Speech Notes by P.E. van Vuuren on the consideration of the Report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on unauthorised expenditure by the Department of Education for the year ending 31 March 2017. Delivered on 14 March 2018.

Honourable Speaker, Honourable Premier, Honourable Members, dignitaries, visitors ad Departmental officials – allow me to greet you.

Honourable Speaker, the Democratic Alliance unequivocally supports the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts that the Department of Education be denied the amount of R174 570 million which was incurred in both programmes 2 and 7 respectively and that appropriation of these funds must be without funding in terms of Section 34(2) of the Public Finance Management Act.

Honourable Speaker these funds, although incurred for public interest, such as R123 347 million for Goods and Services under Programme 2 and R51 223 million in compensations of employees under programme 7 of Examination and Education related services, could have been avoided if the Department of Education has adhered to the adjusted budget allocation.

Honourable Speaker, the Democratic Alliance has noticed that although this unauthorised expenditure for a corrective order for the support of textbooks and for overtime worked during marking of external examinations were incurred, no signs of consequent management were implemented and the lack of corrective or disciplinary actions against officials that flout processes and procedures as well as sections of the PFMA, is systematic of a broken Department.

Honourable Speaker, the accounting officer of the Department must as per section 38(1)(a)(iii), c(ii)(iii), and (h) of the Public Finance Management Act evaluate that the Department has and maintains an appropriate procurement and provisioning system which is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective.

The accounting officer must also take effective and appropriate steps to prevent unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure and losses resulting from criminal conduct and manage available working capital efficiently and economically.

Hon Speaker, the accounting officer must take effective and appropriate disciplinary steps against any official in the service of the department.

The Democratic Alliance supports the recommendation of the implementation of section 38(h) of the PFMA with reference to appropriate steps to be taken.

We support the report.