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Maluleke expects some reporting on disaster floods by August

Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke. Picture:Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency(ANA)

Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke. Picture:Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency(ANA)

Published May 26, 2022

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Cape Town - Auditor- General Tsakani Maluleke hopes that there will be an audit report on the disaster relief funds earmarked for KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape floods by August.

Briefing the Ad Hoc Committee on Flood Disaster Relief on Wednesday, Maluleke said her office has already started their work on the real-time audits.

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“We aim to have a report to you around August this year. It remains our hope that we will be able to get there,” she said.

“I am hoping that by that time we will have something useful to share with you and something you can actually use to good effect to implement your oversight responsibilities,” Maluleke said.

Asked about the staff she was deploying to audit the disaster flood relief funds, she said her office has 3 600 employees operating in all provinces.

In both provinces there were teams charged with auditing the finances of the provincial and national departments.

“We will complement the teams by incorporating those experts such as those specialists in the areas of information management system, forensics, fraud detection as well as other experts who understand the infrastructure space much better than a typical financial auditor, the engineers, quantity surveyors and the like.”

However, she told the MPs that there would be a reprioritisation of work by the audit teams that also perform other audit duties.

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Maluleke said there may be pressure in the system in terms of regular Public Finance Management Act auditing for the year that ended in March.

“We must anticipate that there will be delays in some of the instances.”

While four provinces were affected by the floods, the Auditor General will focus on real-time audits in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape where there is a bulk of activities.

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The expenditure in North West and Northern Cape will be undertaken during the regular annual audits.

Maluleke told the MPs that they would not only focus on compliance with laws and regulations, but that they would extend their work to consider matters relating to value for money and whether goods and services were delivered with quality and at the right place.

“We will look at whether benefits reach the intended beneficiaries.”

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Maluleke described their work as providing independent, timely and credible insight on how funds have been managed.

“We aim to report and share our work to enhance transparency, accountability and governance. We exist to provide how operations are managed.”

She said they would not replace the accounting officers or accounting authorities nor the executive, but that they would support the system through timely relevant, credible and independent insights.

“These are extraordinary times and they demand of all of us to be agile and responsive to safeguard the public funds, and we know as the audit office, we can’t do it alone.”

“It is going to be important for the executive and the coordinating departments to monitor and support activities of accounting officers so that they can deal with complex and urgency of the moment and execute their duties in a manner that is responsive, effective, accountable and transparent.”

Cape Times

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