National Assembly returns N.dollars 16.4 million to Treasury

15 May 2019 15:30pm
WINDHOEK, 15 MAY (NAMPA) – The National Assembly (NA) has underspent its budgetary allocation from Treasury for the third consecutive financial year, a chief concern raised by Auditor General Junias Kandjeke as outlined in its latest audit report.
The information was revealed when the entity’s audit report for the 2017/18 financial year (FY) was tabled in the August House by Deputy Finance Minister Natangwe Ithete recently.
Kandjeke pointed out that the budget of the NA was underspent by 13,22 per cent.
“The total budget of the National Assembly was underspent for the third consecutive year. In 2017/18, an amount of N.dollars 16 413 480.60 was returned. The Accounting Officer did not indicate whether the Assembly met all its objectives,” Kandjeke states in the report.
He added that the accounting officer, Lydia Kandetu in this case, should ensure that all planned activities are executed within their timelines to avoid under-expenditure going forward.
Another cause of concern to the AG is the unexplained difference of N.dollars 156 776.91 reported in travel and subsistence allowances for the period under review.
The subsistence allowance as per the debit balance shows N.dollars 1 149 296.36 while the S&T Advance Suspense Account reflects N.dollars 992 519.45.
The underspending revelation comes amid some Members of Parliament (MPs) complaining about budget cuts that have hampered the operations of the NA, especially its standing committees.
Rally for Democracy and Progress’ Mike Kavekotora earlier said allocations for parliamentary standing committees’ services have consistently been revised downward under the watch of Speaker Peter Katjavivi.
Kavekotora noted that the committees’ budget was slashed from N.dollars 14 million in the 2015/16 FY to N.dollars 5 million in 2017/18, the year in which the NA returned N.dollars 16.4 million to Treasury.
“It looks like the Minister of Finance (Calle Schlettwein) is on a mission to effectively destroy parliament and the parliamentary service, or the Speaker is not standing up for the interest of parliament,” he said at the time.
He claimed Schlettwein and/or Katjavivi have their eyes on saving on travel allowances, instead of the constitutional mandates of parliamentary standing committees - which Katjavivi repeatedly rejected.