Pohamba praises Public Accounts Committee
President Hifikepunye Pohamba this week singled out the Public Accounts Commmitte for praise when he officially opened the seventh session of the fifth Parliament.
Pohamba praised the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for reinforcing accountability on accounting officers in the execution of their responsibilities. The president said other Parliamentary standing committees, especially those with the responsibilities of addressing the pressing needs of poverty alleviation, promotion of economic development and stimulation of job creation, must also work hard to find effective solutions to these problems.
Member of the National Assembly and Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, Usutuaije Maamberua thanked the president for recognising the work of the committee.
He said: “I would want to thank the president for that recognition and I hope that will also mean that the Public Accounts Committee will be allocated more resources so that we can do our job with the necessary capacity so that we can live up to the task that is given to us.”
“It means the president has taken note of the work of the Public Accounts Committee. It is an encouragement to the committee but I would want to add that it is not only the accounting officers to which we have to talk to but also the political heads of the ministries must be informed. They must be made aware of the financial accounting issues pertaining to their respective ministries because it is actually a joint effort.”
Maamberua said it was imperative that other accountability institutions like the Anti Corruption Commission, the Bank of Namibia’s Anti Money laundering Unit, Namfisa and the police should all join hands and be able to understand each other’s mandate.
He added: ”We are busy approaching some donors to assist us to host another accountability conference so that all the accountability institutions can come together and work closer with each other because the net must be broadened so that we can catch and reduce the problems regarding the abuse of public funds.”
The SWANU president was positive about the difference that his Committee had made in making accounting officers accountable. He was hopeful that in the few coming years, there will be noticeable changes in the way financial reports were submitted in Parliament. “I think we have made a difference, the public is now aware of what the committee is all about and most importantly, the accounting officers, the heads of parastatals and even the ministers. We have already started speaking to some of the ministers, they are now more conscious and I think we are looking at improved reports in the few years to come.
“First we needed to broaden that understanding by all those who are supposed to be responsible for accountability in their respective ministries and agencies and I think that we have achieved now we have to see what are the tangible results that are going to come out of that.”