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Gare emphasises public education

16 Mar 2023

Moshupa/Manyana Member of Parliament, Mr Karabo Gare has implored the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) to embark on public education on prudent use of funds and timely delivery of projects.

Contributing to the debate on the OAG’s proposed budget estimates for the 2023/2024 financial year on Wednesday, Mr Gare said delays on completion of government projects led to unnecessary cost overruns.

He cited the Moshupa Primary hospital as an example of some of the projects which may attract audit queries and cost overruns owing to its completion delay.

“It is important for the office to address issues of delay on the completion, especially of the Moshupa Primary Hospital which is currently 76 per cent complete while the project ground breaking was done back in 2019,” Mr Gare said.

He said completing and delivering projects on time would save funds for use in other national projects.

In their comments, some MPs argued for adequate funding of the OAG as well as enough skilled manpower in order for the organisation to fully and efficiently execute its duties.

Bobonong MP, Mr Taolo Lucas said the Auditor General was critical in the country’s democracy by enabling oversight, accountability and governance in the public sector through auditing, thereby building public confidence.

Therefore, Mr Lucas said the proposed P109 million for the next financial year was inadequate for the organisation to execute its mandate.

He argued that the Auditor General needed to be in a position to ensure accountability by the executive on the use of public resources entrusted to them.

Palapye MP, Mr Onneetse Ramogapi also highlighted the need to fund the OAG and to ensure its impartiality  in executing its function.

“This would be fundamental in the OAG’s work which has an impact in a number of places. In funding this office, one must be cognisant of that the fact that it must audit and report on the accounts of government departments and district councils at the end of every financial year, a task which requires enough resources and personnel,” he said.

He added that funding of the office should also be accompanied by good staff remuneration, noting the organisation failed to retain its staff as a result of low salary rates compared to the private sector.

MP for Good Hope/Mabule, Mr Eric Molale took a swipe at some legislators, who he said failed to play their oversight roles and partake in the Public Accounts Committee so that they would hold the executive accountable.

Mr Molale said some failed to deliver on the parliamentary oversight function which was one of the cornerstones of democracy.

“Failure to actively participate in the parliamentary oversight committees by some of the MPs is tantamount to failing to hold the executive accountable for its actions and for ensuring that it implements policies in accordance with the laws and budget passed by Parliament,” he argued.

He also reminded MPs that robust monitoring of the Executive by the Parliament oversight committeeS was an indicator of good governance.

“It is through oversight that the Parliament could ensure a balance of power and assert its role as the defender of people’s interests,” Mr Molale said.

Responding to MPs’ comments, Assistant Minister for State President, Mr Dumezweni Mthimkhulu assured them that the OAG was commitment to delivering on its mandate despite the limited resources.

Parliament approved the recurrent budget proposal of P109  million for the 2023/2024 financial year.

Funds for the organisation’s development budget, the assistant minister explained, were covered under the Ministry for State President. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Thato Mosinyi

Location : GABORONE

Event : Parliament

Date : 16 Mar 2023