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AGs building cost more than expected

Mon, 20 October 2014 05:19
by Nangula Hambuda

The new office of the Auditor General, which was built at a cost of N$111m cost more than ten times its original estimate of N$10m, the Auditor General revealed at the inauguration of the building last week.
Inaugurating the building last Friday, President Hifikepunye Pohamba commended the Auditor General’s Office for completing the project.
“This is money well spent.” He said, commenting on the necessity of such bodies, which form part of the infrastructure that didn’t exist at the time of independence, but are now in existence for use for ministries.
“The office will be the driving force behind the modernisation, streamlining and realignment of public institutions and their operational processes.” Pohamba said further.
He added that the implementation of this building serves as part of the ongoing program of the government’s plan to expand infrastructure in the country that facilitates effective service delivery.
The president hailed the building of the new office as a necessary part of putting the capacities to respond to the evolving challenges in governance and public management in place.
President Pohamba, who will leave Office in March next year, said improved facilities and infrastructure were necessary to enable state bodies to carry out their duties and functions, despite the criticism and backlash he has received from the public in the past.
“They say don’t build the parliament, send the money to the people who have no food.” Pohamba said, adding, “But at the same time, you need the infrastructure to run a government, you cannot run an institution under a tree.”
The president ensured that the government did indeed care about the people of the country and that despite the fact that a lot of what they did was considered ‘unnecessary’ by some, there was nothing that the government did that was unnecessary.
He stressed the importance of transparency in urged the permanent secretaries and heads of public institutions to ensure that financial management systems were put in place to account for the funds appropriated through the national budget and to ensure that there are measures enforced to curb the misuse, abuse and misappropriation of government assets.
Auditor General, Junias Kandjeke, thanked all those involved in the implementation of the building and the steps towards making the inauguration a success, which is well-equipped for the staff, with even a one bedroom apartment for a caretaker and 24 hours a day monitored company vehicles.
The aim of the Office of the Auditor General is to strengthen the efficient delivery of target services, promote accountability and transparency and prudent utilisation of public funds. It is a constitutional body with the function of auditing financial affairs and performance of government bodies, auditing regional and local authorities, state bodies and state-owned enterprises.
Pohamba also emphasised that there is need for the country to invest more in skills development in a bid to improve public service delivery in the country. “It is difficult to be a head of a government because people criticise. However sometimes discrepancies are founded and people responsible need to be held accountable. I am proud that the AG has managed to produce reports that are debated in the parliament,” he said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Kandjeke thanked Government for the support rendered in the construction.
He also applauded the conferment of independence to the office of the AG, which he said has made it easy for his office to execute their duties.