Improved provincial audit outcomes a step forward on a long journey

The improvement of audit outcomes for provincial departments and public entities is a step forward for the Eastern Cape, but the journey to clean audits still has a long way to go.

According to an announcement by the Premier, Phumulo Masualle, only a third, or two of the 13 provincial departments and six out of the 11 public entities in the Eastern Cape received clean audits.  (eight out of 24)

In contrast, in 2014/15, the Western Cape received clean audits in 80% — or 20 out of 24 — of its provincial departments and public entities.

The fact that our provincial departments did not manage to make great progress when it comes to clean audits, points to stagnation when it comes to the audit findings.

After compliance, the real issue in auditing should be around value for money.

I believe that the Auditor-General (AG) needs to place much greater emphasis on value for money expenditure.

Tenders and contracts might be legal from a compliance point of view, but the AG needs to get to grips with over-the-top prices that are often paid in this province as well as the awarding of tenders to those who clearly can’t deliver the goods.  Two classic examples that have made headlines in our province was the Siyenza toilet scandal in the Amathole District Municipality and the Mayibuye Transport Corporation tender for the supply of buses by Siga Capital Asset Finance and Lease Solutions.

The DA has a vision of a well-run province where every department and entity should be receiving clean audits.  In that way, service delivery will be maximised and corruption and maladministration minimised.

The DA-team in the provincial legislature believes that progress and change will only come through vigorous oversight.  That is a mission we are totally committed to. — Bobby Stevenson MPL, Shadow MEC for Finance