Auditors concerned about lax controls
THE eThekwini’s audit committee has raised concerns about poor controls and lamented the lack of co-operation from senior city officials.
In a quarterly report (for the quarter ending in March 2018), the committee raised concerns about the “continuing and worsening” poor attendance of meetings by senior managers, including deputy city managers.
It said that at some point the committee had to delay the start of a meeting and request administrative staff to call management to that meeting. “As a result, the audit committee is unable to obtain answers to queries; there is poor progress in the implementation of the audit committee’s advice and recommendations.”
The matter had previously been discussed with the city manager, it said.
The committee is also concerned about the inadequate responses to the internal audit findings, but it states that the city’s management has committed itself to improve on this.
On internal controls, the audit committee found massive abuse of overtime due to lax controls.
The Mercury reported yesterday how the committee revealed that in the 2016/17 financial year employees at five of the city’s units claimed 4.5 million hours in overtime amounting to over R524 million in overtime payments.
The audit committee report further notes that eThekwini has no effective internal controls to prevent, reduce and mitigate against illegal electricity connections.
Other areas of concern are that while the Supply Chain Management unit has adopted the code of conduct from National Treasury, the SCM practitioners “are not fully aware of the National Treasury Code of Conduct legislative requirements they are expected to comply with”.
The committee says there is a lack of evidence to suggest that the code of conduct was communicated and provided to the SCM officials.
In response, the SCM unit said all practitioners within the unit were to sign the acceptance and acknowledgement of the code of conduct and that induction programmes were to be conducted.
The city’s chief finance officer, Krish Kumar, told the executive committee on Tuesday that all the issues raised in the audit committee report are not swept under the carpet but are dealt with.
He was responding to IFP and DA councillors who raised concerns that many of the issues were not new and it appeared that there was no consequence management in the city, hence these concerns kept coming up.
ANC councillor Sipho Kaunda said exco needed to monitor these responses so that progress could be assessed.