Debate on 2nd, 3rd and 4th Quarters 2013/14 Public Works Reports

By Hon. Langa Bodlani:

Speaker

Honourable members

Ladies and Gentlemen 

This department led by no less than the leader of government business in the province simply fails to extricate itself from sources of bad audit results.

It adds to our failure to attain a complete overhaul of proper management of our departments.

This being led by the most senior executive in our provincial government has to be an exemplar department for all others.

It does not appear that we are anywhere near to achieving the reversal of negative audits.

Speaker

All the quarterly reports of 2013/14 which are now debated point out to similar failures.

There is an acute failure with regards to internal controls leading to failures to trace monies deposited into the bank account.

If this does not make the department vulnerable to fraudulent transactions when it can be avoided then nothing else would.

Honourable members

With regards to this the AG said and I quote that he “was unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence that management has accounted for all irregular expenditure”.

It further says “management has not investigated the full extent of the irregular expenditure”.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen

Now if the MEC who is meant to be the leader of government business can be scathed on such a basic management tool such as internal controls, how is he enforcing the same on other departments?

More pertinently does our leader of government business have the necessary hands-on approach to manage this and oversee other departments?

These reports under consideration point out to a different narrative.

 

Asset management is another albatross in our provincial government in general and this department in particular.

MEC again seems to be failing dismally on this score.

 

This has been a source of disclaimers for many past years and it looks like we are headed for the same.

The importance of knowing what assets the government owns cannot be overemphasized.

 

It is the main important source for government revenue generation and if we don’t know what is owned by government and where they are, we might be losing on essential revenue.

 

This leads to another bad thing which is happening in this department which is poor debt recoveries plan.

It is a good thing that Treasury has been roped in to help in this regard but in the end this is the capacity which the department itself must also possess.

 

MEC

 

The AG on all these matters points out to what he describes as “significant internal control deficiencies”.

This was the basis for a qualified audit opinion.

Your accounting officer Mr MEC does not always exercise adequate oversight responsibility regarding financial and performance reporting and compliance.

This cannot be right.

 

  • There was no evidence concerning the audit of movable tangible assets.
  • No evidence that the department has properly charged and accounted for all receivables.

We are here talking figures which not even the president, as we now know, can count.

MEC do something urgently to overhaul the management of this department.

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