Parly to discuss R30bn wasteful spending

The AG’s report on government’s irregular and wasteful expenditure will be discussed in Parly.

Minsiter Collins Chabane says Auditor-General Terence Nombembe's (pictured) report on government’s irregular expenditure will be discussed in Parliament. Picture: SAPA

PRETORIA - Auditor-General (AG) Terence Nombembe has found government incurred irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure amounting to more than R30 billion.

This emerged in the 2011/2012 audit results for national and provincial governments released by Nombembe on Tuesday in Pretoria.

Overall, 25 national departments and 55 public entities regressed in their national audit outcomes, while only 17 departments and 45 public entities improved.

The AG's report found more than half of government departments collectively incurred R28 million worth of irregular expenditure.

Nombembe said R1.7 billion was lost to fruitless and wasteful expenditure, an increase of 16 percent, or R250 million, on the previous year.

The AG found tenders worth R438 million were awarded to companies in which a government employee had an interest. A further R141 million worth of contracts were awarded to companies in which a close family member of a civil servant had an interest.

While acknowledging serious shortfalls, government welcomed the report, saying it had already started implementing measures to address the challenges identified.

Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane said the AG's report will be discussed in Parliament.

"We're working very closely with portfolio committee's to look at all these results and look [for] improvement plans."

Nombembe identified serious human resource management concerns.

Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said government is trying to fill vacancies with adequately trained and educated personnel.

"We are trying to make sure that as we professionalise the public service, we can attract the necessary, rare skills to do what we need to do."

The Democratic Alliance, meanwhile, said the report showed the need to urgently implement the National Development Plan, which was compiled by Minister Trevor Manuel.