Report: City in trouble

2017-11-30 13:30
Business units not held to account for performance.

Business units not held to account for performance.

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Opposition parties have expressed their concern that Msunduzi Municipality’s poor monitoring of its own performance could be leaving the door open for corruption to take place.

Some of the reasons behind Msunduzi’s poor performance have been laid bare in an internal audit report that was tabled at a full council meeting on Wednesday.

The report found there was no monitoring of and accountability in the quarterly targets for business units.

Five sub-business units, including the offices of the speaker and the mayor, all failed to submit any evidence of what they had achieved and there were also no consequences for those who should have done so but failed to.

This, it was found, could result in incorrect ratings being given to the City manager and general managers who are evaluated for their performances. It could also ultimately result in poor service delivery.

“As the IFP, what concerns us the most about the report is the fact that the bulk of the findings are things that had been raised before and each time we were given an undertaking by officials that the weaknesses were being rectified.

“As a municipality you can’t say you are serious about fighting corruption if you don’t have any meaningful monitoring tools in place.

“We suspect that the problems are deliberately being left unattended to make it easier for people to engage in corrupt practices without being detected,” IFP Msunduzi caucus leader Thinasonke Ntombela said.

DA caucus leader Sibongiseni Majola said the report was a true reflection of what was happening in Msunduzi.

He also warned it may open doors for corruption.

“There is a lack of accountability. The municipal manager is not holding the general managers to account for performance of their business units.”

He said the report had given the City a “mirror” before being audited by the auditor-general.

“This gives the City an opportunity to correct whatever is wrong before the auditor-general expresses his opinion. There must be remedial action taken to reduce these findings,” he said.

In some cases, business units had failed to prove what they claimed to have achieved, the report said.

The internal audit found business units:

were not submitting information about their achieved quarterly targets;

did not submit supporting documents for targets they claimed to have achieved; and

made inaccurate reports about what they had achieved.

The report warned the City was at risk of getting a negative audit opinion from the auditor-general, and said that even management did not adhere to the City’s own internal controls.

It warned that the incorrect or inaccurate reporting could result in the performance of general managers and senior managers being incorrectly assessed.

This could have an impact on service delivery in the municipality as poor performance would not be detected on time, the report found.

The report, compiled by acting chief audit executive Pumla Stamper, found that Msunduzi’s business units were not enforcing proper procedures when it comes to keeping track of their performance.

Stamper found that general managers were not submitting evidence to support their claims of what their business units had achieved.

She blamed it on inadequate training of the municipal staff who prepare the portfolios of evidence. She has recommended compulsory training sessions for all these officials.

She said the unit could not verify the reported achievements of the five sub-business units — the offices of the speaker, and the mayor, waste management, strategic planning, and city entities — which had failed to submit any evidence.

Stamper warned the performance reported by these business units may not be a true reflection of their actual performance.

“This may result in incorrect ratings being given when section 56 [City manager and general managers] are evaluated for their performance.

“When process managers are not properly assessed on their performance it may lead to under-performance not being detected and corrected timeously, which could result in poor service delivery to the community,” she said

Stamper found that general managers did not adequately review the portfolios compiled by the process managers.

This could result in the actual performance not being correctly reflected and a negative opinion on the outcome of performance from the auditor-general.

She said what was reflected in the annual performance report could be stated incorrectly and impact on its credibility and affect the performance assessment score.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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