There’s an overall improvement in the audit outcomes of national and provincial governments for the financial year 2022/23. Clean and unqualified audits have increased while qualified and disclaimed audits have decreased.
However, Auditor General Tsakani Maluleke expressed concern at the audit outcomes of high impact auditees which are those that contribute to service delivery and state-owned entities. She was releasing the audit outcomes in Parliament.
There are 147 clean audits compared to 126 in the previous financial year. National departments including provinces recorded improvement in clean audits with the Western Cape on top followed by the Eastern Cape. Except the North West, all provincial legislatures including the national Parliament have received clean audits.
“The number of clean audits has increased quite significantly and I think that it’s quite important if you are looking at the PFMA cycle that looks after the expenditure budget of R3.1 trillion together it’s useful to see at least 35% achieving clean status,” says Maluleke.
However, DBSA is the only state-owned entity that has received a clean audit.
“Lateness on a repeated basis it starts to compromise transparency and accountability in a way that should worry us all and if you look at an entity such as PRASA with a significant budget and significant impact of its operations on the lived experiences of South Africans,” Maluleke added.
There was also an audit of 137 projects and more than 80% of them were either delayed, had cost over runs or poor quality of work.
“These delays not only increase costs and result in financial losses at a time when we can least afford it, they result in compromise lived experience of people learners in overcrowded classrooms, ablution facilities do not work with schools and the dignity that should be afforded to learners is not there,” Maluleke explains.
Maluleke also says her office has used its powers to recover or prevent billions of rands that could have been lost.
“But it can never be the adequate solution to our problems, there has to be attention to preventing the problems in the first place and then acting as soon as the problems arise and that is the duty of the accounting officers,” Maluleke elaborates.
She says unauthorised expenditure amounted to more than R4 billion while irregular expenditure is more than R63 billion.
Video: AGSA Tsakani Maluleke briefs SCOPA on audit outcomes of National and Provincial governments