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Lack of consequence against financial mismanagement in govt is 'very costly'

Kimi Makwetu briefed the standing committee on the Auditor-General during a workshop on the work of the institution and the Public Audit Act which came into effect in April.

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

CAPE TOWN - Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu said the lack of action and consequences against financial mismanagement in government was costing his office a lot of money.

On Friday, Makwetu briefed the standing committee on the Auditor-General during a workshop on the work of the institution and the Public Audit Act which came into effect in April.

He said this year, irregular expenditure decreased from R29.7 billion to R25 billion after record highs in previous years.

Makwetu said irregular expenditure was still a big problem, but auditing departments and entities had become a costly and useless exercise as nothing was being done about the audit outcomes.

“So, there was clear evidence that these audits were starting to become a useless exercise that says the same thing all the time without changing and the reason being that there really was no consequence.”

Makwetu said the AG’s office raised and invested a lot of money into auditing government.

He said they raised about R3 billion in revenue to be able to fund their audits but achieved very little because there were no consequences.

“With expenditure that is close to that figure, now that’s a huge investment. If you have that investment and you are not able to make a difference in protecting and in ensuring that there are no stages of a significant nature, then you’ve got a huge investment achievement.”

He said the Public Audit Act, which gave him more powers, would help address the issue.

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