Ministry of Transport disputes N$400m overrun

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The Ministry of Works and Transport disputes the findings of a report compiled by the Office of the Auditor General on overspending amounting to almost half a billion Namibian dollars.

According to a report on the ministry’s Transport Department, Auditor General Junias Kandjeke found that actual expenditures for seven capital projects exceeded approved appropriations for the year under review by N$434 million.

This was revealed in a report for the 2019/20 financial year.

“There has not been overspending in the Department of Transport,” the executive director of works and transport, Esther Kaapanda, said yesterday.

“The poor reflection of expenditure overruns in the capital budget was caused by internal transfer agreements, which were not posted in the general ledger at the time,” she said.

However, when Kandjeke asked Kaapanda for an explanation as an accountant, she accepted the findings.

“The accountant indicated that the department agrees with the conclusion, and that the overspending is mainly due to the internal transfer,” the report said.

Excessive spending by any office, ministry or agency is against Article 6 of the State Finance Law.

According to the report, the largest expenditure overrun was in the rail network modernization project where the department’s budget was N$112 million but ended up spending N$226 million.

This resulted in a cost overrun of approximately N$114 million.

The ministry has spent N$121 million on the construction of a gravel road between Isizo, Sifuha, Malindi and Luhonono.

The budget for this project was N$57 million, resulting in an overrun of N$64 million.

Similarly, the department originally budgeted N$77.7 million for the upgrade of the Gobabis-Aminuis-Aranos road, which ended up costing N$137.8 million, an overrun of N$60 million. Namibian dollars.

The budget for the first phase of the recently rehabilitated road between Windhoek and Okahandja was N$283 million, but later cost N$304 million, an overrun of N$20.9 million.

The report said the budget for the Swakopmund-Walvis Bay road upgrade was N$246 million, but the department exceeded N$97.5 million.

This resulted in the department paying N$352 million for the upgrade.

The department also spent N$77 million on the completion of the Katana-Endola-Onunho road, which ended up costing N$147 million.

The department originally budgeted around N$70 million for the project.

Finally, the ministry budgeted N$1 million for Empic software for regulatory management, but exceeded N$910,344.

MISSED TARGETS

The audit revealed that the Department of Transportation had not met its quarterly targets.

One of these failed goals included the complete modernization of the nation’s railways.

Kaapanda told the Auditor General that this was due to a limited budget and the ministry focused more on maintenance and partial upgrading.

On another project, Kandjeke found that the department had spent N$1.5 billion in the 2019/20 financial year building 10 roads.

Kandjeke recommended that all key activities that consume public funds should be planned and reviewed as required by the Namibian civil service performance management framework.

“The audit revealed an unsatisfactory result on the consistency criteria of the selected key performance indicators.

“Furthermore, the audit revealed that not all key activities of the department are planned and reviewed. The audit further revealed that the Department of Transport did not meet targets for certain key performance indicators,” the report said.

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