Seven municipalities get clean audit reports

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pretoria - Seven municipalities and 10 municipal entities managed to receive clean audit reports for the financial year 2009/10.

This was revealed in a general report on the performance of the country's municipalities released by Auditor-General (AG) Terence Nombembe on Wednesday in Pretoria.

According to the country's supreme audit institution's report, the municipalities are Mpumalanga's Ehlanzeni district municipality, Steve Tshwete and Victor Khanye municipalities; the City of Cape Town, the district municipalities of Metsweding (Gauteng) and Frances Baard in the Northern Cape, as well as Limpopo's Fetakgomo local municipality.

Nombembe described this as a marginal improvement, saying that this year's results were fractionally better than the previous year.

Ten more municipal entities that achieved clean audit reports are Amathole Economic Development Agency in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng's Brakpan Bus Company, Erwat, Joburg Property company, Johannesburg Civic Theatre, Johannesburg Social Housing company, Lethabong Housing Institute and the Roodepoort Civic Theatre to mention but a few.

Nombembe said it was also worth noting that 57 municipalities had improved on their 2008-09 audit outcomes.

However, he said 15 municipalities had regressed and 165 remained unchanged, while the audit outcomes of 12 of the 49 municipal entities reported on improved, two regressed and 32 remained unchanged.

According to the report, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal registered the most notable overall improvements in audit outcomes. The two provinces have recorded 12 and 11 improvements respectively.

Of the 27 consolidated municipalities, only the City of Cape Town improved to a financially unqualified with no findings audit opinion.

The AG said it was also encouraging to note a significant reduction in the number of municipalities and municipal entities receiving disclaimed audit opinions.

He also raised his concerns with regard to non-compliance with supply chain management prescripts, the on-going need for and dependence on consultants to deliver financial statement-related work full-time employees should be doing.

Nombembe said the increased level of unauthorised expenditure totals R4.9 million, while irregular expenditure totals R4.1 million.

"The municipalities and entities that have moved from negative audit findings to improved results have shown that the challenges facing local government are not insurmountable.

"Where leadership has shown interest and played their part by getting involved in the key operations of their municipalities, the outcomes testify that others can follow suit and drive processes towards clean administration," he said.

The AG said leadership needed to improve results by appointing dedicated human resources to manage performance information and formally incorporating service delivery in the performance management framework of municipalities.

"From our side, we will do everything necessary to support the drive towards improved reporting on service delivery because clean administration, even in this important area, is the ultimate feature of transparency and accountability," he said.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister, Yunus Carrim, welcomed the AG's report, adding that to improve financial management and audits, the department is also to discuss with national Treasury the possibility of ensuring that every municipality appoints a Chartered Accountant.

"We need to build on the advances gained in the audit outcomes in recent years and intensify the Operation Clean Audit 2014 Campaign so that we achieve the targets set for 2014," he said.

The purpose of Operation Clean Audit 2014 is to address challenges faced by municipalities and provinces with the management of audits, especially audit findings and queries from the AG.

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