GEORGE NEWS - A qualified audit outcome is on the cards for George Municipality's last financial year. Reasons for this include contravention of the supply chain management legislation, and involvement of councillors (or a committee of council) in the municipality's supply chain management processes.
Stated under the heading "internal control deficiencies", the Auditor General's (AG) draft audit report noted the involvement of the article 80 committees regarding tender processes.
This was contentious point of discussion last Thursday at a special council meeting for the submission and tabling of the annual report for the 2017/2018 financial year. ANC Councillor Piet van der Hoven read from the report, saying irregular expenditure incurred by the municipality was not investigated to determine if any person is liable for the expenditure. PBI leader Virgill Gericke said "the red lights have come on for George".
DA Councillor Mercia Draghoender said the 2017/2018 annual report is now available for public comment. She said the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (Mpac) will look into every recommendation of the AG. "We will also summons directors to come and explain on behalf of their directorate," said Draghoender.
Mayor Melvin Naik said the past financial year was very difficult for the organisation, with many challenges both internally and externally. "This is among others confirmed by the external audit process, where it has proven to be extremely difficult for our officials to convince the auditor general's officials on certain matters.
"Consequently a qualified audit opinion was issued by the office of the auditor general. We feel that this is not a complete regression on how we conduct our business as an entity, but an opportunity for us to introspect in order to identify areas that require urgent improvement."
Naik said after the office of the AG has made comments on the draft annual report, as well as the annual financial statements submitted by the municipality, the officials were given the opportunity to address those comments. Their input was completed on 30 January. "Consequently a slightly modified report was issued by the office of the AG," said Naik. However, this doesn't change the status of the audit outcome.
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