AG slams Youth Agency

File picture: Auditor General Terence Nombembe. Picture: Christine Vermooten

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) racked up R62 million in irregular spending and failed to act against the officials at fault, the Auditor General has found.

In the NYDA’s 2012/13 annual report tabled in Parliament on Thursday, AG Terence Nombembe also found that the agency had flouted Treasury regulations by procuring goods and services worth more than R500,000 without a proper tender process.

“Deviations were approved by the accounting authority even though it was not impractical to invite competitive bids,” Nombembe stated. A review was underway to determine whether fraud had been committed in the NYDA awarding contracts related to significant projects.

Nombembe criticised the agency’s accounting authority for failing to take adequate steps to curb wasteful and irregular expenditure, though he noted that this had decreased by about half from R133m in 2011/12.

The agency which is reliant on state funding faces further financial losses to the tune of R31.5m in defaulted loans. Nombembe noted that their recoverability was “doubtful”.

His report said the leadership of the NYDA failed to carry out proper oversight regarding financial reporting and compliance with laws and regulations.

One contract singled out in the report, is the NYDA’s rental of photocopiers and printers at a cost of R87,000 a month from Konica Minolta for a period of three years. “Ownership of these machines will not pass to the NYDA at the end of the lease term,” the report noted.

The agency is the subject of a wide-ranging investigation by the public protector. It was prompted by the allegations of misappropriation of funds during the hosting of the World Festival of Democratic Youth and Students in December 2010 but expanded to probe salary structures and perks, and whether the agency performed its legislative mandate.

The festival was partly funded by R29m from the presidency. The Democratic Alliance on Thursday expressed dismay that the top executives including suspended CEO Steven Ngubeni had received large salary increases despite the state of the organisation’s finances.

Ngobeni’s pay package went up from R2.032 million in 2011/12 to R2.435 million in 2012/13.


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