ONGWEDIVA - The president of the Namibian Association of Local Authority Officials (Nalao) Walde Ndevashiya says the association wants the line ministry to pronounce itself on the issue of the management systems to be used by local authorities.
He said local authorities are eager to acquire new financial management systems, however, they are reluctant to do so as there are talks that the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development is most likely to adopt a uniform framework.
Ndevashiya said the issue has been on the table for 10 years and many local authorities are still using outdated systems.
The call for a uniform financial management system also cropped up during the hearings between the local authorities and the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Economy that is visiting the regions.
The Okahao Town Council CEO Timoteus Namwandi said struggling local authorities cannot get aid from sister local authorities because each uses a different financial system.
“There is a need for the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and the Office of the Auditor General to agree and give clear direction on accounting standards in order to prevent a situation where auditing firms contracted decide on the accounting standards they are going to use and as a result local authorities get qualified audit reports,” said Ndevashiya.
He said one of the major contributing factors that lead to the unabated qualified reports for many local authorities is inexperienced audit firms having limited to no understanding of the local government fund accounting management system.
Ndevashiya said there is an equal need to review and update the implementation of the recommendations of the Auditor General’s Consultative Workshop with Local Authorities in 2017.
The recommendations included the creation and funding of internal auditors in local authorities to assist them with their financial books and establish internal audit committees.
Some local authorities are however challenged to attract and retain qualified staff due to the unavailability of funds.
He said in most cases staff do not stay long with local authorities because of salary packages and often leave for much higher salaries elsewhere.
2019-08-19 07:22:10 | 5 months ago