Village councils under scrutiny

Auditing village councils

18 September 2019 | Government

Peter Kazongominja; Chairperson; “Local authorities should follow accrual-based accounting principles to avoid misstatement of financial statements.”

Swakopmund • Adolf Kaure

A four-day stakeholder briefing for village councils hosted by the Office of the Auditor-General began in Swakopmund on Monday, with auditors and CEOs of various councils attending the event hosted under the theme “Embracing the change towards accountability”.

Speaking at the event, the chairperson of the National Council standing committee on public accounts and economy, Peter Kazongominja, said that the public accounts committee has issued recommendations after conducting public hearings with accounting officers.

According to him, one of these recommendations is that local authorities submit financial statements to the Office of the Auditor-General within three months after year-end.

“Local authorities should follow accrual-based accounting principles to avoid misstatement of financial statements. They should have asset registers that are fairly stated with regard to the assertions of completeness, accuracy and classification of all their assets and ensure that all qualifying assets are depreciated accordingly,” Kazongominja said.

He pointed to some of the shortcomings raised by the Auditor-General which the committee observed as major findings during the review of the reports. “Failure to keep accounting records as are necessary to reflect your transactions is one, while another is the uncertainties on what municipalities, town and village councils write off pre-independence debt.”

Other shortcomings include failure to comply with applicable legislation, accounting standards and other mandatory reporting requirements approved by the Auditor-General; failure and inability to submit financial statements to the Auditor-General in a timely manner; and the failure and inability by local authorities to pay a levied sum equal to 5% of their rates to regional councils.

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