AG findings on govt spending 'scandalous'
Johannesburg - The findings of the auditor general's annual government audit are "scandalous" and heads should roll, trade unions and the Democratic Alliance said on Tuesday.
"This is a serious crisis because service delivery is highly dependent on proper financial controls and accountable and transparent expenditure," the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) said
The Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) urged government to stop "cadre deployment" and to curb corruption in local, provincial, and national government.
The DA in Gauteng said financial management in the province was "seriously deficient". Irregular, unauthorised and wasteful spending in Gauteng was among the highest in the country, the party said.
Auditor General Terence Nombembe released his 2010/11 General Report on National Audit Outcomes in Pretoria on Monday.
He voiced concern over all but three of the 39 national government departments.
However, Nombembe said he was happy with the overall improvement in the performance of government departments and the "commitment" of their leadership to achieving clean audit reports.
"Leadership has risen to the commitment [of obtaining clean audits]. The biggest area of concern is when it comes to supply chain and procurement. The rules are known and the expectations are known."
The unions and the DA were less forgiving.
Nehawu spokesperson, Sizwe Pamla, said South Africans deserved better and "their patience has already run out".
The report showed that national and provincial government departments and public entities wasted and misused more than R20bn of taxpayers' money over the past financial year (2010/11), he said.
"According to the auditor general's report, there has been a 12% increase in wasteful and fruitless expenditure by provincial departments this year compared to the last financial year (2009/10)."
This meant the amount of money wasted had increased from R16bn in 2009/10 to R20bn in 2010/11.
"National departments and public entities have squandered more than R4.5bn in unauthorised, irregular, wasteful, and fruitless expenditure," Pamla added.
The DA's Glenda Steyn said the DA-run Western Cape had proven itself a model of good governance.
"It has achieved standards of financial excellence that Gauteng should emulate."
Fedusa general secretary Dennis George applauded the AG, saying he was keeping government on its toes.
"We fully support the auditor general's recommendations that vacant positions be filled with competent staff in all government departments and public entities."
Fedusa also wanted the recommendation implemented that audit committees be put in place to ensure effective governance.