Finance Ministry clueless about state assets

In a shocking revelation it has emerged that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning does not know the value of assets owned by the Botswana government.

This is according to the Deputy Accountant General, and acting Permanent Secretary, Emma Peloetletse who made the shocking admission before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last Friday.

Fielding questions from PAC member Moyo Guma on the value of assets the country has the accounting officer told the committee that she did not have any records prompting Guma to ask: “What are you managing and how do you run a country’s economy when you do not know the value of all its assets?” The MP complained that the ministry was disorganized and has poor accounting methods.

Peloetletse however said her ministry has come up with a plan to register all government’s fixed assets. “I hope that will help us to keep track of the assets and calculate their value.”

MP Kentse Rammidi asked if the ministry has a budget specifically for maintenance of government’s assets such as public servants staff houses, arguing that often, government’s buildings are not well maintained on time leading to them dilapidating and becoming too costly to fix at a later stage.

In her response the accounting officer said, “we never have a clear budget for maintenance,” further stating that funds used for maintenance are usually estimates done only when there are reports that something needs maintenance.

Meanwhile, the accounting officer told the committee that the Botswana’s economy was growing even though unemployment still remains a challenge. But when asked to provide unemployment figures, Peloetletse could not do so. Guma accused the ministry of being disorganized saying unemployment figures should be “on your fingertips.”

Last modified on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 16:26

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