There is a good chance that government is being cheated out of assets in hold in companies it has invested in because it has no idea about its assets and their worth in such companies, it has emerged.
The Auditor General in his latest report has warned that government was a sitting duck to being fleeced. The Auditor general cited an example of the government’s investment in BotswanaPost. “For example, government equity in BotswanaPost was presented as P85 474 206 last year and in the year under review was submitted as P38 431 729 and was accepted without query or question”. This is despite the fact that the report indicated that government’s equity in BotswanaPost had gone down by more than 100%. The auditor General complained that, “despite my advices in the past and the Accounting Officer’s assurance to the public Accounts Committee that an updated register for these assets would be maintained, the preparations of these statements is still based on confirmation of details of these assets from organisations in which they are held.
“The imprudence in placing the entire reliance on outside sources for these matters is that government cannot assert its ownership of these assets based on its own independent records nor can the figures be verified for correctness and accuracy when submitted by those sources. In another example, while going through government Advance Accounts, the Auditor General came across an item styled “Purchase of Equity De Beers SA” value P673 597 322. “Value was yet to be verified and share certificate relative thereto produced for verification purposes”, observed the Auditor General.