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Other Articles from The Villager

Financial circulation; are we on track?

Mon, 2 December 2013 03:12
by Sonja Ndahafa Lyamanguluka Hangula
Columns

The management of public funds in Namibia will never serve its mandate until the concerned parties, the general public included, face up to certain uncomfortable truths.
Subsequent to the tons of millions that have been thrown back to treasury this year due to under-spending, the lack of funds in some State departments due to overspending and the failure to submit financial reports to the Attorney General (AG) are major issues that need immediate proactive actions.
Not only would that be the best thing to do to ensure appropriate management of public funds but the nation would also know what the governing bodies really do as far as the set national agendas are concerned.
Sad; people who have been entrusted with authority in State departments fail the nation through their slackly management targets. How do the leaders of public entities resolve institutional problems? And how are the recommended solutions finally executed?
Over the past two decades, Namibia has become so rich that it has expanded the amount of items it spends money on but has not worked on the management of public funds. Our overspending should be justifiable in guarding social security, defense, education, public safety and other realistic social needs. Come to think of it; the taxpayer needs an explanation.
Of course much has been done for the people but let’s agree; more still needs to be done if Namibia wishes to achieve its Vision 2030 goals.
The 2007 surplus we made was through the increased payments from SACU. Thus, so much needs to be done, if Government is to manage operating its finances. First, it should protect the citizens; improve their lives and educate them, especially those in remote areas.
Our Government should cease from appointing just anybody. Rather, it should invest on human resources. It needs tough-minded personalities to forge it ahead in ministerial departments; not those working for self-enrichment. Also, economical directive steps should be taken seriously.
CEOs should be fired by their line ministers; a la the Social Security Commission (SSC) board, which was recently fired by the line minister. State-owned Enterprises (SoEs) should also be warned over their CEOs’ salaries. Such actions are the way forward, rather than spending lots of funds on public servants who fail to do their jobs satisfactorily.
It is crucial to uphold social responsibilities and thus, Government needs to raise new wonder-heads who will solve the problems of the modern Namibia tomorrow.
The quality of services rendered by our civil servants [in ministerial departments]; parastatal managers, PSes, State CEOs and their deputies, is mind boggling. For starters, senior civil servants under each minister must know what goes on in those ministries. SoEs need to provide good results and should understand audit reports are not prepared for sake of it; they are a reflection of accountability for taxpayer’s money spent.
Our AG needs a tentative policy that would grant him the power to deal with failure to submit audit reports. Otherwise, millions of dollars will continue to disappear at the expense of taxpayer’s pocket.
If everyone did their jobs properly, each permanent secretary of each State department would know if they are sticking to their budgets; whether they are overspending or under-spending. In fact, before a national budget is drafted, Government should not release funds to serving departments that have not submitted their previous financial year’s audit reports.
Namibia needs accountability in governance. It needs to halt ineffective and needless spending of the taxpayer’s money. Those in charge should use public funds on things that benefit the entire nation. Director: Chairperson Charles Siyauya, Deputy Chairperson Paulus Pari, Noreen Modipa, Bernard Mbeha (CE)