The Botswana Premier League (BPL) is an organisation in a free fall. Despite the league’s potential to be a money-spinning organisation and employer of repute, closer scrutiny of its immediate past performance shows a league in complete disarray.
The league has been characterised by absence of audits and documented internal control policies and procedures, which exposed the organisation to various risks and promoted fraudulent activities.
Among controls lacking at the league are segregation of duties: the initiation of transactions, the authorisation of transactions, the recording of transactions and the safeguarding of assets and the reviewing of transactions- control over assets.
It has been established that bank reconciliations are not being done regularly, another factor that promotes fraud and misappropriation of funds. The maladministration is exposed by an investigation and forensic audit done by a local company (name withheld) into the operations of the BPL. The company compiled its findings last month after being engaged by the BPL to among others, investigate the financial policies, financial status and why no audit has ever been conducted on the league.
Others were to investigate the chain of command at the Premier league office for the past three years, review the conduct and performance of the staff as well as probe why handover notes and information as instructed by chairman were not made available to the CEO, by the Finance officer.
The Auditors found that there were no financial and accounting policy procedures manual as well as the internal control procedures in place, and, as a result, there is no formal guidance to personnel on how transactions and procedures are to be processed. They found material weaknesses in the league’s ticketing system as a whole.
The auditors concluded that the system of internal controls currently in place is not adequate and is highly ineffective to deal with the League’s transgressions, *The lack of internal control procedure manual as well as the financial and accounting procedures manual results in inconsistencies in the output documents for the league.
*There is a significant inherent fraud risk at the league given the fact that the league deals with cash in form of gate takings and the controls surrounding this area are ineffective to guarantee accuracy and completeness of the related financial information.
The auditors found that the League’s record keeping is generally poor as evidenced by the fact that in the past three years the League auditors have issued qualified audit reports. The auditors indicated the following as the main reasons why the league had qualified reports, Ineffective internal control systems, unclear third party contracts and absence of fixed asset register.
The auditors further states that they also noted the following weaknesses in the internal control system and general record keeping: Payrolls between June 2009 to May 2011 were not availed to them at the time of review: the details of some matches played with respect to gate takings revenue were not availed to them: some control sheets and distribution sheets were missing and no reconciliation of the gate takings was made by the League to ascertain the completeness and accuracy of the information provided by the team selling the tickets,: no petty cash records were availed to auditors for review and the auditors could not trace all income received to the bank statement and receipt books for recording.