Tabling of the annual report for the 2011/12 financial year vote 12
9 Oct 2012
The MEC tabled the Provincial Treasury Annual Report 2011/12 on the 9 October 2012. This happened at Humansdorp in the event “Taking Legislature to the people” organised by the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature.
Honourable Speaker this time offers an opportunity for us to reflect on our performance against our targets. It is one of the critical milestones in the performance cycle because through this process our government allows the necessary transparency in order for the citizenry, to hold its government accountable.
The annual report covers our performance in detail but I will just give highlights in terms of key performance areas.
Honourable Speaker, the House will remember that 2011/12 financial year is the third year of the financial turnaround plan that we introduced with the new term of government. The aim of the plan was to give a focused support to Health and Education and increase the agility of Treasury for better capability in terms of its oversight function for both provincial departments and municipalities. By its nature the plan had a medium term view and performance targets for the 2011/12 financial year reflects the continuation of this journey.
In addition, Honourable speaker, Provincial Treasury has successfully managed to implement austerity measures by top slicing from under spending departments to fund high impact priority projects. This has assisted the Province to focus on service delivery programmes in key economic departments.
The house will recall that one of the key commitments I made when tabling the policy speech was the appointment of the Head of Department to give even more impetus to the implementation of our turnaround plans. I am happy to announce that the Head of Department was appointed in the first half of the financial year. We have also reduced our overall vacancy rates significantly and I believe the associated benefits are already showing with heightened activity on tightening governance in the Public Entity sector and streamlining of business processes within Treasury, resulting in Treasury maintaining an unqualified audit opinion in the year under review.
Honourable Speaker, a commitment to establish the Eastern Cape Planning Commission (ECPC) was made in this house and I am happy to report that there has been a significant progress in this area. By the end of the financial year we had finalised the configuration of the ECPC. Appointment of commissioners was made in the beginning of this financial year. And the ECPC has already begun to craft its diagnostic plan. It is hoped that its plan will be finalised in the new financial year as per its terms of reference.
During the year under review we continued to roll-out the decentralised internal audit function, ensuring that all departments have functioning internal audits and the co-ordinating structure of Internal Audit was launched. The department will continue with the programme, focusing on standardisation of common business processes for better efficiencies in the Internal Audit function.
From a provincial (transversal) perspective we have intensified the financial management support to the Departments of Health and Education. This support has been very valuable in supporting the intervention by national government in the department of Education and has helped Treasury to have a deeper insight of the systematic challenges in the two departments. We believe that our support programmes will be more targeted going forward.
Honourable Speaker, our hands on support have extended beyond Education and Health. During the year we were quite instrumental in ensuring that the sourcing of the government fleet is implemented without major hurdles.
Other notable projects we have implemented to enhance the financial management in the province include:
- Establishment of the Central Project Unit and rolling out of the HR strategy to increase the Infrastructure Delivery capacity
- Continued reporting, highlighting significant departures from the acceptable practices of financial management, for early corrective actions by those charged with oversight.
- Absorption of graduate trainees that are undergoing skills training in Provincial Treasury, others have been placed in Department of Health and in Department of Education as contract workers.
- The Provincial Treasury has been overseeing a fund termed Transkei Development Reserve Fund (TDRF) assigned to the Province by the President of the Republic (SA) in 2003, which comprises of movable and immovable assets as well as owning shares. The Treasury has made tremendous progress in ensuring that the TDRF funds are availed and accounted for in the Provincial Revenue Fund.
- The low value – high volume price index has been finalised and issued to departments. The price index, equipment and infrastructure could not be finalised due to unavailability of approved norms and standards for the relevant infrastructure items to be utilised in the determination of prices. However it will be completed in the 2011/2012 financial year.
Honourable Speaker it is important to note that the positive highlights are within the context of continuing challenges in efficient spending and slow pace in financial management turnaround, in particular the audit outcomes in departments and municipalities.
This, together with strengthening financial management support in municipalities will continue to be our focus in the current year.
In conclusion Honourable Speaker, I believe that, while we have made progress in terms of our actual targets as a department, this has still been a challenging year from a provincial perspective.
In closing Honourable Speaker, let me pass a sincere gratitude to my colleagues in the Executive Council for their support, members of the Legislature for their guidance and staff of the department for their hard work and commitment.
I, Phumulo Masualle, MEC for Planning and Finance, in terms of the requirements of Section 65(1) (a) of the Public Finance Management Act and Chapter 1, Part 111 of the Public Service Regulations hereby table the Annual Report for the 2011/12 financial year.
Issued by: Eastern Cape Provincial Treasury
9 Oct 2012
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