Agriculture exceeds budget by N$16 million

 

The agriculture, water and forestry ministry has in the past financial year been found to have made use of monies running into millions without authority.

Its total budget was found to have exceeded by a whopping N$16 million which is not within the parameters of law as per the State Finance Act, Act 31 of 1991.  

According to key audit findings by auditor general Junias Kandjeke, four divisions within the ministry were exceeded with a total amount of N$33 million which again was unauthorised.

The AG has also disclosed that although treasury approval was obtained to make use of certain expected savings, yet 21 operational subdivisions and two development subdivisions were exceeded by amounts totalling N$54 672 958.70 and N$326 462.87 respectively.

All these amounts, according to the AG, were unauthorised and he recommended the ministry’s accounting officer to closely monitor and review their financial position on a continuous basis.

This should see the ministry bettering its financial control and prevent such expenditures.

However, the accounting officer said these expenditures were caused by the implementation of the Public Service Management Circular on remoteness and hardship allowances.

Further, the ministry’s S&T advance suspense account indicated a balance of N$226 000 as at March 31st 2017, yet the debit balance list stated an amount of N$400 000 which left an unexplained difference of N$252 000.

The ministry has also reported that its total debt to government stood at almost N$7 million by March the 31st of 2017 of which nearly N$1 million were external debts.

The AG noted, “Some of these balances are outstanding from as far as 1996, and no evidence was found to indicate that the accounting officer has taken steps to recover these debts or approach treasury to have them written off.”

On top of this, no supporting document was submitted for new cases and rectifications made during the last financial year

 “As a result, the correctness of these figures could not be verified, hence audit scope limitation,” said the AG.