Better financial controls will build better lives

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

The lives of Mpumalanga’s people would only improve if government departments manage their finances, human resources and programme implementation much more effectively, and comply with the Auditor-General’s requirements.

In his latest report on the 2011/12 audit outcomes of Mpumalanga, Auditor General Terence Nombembe found that 77% of government departments and 50% of public entities achieved less than 80% of their service delivery targets. Less government departments obtained clean audits, while qualified audits increased from two to four.

Concerns remain over the poor management of vacancies and the amount of acting positions, as well as the failure to effectively control the supply chain, with uncompetitive procurement increasing from 29% to 63%. Government departments and officials must take a hard look at their performance and themselves and realise that the responsibility lies with them to bring about change in the lives of the people. They have to reduce their vacancy rates and employ suitably qualified people, and by doing so, institute stronger financial control over procurement processes and the supply chain. They also have to make a conscious effort to achieve more than 80% of their service delivery targets.

Mpumalanga’s economy must be stimulated through a competitive, open and transparent bidding process, and service providers must constantly be monitored to ensure that government promises are fulfilled. Government must abandon its cadre deployment policy so that accounting officers are experienced and skilled, and can focus departments’ efforts on obtaining clean audits and take drastic steps to reduce the number of qualified audits.

Accounting officers and CFOs must implement stringent financial controls and ensure that government funds, although limited, reach their intended destination. Mpumalanga’s people have for many years dreamt of decent and proper service delivery, it is now up to government to realise that dream.

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