R8bn wasteful expenditure write-off
WITH the hopes of receiving a positive audit opinion from the auditor-general, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality plans to write off R8-billion in wasteful expenditure dating back to 1999.
It was the proposal at the municipal public accounts committee yesterday which all councillors agreed to.
In a memorandum from acting chief financial officer Jackson Ngcelwane, to the office of the mayor, it states that after a meeting with officials from the national Treasury and the AG, it was recommended that the metro update its unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure policy to include the writing-off procedure to affected departments.
The municipality received a qualified audit opinion for the sixth consecutive year for the 2016-17 financial year from AG Kimi Makwetu.
His findings were based mainly on the city’s slack management of its property, plant and equipment, while it also had R11.5-billion in irregular expenditure dating back to 2002.
DA councillor Morne Steyn said the municipality was dealing with historical unauthorised expenditure dating back to 1999.
“We’re now in a position to write off historical irregular expenditure . . .
“This means tender documents or tender files or suppliers that were being paid through this institution when the files and the actual documentation were not in place automatically made any payments irregular.
“I must emphasise we’re not writing off money, we’re not saying we’re giving away money, we’re just removing them off the register.”
Even though the amounts would be written off, the report recommended that the committee considered pursuing consequence management on a case by case basis.
Steyn said the consequence management route meant the municipality would be able to go after people who had acted unethically.
“We’ll go after them through disciplinary, we’ll go after them criminally and civilly to recover money owed to this institution and reports will come as we go along,” he said.