Service Delivery Not Monitored

Failure by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to implement performance management systems is to blame for the non-monitoring of service delivery, says the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

The committee said remedial action is needed in SOEs that continuously make losses.

Delivering the motivation speech in the National Assembly last Wednesday on the review of the Auditor General’s Report on State Owned Enterprises for the financial years ended 31 March 2010 and 2011 on behalf of the committee’s chairperson, Usutuaije Maamberua, Swapo MP Theopolina Mushelenga said the committee was concerned about some issues which have been recurring for years – such as SOEs not keeping expenditure-supporting documents and not keeping complete registers for both movable and fixed assets.

The committee did not list those SOEs that are guilty of these dodgy practices.

Failure to keep complete registers, says Mushelenga, brings into disrepute internal control mechanisms put in place to account for and safeguard public assets.

“The lack of supporting documents makes it impossible to determine accurately the services for which expenditures were made,” she said.

“Having taken these concerns into consideration, the committee has for the first time established annual meetings with heads of all SOEs to serve as a platform to brief the committee on progress made in implementing recommendations, and to also share experiences in terms of difficulties and constraints they face,” said Mushelenga.

Mushelenga said one of the recommendations in the report is for the committee to have access to financial reports of all SOEs, including those established under the Companies Act or with provision for auditing by private companies and not by the auditor general.

The report covers only 21 of the 72 SOE’s for the 2010 and 2011 financial years.

She said the committee currently only reviews some SOEs that are of concern, adding: “These institutions make use of public funds but are not subjected to scrutiny examination by the Public Accounts Committee.”

In April the committee tabled a report in which it said communication between line ministries and state-owned enterprises was very poor. This was stated in the committee’s 201011 report on state-owned enterprises, which was tabled by its chairperson Usutuaije Maamberua. “The committee found that on matters of reporting there are no performance agreements between the line ministries and SOEs, and where such agreements exist there is a lack of monitoring,” stated the report.

It also indicated that other notable contraventions on the part of SOEs relate to non-reconciliation of expenses, incomplete financial statements, absent and incomplete asset registers.

Source : New Era