RAL Strate­gis­ing For Clean Au­dit In Board Plan­ning Ses­sion


Mmileng - - Contents -

The Roads Agency Limpopo (RAL) Board of Direc­tors held their strate­gic plan­ning ses­sion re­cently to re­flect on the 2017/18 fi­nan­cial year and plan for the fi­nan­cial year ahead.

The strate­gic ses­sion came on the back of the pub­li­ca­tion of the Agency’s 2017/18 An­nual Re­port, which de­tailed the per­for­mance and au­dited fi­nan­cial re­sults, and the re­lease of the au­dit re­port of the Au­di­tor-Gen­eral of South Africa (AGSA) on the au­dited fi­nan­cial re­sults of the Agency for the year ended 31 March 2018. (See story on page 6)

The Agency has re­tained the un­qual­i­fied au­dit out­come from the AGSA for 2017/18, but it came with find­ings that the Agency has to im­ple­ment.

Giv­ing a key note ad­dress at the open­ing of the ses­sion, the Limpopo MEC for Pub­lic Works, Roads and In­fra­struc­ture the Honourable Nandi Ndalane in her ca­pac­ity as the Share­holder rep­re­sen­ta­tive is­sued a clar­ion call to RAL ex­ec­u­tive man­age­ment to im­prove the au­dit opin­ion for the 2018/19 fi­nan­cial year.

“The im­ple­men­ta­tion of the au­dit ac­tion plan, and the proper iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and recog­ni­tion of fruit­less and waste­ful ex­pen­di­ture will help us in im­prov­ing the au­dit opin­ion,” said MEC Ndalane.

Se­nior man­age­ment of RAL, who had held their own strate­gic plan­ning ses­sion a month ear­lier, were in­vited to make pre­sen­ta­tions to the Board on weak­nesses and strengths of var­i­ous busi­ness units on


im­prov­ing the cur­rent au­dit out­come.

One in­put warned that the ex­pen­di­ture or multi-year pro­jects that had al­ready been flagged as ir­reg­u­lar may threaten the next au­dit out­come when new ex­pen­di­ture is in­curred in the sub­se­quent fi­nan­cial year.

Some of the is­sues raised by the AGSA will be ad­dressed by up­dat­ing the as­set reg­is­ter quar­terly, bench­mark­ing the Sup­ply Chain Man­age­ment (SCM)’s ten­der doc­u­ments by end of the fourth quar­ter and other pro­cure­ment mat­ters, meet­ing 2018/19 An­nual Per­for­mance Plan (APP) tar­gets as per de­scrip­tive and tech­ni­cal indicators, and strength­en­ing rev­enue col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing the re­view, gazetting and ap­proval of tar­iffs (in­clud­ing those for bill­boards) be­fore the start of a fi­nan­cial year.

For these to be achieved, the ses­sion noted, the Agency has to fill va­cant po­si­tions in the or­gan­i­sa­tion in­clud­ing 37 that have been flagged as key and ‘crit­i­cal’ need­ing ur­gent at­ten­tion, par­tic­u­larly in the core En­gi­neer­ing and Fi­nance di­vi­sions, to re­duce over­re­liance on con­sul­tants.

Re­flect­ing on the ses­sion it­self, RAL CEO said they have to get a bal­ance be­tween get­ting a clean au­dit (ad­min­is­tra­tion) and road in­fra­struc­ture ser­vice de­liv­ery.

“You have to find a bal­ance be­tween some­thing that you can point on the ground that there is in­fra­struc­ture that peo­ple are happy with and still en­sur­ing full com­pli­ance.”

The ses­sion also ac­knowl­edged that the Agency’s bud­get is con­strained and they have to strengthen their suc­cess­ful Strate­gic Part­ner­ship Ap­proach, ex­plore other op­por­tu­ni­ties to raise their own funds, and to find in­no­va­tive ways and al­ter­na­tive tech­nolo­gies to re­duce the cost of build­ing roads.

To put it in con­text, at cur­rent es­ti­mates RAL will need R160 bil­lion to main­tain and up­grade the en­tire road net­work in Limpopo Prov­ince, or that will take 50 years at cur­rent bud­get al­lo­ca­tion of un­der R1­bil­lion for the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year, one board mem­ber warned.

RAL Board Chair­per­son Matome Ralebipi and his team wanted clar­ity from man­age­ment on steps to be taken to achieve a clean au­dit out­come from the AGSA, par­tic­u­larly sort­ing out the chal­lenges in the SCM pro­cesses and as­set reg­is­ter (phys­i­cal ex­is­tence of roads as men­tioned in the an­nual re­port), the root cause which, he says, pre­dates his Board.

Mem­bers of the Board and se­nior man­agers of Roads Agency Limpopo lis­ten­ing to an overview pre­sen­ta­tion by CEO Mase­la­ganye Matji at a re­cent strate­gic plan­ning ses­sion called by the Board.

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