Namibia; Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Ministry of Mines and Energy, the National Council, Office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Safety and Security.
“Furthermore, I would like to indicate that the National Assembly and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (now Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development since 2015/2016) also got unqualified opinions for the period under review, however, the third year 2015/2016 was unqualified, but, with emphasis on matter. The Office of the President, Ministry of Labour and the Ministry Home Affairs improved from qualified and disclaimed opinions respectively in 2013/14, to unqualified reports for the following two years thereafter. Equally so, there were also ministries who received three consecutive qualified audit opinions for the time period of 2013/142015/16. They are: Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Education (previously known as Ministry of Basic Education, Arts and Culture), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information Communication and Technology and the two votes of the Ministry of Works and Transport,” said Kandjeke.
The Activity Report also indicates that from 2014 to 2017 the Office of the Auditor-General carried out 378 Regularity Audits, 401 Asset Inspections, 8 Performance Audits, 3 Environmental Audits, 3 Follow-up Performance Audits, audit of the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) and audit of Sadc Secretariat.
Additionally, the AG’s Office facilitated 13 targeted stakeholder education sessions and trained 8 Supreme Audit Institutions from the Afrosai-E region. This was achieved with a staff compliment of 174 members.
“Achievements to carry out this mandate could not have been attained without the dedication and commitment of my staff, the members of the Public Accounts Committees of Parliament, Accounting Officers, Donor Community, Contracted Private Audit Firms, Intosai and Afrosai as well as the rest of our stakeholders including the taxpayers and the media,” Kandjeke added.