Detailed findings during visit: Budget of the VS: The VS have had an adequate budget, with slight increases on a yearly basis. In fiscal year 2006‐ 2007 they had a budget of N$ 69 Million (Euros 5.3 Million), and in 2008‐2009 of N$ 82 Million. Salaries are covered appropriately, while there are still several vacancies due to difficulties in recruiting. The difficulties in recruiting and retaining trained personnel are more related to the overall shortness in the country, than to the salary levels. Often there are shortfalls for the purchase of vaccines and other reagents. When unexpected events occur, like the recent FMD outbreak in the infected zone, there are difficulties in covering increased costs due to transportation and travel allowance. Under these situations, the funding has been resolved by moving funds from other categories within the VS budget. There is an adequate mechanism for budget preparation, including requests and justification for annual increases. This process is done a year in advance. The Namibian budget distribution is regulated by proper legislation and regulations under the Ministry of Finance. There are clear rules prohibiting the VS or their employees from accepting funds from private sources, with the exception of special services provided by the Laboratory and certain State Offices. In this case the services are charged according to an official table of tariffs and the collected funds must be deposited in Treasury. Animal Health Technicians working for the VS cannot charge for services rendered to farmers. Regular audits are conducted in all areas of the VS by internal government auditors. Audit reports are publicly available.
Budget for the CVL: One of the major constraints for the laboratory is the limited budget. The Central Diagnostic Laboratory claimed shortfalls in budget, especially as more services are rendered there is an ever increasing deficit for supplies and reagents. Their equipment is outdated, except for that required to do the tests demanded by EU regulations for meat exports. There is insufficient budget for equipment maintenance and servicing. To accredit the lab, another 8 million Namibian Dollars would be needed; the budget is only 1/10 of this.
Priorities/Recommendations Short Term :
Should conduct a needs assessment in the laboratory and identify the necessary resources to properly address the laboratory’s needs. Medium / Long Term :
Should investigate the establishment of a revolving fund mechanism. While there is a cost recovery system for the laboratory and SVO, the funds go directly to Treasury. There is a demand for services, the laboratory and the SVO are well placed to deliver these valuable services to the community, but without the ability of these funds for services rendered coming back to enhance the services, the process is self defeating.