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Johannesburg - The Gauteng education department has been accused of wasting millions of rand of its budget on forensic audits.
Since 2009, the department had spent R18 million on forensic audits, Democratic Alliance MPL Khume Ramulifho said in a statement on Wednesday.
Education MEC Barbara Creecy told the Gauteng Legislature that this was the amount in response to questions by the DA.
“Forensic audits are comprehensive financial investigations which usually probe cases of financial mismanagement and irregular, fruitless or wasteful expenditure,” Ramulifho said.
Forensic audits could also be conducted to prosecute individuals for fraud, embezzlement or other financial claims and could also be undertaken to determine negligence.
“It is worrying that the education department had to spend millions on such serious investigations.”
Equally concerning, was that the R18m excluded costs for litigation or further investigations emanating from the audit, said Ramulifho.
“Instead of spending her department's limited budget on extensive investigations into financial irregularities, the MEC must ensure that proper financial controls are put in place to address the cause, and not simply the symptoms,” he said.
“The DA believes that these millions should be channelled towards learning and teaching.”
Gauteng education spokesman Charles Phahlane did not want to comment, but provided the questions and answers tabled at the legislature.
In these, Creecy stated that the department spent R4.9m on forensic audits in 2009, R6.5m in 2010, R4.2m in 2011 and R2.9m in 2012. - Sapa