Gauteng acts on irregular expenditure

2012-01-23 17:20

An investigation into dubiously awarded tenders, disciplinary proceedings and court action are among the steps the Gauteng government says it has taken to deal with irregular expenditure of R4.8 billion.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane’s spokesperson, Xoli Mngambi, released a statement today following a City Press report yesterday according to which Gauteng had squandered 10.9% (R6.6 billion) of its budget on unauthorised, irregular and wasteful expenditure in 2010/2011.

The departments of roads and transport and infrastructure development in Gauteng were among five of the worst-run departments in the country, respectively incurring irregular, wasteful and unauthorised expenditure to the tune of R2.2 billion (36.3% of its R6.1 billion budget) and R288 million (24% of its R1.2 billion budget).

Of the R6.6 billion Auditor General Terence Nombembe had identified as having been wasted in Gauteng, R1.4 billion was unauthorised expenditure (overspending or spending which is not done in accordance with the purpose for which it was intended), R4.8 billion was irregular expenditure (failure to comply with laws or regulations) and R400 million was wasteful spending – which means this amount was spent “in vain and would have been avoided had reasonable care been exercised”.

Mngambi said the departments of roads and transport and health and social development were among the biggest contributors to Gauteng’s irregular expenditure.

Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi had instituted an investigation into multi-million rand tenders which were allegedly dubiously awarded by his department, said Mngambi.

“Almost R1 billion of this R2.2 billion (in irregular expenditure) relates to this investigation,” said Mngambi.

The Gauteng government incurred millions in irregular expenditure when it paid bus companies that provide subsidised services in the province R1.6 billion in the past financial year from a “ring-fenced” grant.

“In order to remedy this situation, some contracts of senior managers were not renewed on expiry, disciplinary proceedings were instituted against responsible departmental officials, and the department approached the High Court to nullify irregularly awarded tenders,” said Mngambi.

The Department of Infrastructure Development was also taking disciplinary action against officials who were responsible for irregular expenditure, he said.

As for unauthorised expenditure, Mngambi said there were “certain circumstances where unauthorised expenditure is unavoidable”.

He said funds had been set aside to clear the R1.4 billion in unauthorised spending Gauteng had incurred.

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