Free State fails to produce any clean audits

None of the government departments in the Free State have achieved a clean audit, making the Free State the only province without any clean outcomes. This is according to the Auditor-General, Kimi Makwetu.

In his national and provincial government’s audit results for the 2018/19 financial year, Makwetu has highlighted that audit outcomes throughout the country are disappointing, with outcomes for departments having been regressing since the 2014/15 financial year.

He confirmed that irregular expenditure for government now stands at R62,60 billion, which is an increase from the R51 billion that was reported last year. Tabling the report on Wednesday, he highlighted that a lack of accountability and a breakdown in preventative financial controls is a huge challenge in the country with the Free State, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and Limpopo having major financial risks.

The Free State alone recorded R2.6 billion in irregular expenditure.

Makwetu says disregard of his office’s recommendations is another challenge evident in this province.

“There is an overall improvement if you look at it at a glance year-on-year, but there are still big concerns with regard to their accountability for financial management. We have made a point very clear that they have tried to put in an effort to reduce disclaimed opinions, but that is not enough if they have not turned these departments into achieving clean audits,” said Makwetu.

He added that although the province tried to eliminate disclaimed opinions, the government still has a major task at hand.

Makwetu emphasised that while greater efforts are needed to improve audit outcomes in other provinces, the Western Cape continues to produce the best audit results.