AG probes ineffective governance

The Auditor General has released the latest performance audit which looks at government spending.

Auditor-General Terence Nombembe holds a news conference in Johannesburg on Monday, 23 July 2012 on local government audit outcomes. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA.

PRETORIA - The Auditor General released the findings of the latest performance audit which determines whether money was well spent by departments.

It showed that in the last three financial years government spent R102 billion on consultants, more than R33 billion was spent by national departments and R68 billion by provinces.

The performance report found for 21 projects valued at R2,4 billion contracts and payments were not properly managed.

In many cases this lead to work not being done in terms of the contractual agreements and the needs of the department were not met.

Deputy Auditor General Kimi Makwetu said the ill planned use of consultants is often expensive compared to alternatives.

He said, "Going out to get consultants is just the easy way out for people who are not doing their jobs properly."

He questioned why officials were only appointing people closer to the end of the year for projects they had known about earlier.

He said Government should implement stricter controls to ensure value for money.

In many cases the report found consultants were hired where an official should have been employed.

Government's Phumla Williams said she may be able to respond to the report by Friday.