AG flags audit outcomes of SOEs

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu says the audit outcomes of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) continues to regress.

He said this could be attributed to inadequate controls, monitoring and oversight.

The Auditor-General said this when he released the report of audit outcomes of national and provincial departments, including their entities, for the 2016/17 in Tshwane, on Wednesday.

“The accountability for government spending at SOEs is an area receiving attention in the public, as government funds and guarantees are being used to sustain some SOEs,” he said.

Out of the 253 public entities that were audited, 79 auditees, or 31%, obtained clean audit opinions for the period under review. The figure was the same for the 216 entities that were audited during the 2015/16 financial year.

Ninety-eight (98) entities, or 39%, received unqualified audit opinions with findings for the year under review, which is less than the 44% of the same opinions from the 2015/ 16 financial year.

About 15% of the audited entities received qualified audit opinions with findings out during the year under review compared to the 14% from the 2015/ 16 financial year.

Four-year analysis of completed audits of 19 SOEs shows improved results

Meanwhile, the Auditor-General said an analysis of completed audits of 19 auditees showed that SOEs have recorded an improvement over a four year period.

However, he has warned on an inconsistent level of oversight over entities, which have recently come under the spotlight over governance and financial management in recent times.

“The level of oversight by the departments to which SOEs report differed, and there was no single approach in this regard.

The political leadership was also inconsistent. At some SOEs, there was a high level of involvement while at others, the required decision-making and policy direction were not adequate,” he said.

The Auditor-General said public entities in total showed a slight improvement over the last four years, with 22% of these improving their audit outcomes and 14% regressing.

He said for the financial year 2016/17, 26% of the 19 auditees obtained clean audits compared to 21% in 2015/16 and 18% in 2013/14.

However, out of the 19 auditees, those that obtained unqualified audit opinions with findings showed a gradual decline over a four year period – from 76% in 2013/14 to 53% in 2014/ 15 and eventually 47% in the year under review. –

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