A-G gives Education an F+ pass on finances

2012-10-04 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The Basic Education Department was given an F+ for achievement by Auditor-General (A-G) Terence Nombembe this week.

The department’s annual report and financials just managed to scrape through with a pass.

The serious defects in the department’s report for 2011-12, which was tabled in Parliament this week, include:

• A serious lack of clear control measures for the distribution of support material, such as textbooks for pupils and teachers; and

• A lack of a proper system for determining pupil numbers in the respective provinces.

Nombembe said this is why the correct numbers of textbooks are not being delivered to the different provinces.

He also found that the department had underspent its budget by more than R1,1 billion in the past financial year.

This includes underspending of:

• R1 billion for infrastructure development;

• R43 million for teacher development; and

• R96 million for curriculum development, support and monitoring.

The A-G also found that the department had achieved only 47% of its objectives and targets for the financial year.

He added that the department’s irregular expenditure of R153 531 this year, compared with R87 771 last year, points to poorer financial control and planning.

According to Nombembe the department also contravened the Public Finance Management Act by not preparing its financial report properly.

Treasury regulations were also contravened in that the department spent more than R500 000 on purchases without the necessary quotations.

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