Two more transport entities in hot water with Auditor-General
Cape Town - Two more entities falling under the Transport Department’s institutions are in hot water after Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu found material irregularities during the auditing of their finances.
Briefing the transport portfolio committee on Tuesday, corporate executive Solly Segooa said the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) and the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa), in addition to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), have been identified for probing of financial losses due to material irregularities.
“The audit teams are still busy assessing if there are any potential material irregularities for the current financial year,” Segooa said.
The exercise happens at selected departments and state-owned entities that represent a significant portion of the expenditure budget and the irregular expenditure.
The new law allows Makwetu to refer material irregularities to relevant public bodies for further investigations and also take binding remedial action for failure to implement recommendations.
The auditor-general is also empowered to issue a certificate of debt for failure to implement remedial action if financial loss was involved.
Segooa told MPs Prasa had been selected for implementation in the previous year when nine material irregularities were reported.
He also said the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has since been commissioned to investigate the irregularities as well as matters relating to Swifambo and the controversial purchase of locomotives.
“The investigation is expected to run for a duration of six months,” Segooa said.
He told the MPs 16 entities, including Prasa, were identified in the first phase of the implementation of Makwetu’s new powers in the last financial year.
But, the number has been increased in the second phase to 89, including now Acsa and Sanral.
Segooa said a key element of their work was to look at cases that have criminal elements and refer them at the right level.
“If we audit and realise the accounting officer is involved, it is a direct referral. We don't engage with the accounting officer because we can ask those in the middle of things to take action.”
He also said where a referral was made to the accounting officer to take the necessary action, the officer was obliged to ensure it happened. Political Bureau