More departments get qualified audits
Johannesburg - There has been an alarming rise in the percentage of national government departments receiving qualified audits, a survey has shown.
The trend among municipal and provincial departments was the other way around, according to a study published by the SA Institute of Race Relations this week.
"Over the last decade, the proportion of national departments receiving qualified audits has increased from 19% to 34%," said researcher Georgina Alexander.
"In 2001, 81% of provincial departments received qualified audits [and] by 2009/10 this had fallen to 12%."
Qualified audits received by municipal departments decreased substantially from 75% to 39% over the same period. These qualified audits included qualified, adverse, and disclaimer opinions.
Alexander explained that these may be made by the auditor general in cases where accounting records were insufficient, where incorrect accounting methods were applied, or there were inadequate disclosures.
In 2009, the co-operative governance and traditional affairs department launched "operation clean audit", which aimed to eliminate disclaimer or adverse audit opinions by 2011 and qualified audits by 2014.
"While it seems that municipal and provincial departments are on the right track to achieving the goal set by operation clean audit, the ball seems to have been dropped by national departments," Alexander said.