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New bill aimed at giving AG greater powers placed before Parly

Currently, the Auditor General has no authority to take remedial action against those who are responsible for unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

FILE: Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A new bill has been placed before Parliament to give the Auditor-General greater powers to act against those responsible for wasting billions of rands in public funds.

The Public Audit Amendment Bill is aimed at recovering the massive losses suffered by the state.

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu revealed this week that municipalities have raked up the irregular expenditure of R28 billion, and non-compliance with public finance laws is at its highest in five years.

Currently, the Auditor General has no authority to take remedial action against those who are responsible for unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

Chairperson of Parliament’s Committee on The Auditor General, Vincent Smith, says the new bill will give the Auditor General more teeth.

“We are giving the AG the power to refer to the relevant agencies matters that he thinks needs further investigation from the prima facie evidence that he’s picked up.”

Makwetu says being allowed to issue a certificate of debt will aid in holding accounting officers responsible for non-compliance.

“Short of the people that were responsible for that transaction being suspended or not there anymore, so I don’t know, kind of answer, I was not there.”

Smith says he hopes the bill can be passed before Parliament rises for its recess in June.

WATCH: We are witnessing a reversal on audit outcomes - Makwetu

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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