Operation Clean Audits by 2014 launched to achieve clean governance and improve service delivery
14 Jul 2009
Key players in public finance management from all spheres of government will converge at the Birchwood Conference Centre in Gauteng on Thursday in response to a clarion call by Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Shiceka, to actively commit to the attainment of clean audits by all municipalities and provincial governments by the year 2014.
The launch of Operation Clean Audits by 2014 on 16 July will see an attendance dominated by senior government officials and politicians from all spheres of government in the country, including the Presidency, national and provincial government departments as well as organisations like the Financial Intelligence Centre, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), the Accountant General and other relevant industry bodies.
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs’ main purpose for the project is to address challenges faced by both municipalities and provincial government departments with regards to audit management, especially audit findings and queries from the Auditor-General and to help them achieve clean audits by 2014.
The launch of the campaign to achieve a goal that has eluded government for the past 15 years is one of the ambitious targets that Minister Shiceka has set for his department as a bold initiative to turn around municipalities in the country, improve service delivery and ultimately improves public confidence in government.
“There is no way that one can separate effective and efficient delivery of services to our people from the ability of government at the local level to achieve clean financial audits. Similarly to the broader developmental agenda, which will always by stymied by government at particularly the local level to manage finances and exercise financial accountability,” says Minister Shiceka.
While government has consistently placed service delivery high on its agenda since 1994, Auditor-General’s reports have also consistently pointed to queries relating to ineffective institutions, ineffective structures (internal audit units and audit committees), poor performance or an absence of systems. “This is especially so with regards to financial management and systems. This negative picture seriously affects government service delivery plans in general and corporate governance in particular,” says Minister Shiceka.
Both provincial and local governments are faced with challenges which include:
* Inadequate skills on planning, budgeting; public financial management, including expenditure management
* Poor interface between financial and non-financial information (monitoring and quality annual reporting)
* Inability to manage cash-flow significantly
* Inadequate skills on credit and debt management, including basic financial accounting and filling or record keeping in most instances
* Duplication of payments in some instances and funds not accounted for
* Lack of systems to manage audit queries and recommendations, in both internal and external auditing
* Inadequate systems with regard to corporate governance (especially, conflict of interest and accountability frameworks and effective integrated risk management system) within provincial departments and municipalities representation for Business Unity South Africa, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the Banking Association of South Africa, the development Bank of South Africa, Anti-Corruption Coordinating Unit, South African Police Services and Parliament of the Republic of South Africa are among the over 600 invited guests expected at this ground-breaking event in the country.
Issued by: Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
14 July 2009
Source: Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
Issued by: Department of Cooperative Governance
14 Jul 2009
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