EDITORIAL

17 September 2021 | Opinion

The growing trend of law firms and auditing firms operating in the shadows to milk parastatals has in recent years provided fertile ground for those wanting to make a quick buck.

Parastatals would - in most cases - handpick legal or audit firms to which they outsource services without following the set public procurement laws.

What is even more disturbing is that well-oiled state-owned enterprises that have fully staffed human resource and legal departments rope in law firms to deal with petty disciplinary matters such as writing warning letters.

Talks are rife in the legal fraternity that some lawyers have lost their appetite for court cases, as they would rather focus on doing work for state-owned enterprises (SOEs) at bloated fees.

The same goes for auditing firms who continue to charge astronomical amounts to conduct audits on SOEs.

There are times when these services are justified, but in most cases, these arrangements turn out to friends greasing each other’s palms.

As we speak, both the Law Society of Namibia (LSN) and the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) have no regulations in place to monitor and control how much audit and legal firms charge their clients.

The absence of such regulations has left the responsibility to manage spending in the hands of SOEs, despite their reputation when it comes to financial management.

Bodies such as the PAAB and LSN should as a matter urgency devise a fee structure that will rein in the uncontrolled spending.

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