NW 2014 Operation Clean Audit hopes shattered

Chris Hattingh MPL Provincial Leader Democratic Alliance North-West Any hopes that the Operation Clean Audit 2014, launched by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Shiceka on 16 July 2009, will be achieved in the North West (NW) were shattered by an Auditor General (AG) presentation in the NW Provincial Legislature. The goal was that by 2011, no municipality or provincial government department will have a disclaimer or an adverse audit opinion, and by 2014 none should have those or a qualified audit. The AG in the presentation on NW Local Authorities stated that not a single NW Municipality could achieve a clean audit during the previous financial effectively buried NW Operation Clean Audit 2014. The AG also reported that 6 NW Municipalities could not submit financial statements by the due date. The DA is particularly concerned that, as in the case of NW Provincial Departments, overwhelm the most NW municipalities did not address previous deficiencies as identified by the AG in previous reports, neither did they not implement recommendations to improve its financial administrations. The AG’s presentation follows hot on the heels of an AG’s Report on NW Provincial Department where no Department could achieve a clean audit, the Province was found to be in “regression” and where 90% of the Provincial Budget was found to be “authorised”, “Irregular” or “fruitlessly” expended. From the AG’s reports it is evident that the lack of capacity and expertise caused by the provincial brain drain as a consequence of cadre deployment will continue to haunt the NW for years to come. With the AG’s evidence of the financial State of the Province, both at local and provincial levels, now on the table and with Operation Clean Audit 2014 identified for what it is:- just an electioneering slogan, the DA will question the NW Premier and the MEC’s responsible for Finance and Local Government on emergency action steps to remedy the NW financial crisis and about a recovery plan to reinstate expertise and capacity into the NW’s financial administration.

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