Free State government entities, municipalities and departments continue to operate under ongoing concern, having dismally failed to attain a clean audit again. This bleak picture of the province has resurfaced due to Auditor-General (AG) Kimi Makwetu’s report on the 2018-’19 audit outcomes for national and provincial government, released on Wednesday (20/11). The Free State, as one of the eight provinces governed by the ANC, remains in the red, as the Western Cape province continues to improve under the DA.The Free State’s dismal performance is ongoing despite repeated calls for the administration to improve financial management. Makwetu’s report shows no clean audits in the Free State, but indicated the province has managed to eliminate disclaimed audits this year. “While the audit outcomes improved overall in the Free State – five improvements and three regressions – and there was a notable effort towards reducing disclaimed and adverse opinions, the overall accountability in the Free State is still a concern,” said Makwetu.“A culture of no consequences prevails, and the political leadership is involved in the decision-making at some auditees. “The continued disregard for procurement processes resulted in irregular expenditure at all auditees and created an environment vulnerable to the abuse of state funds,” said Makwetu. The latest AG report shows for a second year running the Free State government achieved 0% in clean audits across all departments, and therefore boasts the poorest performing figures in South Africa. The picture raises serious concerns about the province’s financial state due to apparent gross financial administration. According to the AG report, the Western Cape produced the best results with 79% clean audits, with the lowest irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure. Makwetu said at 74%, the province also had the highest number of auditees with a good financial status and there were no auditees with unauthorised expenditure.