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Makwetu: Poor govt audit outcomes due to failure to comply with laws

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu has revealed that government’s irregular expenditure is around R50 billion, R5 billion up on the previous year.

FILE: Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu says that the dismal audit outcomes for government departments and their entities are due to a failure to comply with legislation and because basic controls are often not in place.

Makwetu has revealed government’s irregular expenditure is around R50 billion, R5 billion up on the previous year, and could rise higher because the audits of some major state-owned entities, including SAA and Denel, have yet to be finalised.

Makwetu on Wednesday briefed Parliament’s Standing Committees on Public Accounts and Appropriations on the audit outcomes of about 434 national and provincial departments and state entities, noting the number of clean audits among departments and entities was dropping.

Makwetu has decried the lack of consequences for heads of government departments who flout the law and procurement processes.

“So, this detail is in essence then about saying that had everyone paid attention to what the role of an accounting officer is, we probably would have avoided having some of these alarming numbers that are constantly coming out at part of the audit report process.”

Makwetu is waiting for President Cyril Ramaphosa to sign into law the Public Audit Act Amendment Bill. It will give his office teeth to refer adverse audit findings for further investigation and, in some cases, recover money lost from accounting officers who’ve breached the law.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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