Operation Clean Audit in jeopardy as finance department misses key targets

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

The Mpumalanga government’s ability to achieve Operation Clean Audit targets by 2014 have been severely jeopardised after the provincial finance department has failed to meet some of its key targets.

Although the department is often viewed as one of the province’s top performers, it has failed to meet crucial targets pertaining to improved financial management across all spheres of government. This in turn is hindering the province’s ability to attain Operation Clean Audit goals.

The department is responsible for supporting and monitoring the financial and asset management of government departments, municipalities and public entities, however its success in doing so is being questioned as it did not meet certain Annual Performance Plan targets.

One of the crucial objectives the department missed was the completion of its asset management strategy. This plan is essential as it monitors assets and liabilities as well as Transversal systems, IT services and public private partnerships. Furthermore it failed to facilitate the completion of a supply chain management action plan for 12 votes and four public entities and to roll out a e-procurement system in five votes.

It is important to note that these elements were singled out by the Auditor General as being the most problematic management issues, and that failing to correct them and meeting related APP targets not only prevents meeting operation clean audit goals, but also inhibits quality service delivery.

The department has to live up to its reputation of being the best operating department in the province by effectively improving and monitoring the financial management of all government entities. Finance MEC Madala Masuku must take the lead in this matter, as the province’s success in Operation Clean Audit lies on his shoulders.

Provincial government, municipalities and public entities are at the forefront of service delivery and need all the guidance and support the department can give to ensure that public funds are used for the benefit of the people.