No clean audit for Premier’s Office again

2014-10-22 00:00

THE Premier’s Office has failed to achieve a clean audit for three consecutive years, repeating the same mistakes year after year, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) heard yesterday.

Scopa members quizzed Premier’s Office officials on the auditor-general’s refusal to grant them a clean audit for the third year running.

The office received an unqualified audit with outstanding matters, virtually the same matters the auditor-general has identified in the past three years.

Frustrated parliamentarians threatened to “babysit” the department and demand monthly progress reports to ensure the office’s performance improved.

The Premier’s Office representatives were then sent packing for not submitting financial reports on the Royal Household Department and Royal Household Trust to Scopa for its perusal before yesterday’s sitting.

Just minutes before the officials were due to make a presentation, Scopa chairperson Maggie Govender halted the proceedings, saying the presentation could therefore not continue.

“This is very serious. The financial reports have not been submitted so this sitting cannot continue,” she said and dismissed the officials.

Premier’s Office director-general Nhlanhla Ngidi was dumbfounded, saying he believed the reports had been sent to the legislature. He undertook to investigate the matter and report back to the committee.

Govender said she was certain the documents were not with the legislature.

She said the failure to submit the reports amounted to a disregard of the Public Finance Management Act and could also be considered contempt of the legislature.

“There will have to be an official report tabled in the legislature to explain what happened,” she said.

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