NIPAM hosts public sectors auditors conference

Speaking at the first public sectors internal auditors conference currently underway in the capital, Peya Mushelenga, minister of urban and rural development said only three out of fourteen regional councils have unqualified statements (clean) for this financial year.

He further added that out of the 57 local authority councils in the country none have managed to achieve the desired audit status.

Ndahafa Hapulile, Personal Assistant to the minister of urban and rural development explained that an unqualified audit opinion or statement is a report done by the auditor general.

To be unqualified a statement shows the financial affairs at a council or local authority are in order and meet public accountability standards, Hapulile explained.

Mushelenga said the main audit findings show poor record keeping and management, non-existence of fixed asset registers, poor stock control, poor budgetary control and improper revenue management as some of the reasons why regional councils and local authorities cannot be given clean audits.

He said that remedial measures recommended by the office of the auditor-general are not being implemented at the councils and local authorities and it is worrisome that shortcomings persist.

Speaking at the same event, Maria Nangolo, Executive Director at NIPAM (Namibia Institute for Public Administration and Management) called for fiscal accountability.

Nangolo said the internal audit function in one of the strategic pillars of the effective organisational management and unfortunately the audit function at these local authorities and regional councils are not functioning at the desired level.

She said there should be no more qualified audits and appealed to internal auditors within the public sector to be accountable by ensuring compliance with legal provisions.

Nangolo said in exercising internal controls and pointing out organisational risks without fear or favour to management and higher authorities at ministerial level; short-comings can be addressed in time.

This can improve the overall effectiveness of control and management within these organisations, Nangolo said.

The conference, taking place at the NIPAM is being hosted under the theme 'Does accountability matter'.

It is being attended by Chief Regional Officers, Chief Executive Officers, managers and officials from regional councils and local authorities across the country.

Source: Namibia Press Agency