Slight improvement in audit outcomes

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu says there has been a slight improvement of audit outcomes for national and provincial government departments over the past four years.

The Auditor-General said this when he released the audit outcomes for 422 national and provincial departments and their entities on Wednesday.

The release of the report comes after he recently briefed members of Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) in Parliament in Cape Town.

“These outcomes show a slow improvement over the past four years,” he said.

The report analyses audit outcomes of 422 auditees comprising of 169 national and provincial departments and 253 public entities.

Makwetu said at a national level, there was a slight improvement in outcomes, with the number of clean audits increasing to 30% or 126 for the financial year 2016/ 17.

This is a slight improvement compared to 29%, or 113, of the departments that obtained clean audits out of 385 auditees in the 2015/ 16 financial year.

The Auditor-General said the number of auditees who obtained unqualified opinions with findings regressed during the period under review – from 184 or 48% in 2015/ 16 to 43% or 179 for the year under review.

He said 17% of all auditees or 72, received qualified audit opinions with findings for the financial year under review when compared to 16% or 61 auditees for the previous year.

There were more auditees that obtained adverse audit opinions with findings in the year under review, with the number rising from 3% in 2015/ 16 to 9% in 2016/ 17.

Those that obtained disclaimer opinions with findings dropped from 21 or 5% in 2015/ 16 to 2% or 10 auditees in 2016/ 17.    

Audit reports of 26 auditees remained outstanding.

The Auditor-General said provincially, Western Cape and Gauteng continued to produce the best results. He said it was also clear that the results were being sustained from year to year due to leadership emphasising a culture of accountability.

Makwetu said he has also seen an improvement in the audit outcomes in both the Eastern Cape and Limpopo, and said this was due to positive trends to the leadership roles of provincial Treasury and the Premier respectively.

He said, however, that in contrast, Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal were erratic over the past four years, caused by a lack of urgency at leadership in responding to the root causes of the unsatisfactory audit outcomes in these provinces.

In the North West and the Free State, Makwetu said a “lack of accountability and commitment towards clean administration” were factors that influenced the poor showing of these provinces –

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