Namibia: Former Finance Staff Still On Its Medical Aid

23 August 2019

Windhoek — Auditor-General Junias Kandjeke discovered that some staff members previously employed by the finance ministry have benefited from the MetHealth medical aid scheme, despite them having resigned.

In the Ministry of Finance annual report for the 2018 year ended, Kandjeke indicated that the Public Service Staff Rules Chapter D.IX, Section 5.1 states, "a member's membership of PSEMAS terminates on the day his or her services as a staff member terminates."

However, Kandjeke's audit found that some staff members resigned from the public service but were still active on the MetHealth system.

Equally, he said, although the department of medical aid within the finance ministry was informed on the resignation, the department did not notify MetHealth of the changes.

"And as a result, claims from the medical aid were paid for the staff members who terminated their service and made use of the medical aid benefit after their resignation,"

the audit shows.

The executive director within the finance ministry, Erica Shafudah in her response indicated there is no interface between the Human Resources Management System (HRMS), Integrated Finacial Management System (IFMS) and the medical aid system, which results in one reconciliation of membership termination.

Further, Shafudah explained that currently, all termination requests are done manually.

"If a staff member resigns and the medical aid directorate does not receive the termination request from the respective line ministry, the member will carry on to benefit from PSEMAS," she maintained.

Also, she said, as part of PSEMAS reform, the Ministry of Finance indicated that it is currently busy with the verification of PSEMAS membership project.

Additionally, Shafudah stated the ministry is busy to introduce a biometric system which will interlink the government system as well as that of the administrator.

During this process, she said, there will be real-time re-registration of PSEMAS members and dependants and issuing of the biometric smartcard to members and dependents, and integration of different

systems. The auditor-general recommended that the accounting officer within the ministry should put measures and controls in place to ensure that this is not a recurring practice, and in addition, proof of evidence on the recovered amounts should be provided for audit purposes.

In her response, Shafudah indicated that the finance ministry is currently busy with short-to-long-term reforms aimed at harmonising and interfacing different systems.

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