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Auditor General reveals R 2.5 billion in fruitless expenditure

Auditor General Kimi Makwetu says the audit outcomes for national and provincial departments and their entities have declined overall this year.

Makwetu said this when he briefed the media on the audit outcomes for the 2017/18 financial year at the Imbizo Centre in Cape Town on Wednesday.

He said while 43 auditees obtained clean audits, they were overshadowed by the 73 that regressed from the previous year. This represents an overall 23% regression.

“We also noticed that there has been regression in audit outcomes, if one looks at the total number of clean audits that were achieved in the previous year.

“There has been a regression overall because many of those that have been there before have gone backwards because of non-compliance.

“In our previous reports, we said that the slow response by management to our messages was the main root cause of poor audit outcomes, but our experience over the past year is that management, at 28% of the audits with poor audit outcomes, are just not responding at all,” he said.

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According the report, 13 departments were given clean audits during the period under review, while 23 lost their clean audit status.

The report also reveals that 50 public entities recorded a decline in audit outcomes, while 30 showed an improvement.

Fruitless and wasteful expenditure increased by over 200% year-on-year to R 2.5 billion.

Furthermore, R 5.1 billion was recorded as irregular expenditure over the past financial year.

Provincially, the Western Cape and Gauteng continued to produce the best results – with 83% and 52% clean audits, respectively.