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AG to probe Prasa financial mismanagement allegations

FILE PICTURE: Transport Minister Dipuo Peters. Picture: Christine Vermooten

FILE PICTURE: Transport Minister Dipuo Peters. Picture: Christine Vermooten

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has asked the auditor general’s (AG) office to conduct a forensic investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement at the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (PRASA).

Peters has commissioned the AG’s office – a Chapter Nine institution – to look into alleged violations of the Public Finance Management Act and other related statutes regarding contracts, engagement of service providers, and payments to service providers, including but not limited to, issues that have received wide media coverage recently.

“Given revelations of the recent past concerning the Passenger Rail Agency, I am of the singular view that an independent institution, such as the office of the auditor general, is better placed and empowered to look into financial affairs at PRASA with a view to identify areas of weakness and recommend corrective measures,” she said in a statement on Sunday.

“I have been in consultation with the board and senior management of PRASA in the past weeks. I have asked several questions, the responses of which largely inform my decision,” she said.

It was worth noting that the AG’s office had previously produced reports regarding financial management at PRASA. She had thus requested the AG’s office to look into those past reports and immediately attend to identified areas of concern.

“As the executive authority I take primary responsibility for the affairs of state-owned entities that are administratively and politically accountable to the ministry of transport,” Peters said. The PRASA Board of Directors, management, staff, and other relevant stakeholders were expected to cooperate with and provide support to the AG’s office in its execution of this brief.

Peters encouraged the PRASA leadership to remain focused on ensuring that trains continued to run daily and the efficient delivery of the new rolling stock programme.

 

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