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Dept draws up rectification plan

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The embattled Northern Cape Department of Health has drawn up a rectification plan to address the shortcomings identified in its 2015/16 audit report.

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THE EMBATTLED Northern Cape Department of Health has drawn up a rectification plan to address the shortcomings identified in its 2015/16 audit report.

The department received a qualified audit opinion with five qualification paragraphs during the 2015/16 financial year. The report stated further that effective steps were not taken to prevent unauthorised expenditure, as required by the Public Finance Management Act and Treasury Regulations.

Spokesperson for the Office of the Speaker, Mpho Masina, said in a statement yesterday that although there was a significant improvement in the audit findings as the number of qualification paragraphs reduced in comparison to the previous financial year, the financial health of the department was still noticeably unfavourable due to the department’s inability to recover receivables and inability to settle accounts payable within an acceptable period.

“The department has thus developed an audit rectification plan to address its shortcomings.”

Masina pointed out that supply chain management was cited as one of the key problem areas the department needed to pay attention to. “According to the plan, challenges in supply chain management (as a result of irregular procurement committed in the previous years) are largely attributed to poor financial management resulting in over commitments and the increase in irregular expenditure. As a mitigating action, the department has centralised the procurement of assets and other consumables in order to reduce the level of non-compliance, particularly at district level.

“In terms of its supply chain management, internal control processes are currently being attended to by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and the department’s compliance unit.”

Masina stated further that Scopa (the Standing Committee on Public Accounts) had offered to assist the department in exposing corrupt activities at the department. “This was welcomed by the MEC Fufe Makatong, who is adamant about rooting out corruption in the department.

“Scopa is optimistic about the plan in place, and will continue to monitor the implementation of the plan with the expectation for an improved audit outcome.”

– Patsy Beangstrom