A national media briefing by the Auditor General of South Africa (Agsa) to make public the national and provincial AG reports’ outcomes will only be held in November. This is according to Africa Boso, Spokesperson for the Agsa.
“We rely on Parliament to give us a date on which the reports are to be made public.” He said such a date has not yet been received by Agsa.
The audit reports of the Auditor General form part of a specific department and public entities’ annual reports and these reports must be tabled in Parliament, according to legislation, on or before 30 September. A preliminary or draft report may be sent to departments and queries from the AG may have to be answered before a report is finalised. Once finalised the provincial watchdog, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) will hold hearings with departments to fulfil their oversight role over the spending of public money.
Each year, the AGSA conducts mandatory audits of government departments, certain public entities, municipalities and municipal entities. Municipalities’ year-end is the end of June each year. The municipalities’ reports for 2013/14 have been tabled in June, and are available on Agsa’s web site. The 2014/15 financial year’s financial statements for municipalities and municipal entities had to be submitted by end August, and auditing began in September.
Government departments’ financial year close on 31 March.
Agsa conducts discretionary audits, special audits, such as performance audits and investigations. For each audit a report is prepared. These reports are made public and are tabled in the legislatures or bodies with a direct interest in the particular audit, such as Parliament, provincial legislatures and municipal councils. In addition, audit reports may be provided to any other legislature or organ of state if the Agsa considers it in the public interest to do so.
Story: NELIE ERASMUS