MPs 'disgusted' at police finance reports

2012-09-18 15:30

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Cape Town - MPs expressed "disgust" on Tuesday with the quality of financial reports being submitted to Parliament by police entities.

An oral presentation by the Civilian Secretariat for Police on its spending in the first quarter of this financial year was cut short by Annelize van Wyk, who chairs the police oversight committee.

"We are in absolute disgust. You are wasting our time, you are wasting finances from the secretariat for flying people here, your slides are contradicting each other.... There's no use us continuing the meeting," she said.

Secretary for police Jenni Irish-Qhobosheana said the secretariat did not know how to present a financial report to Parliament.

"We are hoping that on Monday our CFO [chief financial officer] will be on board.... We recognise the reports need to entail more detail and what we need to do is sit down with National Treasury on how we present these reports," she told MPs.

Spending patterns

The secretariat was also criticised for its spending patterns in the 2011/12 financial year.

"We are very worried about under-expenditure. We are equally worried about the fact that 50% plus of the budget was spent in the last quarter. You are supposed to spend 25% per quarter," said Van Wyk.

She listed under-spending in almost every one of the programmes, including corporate services and monitoring and evaluation.

Under-spending and the quality of financial reporting were not problems limited to the secretariat.

"Police do the same things. They come here with wrong information and say no, we'll come back. Can we plead with them that the time we spend is valuable, that when they come here they come prepared," said Mluleki George, treasurer-general for the Congress of the People (Cope).

"I'm not pleading with anybody. We all have an obligation to do our work.... We want acceptable quality. The shame is on you, not on us. You [the police secretariat] are presenting figures that don't add up," said Van Wyk replied.

She said she would write to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa on behalf of the committee expressing its concern about the quality of presentations by the different entities.

"If I don't get upset, members know exactly how upset I am. That's when I'm at my most dangerous, when I'm as calm as I am now. It's unacceptable. They've had enough time," said Van Wyk.

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