Matheus Hamutenya Keetmanshoop-The management of //Kharas Regional Council has vowed to improve on the handling of its finances and overall operations. This is after the auditor-general (AG) issued a disclaimer of opinion for the council’s financial year 2014/15, saying the information provided by the regional council was not sufficient to reach an audit opinion. “I have not been able to obtain sufficient and appropriate audit evidence to provide for an audit opinion, accordingly I do not express an audit opinion on the financial statements,” read the AG’s report. The report further said the AG was not able to give an opinion on the council’s financial affairs, because tender evaluation reports and tender board meeting minutes of all capital projects were not submitted for audit purposes. The audit report also indicates that the council failed to submit its financial statements on time, only doing this by September, and not three months into the financial year as stipulated, while the council failed to disclose bank accounts, holding N$385,929. It said the council had not submitted fixed assets supporting documents to the auditors at the time of the audit and there was no proof that all the regional council’s assets were insured. Further, the report says council was unable to substantiate the valuation of Value Added Tax receivable amounting to over N$19 million and N$24 million for the year ending 2014 and 2015, due to non-submission of VAT returns to the Receiver of Revenue. Answering questions from the National Council Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Economy on the state of affairs at the council, acting chief regional officer (CRO) Augustinus Ucham said the current management team was not evading its responsibilities, but cannot be expected to answer all questions pertaining the affairs of the council during the said financial year. Ucham explained that that during the year under review, he was not the top administrator, while the directors for planning and finance were also not in their respective positions at the time. Thus, it was difficult to answer on behalf of those that held these offices at the time, as to why things were not done properly. He acknowledged that the council had during period under review not submitted financial statements within the stipulated time, but gave assurances that things have improved since. He said since taking on the role of CRO, he has tried to get different divisions to communicate more and for all to work as a team and pull in the same direction to achieve their mandate. “As new managers, I can confidently say this will never happen again. We have noticed these problems and we have re-engineered the council so that everyone obeys the Acts, and do what they are supposed to do, and on time,” he said in response to the report. The parliamentary committee advised the council to always keep their books in order, as this would instil confidence and attract investors to the region to the benefit of the local people. The committee will hold similar public hearings at Berseba, Tses and at Koes village councils.
2017-11-02 09:37:59 10 months ago