Govt to take action after AG's report

Government says it is committed to addressing areas brought up by the Auditor General's report.

Acting Cabinet Spokesperson Phumla Willams Willams addressing a media briefing in Pretoria on the Cabinet's ordinary meeting held in Cape Town on the 19th September. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Government said it will take action following the release of a damning Auditor General report which claims more than R100 billion was spent over three years on outsourced consultants.

The report, which was unveiled in Pretoria on Thursday, shows two thirds of the amount was spent at provincial levels and sometimes saw consultants monitoring the work of other consultants.

It established consultation projects valued at more than R3 billion were initiated on the basis that there was a lack of internal capacity and skills.

A further 63 contracts amounting to nearly R2 billion did not have detailed planning documentation to support the decisions to appoint consultants.

The performance report found that contracts and payments of 21 projects valued at R2,4 billion 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.

Some of the departments identified include the Department of Correctional Services and Department of Environmental Affairs.

Government Spokesperson Phumla Williams said government is encouraged that individual departments were approached with a view to fix the problems.

"There is a commitment to try and address some of the areas the Auditor General has raised."

She said while it was difficult to determine immediately whether corruption or fraud had taken place, investigations will follow.

"We will get to the bottom of it. Where they feel there has been negligence bordering with corruption, I am almost certain there will be consequences."

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.