Auditor General commends SANDF on progress made

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pretoria - The Office of the Auditor General yesterday commended the Department of Defence for improvements made in addressing audit qualifications identified in the 2009 and 2010 annual reports.

The Secretary for Defence, Mpumi Mpofu, accompanied by senior officials from the department appeared before SCOPA to account for the financial management of the 2009/2010 financial year. The team was accompanied by the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu who went there to observe the proceedings.

The meeting focused on the progress being made to address irregular expenditure and assets management. 

Speaking at the conclusion of the meeting, Chairperson of SCOPA, Themba Godi, said the Auditor General had conveyed his appreciation of the leadership of the department in working with all stakeholders to reduce the qualifications from 16 to 1 over a short period of time. 

"The leadership of the Minister and the Secretary for Defence must be commended and encouraged, they set an example for other departments," he said.

The Secretary for Defence had reported that progress had been made in capturing and accounting for all assets in the department. 

"We are confident that in the coming months we would be able to account for all our assets which are the only qualification in this 2009/2010 annual report and in line with the requirements of the Auditor General and the Treasury.

"It must be stated that we know where all our assets are, we have our systems, what the Auditor General is concern about is that our systems do not comply with treasury systems, together with the AG and treasury we are now implementing new systems that comply with AG and treasury requirements," Mpofu said.

Mpofu added that they were extending training to all level of management. "One of the problems was lack of training on systems, in this case we are taking all managers on board to ensure ownership and hands on stewardship."

Commenting after the meeting, Sisulu said she was proud of the work done by the leadership of the Department in particular the Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), the Military Command Council and the Secretary for Defence and her team.

"We want to reassure you Chairperson and members that we want a clean audit without any qualifications next year financial year, it is our commitment as a team, we are very capable and we have demonstrated," the minister said.

She further introduced the newly appointed Compliance Officer who will help monitor compliance with all regulations and report to the minister. 

"We are convinced that the Compliance Officer, working with the Inspector General together with the leadership of the Department will ensure that we are the best managed Department very soon, we have begun the journey to greater heights," she said.

The meeting also covered issues related to payments, performance management and management of contracts. - BuaNews

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