Auditor-General releases performance audit

The use of consultants by departments has cost taxpayers about R33 billion over the past three years.

The Auditor-General’s office released the findings of its recent performance audit in Pretoria on 24 January 2013. Picture: SAPA

PRETORIA - Auditor-General Terence Nombembe has told government to immediately tighten controls on the use of consultants, which has cost taxpayers about R33 billion over the past three financial years.

The Auditor-General's office on Thursday released the findings of its recent performance audit in Pretoria.

The audit determines whether money was well-spent by departments.

The performance audit found that eight departments had spent a combined amount of R25 billion on consultants - that is more than a third of the amount spent by all departments.

The biggest spender was the Department of Defence, which paid more than R10 billion to outside companies to perform functions it should being doing internally.

Deputy Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu said there was a need for stricter financial management.

He said people who were given resources to implement programmes had a tendency of doing as they pleased if there was no close oversight.

He said ministers and managers in the relevant departments had already reacted well to the recommendations.