BIUST has no record of private student payments

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SONNY SERITE

While Auditor General Pulane Letebele established that the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) annual financial statements were presented fairly, she has however raised concern that there was no clear system to record what the private students had already paid and what they owed the University. According to Letebele, the amounts recorded in the ledger represented only the payments that the students had made and there was no system to track who had paid.
Letebele noted in her report to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Honourable Kenneth Matambo dated 2nd March that in response to this anomaly, BIUST management stated that the university was in the process of introducing a student management system which was expected to be fully implemented by November 2018.  ‘‘In the meantime, the manual student registration information kept by Registry Services would be used to bill students and records would be reconciled to the class lists and test results to ensure completeness of student registration information used for billing,’’ the Auditor General noted.
Letebele further revealed that the financial operations of BIUST showed a surplus of P46.75 million for the year under review (2017), compared to P100 151 reported in the previous year. Income increased by 28% from P369.43 million in 2016 to P474.54 million in 2017, while expenditure on the other hand increased by 15% from P369.33 million to P427.79 million during the same period.
As at 31 March 2017, the working capital position of the university showed current assets of P90.27 million and current liabilities of P101.11 million, resulting in a net current liabilities position of P10.83 million. Current liabilities included provisions for gratuities and leave pay of P45.29 million and deferred income of P11.33 million.
The auditors noted that BIUST had lots of equipment still in boxes and not yet tagged. The Auditor General noted that although some of the equipment could not be opened due to warranty reasons, some of it was lying idle in the university premises and was running the risk of being obsolete.
In response to the Auditor General’s queries, BIUST management stated that the equipment could not be taken out of boxes as the building in which it was to be housed needed some modifications which were expected to be completed by December 2017. They said the guarantees on the equipment start after commissioning.  However, the assets were in the register and the boxes were tagged. Furthermore, management stated that they had now put in place a process which ensures that assets procured would be ready for use on delivery.