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Home Affairs 'can't account for cash'

By unknown | Nov 19, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Home Affairs, which has turned into horror affairs for many South Africans who have suffered its ineptitude, is the worst performing department when it comes to accounting for the money it receives from Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, parliament was told yesterday.

"One third of all expenditure is unaccounted for and this is where we are dealing with direct cash from state coffers. This is worrisome for us," auditor-general Terence Nombembe said during the presentation of his 2007-08 audit report.

Nombembe said the country's worst performing departments were Home Affairs, the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape education and health departments and the North West department of local government and housing.

Home Affairs has earned itself the reputation of being one of the worst departments because of the bungles of its staff in issuing documents such as IDs and marriage and death certificates.

The department has also proved to be infested with syndicates working with corrupt officials in issuing fake documents.

But Nombembe said Home Affairs "has a very impressive action plan and if they don't take their foot off the accelerator they will turn the situation around in a matter of months".

Nombembe also commended the fact that the number of departments receiving clean audits had improved from 10 percent in 2006 to 23 percent this year.

He said six government departments, with 24 public entities whose audit results have yet to be released, had received "adverse" and "disclaimer" opinions from his office.

"This is serious because it means they were not able to give us the information we needed to perform our audit," Nombembe said. "The missing information meant we could not comment on their finances."

He said there was financial capacity within government and blamed the adverse situation on senior managers who did not take advice from his office seriously.

"At leadership level you are dealing with implementation of promises and not financial complexities," he said.


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