Department of Science and Technology (DST) denies allegations by the Sowetan about political pressure on the Auditor-General
4 Oct 2011
The DST has noted the 4 October 2011 Sowetan report about alleged irregularities.
The DST wishes to state that the management report of the AG were a confidential form of communication between the DST and the AG’s office during the audit process. During the audit process, certain findings change due to responses that the management provides to the AG’s office.
The AG’s office is a custodian of these reports until they are submitted to the Department in the form of an AG report, which is incorporated in the annual report of the department to be tabled in parliament.
The Director-General, Dr Phil Mjwara, as the Accounting Officer wishes to state at no time was pressure put on the AG office to suppress findings.
In response to the allegations, the Director-General said the department has a sound financial environment and adheres to the prescripts of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). The DST also has appropriate and effective internal control measures in place. The department did not suffer financial loss through the expenditure incurred.
We believe the Sowetan is being selective with the truth; neither the Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor, nor the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Derek Hanekom, exerted any undue influence on the office of the Auditor-General to suppress any findings.
These findings were acknowledged and disclosed by the DST in the financial statements. The DST did not have any intentions of circumventing policies and procedures.
The Director-General is working with the officials referred to in the AG’s report, who had not completed the course, to ensure that they finalise the programme with Stellenbosch University.
We urge the Sowetan to rely on professional rather than sensational journalism. The DST would like to advice the Sowetan to carry out thorough investigation on audit matters before casting suspicions on officials.
Tel: (012) 843 6793
Cell: 082 379 8268
Issued by: Department of Science and Technology
4 Oct 2011
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