Culture of ‘absolutely no consequences’ behind AG audit

2013-03-20 12:35

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The Congress of SA Trade Unions said it is appalled by the Auditor-General’s (AG) latest audit.

City Press reported on Sunday that AG Terence Nombembe and his team found the bill for unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful spending by provincial departments and entities was R24.8 billion.

Nombembe announced last week only 117 of the 536 government institutions evaluated across South Africa achieved clean audits in 2011/12.

“Cosatu is appalled at the revelation that R24.8 billion has disappeared in irregular, fruitless and wasteful spending by provincial departments and entities, nearly R4 billion more than the previous year’s figure,” spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.

The labour federation called on the AG and the Treasury to monitor and check systems and procedures in all departments and provinces so problems would not only be picked up once a year during the yearly report.

Craven said the biggest culprits were North West with R4.2 billion, KwaZulu-Natal with R3.9 billion and Free State with R3.3 billion.

“So long as a culture of ‘absolutely no consequences’ for offenders persists, we shall continue to receive more depressing reports for years to come.

He cited figures from the SA Institute of Race Relations that the wasted R24.8 billion could have paid for child support grants for 7.4 million children.

In addition, more than 400 schools and at least 550 new prisons could have been built, and the nation’s total water and sanitation infrastructure for one year could have been covered.

The AG’s analysis over a three-year period reveals a steady decline in the number of entities achieving clean audits.

During 2009/10, about 31% of audited entities achieved clean audits. In 2010/11, the figure dropped to 25%, and in 2011/12 only 22% received a clean bill of health.

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