The Standing Committee on the Auditor General has urged the Office of the Auditor General to accelerate the completion of the development of regulations to give effect to the Public Audit Amendment Bill.
The call was made during a committee meeting in Parliament. The committee made the call following the announcement that President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed into law the Public Audit Amendment Bill.
“The committee has for a while now advocated for strengthened consequence management in the public service. It is high time that officials are held liable for irregularities they commit. With this new law, we are hopeful that accounting officers and officials will be held accountable for the wrongs that they do,” said committee chairperson Nthabiseng Khunou.
The committee in a statement said the bill is a step in the right direction in ensuring that taxpayer’s monies are spent diligently with due care and regard, and remained of the view that good governance and accountability are strong pillars in ensuring effective service delivery.
“The committee welcomes the new bill, which will, among other things, empower the Auditor-General to refer suspected material irregularities arising from an audit to a relevant public body for investigation; to provide for the Auditor General to issue a certificate of debt where an accounting officer or accounting authority failed to recover losses from a responsible person; and to instruct the relevant executive authority to collect the debt,” the committee said.
The committee has emphasised the need to empower institutions supporting democracy to create a platform for good governance within government departments and state-owned entities. The committee also welcomes developments that anyone accused of financial irregularities will be liable, irrespective of resignation or redeployment.
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