PREMIER MABUZA CONTENT THAT PROVINCIAL DEPARTMENTS RECEIVE NO DISCLAIMERS FROM THE AUDITOR-GENERAL
12 October 2014
Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza has expressed some satisfaction that at least not a single department from his administration received a disclaimer opinion from the Auditor-General [AG] Mr Kimi Makwethu.
The Auditor-General visited Mpumalanga on Thursday [09 October 2014] on a road show to communicate the provincial government’s audit outcomes for the 2013-2014 financial year.
Announcing the audit findings at a meeting with the Premier, Finance and COGTA MECs, the AG said he was pleased about the level of improvements in the performance of the provincial government, as the province had escaped from the “reds”.
At least five departments received unqualified with no findings audit opinions, eight got unqualified with findings, and another four department got qualified with findings. Not a single department received a disclaimer opinion.
An unqualified opinion with no findings simply means a clean audit, it means that the departments were able to provide financial statements free of material misstatements, the report was in a useful and reliable manner on performance as measured against predetermined objectives in the annual performance plan, and that the departments complied with key legislation.
On the other hand, the unqualified opinion with findings means that the departments were able to produce financial statements without misstatements but struggled to align their performance reports to the predetermined objectives they had committed themselves to deliver on their annual performance plans.
It further means the departments struggled to set clear performance indicators and targets to measure their performance against their predetermined objectives and that also struggled to report reliably on whether they achieved their performance targets.
With a qualified audit opinion, it means departments had the same challenges as those that were unqualified with findings but, in addition, they could not produce credible and reliable financial statements.
It further means there are material misstatements in their financial statements, which they could not correct before the financial statements were published.
If departments received disclaimers, it means the Auditor-General was unable to make an audit opinion on their performance, as they were unable to provide sufficient supporting documentation for amounts in the financial statements and achievements reported in their annual performance report. It further means departments simply did not comply with key legislation.
The five provincial departments that received unqualified with no findings audit outcomes are; Finance, COGTA, Social Development, Mpumalanga Regional Training Trust and Gambling Board.
The departments of Education, Human Settlements, Public Works Roads and Transport, Culture Sports and Recreation, Economic Development, Environmental and Tourism, Legislature, Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, and the Office of the Premier received the unqualified with findings audit outcomes.
It was only the departments of Health, Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency, Agriculture Rural Development and Land Administration, Community Safety Security and Liaison that received qualified with findings audit opinions.
Premier Mabuza said he was happy that all provincial departments had moved out from getting the disclaimers. The Premier’s tactic of asking the heads of departments to sign the resignation letters if they received the disclaimers seemed to have paid off as not a single department received a disclaimer opinion.
“As a province we tried very hard to get things right, at a certain point we had to fight. We are happy that all of us have moved out from getting the disclaimers, although a lot still has to be done.
“We are aware that we dropped the ball on our work during the campaigning period as the election took the political leadership away from strongly focusing on the government work. Again most of our heads of departments had their contracts expiring.
“Nevertheless, these audit outcomes are improving our image as a provincial government, they help the public to have confidence on the ruling party that their funds are at least managed correctly,” said Mabuza.
He appreciated the AG for his continuous support in the provincial government adding that such interactions were helpful in the daily work of the provincial government.
“We are grateful that you are not getting tired with us, we will find a way of not regressing but further improve on our work. We believe this is going to be a turbulent financial year for our provincial government as we have almost 50 percent new people on leadership positions.
“We must allow them to familiarize themselves with the work of government. We may not get good results in their first year, but we are confident that as a provincial government we have stabilized and we are now settled,” said Mabuza.
The AG recommended and attributed such a success on effective leadership demonstrated by the political leadership in the province adding that the prospects for the province to continuously get unqualified opinions were real. He said the political leadership was showing some strengths and he hoped that there was no chance for reversing.
At least three departments [COGTA, Social Development and Mpumalanga Regional Training Trust] improved from unqualified with findings to unqualified with no findings.
Only two departments [Office of the Premier and Community Safety Security and Liaison] regressed from their previous financial year audit findings which were unqualified with no findings and unqualified with findings respectively.
According to the AG, areas of qualification on financial statements that needed attention were mostly on management of assets, irregular expenditure and on investment properties.
He insisted on filling in of funded vacant key positions of chief financial officers, heads of supply chain management units, heads of strategic planning and heads of monitoring and evaluation which were vacant for more than six months as going to contribute greatly on human resources management controls.
Issued by Zibonele Mncwango
Spokesperson: Mpumalanga Premier
Mpumalanga Provincial Government
Office of the Premier
Tel: (013) 766 2453
Mobile: 079 491 0163
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