departments not taking administration of public funds severely – Outa

The AG report reveals an alarming lack of monetary management in high-impact authorities departments, regardless of enhancements in variety of unqualified audits.

The Auditor-Normal’s report on audit outcomes for nationwide and provincial authorities for 2022/2023 reveals that departments don’t take the administration of public funds severely.

Civil organisation Outa says in an announcement that whereas it notes a 13% enchancment within the variety of unqualified audits of departments from the final yr of the earlier administration (in monetary yr 2018/2019) when in comparison with 2022/2023, there are nonetheless far too many departments (26%) that fail to attain unqualified audits.

“Much more regarding is that 31 departments missed the deadline of 30 September for offering their monetary statements to the Auditor-Normal. We’re very involved concerning the rising variety of departments and state-owned entities (SOEs) that fail to have monetary statements prepared for audit functions on time, which has elevated from 4 to 31 over the previous 4 years.

“This in itself sends a transparent message that these departments don’t take the administration of public funds severely. What’s extra worrying is that when once more, we is not going to see the required accountability and consequence administration by the accounting authorities of those organisations, that may merely proceed to stay comfortably employed by the state,” Wayne Duvenage, CEO of Outa, says.

“We commend the Auditor-Normal and her group for the diligence utilized to the audit course of and the continuing enhancements to this operate. We be aware that this yr, the Auditor-Normal’s report identifies the excessive influence departments to provide the general public a way of the place consideration might require acute concentrate on departments that handle state funds in areas extra important to service supply, akin to water, vitality, healthcare, employment, infrastructure and so forth.”

ALSO READ: Auditor-Normal: authorities wasted R22 billion throughout Ramaphosa’s time period

Bleak scenario of high-impact departments

Duvenage says this paints an image of a bleak scenario as a result of in these high-impact departments the proportion of unqualified audits drop from an general 74% to 65%.

“Which means that 35% of our excessive influence areas of presidency have certified audits and eight% of them did not submit financials on time.”

Solely 52% of SOEs achieved unqualified audits, whereas 43% had audits which had been certified with findings, opposed with findings, disclaimed with findings or failed to supply their monetary statements.

“This can be a critical concern for Outa and we reiterate as soon as once more, as we’ve got for years, that authorities ought to rid itself of state firms that aren’t core to the service provision important to the general public.

“The state has no have to personal diamond mines, airways and armament manufacturing companies. All of them carry out poorly and they’re a drain on the fiscus or don’t even have financials to audit,” Duvenage says.

“The Auditor-Normal spelled out the myriad causes for poor service supply from her audit outcomes and the problems of extreme overpayment for infrastructure and companies by the state, together with accepting poor high quality workmanship and even zero companies delivered however paid for at occasions, clearly signifies that there’s a mixture of gross ineptitude or maladministration and corruption that continues to thrive inside many state departments.

ALSO READ: Metropolis of Tshwane advised to personal up after damning auditor-general report

Delayed Infrastructure tasks present poor planning, Outa says

“The variety of infrastructure growth tasks which might be delayed (68%) and have cost-overruns (51%) is a major downside for the nation, signalling poor planning, lack of oversight and monitoring and outright poor management. The shortage of upkeep can also be a major concern and that is enjoying out in increased expenditure leading to reactive and emergency upkeep spending to repair damaged infrastructure, which usually prices much more than preventative upkeep.”

Duvenage says whereas the Auditor-Normal signifies that the division of upper training’s efforts to deal with the necessity for extra pupil lodging has been a great story as three of those tasks got here in on time and inside funds, Outa is investigating regarding developments inside the division’s future pupil lodging plan.

Authorities was additionally discovered to be wanting in infrastructural growth plans for the nation’s water wants and Duvenage says the hole between the place departments imagine they’re performing and what the precise scenario is leaves a lot to be desired.

Materials irregularities triggered losses of R14.34 billion. “We’re appalled at these losses that might and may have been averted if sound monetary hygiene and good administration practices had been in place,” he says.

“Our authorities is failing its individuals and whereas there are a couple of indicators of enchancment, these come off a base of extraordinarily low efficiency and degradation of service supply for the previous 20 years. We’d like a a lot quicker restoration from this dire scenario and to see extra penalties for the mismanagement of state funds, one thing which seems to be a overseas idea to this authorities.”

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