The National Assembly’s public accounts committee (Scopa) needs to be reformed to hold the government to account, the DA said yesterday.

The current model allowed directors-general to continue coming to the committee without solutions to the problems reported on, DA spokesman Dion George said. It also allowed ministers to avoid answering questions on financial management in their departments and had no real mechanism for escalation should the committee reject the reports presented or the solutions proffered, he said.

Among other things, regular feedback from departments experiencing high levels of corruption and fruitless and wasteful spending was necessary concerning charges laid against officials in terms of the Public Finance Management Act.

Ministers should be ready and able to answer for financial failures in their departments, and Scopa should be able to report under-performing ministers to the Presidency via the minister of monitoring and evaluation.

George said the Special Investigating Unit had indicated that R30 billion in public funds was lost every year as a result of fraud and corruption at government level.

In May, Auditor General Terence Nombembe said management of supply chains, service delivery and the accuracy of government reports were deteriorating.

Ministers often made opening or closing statements that offered no real solutions, George said. – Sapa