Defence Dept gets qualified audit opinion for misstating finances

Auditor General Kimi Makwetu says effective steps to prevent irregular expenditure were not taken by the department as required.

FILE: Auditor General Kimi Makwetu. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Defence has received a qualified audit opinion after misstating its finances to the tune of billions of rand.

Auditor General Kimi Makwetu says in his report on the department’s annual financial statements that the material misstatements identified by auditors were either not properly corrected, or supporting records could not be provided, leading to the qualified opinion.

The department incurred irregular expenditure of more than R400 million in the past financial year, while fruitless and wasteful expenditure came to just over R300 million.

Makwetu says in his report, effective steps to prevent irregular expenditure were not taken, as required by the Public Finance Management Act.

He says most of it was a result of non-compliance with the rules governing supply chain management.

Cancelled events accounted for most of the fruitless and wasteful spending.

Makwetu says in his report that disciplinary steps were not taken against officials who either incurred or allowed irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

The department was also found to be among those failing to pay creditors within 30 days, with an amount of more than R100 million outstanding.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)