Gauteng Liquor Board sent packing

2010-05-11 22:19

Johannesburg - Gauteng Liquor Board officials were "excused from" a Scopa hearing on Tuesday after they repeatedly failed to answer questions posed by committee members, Scopa Gauteng said.

"The hearings were held with regard to the Auditor General's report on financial statements and performance of the Liquor Board as a public entity," Sipho Makama, chairperson of the Gauteng Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

The board was asked to elaborate on wasteful expenditure, non-compliance with applicable legislation and treasury regulations.

After repeatedly failing to answer a host of questions, the officials were told to "rework their responses" and present them at the next hearing.

"Any public entity should present their annual report to the legislature, at least 30 days after it has been completed.

"But we have a situation where the board did not report to the legislature for the past two financial years, and did not even inform the legislature of the difficulties they were encountering (preventing them from reporting)."

No action against wrongdoer 

The committee had wanted the board to indicate what it was doing with money allocated to it each year.

The committee also wanted the board to explain the unauthorised use of the Auditor General's signature in one of the Liquor Board's annual reports.

"The response from the Liquor Board was that no action was taken because the responsible person has left the department.

"And this failure to respond satisfactorily and lack of clarity on most of the questions were found to be unacceptable by the committee. The Liquor Board officials were requested to go back to rework their responses and present them in the next hearing," Makama said.

The Gauteng department of economic development could not be immediately reached for comment.