Defence spends half a billion without approval

19 August 2019 | Economics

The ministry of defence spent about N$491.7 million for three consecutive financial years without the approval of Treasury.

This is in direct contravention of the State Finance Act of 1991.

The financial years in question are 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17.

These findings are contained in the ministry’s audit report for 2017/18 which was submitted to the National Assembly by finance minister Calle Schlettwein last month.

Despite auditor general Junias Kandjeke’s office over the years urging the ministry to comply with legislation, it spent N$43.9 million in 2014/15 without Treasury’s blessing. The next financial year, it spent N$76.5 million and in 2016/17, defence spent N$371 million without permission.

“Despite the following matters being reported during previous audits, there seem to be no improvements in the internal controls ... it has been noted that unauthorised expenditure has been recurring in the ministry of defence for three consecutive years,” Kandjeke said in the report before listing unauthorised expenditure as his chief concern.

The ministry exceeded its overall budget by N$185 million during the 2017/18 financial year.

The ministry received N$5.9 billion from government during the 2019/20 financial year. According to the national budget tabled in March, this makes the ministryt the fourth-highest recipient, behind basic education (N$13.8 billion), finance (N$10.8 billion) and health (N$6.9 billion). - Nampa

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