Arts Council rapped over knuckles

28 June 2013 | Government

WINDHOEKNAMPA

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts yesterday recommended that a forensic audit be conducted into the financial affairs of the National Arts Council of Namibia (NACN).
This was after the council's acting administrator, Theo Handura, who appeared before the committee, could not answer questions about missing funds.
According to committee chairperson, Usutuaije Maamberua, the 2009 audit report from the auditor-general (AG) found that 10 vouchers selected for auditing could not be provided by the council.
In fact, the council has failed to submit these expenditure vouchers for the past four years and the council wanted to know why.
The 2009 report registered concerns that the AG was not provided with records of artists paid or sponsored by the council, which amounted to N$386 316 (2009) and N$65 771 (2008).
“You have failed to submit to the auditor-general adequate vouchers as payments made to the artists. The committee therefore recommends that a forensic audit should be conducted in your organisation,” Maamberua said.
Handura, in his defence, told the committee that the council is a small organisation which has only three employees and the finance department is outsourced to consultants, which may be why some funds could not be accounted for.
The committee chairperson noted that the AG's report of 2009 shows that grants received are disclosed as long-term liabilities in the balance sheet for the fourth consecutive year amounting to N$1 405 000 and N$973 000 (2008).
The balance sheet provided to the auditors did not balance, Maamberua said, adding that the total equity is disclosed as N$1 727 048 while total assets stood at N$1 295 907, which gives an unexplained difference of N$431 141.
Handura could not give an explanation for this, neither could he say why grants received were disclosed as liabilities for so many years.
He also could not give an explanation for the 2010 report by the AG, which indicated that grants received to the amount of N$1 218 000 could not be confirmed by the auditors.
This resulted in the committee ordering Handura, who was the sole NACN representative, to get his organisation in order.
“We are sending you back to re-organise yourself and we will inform the permanent secretary in the ministry, the board of the council and yourself when to come back for the hearing,” Maamberua added.

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