Auditor General, Junias Kandjeke, has asked Ministry of Works and Transport Permanent Secretary, Willem Goeiemann, to account for several millions of dollars that are missing from the of ministry’s transport department.
In an audited financial report of the transport department for the year ended 31 March 2016, that was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, Kandjeke advised Goeieman to closely monitor and review the department’s financial position to avoid unauthorised expenditures.
Goeieman allegedly reported that the transport department had generated N$121 million from the sale of 569 vehicles through auction, when in actual fact only N$18 million was generated.
Kandjeke has since requested an explanation on what happened to the balance of N$103 million which remains unaccounted for.
In his report, Kandjeke said Goeieman as the accounting officer, did not adhere to various Treasury instructions regarding the liquidation of State-owned property.
Goeieman also stands accused of failing to provide any records of how N$152 million in tender exemptions was spent after the department of transport had applied for an annual tender exemption for the purchase and supply of services which it said could not be procured through normal tender procedures.
“The accounting officer did not provide the actual expenditure as well as documents of the exempted amount as required by the Auditor General in Circular D12/2016,” Kandjeke said in his report.
Goeieman also reported that the department had 18 vehicle accidents of which 15 were repaired at a cost of N$397,000 while the other three were written off at a value of N$460,000, but he could not provide the Auditor General with any documents regarding how the liability on the costs to the State properties was handled, in violation of Treasury rules.
Kandjeke also accuses Goeieman of submitting a statement that N$191,000 was recovered from 22 staff members who owed N$464, 000 in principle debt, when in fact a monthly list of deduction reveals that 29 employees with debts were not reported.
“Non-disclosure of information and none submission of documents result in audit scope limitation. It is recommended that the accounting officer should explain why necessary source documents were not provided.”
The accounting officer also stands accused of reporting losses and damages amounting to N$169,000, however, the audit found out that the cases were not resolved or reported to the police at the end of the financial year under review.
“In addition, these cases were not reported to the auditor general as per Treasury Instruction EA 0401,” Kandjeke stressed.
The report also reveals that the transport department operates with 14 bank accounts, but 13 bank reconciliations had not been carried out.
At first glance, these glaring and expensive inconsistencies are largely administrative in nature and may be reconciled with the proper documentation being submitted (albeit late) to the AG. But, the responsibility of the ministry’s accounting officer is to safeguard and oversee State funds allocated to his ministry. Rules are in place to facilitate this process and the PS’s job is to follow those rules.
The Namibian reported this week that Goeiemann is under fire for signing off the N$7 billion Hosea Kutako International Airport contract, which was found to have been unlawful awarded by the Supreme Court this year.
Finance Minister, Calle Schlettwein, is said to have given the accounting officer a deadline to explain why his powers to handle State funds should not be removed.
As permanent secretary, Goeiemann is responsible for overseeing the preparation and administration of ministerial budgets, authorising payments and signing off on the ministry’s financial accounts.