THE Board of Directors and the Management of the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) has taken issue with how the Auditor General’s Office is dealing with the national broadcaster’s 2016/17 financial report audit which gave it an adverse opinion indicating that the company’s financial statements are misrepresented, misstated and do not accurately reflect its financial performance and health.
In a statement, chairperson of the board of directors, Sven Thieme, hit back at the Auditor General’s opinion on the state broadcaster which stated that the corporation has “no assets supporting liability for post-retirement medical aid benefit fund amounting to N$348 174 000”.
This means that NBC has no finances reserved for its employees’ post-retirement medical aid benefit for the period under review.
Kandjeke also found that depreciation charged on buildings was overstated by N$5,2 million, while its revaluation surplus was overstated by N$6,2 million and that the corporation hired an unqualified land valuator.
In his statement, Thieme explained that for the FY2016/2017, the audit firm appointed by the Office of the Auditor General, Taziwa Consulting, presented a final audit report to the Board and Management during the Board meeting of 29 March 2018.
Thieme stated that the Auditor indicated that there was a significant improvement in the financial audit outcome and that the NBC would receive a Qualified Audit opinion.
“In my opinion, except for the possible effects of the matter described in the Basis for Qualified Opinion paragraph, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects the financial position of Namibia Broadcasting Corporation as at 31 March 2017, and their financial performance and cash flows for the year ended in accordance International Financial Reporting Standards read with Section 25 (1) of the State Finance Act, 1991 and in the manner required by the Namibian Broadcasting Act, 1991 (Act 9 of1991) and the Companies Act,” read the opinion.
Thieme stated that this, in their view, would have demonstrated the strides and movement aimed at cleaning up NBC’s previous audited financial status.
“It is important to note that the NBC has made major improvements during the FY14/15 from the previous audit of the AFS FY15/16. The Board also saw this as a positive movement given that the corporation previously had amongst others no proper financial reporting systems which resulted in the NBC receiving disclaimers. Part of the turnaround strategy was to systematically improve the audits and this opinion gave that view,” Thieme explained.
He argued that it was therefore surprising when the final audit report from the AG’s Office, which indicated a sudden change in the opinion country to the one that was presented to the Board and Management by their appointed external auditor Tawiza Consulting.
Thieme concluded that the management has written letters and has had discussions with the Auditor General seeking clarity, but that it was met with resistance and will thus launch a formal complaint with the Office of the Speaker responsible for Ethics.
“Our view is that the Auditor General’s Office is not sacrosanct and should be put to review where possible, because wrong decision making might have slipped in this matter,” Thieme said.