All 12 Gauteng provincial departments and public entities have received clean audit status for the 2015/16 financial year, a first for the province in 13 years, provincial Premier David Makhura said on Wednesday.
Makhura was speaking during a release of the audit outcomes of the provincial government in Soweto, Johannesburg, on Wednesday.
A clean audit is achieved if financial statements are free from material misstatements.
In essence, seven provincial departments, including the Premier’s Office, and 13 public entities achieved clean audits, while another seven achieved unqualified audits together with six other public entities.
Makhura said this 100% clean audit performance served as an indication that the province was well on track towards achieving its goal of establishing credible financial control systems set by his administration when it took office in 2014.
“This is our best performance recorded by the province in 13 years,” Makhura said.
A clean audit is achieved if financial statements are free from material misstatements, no adverse findings on annual performance reports, and if there are no material findings on compliance with key laws and regulations.
Another agency that had improved its audit status from a disclaimer last year to an unqualified audit status this year was G-Fleet.
Makhura said even the provincial department of health had turned the corner, improving from a qualified to an unqualified audit status in just a year.
He said this improvement could be attributed to the department putting in place a strategic intervention plan on all previous audit outcomes, revenue management in particular.
“The department also strengthened the functioning of its governance structures with regards to risk management and integrity management, and rolled these out at the institutional level and coupled this with a strong political will to succeed,” Makhura said.
Another agency that had improved its audit status from a disclaimer last year to an unqualified audit status this year was G-Fleet, an agency of the department of roads and transport.
Makhura said they would continue to work closely with departments to ensure compliance with procurement rules and regulations, and also conduct extensive reviews of monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements.
He said the government would ensure a close scrutiny on the management of levels of irregular spending, as well as ensure appropriate skills at key cost points in the system.
Makhura commended the departments that were improving their management of public finances and those that were making it easy to do business.
He highlighted the open tender system and the “Cut Red Tape Task Team” programme led by MEC for Human Settlement Paul Mashatile, which targets to pay service providers within 15 days as primary examples of transparency.
“Although we have improved significantly, I remain concerned about irregular expenditure and that some departments are not paying service providers within 30 days,” Makhura said.
“The audit outcomes show that we have done a lot since 2014 to move towards a clean government that is transparent and accountable to the people.”
– African News Agency (ANA)