Saturday, July 11, 2020

BDC mum as Auditor General seeks answers on subsidiaries

BY KABELO SEITSHIRO

The Auditor General ÔÇô Pulane Tebele has indicated that no response was given by the management of the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) when her office seek clarity on some operations of some of the companies owned by the group.

Tebele made the comments following an audit of accounts and records of the state owned entity for the period ended March 31, 2018.

While no clarity has been given, Tebele said that the government investment arm is lacking in its oversight and control of some of its subsidiaries.

In their inspection of books, the auditors found out that BDC does not have a direct oversight and control performed by the holding company over certain subsidiaries as those subsidiaries were allowed to operate independently.

The subsidiaries ÔÇô which include Lobatse Clay, Export Credit Insurance and Guarantee Company and LP Amusement Centre (PTY) Limited, have been allowed to operate from the group with their own management and to some extent Board of Directors.

“The auditors identified a number of control deficiencies at certain subsidiaries which indicated weak control environment and lack of strategic alignment between the subsidiaries and the holding company,” reads the report.

Meanwhile turning to the company’s financials, the auditor general stated that BDC financial operations showed a profit of P52.78 million before other comprehensive loss for the year of P329.77 million in the year under review. This is compared to profit of P58.22 million before other comprehensive income of P48.62 million reported in the previous year.

At the time of the audit, BDC had an outstanding loan from government public revenue of a total of P189 500 000. The loan amount to the construction of GICC project.

The BDC is currently operating without a substantive Chief Executive following the sudden departure Bashi Gaetsaloe some few months ago. It is not yet clear when the board will appoint his replacement.

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Sunday Standard July 5 – 11

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of July 5 - 11, 2020.