Ugu needs to show us a plan

2018-02-22 06:00

I READ with some interest the “Ugu Beat” column written by Ugu District Mayor Cllr. M.A. Chiliza. He states the municipality had previously received a qualified audit opinion in the 2015/16 financial year and that the recent audit outcome came at a time when the municipality was working tirelessly towards achieving a clean audit (2016/17).

One needs to read the audit report to assess how successful these tireless efforts actually were on the road to a clean audit.

Under the heading of “Budget”, the auditor-general said that “reasonable steps were not taken to prevent unauthorised expenditure amounting to R161,20 million”.

Under “Expenditure Management”, the auditor-general reported that “effective steps were not taken to prevent irregular expenditure of R16,92 million”.

Under “Revenue Management” came the finding that “an effective system of internal control for debtors and revenue was not in place”.

This means that nobody knew how much money was coming in or going out.

Under “Consequence Management”, it was shown that unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by the municipality was not investigated to determine if any person is liable for the expenditure as required by Section 32 (2) of The Municipal Finance Management Act.

In perhaps the most damning opinion of the financial statements and findings on the reported performance information, he does not express an audit opinion at all, or any form of assurance conclusion there on.

This paragraph appears to be not just a qualification opinion but a disclaimer, which is the worst sort of opinion provided for in auditing terms.

It might assist public oversight if Ugu would publish the Consolidated Corrective Measures Plan with time frames mentioned by the mayor, to address the issues raised by the auditor-general. These time frames would add interest to his weekly column as progress is anticipated and made.

DAVE SNASHALL

Margate

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