JOHANNESBURG – Kimi Makwetu of Auditor General has said a review of his office’s powers by Parliament could enable them to refer auditees for investigation and possibly take legal actions against those who have diverted public funds.
The AG released their financial report for the country’s national and provincial departments as well as government entities for 2016/17 financial year.
The reports state that 422 departments and entities were audited which were 37 more than the 385 auditees in the previous financial year.
There were key findings that were irregular expenditure, which increased by 55% to reach R45.6 billion. “We do not have power to dismiss people as an audit office, nor do we have power to do all other things. We are doing our bit to shine light on many areas that are in the dark,” Makwetu said.
He also explained that if his office’s main goal is you change, the firm may be able to refer auditees for investigation to get to the bottom of irregular spending and diverting public funds or negligence. The sectors with the highest amount of irregular expenditure were the department of health with R11.8 billion, transport with R6,4 billion and education with R6.1 billion.
Although some auditors have not disclosed the full amount of irregular expenditure amounts, the estimate still sums up to R65 billion.