Call for administrative leaders to be accountable

2009-10-22 11:14

Leadership is key to improving financial management at local

government level, Accountant General Freeman Nomvula said today.

“The key is leadership. Administratively leaders need to take these

functions seriously. Political leaders need to hold administrative leaders

accountable,” he told a local government indaba in Boksburg, Gauteng.

A local government report released yesterday showed that 64% of the

country’s municipalities were in financial distress. The report also indicated

that financial management was a problem at local government level due largely to

a lack of capacity and skills.

Nomvula said a poor audit trail, the poor quality of financial

statements, officials being unavailable to answer questions by auditors and poor

internal controls were some of the problems plaguing local government


“It’s a tall order to talk about a turn-over by 2014 but I do think

it’s possible,” he told representatives from local, provincial and national

government at the two-day indaba.

Delegates criticised the national Treasury for the “unreasonable”

accounting standards.

Nomvula said the Treasury would welcome input from municipalities

on systems that would work better.

He emphasised assets management as a key part of a municipality’s

ability to deliver services and manage their finances. He urged municipalities

to keep up-to-date with maintaining their assets in the short-term to save money

in the long run.

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