Only two clean au­dits

The New Age (Free State) - - FRONT PAGE - BECKER SEMELA beck­ers@the­

THERE are only two pro­vin­cial govern­ment de­part­ments that have re­ceived clean au­dit out­comes for the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year – the trea­sury and the leg­is­la­ture – the au­di­tor­gen­eral said.

Pro­vin­cial au­di­tor-gen­eral head Odwa Duda said the leg­is­la­ture had main­tained its clean au­dit out­come sta­tus for the past four years.

“They both had im­proved au­dit out­comes as the lead­er­ship in these de­part­ments re­sponded and took timely ac­tion to ad­dress the pre­vi­ous year’s qual­i­fi­ca­tions.”

Duda said pre­mier Ace Ma­gashule’s of­fice, which should lead by ex­am­ple in the prov­ince, re­gressed in its au­dit out­comes. “The ma­jor­ity or 63% of au­di­tees’ out­comes stag­nated on ei­ther an un­qual­i­fied opin­ion with find­ings or a qual­i­fied opin­ion. The three de­part­ments re­ceiv­ing the largest bud­get al­lo­ca­tions in the prov­ince, ed­u­ca­tion, health and po­lice and roads and trans­port re­ceived qual­i­fied and un­qual­i­fied with find­ings.

“The agri­cul­ture and ru­ral devel­op­ment re­ceived an ad­verse opin­ion for two con­sec­u­tive years,” Duda said.

He said the lack of progress in the au­dit out­comes of the other au­di­tees could be at­trib­ut­able to the lead­er­ship’s lack of fo­cused and com­mit­ted at­ten­tion to con­tin­u­ously strength­en­ing in­ter­nal con­trols and im­prov­ing the mon­i­tor­ing thereof.

“Over the four-year pe­riod un­der re­view, 2015-16 was a turn­ing point as the slow re­sponse by man­age­ment to­wards im­proved out­comes re­sulted in a no­tice­able re­gres­sion.”

He said ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture in­creased from R1.9bn to R5.4bn and could have been higher.

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