WINDHOEK, 02 MAY – The Office of the Attorney-General’s budget for the 2016/17 financial year (FY) was exceeded by N.dollars 68 491 693, which is in contravention of the State Finance Act.
This was revealed by Auditor-General, Junias Kandjeke in his audit report for the 2016/17 FY tabled by Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein in the National Assembly here last week.
“Three main divisions were exceeded with a total amount of N.dollars 22 511 935.65, which is unauthorised in terms of Section 6 (a) of the State Finance Act, Act 31 of 1991,” stated Kandjeke.
The report further revealed that the Attorney-General (AG) was given an approval to utilise certain expected savings for the defrayal of expenditure through virements during the year under review.
However, five operational subdivisions were exceeded by N.dollars 23 925 605, the report noted.
The total unauthorised expenditure exceeded the allowable level of N.dollars 2 820 892.
During the period under review, the AG overspent N.dollars 4 054 775.03 in rendering legal advice; N.dollars 5 052 342.55 and N.dollars 13 404 818.07 on public prosecution, respectively.
During the same period, the AG awarded 14 bursaries to its staff members to the tune of N.dollars 365 048.76.
Consequently, Kandjeke recommended to the AG that they adopt measures to avoid overspending and to ensure that planned activities are implemented within the approved budget.
“Furthermore, if specific activities are expected to exceed the budgeted funds due to unforeseen circumstances, funds should be viremented from activities where savings are expected,” Kandjeke recommended.
The AG on the other hand cited insufficient budgetary allocation as the main reason for overspending.
This was communicated to the Ministry of Finance in a letter dated 27 May 2016.
Another issue raised by Kandjeke in the report is the late submission of the stocktaking reports by the AG, which is contrary to the Treasury Instruction KA 0901.
The Treasury Instruction KA 0901 dictates that the accounting officer (AG in this case) submits the stocktaking reports to Treasury for approval within 30 days after the end of the FY concerned.
The AG has since accepted Kandjeke’s findings and vowed to comply with the applicable Treasury instructions.