By Eveline de Klerk
SWAKOPMUND – The Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance , I-Ben Nashandi says government financial advisors are key role players in public finance management and it is required that they are kept abreast of the prevailing governing framework.
This, Nashandi said, will make them aware of all financial issues in their respective ministries .
Nashandi says this will improve the management of public funds as well as service delivery of various ministries.
He was speaking to New Era during the financial advisors’ retreat that concluded on Friday at Swakopmund.
The retreat was organised by the Ministry of Finance to share experiences, exchange ideas and to foster common knowledge and understanding of public finance management as well as to iron out challenges experienced by financial advisors.
At least 98 financial advisors and accountants that deal with public finance attended the two-day retreat.
According to Nashandi, being a financial advisor requires that one act a financial expert for the respective ministry served.
“You should be the alpha and omega on financial matters. It requires that you understand your roles and the role of other stakeholders and therefore it is of utmost importance that you update and improve your knowledge from time to time,” he said.
According to Nashandi the aim of the retreat was to renew insight into the key provisions of the State Finance Act and the treasury functions, and also provide advisors an opportunity for mutual learning on the practices of finances in the public sector.
“The essence of good financial management has taken centre stage across the various governments, and good public finance management is essential for good governance.”
“It has become a critical measure for public governance. Therefore we must strive to attain better scores and ratings or peer comparisons. Strengthening public finance management is by no way a simple process once-off or easy path and entails specific measures and the strengthening of control mechanisms.”
“To succeed, Treasury will need to support and ensure that capacity is enhanced at all levels within Treasury and other levels and also ensure that systems and processes are all comprehensible to all the users,” Nashandi emphasised.
He added that other stakeholder institutions such as parliament and Office of the Auditor General need to appreciate public financial management efforts. “Hence, the results which are manifested in published accounts need to comply with best accounting standards and meet the expectations of the stakeholders,” he said.