AG faults NPA for missing targets

2012-09-12 21:00
Terence Nombembe (Sapa)

Terence Nombembe (Sapa)

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Cape Town - The Auditor General has given the National Prosecuting Authority an unqualified audit opinion, but pointed out that it fell short on four out of 11 strategic targets.

AG Terence Nombembe said in the NPA's annual report tabled in Parliament: "This represents 36% of total planned targets that were not achieved during the year under review."

He placed the blame on shortcomings in the NPA's strategic planning process.

The four areas were the high courts' conviction rates, the number of criminal court cases finalised, the number of cases finalised through alternative dispute resolution methods, and the value of assets frozen by the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU).

This figure decreased by 10.7% when compared to the previous year because the AFU had placed an emphasis on higher monetary value cases, Nombembe said.

The annual report noted however that the AFU raised its overall success rate to 96.1%, winning all but 12 cases out of 307.

The report showed that the conviction rate of the high courts fell to 84.6%, missing the annual target by 2.4%. This was because of a higher number of cases where courts did not accept evidence.

Nombembe found the NPA's financial statements were not all prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Public Finance Management Act.

He said the accounting officer and the national director of public prosecutions did not take effective steps to prevent irregular expenditure.

Moreover, the department failed to settle accounts totalling R38m within the required 30 days.

Had the department paid these invoices timeously, he said, it would have reflected R31m in unauthorised expenditure.

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