R240?mln wasted by Public Works

2012-10-03 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Auditor-General (A-G) Terence Nombembe has condemned in the strongest possible terms the manner in which the Department of Public Works has been managing its financial affairs.

He did not stop at merely identifying irregular expenditure of over R1,3 billion and wasted and fruitless expenditure of nearly R240 million in the department.

He totally rejected the department’s financial statements.

The A-G said the department’s annual general report for 2011-2012 was so badly prepared that he had no other option but to reject it.

He is not even sure that the fruitless and wasted expenditure for the year amounted to only R239 311 000.

Nombembe said the department also did not have an efficient system by means of which irregular expenditure could be properly identified.

Consequently he could not say with certainty whether the figure of R1 307 541 000 was, in fact, correct. It could be even more.

He said the same applied to the department’s fruitless and wasted expenditure.

Nombembe laid the blame for the wasted money and bad financials at the door of the department’s management and leaders. Among other things he found that:

• instability in the department’s key leadership positions was having a negative impact on the functioning of the department;

• managers were not communicating the message of accountability to employees;

• managers were not acting against offenders;

• managers were not properly communicating the department’s policy and procedures to employees;

• the department did not have an efficient plan for human management; and

• management had not made a proper computer system available on which information about the department’s properties could be stored.

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