Health Department’s audit woes

2010-10-28 00:00

UNAUTHORISED and irregular expenditure as well as failure to account for immovable assets and work in progress are just some of the reasons why the KZN Health Department received a qualified report for 2009/2010 financial year from the office of KZN Auditor-General Barry van der Merwe.

This was revealed when the department appeared before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) at the KZN Legislature yesterday.

The briefing presented by the Auditor-General’s office before MEC for Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and his top officials revealed that the department incurred unauthorised expenditure of R2,26 billion “as a result of exceeding the total amount appropriated.”

On the other side R637,7 million was incurred “because proper procurement processes had not been followed and internal processes were not adequate to prevent, detect and correct these weaknesses.”

“The department underspent the hospital revitalisation grant by R224 million due to contract award delays and disputes, resulting in backlogs of planned hospital construction and development.

“At the reporting date, system and documentation deficiencies resulted in misstatements with respect to immovable assets and work in progress within the department.

“As a result, sufficient and appropriate audit evidence was not obtained as to the completeness and valuation of work in progress and immovable assets included in the disclosures of R862,8 million, as well as the effect of any adjustments that might have been necessary,” the report said.

There were also some flaws recorded with regard to movable assets as it was discovered that valuation, existence and documentation of movable assets were not supported by sufficient and appropriate evidence.

Members of the committee also expressed their concerns regarding the failure of hospitals to recover debts of over R144 million for the past financial year, from patients who are not indigent.



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