THE Standing Committee on Provincial Public Accounts (SCOPA) provincial chairperson, Mahlakeng Mahlakeng sent stern warnings to all head of departments (HoDs). Mahlakeng said according to audit general reports, most HoDs in the province do not adhere to the legislative frameworks that deal with procurement processes.
This was during an oversight meeting that the committee held with the Finance, Economy and Enterprise Development department (FEED) over the progress report on the provincial departments and their entities’ irregular expenditure and implementation of consequence management recently.
The AG reported that, the provincial legislature which is also a government institution was not included in the list of departments presented by the HoD, but has an irregular expenditure of R9million.
The AG’s office said that the presentation stated that no unauthorised expenditure was incurred during the 2015/16. According to AG, this is not a true reflection of audits.
The Deputy Business Executive in the Office of the AG, Schalla van Schalkwyk said 60% of provincial departments including municipalities have not done anything about fruitless and wasteful expenditures in the prior years and current status is most likely to increase.
“Accounting Officers fail to act according to what the constitution stipulates, through the legislative framework. A R28 million was incurred on the prior years on the irregular expenditure.
“That has doubled in the current year to R41 Million. This is due to failure of Accounting Officers to take insurmountable action against officials who cause such irregularities,” Schalkwyk said.
The SCOPA provincial chairperson, Mahlakeng Mahlakeng said they were concerned about the lack of competency of Accounting Officers. Mahlakeng added that it was a concern for accounting officers for not taking action on consequence management of officials committing irregularities leading to disclaimers.
“We will not accept HoDs to be lenient on officials and give us many excuses that they could not recover monies lost due to failure of not knowing who has committed such deficiencies.
“We are not going to allow inactive Heads of Departments to continue to let officials waste tax payers’ money on wasteful and fruitless expenditures, without any investigations or implicated costs to be recovered,” he said.
The committee strongly opposed the current statistics of the North West province. Mahlakeng said that action should be taken to rectify this challenge and deal with those who contribute negatively in the departments.
“We urge the FEED department to spear-head the course of showing measures put in place to curb the challenges. FEED managed to achieve a clean audit,” he said.
The Head of Department of FEED, Ndlela Kunene made a presentation before the committee. Kunene said the presentation was on the progress of clearing unauthorised, irregular and fruitless expenditure for the departments, which was not updated according to the Auditor General’s office.