Qualified audit opinions decreased by 26.5%
THE first ever Activity Report launched by the Office of the Auditor General portrays a slippery situation when it comes to the accountability of state funds as more than twenty government institutions did not submit financial reports to the AG’s office.
The activity report, which covers audit opinions for both cash-based and accrual based clients from the period of 2013/14 to 2015/16, noted that while 132 audit reports are expected, only 103 reports have been received during the reporting period. Cash based audit clients include Offices, Ministries and Agencies (O/M/As).
Speaking at the launch of the report last week, the AG, Dr. Junias Etuna Kandjeke, stated that audit opinions improved with 40% of unqualified audit opinions from 2013/14 to 2015/16, while qualified audit opinions have decreased with 26.5%.
The Auditor-General further said that he could not express an opinion due to non- or delayed submission of Financial Statements particularly in State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), Statutory Bodies, Funds and Trade Accounts, adding that a majority of auditees during the period either did not submit the financial statements or received an unqualified audit opinion.
This has led to a marked reduction in qualified audit opinions, the report detailed.
He reported that O/M/As, with steady unqualified audit opinions for the years 2013/14 – 2015/16, are the Anti-Corruption Commission, Office of the Auditor-General, Electoral Commission of Namibia; Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Ministry of Mines and Energy, the National Council, Office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Safety and Security.
Furthermore, Kandjeke stated that the National Assembly and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (now Industrialization, Trade and SME Development since 2015/2016) also got unqualified opinions for the period under review, however, the third year (2015/2016) was unqualified, but, with emphasis on matter.
The Office of the President, Ministry of Labour and the Ministry Home Affairs improved from qualified and disclaimed opinions, respectively, in 2013/14, to unqualified reports for the following two years thereafter. Equally so, there were also ministries who received three consecutive qualified audit opinions for the time period of 2013/14-2015/16.
Accrual based clients include Regional Councils, Municipalities, Town and Village Councils and some Statutory Bodies.
The report stated that a major challenge with these stakeholders was the none or delayed submission of financial statements through the years; however, improvement on this matter can be seen especially with the Village Councils and the Municipalities.