We are keeping tabs on Eskom, Deloitte allegations, says accounting body SAICA

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants said on Monday it is in the process of establishing if any of its members are implicated in possible wrongdoing by auditing firm Deloitte in its dealings with power utility Eskom. 

This follows the publication of two articles by investigative journalism group amaBhungane last week about the auditing giant's dealings with Eskom. The articles were also carried by Fin24. 

The cash-strapped power utility is litigating against Deloitte in a bid to get back R207m for two tenders and other work that the state-owned power utility says were "improperly" awarded in 2016.

Deloitte has denied any involvement in state capture or corruption, particularly relating to its consultancy contracts with Eskom and indicated it intends to oppose Eskom's legal action. It has said it would lay out its response in detail when it files its own court papers. 

SAICA noted on Monday that the Deloitte and Eskom matter relates to consulting contracts and not audit related issues.

"SAICA takes all instances of members' alleged contravention of the SAICA Code of Professional Conduct seriously...Should any member of SAICA be allegedly implicated in any activity that contravenes [the code], the institute will initiate an investigation and, where appropriate, disciplinary action," said its CEO Freeman Nomvalo.

SAICA, which has more than 46 000 members and associates, said it was already at advanced stages of disciplinary processes against members implicated in matters related to contravention of its Code of Professional Conduct. These emanated from several previous reports. Should any additional information, relevant to existing cases, emerge from the Deloitte and Eskom matter, it will be "dealt with accordingly", it said. 

Nomvalo added it is important to note that SAICA deals with the investigations and disciplinary processes of individual members and not with firms.

* Compiled by Carin Smith

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