home debacles: no end in sight

THE Department of Home Affairs has failed to get a clean bill of financial health for the sixth year in a row.

The Auditor-General (AG) revealed in the Home Affairs annual report tabled yesterday in Parliament.

This means that the AG has found serious financial management problems.

Some of the problems are not new.

Last year, the AG found that R29million worth of immigration fines and penalties could not be confirmed because Home Affairs had failed to put in place proper procedures for keeping track of the fines.

And this year, R17million in immigration fines and penalties cannot be accurately accounted for.

Last year director-general Mavuso Msimang pro-mised Parliament that it would be the last time the department got a qualified opinion.

A year ago, Msimang claimed the department's R1billion turn-around strategy would only bear fruits in this year's audit report.

Parliament's portfolio committee also instructed Msimang to bring in the Treasury and the Department of Public Services and Administration to help Home Affairs.

But the department rejected the advice.

This year the AG found R198,2million worth of irregular expenditure.

He also found that R356 million from cash sales for civic and immigration services was not managed efficiently by the accounting officer.

Democratic Alliance MP Juanita Terblanche said: "it is clear that limited progress has taken place, and that the department is still in a dire situation."