Disturbed by the latest report on the 80% wasteful spending by government departments and entities, the state house of the Assembly has called for immediate investigation of the powers of the Auditor-General.
The MPs said on Wednesday that the report by Kimi Makwetu brings to bare the continuous misuse of public fund despite economic fall-out.
Hence, to ensure the this does not continue, the house supported Makwetu’s calls for his office to be given the power to enforce its recommendations.
“We need to investigate the powers of the AG,” said Vincent Smith, chairman of the standing committee on the auditor-general.
“It’s a Chapter 9 institution. Even he [Makwetu] is complaining that he brings recommendations to the table and a year down the line there is no improvement on the same matters he raised a year before,” Vincent Smith, chairman of the standing committee on the auditor-general said.
Makwetu announced on Wednesday that irregular expenditure by government departments and parastatals has skyrocketed to R46.36bn in the 2015-16 financial year and this, according to him, is as a result of their failure to adhere to procurement guidelines.
The report covered assessments of 484 auditees, including 196 national and provincial departments and 315 public entities with a budget of R1.2-trillion and the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) accounted for R13.9bn of that.
Smith said the relevant parliamentary committees had called departments and entities to discuss their irregular, unauthorised, and fruitless and wasteful spending.
The provincial governments have the highest number of clean audits were Gauteng (60%), the Western Cape (79%) and KwaZulu Natal (35%), while the Eastern Cape showed a marked improvement in audit outcomes.
Smith then said the relevant parliamentary committees had called departments and entities to discuss their irregular, unauthorised, government wasteful spending.
Makwetu in his response to this said in some cases departments and parastatals that received unfavourable audit opinions did not have proper accounting systems in place to account adequately for their finances.
The government’s Anti-corruption task team had also been asked to attend these meetings, he said as he assures a more stringent look into the matter to ensure the end of corrupt and wasteful spending.