Protector: Clean audits not everything
Pretoria - Clean audits do not necessarily mean there was no maladministration by government departments, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said in Pretoria on Tuesday.
"Auditing is not about good governance. It's more than compliance. It's an accounting exercise," said Madonsela.
Madonsela said clean audits were a sign of good governance but that did not necessarily mean that the "money had gone to improving the lives of the people".
"It is good for any institution to attain a clean audit, but auditing has evolved over the years. When auditors look into an institution’s expenditure they do accounting of funds, that doesn’t mean there was no maladministration," she said.
She said the government departments red flagged by her office and by the Public Service Commission were often those not getting clean audits.
Madonsela said the two-day public protector's good governance conference in Pretoria had focused sharply on the ethics of good governance.
"The subject of ethics ran through this conference. We discussed values that benefit citizens, especially the poor."
Madonsela said there was need for citizens to actively encourage accountability.
"We don’t want citizens to be involved only when things go wrong. People have to be consulted adequately at the onset of any programme. The leadership has to involve communities in governance."
The resolutions from the conference were expected to be released on Wednesday.
Madonsela said delegates to the conference agreed affirm a commitment to good governance and to define key elements required.
A forum "of forces for good governance" would be established.