NBC board questions Auditor General’s handling of 2016/17 report

NBC board questions Auditor General’s handling of 2016/17 report
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The Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) board today questioned how the Auditor General dealt with the corporation’s 2016/17 financial report.
In a statement, signed by board chairman Sven Thieme, the NBC board says, “the firm appointed by the office of the AG, Taziwa Consulting, presented a final audit report to the board and management during the board meeting of 29 March 2018. The auditor indicated that there’s a significant improvement in the financial audit outcome and that the NBC would receive a Qualified Audit opinion.”
The board said this would have demonstrated the strides and movement aimed at cleaning up the NBC’s previous audited financial status.
“It is important to note that the NBC has made major improvements during the FY14/15 from the previous audit of the AFS FY15/16,” said Thieme.
The board also saw this as a positive move given that the corporation previously had, among others, no proper financial reporting systems, which resulted in the NBC receiving disclaimers. Part of the corporation’s turnaround strategy was to systematically improve the audits and this opinion gave that view, according to Thieme.
Thieme said it was therefore surprising “when we eventually received the final audit report from AG’s office which indicated a sudden change in the opinion contrary to the one that was presented to the board and management by their appointed external auditor Taziwa Consulting.
He further said the management wrote letters and had discussions with the Auditor General to seek clarity.
However, these efforts were met with resistance with no desire to look into the matter.
The Director General of the NBC, Stanley Similo also raised objections during the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts hearing in 2019 but no plausible responses were given, said Thieme.
“Our view is that if the opinion changed, why did it change and why was NBC not given the chance to be heard and give their inputs as the norm in auditing processes,” asked Thieme.
He said the NBC will now launch a formal complaint with the Office of the Speaker.