17 Sep 2019 17:50pm
SWAKOPMUND, 17 SEP (NAMPA) Close to 50 per cent of village councils across the country have received a disclaimer audit opinion from the Auditor General (AG) over the past three years.
An audit opinion is expressed in accounting terms when the possible effect of a limitation on scope is so material and pervasive that the auditor has not been able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence and is unable to express an opinion on the financial statements.
This was revealed by AG Junias Kandjeke on Tuesday, during the official opening of the 7th Stakeholders Briefing Session of Village Councils taking place here.
This is not only concerning but alarming since the conclusion is that the appropriate financial framework is not followed correctly or not enough evidence is presented for me to be able to express an opinion, Kandjeke expressed.
He added that for the past five years, only Aroab Village Council in the ||Kharas Region consecutively received a clean audit report amongst all the current 17 village councils, while the other 16 are still experiencing challenges to reach even a qualified audit opinion.
Councillors, managements and auditors should play a role in ensuring that village councils improve their management of resources, he said.
The four-day meeting, which commenced on Monday is being held under the theme Embracing the change towards Accountability.
The aim of the meeting is to allow dialogue between the Office of the AG and village councils as stakeholders, to discuss challenges with regard to financial reporting and their expectations from the Office of the AG.
The last engagement was in 2012 when there were only 13 village councils.
Other challenges encountered by the AGs office include and are not limited to the fact that most village councils are still not familiar with the Finstel financial system as well as compiling financial statements, hence relying solely on subcontractors to prepare financial statements on their behalf.
Kandjeke also highlighted that the purpose of the meeting is to consult, share opinions and suggest possible solutions as stakeholders.
As stakeholders we can contribute to embracing accountability by ensuring improved financial management and this is only achievable if we lay our expectations on the table and take accountability to implement these expectations, he said.