Home >Our work >Strengthening public financial management standards
Strengthening public financial management standards

Strengthening public financial management standards

The Commonwealth Secretariat is to assist the Government Namibia to better regulate its public accountants and auditors in order to protect the financial interest of the Namibian public and international investors.

Country: Namibia
Host: Ministry of Finance
Start Date: 09 July 2016
End Date: 26 October 2016
Policy Area: Public Institutions
Policy Expert: Segametsi Mothibatsela
Project Manager: Joel Burman

Background

The Public Accounts’ and Auditors’ Act (PAA) remains the principal basis for the regulation of Namibia’s public accountants and auditors.

However, due to a lack of expertise in this technical area, Namibia has faced significant challenges with the proper management and regulation of the work of its accountants and auditors through the PAAB. This has resulted in conflict between government agencies, accreditation boards and professionals in the field as to the right qualifications and definition of an auditor or an accountant.

Neither the Ministry of Finance, the PAAB, nor the Office of the Attorney General have the requisite level of expertise or resources to revise the current Act to meet international good practice. Even though the current legislation has been amended about 5 times since 1985, it remains outdated, and is not aligned to the reforms in the accounting and auditing profession that many countries have initiated in response to the global financial crisis. This has been due to the capacity challenges mentioned above.

The Minister has therefore instructed the PAAB to manage the amendment of the Act in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance. The technical assistance required is therefore a mix of both legal and accounting and auditing skills, involving legislative drafting to ensure the draft Bill is aligned to global benchmarks, particularly with respect to the functions of the Public Accountant’s and Auditor’s Board (PAAB).

Goal

This project aims to enable Namibia to better regulate its public accountants and auditors in order to protect the financial interest of the Namibian public and international investors through the reform of its PAA in accordance with internationally recognised standards and processes.

A CFTC expert will provide technical advice to a working committee on a legislative review of the PAA and to hold consultations and public sittings before the revised Act is submitted to Cabinet and Parliament.

Impact

It is expected that there will be an enhanced regulatory oversight of the public accounting and auditing profession conducted by registered accountants and auditors, in accordance with internationally recognised standards and processes.

Outputs

The expected outputs are:

  • Recommendations and instructions for an enhanced Public Accounts’ and Auditors’ Act (PAA) in compliance with international public accounting and audit standards.
  • Strengthening Public Accountant’s and Auditor’s Board’s (PAAB) organisational capability, capacity and performance to conduct regulatory oversight of the public accounting and auditing profession.