By Joe McGluwa (MPL), DA NW Leader:
The Democratic Alliance in North West is concerned after the latest Auditor General Report (2014-2015) reveals that non-compliance with supply chain management legislation led to the increase of irregular expenditure from R1.2 billion last year, to nearly double, R2.1 billion.
Besides the wastage of tax payers’ money the office of the Public Protector has revealed that North West tops the list for corruption cases under investigation this year.
At least five municipalities are placed under administration, amid alleged maladministration, mismanagement of finances and corruption.
Four provincial departments have also been placed under financial administration and the Public Protector confirmed governance challenges, serious challenges at the municipal level in terms of municipalities as a lot of municipalities here are under administration.
The Departments of Public Works and Roads and Community Safety and Transport Management, as well as the Department of Health continue to be in a shambolic state.
The Auditor General’s General Report on the North West Provincial Audit Outcomes for 2014/2015 has clearly identified these two departments as the main culprits responsible for poor performance and transgressions of supply chain rules and protocols.
It is a known fact that due to mismanagement in the Public Works Department, not even half of the R103 million allocated to road upgrades will be used for its intended purpose this year.
As a result there are a lot of resources channelled incorrectly between departments.
The AG further stated that failure to implement basic key controls throughout the year remains a concern. This includes inadequate record management, lack of daily and monthly processes that guides generation of financial and performance reporting and related reconciliation controls, and poor in-year monitoring of compliance with laws and regulations.
The DA agrees with the following recommendation from the AG to improve the audit outcomes:
- Appointment of competent and experienced staff in key vacant positions.
- Urgent attention given to the appointment of board of directors at all public entities and ensuring stability within these boards. ·
- The audit committees, with internal audit, should assist the accounting officers to address internal control deficiencies and ensure that internal and external audit recommendations are implemented.
- Establishment of audit committees and internal audit functions at all public entities.
- The executive authorities should continue to be actively involved, specifically with the monitoring of audit actions plans to address prior year findings.
- The provincial public accounts committee and the provincial legislature should hold accounting officers who continue to underperform and contravene laws and regulations accountable for their actions. This specifically includes investigation of previous years’ unauthorised, irregular as well as fruitless and wasteful expenditure and taking the necessary disciplinary steps against transgressors.
Officials in North West go around with tax payers’ money, not being kept accountable if they are non-complaint. This is nothing more than common theft from the people of North West.
Where the DA governs we have achieved more clean audit outcomes than any other province.
Of the 24 auditees in the DA-governed Western Cape:
- Two departments and one entity improved to clean audit status;
- 10 departments and seven entities maintained their clean audit status; and
- One newly formed entity attained a clean audit.
The DA remains the only party capable of building an open-opportunity society based on the values of Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity.