Home South African AG warns that R166bn in irregular expenditure is ’tip of the iceberg’

AG warns that R166bn in irregular expenditure is ’tip of the iceberg’

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The auditor-general said the R166.85bn in irregular expenditure is incomplete because there are entities that have not accounted for irregular expenditure they have recorded in a year.

Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke has released her report to Parliament. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

AUDITOR-General Tsakani Maluleke has warned that irregular expenditure of R166.85 billion this year could be higher than registered as some of the departments and entities have not concluded auditing their financial statements.

Maluleke, who was briefing the National Assembly’s finance watchdog, the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) and the standing committee on the auditor-general, said irregular expenditure continued to be a problem in the finances of government.

She said for the year in review they recorded R166.85bn in irregular expenditure for 286 departments and public entities.

Maluleke was briefing the joint committees on the audit outcomes of national and provincial departments.

She called on MPs to play their oversight role in ensuring they hold departments and accounting officers accountable for the increase in irregular expenditure.

Maluleke said despite her powers to rein in departments for irregularities Parliament and other oversight bodies must also hold officials accountable.

She said she has referred some of the cases to the National Prosecuting Authority, the Hawks, the Special Investigating Unit and the National Treasury for investigation.

“This year’s accumulated irregular expenditure is at R166.85bn and it has been incurred by 286 auditees.

“Irregular expenditure that we are reporting on is not complete.

“Much as what we said last year, for as long as you have got some of the auditees qualified on their ability to fully account for irregular expenditure then you know that the number is incomplete. If you have got auditees that can’t account for how much irregular expenditure that they have registered in a year then you know that the R166.85bn is not complete.

“This year we had 23% of auditees, 88 auditees were a qualification of irregular expenditure.

“We share the number with caution,” said Maluleke.

She said Parliament and other agencies would have to play their role in ensuring money that was appropriated by the national legislature was fully accounted for.

If there was no accountability then appropriate action would have to be taken.

Political Bureau

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