Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
8 Dec 2021
3:27 pm

115 out of 425 auditees’ clean audits a ‘slight improvement’, says AG Maluleke

Thapelo Lekabe

The Office of Auditor-General said the 115 clean audits comprised 48 departments and 67 public entities.

Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke. Picture: Ntswe Mokoena.

Auditor-General (AG) Tsakani Maluleke says there has been an incremental improvement in national and provincial departments’ audits for the 2020-2021 financial year, with an increase in the number of clean audits.

Maluleke on Wednesday briefed the media in Tshwane on the release of audit outcomes for national and provincial departments for the 2020-2021 financial year that ended in March.

The Office of the Auditor-General audited 679 departments and public entities in the audit cycle and released the results of 425 of these audits.

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There were 34 audits that were not complete, which Maluleke said required attention and decisive action from oversight and executive authorities.

The AG said 115 auditees achieved clean audits out of the 425 auditees. These comprised 48 departments and 67 public entities, which showed an improvement from last year’s 109 clean audits.

“Together these audits are responsible for 19% of the R1.9 trillion expenditure budget that is managed by national and provincial government,” Maluleke said.

She said the reasons behind the improvement in the audit outcomes was due to the strengthening of internal controls and the implementation of her office’s recommendations.

“Another aspect that contributed to these improvements is that there was notable stability in these key positions of the accounting officer, accounting authority and even in senior management,” Maluleke said.

Concerns over service delivery departments

Maluleke said despite the improvement in the audits, national and provincial departments continued to show slow progress in the journey towards holistic good governance.

The AG singled out state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the key service delivery departments of health, education, housing and public works for poor financial and performance management.

She said these departments were concerning because they had the greatest impacts on the lives of South Africans and government’s overall financial health, especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is particularly concerning for two areas that are still lagging behind this improvement trend: state-owned entities and the key service delivery departments, specifically those of health, education, housing or human settlements and public works,” Maluleke said.

Maluleke called on oversight structures like Parliament and society at large to be vigilant and exercise their duties with diligence.

She also raised alarm over the low levels of accountability among a number of accounting officers and authorities.

“As an audit office, we continue to call for higher levels of accountability, which we believe are necessary if the public sector is to implement the changes that are required to ensure that public finances are spent efficiently and in the delivery of services that benefit citizens.”

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