Botswana: Makgalemele Hails Auditors

| July 14, 2016

Saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that finances appropriated to central government are collected, safeguarded and judiciously expended for the purpose intended, the auditor general said her department needs a little over P8 million to diligently deliver on her mandate.

Speaking during a senior management meeting with Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, hosted by Office of the Auditor General (OAG), Ms Pulane Letebele said currently they received P3.2million as a budget to execute her mandate.

She indicated that the OAGs is an executive arm of government entrusted with the use of resources for implementation of its policies and programmes, hence a sufficient budget would go a long way in helping with the mandate.

"We currently have a staff compliment of 200, 182 are here at Headquarters, 18 are at our office in Francistown, 30 are on study leave, there are 13 slots to be filled and 12 are on training," she said, adding that out of the 200 employees, 137 are auditors.

She further said 58 auditors have been assigned to the government audit division.

Ms Letebele spoke on the issue of shortage of staff, citing that it takes 12 months minimum to complete a performance audit and they only have four of those that do it.

"Performance audits are in demand and we struggle with them because of shortage of staff," she said.

Shedding light on parastatals, Ms Letebele informed the assistant minister that within the parastatal audit unit, they have eight employees.

"We audit only two parastatals of which are Botswana Railways and Air Botswana," she said, further adding that Botswana Postal Services and Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) have appointed OAG as their auditors.

She noted that as for the rest of the parastatals, they appoint their own and only furnish them with reports.

Ms Letebele further said the OAG act only allows them to audit the mentioned parastatals.

"I feel this short changes us because when these other parastatals submit reports to us, we get to own them even though we had no access to their planning stages and working papers," she said.

Ms Letebele said the relocation to new premises, facilitation of the Public Accounts Committees (PAC), OAG's annual report and leadership development are among their achievements.

"As for our challenges, we feel failure to attract and retain talent, set overtime budget of P70 000 and specialist cadre operating within unionised environment limits us," she conclude.

For his part, Mr Dikgang Makgalemele said he has had interactions with the OAG staff before they moved office and during the 10th sitting of parliament.

"Parastatals audit books have always been a touchy subject in parliament and the fact that the OAG only receives audit reports and not involved with the process does not still well with most people," he said.

Mr Makgalemele said the work that OAG should not be comprised because that would have a lot of repercussions.

"Most of the ratings we get abroad are because of the OAG.

When auditing is done adequately it helps with our image beyond our borders and also with investors," he said.

He further said he feels Parliament can still do more when it comes to debating reports submitted by the OAG.

Mr Makgalemele also got to tour the new offices of the OAG.

Source: Botswana Daily News

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