R8bn waste­ful ex­pen­di­ture write-off

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS -

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.

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