PSEMAS fraudsters in Schlettwein's sights

28 January 2019 | Health

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein says no stone will be left unturned in efforts to bring those who have defrauded the Public Service Employees Medical Aid Scheme (PSEMAS) to book.

“The forensic audit into the operations of PSEMAS is progressing to finality and we will leave no stone unturned to bring to book any identified fraudsters,” said Schlettwein during a staff engagement last week.

The findings of the audit will be revealed in due course, he added.

“There are issues that we need to look at. It is not just one or two practices, but tens of practices where serious issues have been unearthed,” said Schlettwein.

In its financial risk report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said PSEMAS faced significant challenges related to fraud.

“Estimations suggest that dishonesty cost the fund up to N$900 million per year due to fraud, abuse, waste and collusion,” the IMF said.

PSEMAS has more than 290 000 members, and has received about N$7 billion from government since 2016.

Schlettwein also implored ministry staff members to act with integrity.

“We are responsible for collecting public revenue and managing public resources. We have to maintain a high level of integrity at all times.” He revealed that the number of staff misconduct cases increased from six reported in the 2017/18 fiscal year to 15 in the current financial year.

The 15 cases include seven involving Inland Revenue staff and five cases in respect of customs and excise staff, as well as a case of petrol theft at Hosea Kutako International Airport and the theft of a power generator.

“The law will not spare anyone found wanting on this score. Corruption, bribery and all forms of inducements must not be tolerated or entertained,” Schlettwein warned.