Home Affairs makes strides in financial management

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pretoria - It will not come as a surprise if the Department of Home Affairs is rated as one of the most improved government departments in terms of financial management.

Thanks to the department's Turnaround Strategy, which has changed the way it does business and delivers services to the people, Home Affairs made significant strides over the 2008/2009 financial year.

"During the financial year, the department shifted from a disclaimer to a qualified audit which shows the department's major improvement was in the area of financial management," said Director-General, Mavuso Msimang, on Thursday.

Msimang, who is known for his no-nonsense and uncompromising attitude towards fraud and corruption, said it was the measures they had implemented in the past financial year that allowed them to move speedily towards achieving this goal.

Cleaning up the financial management at Home Affairs was a key aspect of the overall turnaround plan and the Auditor General's (AG) report for the 2008/2009 financial year acknowledged the improvements.

According to the AG, the department had implemented a comprehensive turnaround strategy, comprising functional re-engineering projects as well as accounting clean-up processes.

"My audit has indicated that the process is resulting in significant improvement in the financial management and internal control processes and a move in my opinion from a disclaimer opinion to a qualified opinion," reads the AG's report, which was released last week.

Msimang said when he joined the department in 2007, many things had disintegrated into chaos, including human resources and bad financial management.

During that period, Msimang said management was ineffective, adding that although they were still on the road to recovery, he was happy with the progress made so far.

"We are firmly on the path to our goal of achieving a clean audit report in the financial year 2009/2010," he said.