Lesotho: AG Unhappy With Poor Revenue By Govt Ministries

Several government ministries have failed to collect non tax revenues for the 2018/19 financial year, acting Auditor General Monica Besetsa has said.
In her audit report of the government’s consolidated financial statements for the 2018/19 financial year, Ms Besetsa said many ministries collected below 50 percent of their planned revenues with some failing to collect anything at all.
Ms Besetsa noted that the chief accounting officers were responsible for revenue collection and rendering proper account of the sums received.

She said one of the objectives for revenue control was to prevent theft and fraud by revenue collectors or to minimise losses, should they occur.
“My audit revealed that 76 revenue items under different ministries recorded budget execution at range 0-49 percent,” Ms Besetsa said in the report.
Among these, she indicated that two entities under the Ministry of Health, namely Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital (QMMH) and the National Health Training Centre (NHTC) fell short of their estimated revenue collections.
“QMMH had 10 revenue items with a budget execution ranging from 0-43 percent. The National Health Training Centre (NHTC) recorded budget execution at the range of 0-40 percent on eight revenue items.”
She said no reasons were provided for the underperformance.
Among its budgeted revenue collection items, QMMH had budgeted to collect M1 986 660 from inpatient fees but only raised M55 155, leaving a shortfall of M1 131 505.

She said the hospital had budgeted to collect M4 498 680 from outpatient fees but only collected M708 438. It had also budgeted to collect M2 550 000 from inpatient administration services but managed to collect just M73 096 reflecting a 97, 5 percent under-collection.
On the other hand, the NHTC had budgeted to collect M2 210 410 from college fees but only collected M285 715. It had also budgeted to collect M1 081 120 from meals and accommodation but only collected M128 292. The centre had set out to collect M500 000 from valuation fees but only collected M8200.
Ms Besetsa said the Ministry of Education and Training only collected M15 160 from offering technical and vocational education services when it had budgeted to raise M150 000.
“The Technical and Vocational School of Thaba Tseka had budgeted school fees for M283 357 but only managed to collect M15 160. I was not provided with the reasons as to why there were low sales of services for that year and also what contributed to low collection of fees. One can only speculate that there was low intake of students from that year or students failed to pay school fees.”

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The Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology had planned to collect M2, 5 million from advertising revenue in its newspaper, Lentsoe la Basotho, but only collected M208 470 resulting in a 91 percent under collection.
Ms Besetsa said the explanation she received was that the newspaper, had been closed down from 2016 to 2018.
In the Ministry of Forestry, Ms Besetsa said the ministry had an overall revenue budget of M233 000 but collected just M42 544 resulting in an 82 percent under-collection.
She said the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture had planned to collect M720 000 from hiring out its buildings and structures but only collected M245 515. No reasons were given for the shortfall.
The Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation had budgeted to collect M243 500 but it only collected M52 966. It had set out to collect M158 000 from hiring out its buildings and structures but it ended up collecting a mere M500.

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