Small-town books in shambles

08 November 2018 | Local News

The Otavi town council received a qualified audit report from the auditor-general (AG) for the 2016/17 financial year.

The report was tabled last week in the National Assembly by finance minister Calle Schlettwein.

A qualified audit report is a statement issued after an audit is completed, suggesting that the information provided is limited in scope and did not maintain the AG's accounting principles.

According to the report, the council's liabilities exceeded its assets by N$12 million, which indicates significant doubt about the ability of the council to continue operating as a going concern.

It also said payment vouchers of over N$1 million were paid while they were not certified correctly by the finance manager and the CEO.

The AG recommended that the council implement appropriate measures to ensure that it generates enough funds to run its operations. The finance manager and CEP should also certify all payment vouchers before it is paid to reduce the risk of fraud.

The report further revealed a difference of over N$280 000 between the auditor's reconciliation and financial statements, and the AG also observed that debtors with credit balances of over N$208 000 were not raised as creditors at year-end.

Then there was an unexplained difference of over N$296 000 between the asset register and financial statement.

The AG recommended that council perform reconciliations on a monthly basis and furthermore, that debtors with credit balances are reconciled and cleared, and that proper reconciliation is performed between the asset register and financial statement.

Witlvei did not fare well either and the village council has failed to make available supporting documents accounting for N$4 million to the AG for the 2016/17 financial year.

The report added that the documents absent to provide for an audit opinion by the AG include Build Together Programme debtors, approved housing bonds, asset register, bank reconciliations and accounting policy, among others.

“I have not been able to obtain appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis for an opinion. Accordingly, I do not express an opinion of the financial statements of the village council at 30 June 2017,” Kandjeke was quoted as saying.

The report further noted that an amount of N$200 000 for the provision of leave disclosed on the financial statement could not be verified as supporting documents were not provided for audit purposes.

The report also revealed that there is no fixed asset register, and as a result, an amount of N$107 000 could not be verified.

Furthermore, the AG observed that the council disclosed an amount of N$104 000 as investments, adding that it incurred value added tax consultation expenses amounting to N$395 000 and preparation of financial statements of N$67 000.

The report also revealed that all employees of the village council, except the former CEO, do not have contracts of employment on their personnel files and that the travel allowance claims are not submitted after trips, and that some journeys are not supported by invitations.

The AG added that some staff claim for hours travelled on the departure and arrival days of the trip.

NAMPA