Defence spent almost N.dollars 500 million without Treasury approval

16 Aug 2019 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 16 AUG (NAMPA) – For three consecutive financial years, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) spent a combined N.dollars 491.7 million without the approval of Treasury which is in direct contravention of the State Finance Act of 1991.
The financial years in question are 2014/2015, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017.
These findings are contained in the ministry’s audit report for the 2017/2018 financial year which was submitted to the National Assembly by Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein last month.
Despite Auditor General (AG) Junias Kandjeke’s office over the years urging the MoD to comply with Treasury rules, in 2014/2015 it spent N.dollars 43.9 million without Treasury’s blessing. The next financial year, it spent N.dollars 76.5 million and in 2016/2017, MoD spent N.dollars 371 million without permission.
“Despite the following matters being reported during previous audits, there seem to be no improvements in the internal controls...it has been noted that unauthorised expenditure has been recurring in the Ministry of Defence for three consecutive years,” Kandjeke said in the report before listing unauthorised expenditure as his chief concern.
In addition, the MoD exceeded (overspent) its budget by N.dollars 185 million during the 2017/18 financial year.
In the meantime, the ministry recorded underexpenditure, as N.dollars 154 619.71 was underspent by the Office of the Minister during the 2017/2018 financial year.
“The underexpenditure under this main division is the result of the implementation of the administrative directive dated 01 February 2018 as issued by the Office of the Prime Minister with regard to travel and subsistence allowance,” the ministry explained.
In addition, MoD also underspent N.dollars 11.6 million which was meant for training, again in the 2017/2018 financial year.
“The underexpenditure under this main division is the result of the fact that the ministry suspended recruitments due to the fact that there were insufficient funds for goods and other services to enable the ministry to train the recruits,” reads another response in the report.
The ministry received N.dollars 5.9 billion from the State during the 2019/20 financial year, according to the national budget tabled in Parliament in March, making it the fourth-highest recipient, behind basic education (N.dollars 13.8 billion), finance (N.dollars 10.8 billion) and health (N.dollars 6.9 billion).
(NAMPA)
MEM/PS/EK