SOE board members must pay taxes: Jooste

26 Feb 2018 16:40pm
WINDHOEK, 26 FEB (NAMPA) – Financial officers of public enterprises must ensure that pay as you earn (PAYE) is deducted from board members’ sitting allowances, Minister of Public Enterprises, Leon Jooste, has said.
Jooste said there were some board members who refused to pay income tax on the income they received as board members.
He said this while addressing a one-day annual stakeholders meeting on Monday.
He said the ministry had finalised new board recruitment guidelines which will introduce a new thorough recruitment process to ensure that the best possible members are identified in a transparent process.
“One of the factors we will have to pay particular emphasis to is to ensure that sector specific skilled board members are appointed to ensure a skills balance between the board and the executive,” Jooste said.
He furthermore noted that there was an existing guideline that boards are only allowed to meet four times a year and if there is a need for more meetings, the board must apply for an exemption.
The new guidelines would ensure that boards do not run public enterprises, nor interfere with their operations.
Jooste further stated that the ministry would also tighten up its efforts to curb corruption by conducting special investigations in instances where malpractice is suspected.
“If corruption is exposed, the investigation reports will be handed over to the Anti-Corruption Commission for further processing and eventual prosecution if warranted,” he said.
He added that investigations would take multiple forms and are intended to identify corporate governance failures, flawed policies and structural constraints and to propose suitable actions.
Jooste said the ministry would also look at ways to improve the legal frameworks to ensure that boards are held accountable for financial losses if due diligence was not applied.
The meeting was attended by board members, senior managers and chief executive officers of public enterprises.