27 Jun 2013 12:40
CORRECTION: REPLACING SECOND PARA COMPLETELY. IT WAS NOT A REPORT TABLED IN PARLIAMENT BUT A PUBLIC HEARING WHICH ACTUALLY TOOK PLACE ON THURSDAY AND NOT THURSDAY AS EARLIER MENTIONED.
WINDHOEK, 27 JUN (NAMPA) ? The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts expressed concern over the lack of supporting documents, complete reconciliations and missing invoices at the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) for the past years.
During a public hearing here on Thursday, Standing Committee chairperson Usutuaije Maamberua said his committee was not amused about the operations of that organisation, which include, missing funds, missing invoices and operating losses.
?We are very much concerned about the state of the NDC, and a quick intervention from the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Board of Directors is needed. It is public money lost in the process or at stake, and it gives us doubt and uncertainty,? said Maamberua.
According to the NDC?s Audit report of 2009, it was found that there was a continued operating loss for the past years, which raises doubt on the corporation's ability to continue as a going concern.
In 2006, a loss of N.dollars 15,4 million was realised, while in 2007 it was N.dollars 3 million, in 2008 it was N.dollars 10,7 million, and in 2009 it was N.dollars 3,8 million.
The audit further noted that given the corporation's Balance Sheet, future commercial insolvency and financial distress are possible.
NDC's Finance Manager Samuel Maasdorp acknowledged the continuing operating losses for the years prior to 2009.
He said the situation radically reversed in the subsequent years with profits of N.dollars 20,8 million in 2010 and N.dollars 31,4 million in the 2011 financial years, and the NDC has been profitable since.
Maasdorp explained that poor performance of the NDC can mainly be attributed to the period of closure which caused a stop-start effect where income-generating operations came to a standstill, but the NDC was still obliged to pay overhead expenses and maintain the remaining staff complement and assets.
The audit report also revealed that monthly General Ledger reconciliations are neither performed, nor reviewed, or are performed too late to constitute an effective control.
?The fact that a significant number of reconciling items relate to transactions which have not been recorded in the General Ledger but were recorded in subsidiary ledgers, indicate that the General Ledger contains inaccurate information,? read the report.
Maamberua then wanted an explanation as to why reconciliations were not done.
Maasdorp explained that the NDC had an outflow of accounting expertise during the periods prior to the 2008 and 2009 financial years.
He said most of the remaining staff compliment did not have adequate knowledge or know-how to complete reconciliations, adding that some of the staff in the finance department was transferred from departments within the NDC to only perform the minimum of accounting functions, which caused the reconciliations not to be done timely.
But, Maamberua was not convinced with the explanations.
?We will not be complacent with your explanations, we understand fully your explanations but we still encourage the Ministry of Trade and Industry to intervene in the organisation's state of affairs. It is a very serious issue that reflect badly on the board and the Ministry who are supposed to oversee the entity?s state of affairs,? he said.
?We are issuing a strong warning that if this type of situation continues, we will come back to the Ministry and the Board of Directors to give us ultimate accountability,? he cautioned.