Poverty ministry returns N.dollars 24 million to Treasury

25 Sep 2019 09:40am
WINDHOEK, 25 SEP (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare underspent its budget for the 2018/19 financial year by N.dollars 24.2 million.
This amount was returned to Treasury, according to the ministry’s latest audit report by Auditor General Junias Kandjeke, which was submitted to the National Assembly recently by Deputy Finance Minister Natangwe Ithete.
This takes the total amount of money the ministry has returned to Treasury to N.dollars 142 million over two financial years after it returned over N.dollars 118 million as unutilised funds during the 2017/18 financial year.
Treasury has previously made it clear that accounting officers and the advisors at government ministries, offices and agencies should avoid requesting more funds than can reasonably be spent when drawing up draft estimates.
During the financial year under review, the ministry whose mandate is to initiate, implement and coordinate social development programmes aimed at promoting the wellbeing of all Namibians, underspent N.dollars 16.5 million on food provision.
“The major cost item is food provisions under the Food Bank programme. The under-expenditure is attributed to the late posting of journals from previous financial years to N.dollars 16 632 795 in outstanding commitment that was reversed by the Ministry of Finance,” an explanation for the under-expenditure reads.
On administration and support services, the ministry underspent by N.dollars 7.2 million.
“The under-expenditure on remuneration is due to the Public Service Commission not approving the ministry’s recommendations for interviews and this affected other items associated with staffing, including daily subsistence and travel allowances,” Kandjeke is quoted as saying in the report.
In addition, the ministry has an approved establishment to support its activities, which includes the adoption of a top-bottom recruitment approach, starting with the recruitment of managers.
“Efforts by the ministry to fill these vacancies have not succeeded due to clearance to advertise and recruit these positions by the Secretary to Cabinet and recommendations from the Public Service Commission. Furthermore, the recruitment in lower positions is low due to the lack of personnel in the human resources office to accelerate finalising recruitment for advertised positions,” Kandjeke explained.
Under-expenditure on fuel and transport was also due to the lack of recruitment and non-submission of invoices to the government garage.
The ministry underspent a further N.dollars 506 609.98 on planning and review.
Another notable finding by Kandjeke is that the ministry had five subsistence advances amounting to N.dollars 32 392.77.
The ministry had 70 vehicles to its name valued at N.dollars 30.3 million during the period under review.
It also spent N.dollars 148 236.87 on the studies of 12 of its employees.