The Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Audit, Hon. Lebbius Tobias (fifth from R) with the Chairpersons of all the Standing Committees in the National Council and their Clerks
|Story by Rafael Hangula
The Standing Committee on Audit in the National Council (NC) kicked-off its Monitoring and Evaluation Session in Swakopmund to oversee the progress in the execution of the activities of all the Standing Committees for the first two quarters of the 2018/2019 financial year.
As from Tuesday 13 to 16 November 2018, all six Chairpersons of the Committees are set to appear before the Audit Committee and account for their activities as planned in the first two quarters of 2018/19 financial year.
Speaking at the official opening of the Session, the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Audit Hon. Lebbius Tobias said that monitoring and evaluation is a valuable tool to support the work of Committees of the National Council.
“It helps the Audit Committee and the National Council as an institution to understand what works, what does not and why,” said Tobias.
“As representatives of the people we, members of Parliament of the National Council and by extension the committees that are established to carry out functions the House cannot perform, should also account for what they do with the money allocated to them and this will enhance transparency; the same as we want others to be transparent and account for funds appropriated to carry out their programmes,” he stressed.
He also added that the monies allocated for committee’s activities are taxpayer’s money and thus should be accounted for accordingly, stressing that there is a fiduciary relationship with taxpayers in the use of public funds.
The functions of the Audit Committee as provided for under Rule 161 of the National Council Standing Rules and Orders are amongst others to scrutinize and report to the Council on the work of any Standing Committee or any other body as may be determined by the Council, to encourage Standing Committees to submit reports on their work in the Council at determined intervals.
The committee is also responsible for advising and holding Standing Committees generally accountable on the performance of their work; and to perform any other functions as may be referred to it by the Council amongst others.
Speaking at the same event, the Chairperson of the National Council and the Chairperson of the Women Caucus in the National Council Hon. Margaret Mensah-Williams said that she cannot emphasis enough on the importance of the standing committee to the National Council.
“Through reports of standing committees, the National Council has over the years contributed immensely to change in government policy in areas such as, human-wildlife conflict, protection of women and children from rape and gender-based violence, among others.
She further narrated that it was through the public consultation work of standing committees that led the National Council to for example, reject the Regional Councils Amendment Bill, Local Authority Amendment Bill, Citizenship Bill, Public Private Partnership Bill and two Constitutional Amendment bills.
Before commencing with its main activity, the Audit Committee on Monday paid a Courtesy Call to the Office of the Governor of the Erongo region on its mission in the region.
The Audit Committee consists of Hon. Lebbius Tobias who is the Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Bernard Sibalatani and Hon. Johannes Muharukua.