• February 23rd, 2020

Effective internal control systems in the Namibia public sector

Peya Junior Mushelenga

Internal control refers to the whole system of controls, established by the management, in order to carry out the business of the enterprise in an orderly and efficient manner, to ensure adherence to management policies, safeguard of the assets and ensure as far as possible the completeness and accuracy of the records (Chorifas, 2005). 

It is of utmost importance that effective internal control systems are established especially in state-owned enterprises which provide major services to the entire nation. Ministries in Namibia should maintain arrangement as far as internal controls are concerned, and such other related systems if they are to achieve the wider social responsibilities given to them by the nation. But has this been happening since  internal control was brought to the front with the announcement of the State Finance Act (Act 31 of 1991)?

It is evident that fraud and errors continued to grow largely unchecked in the Public Sector and hence reduced efficiency in the financial accounting representation and audit reporting. Although the Act is clear that accounting officers must ensure, amongst other things, that effective, efficient and transparent systems of financial, risk management and internal control are functioning, there are inherent limitations in any internal control system. That is to say that no matter how well the internal control system has been designed or how well and closely it is maintained and monitored, there are certain factors inherent in the concept of internal control. But also the issue of corporate governance comes into play because, with good governance the State Owned Enterprise entities have the capacity to maintain high quality services and to deliver improvement. Poor corporate governance leads to service and financial failures.

The effectiveness of internal control systems in the Public Sector, specifically in Namibia should be a collective effort across board. If the internal control system is implemented and monitored well, it can help the economic and political management of the Namibian economy and this will reduce fraudulent and misappropriation of government funds. Public servants need to carry out the systems of financial management and internal control within their areas of responsibilities. Furthermore, if we as a nation adhere to good and sound internal control systems, we can execute well calculated projects which will create permanent employment and also boost  Namibia’s Gross Domestic Product.

*Peya Junior Mushelenga is Economic Development Officer and PRO at the Lüderitz Town Council. He is a candidate for MBA: Strategy at Unam.

Staff Reporter
2019-04-18 09:37:01 | 10 months ago

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