Officials of government and State-Owned Enterprises will now be held personally liable for public funds lost due to negligence.

They can also be referred to law enforcement agencies for criminal charges to be laid against them.

These are the powers that are given to the Auditor- General.

The Presidency can confirm that President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the Public Audit Amendment Bill into Law.

The Bill was first passed in the National Assembly in May and subsequently in the NCOP in June. It has been with the President for about five months.

In the past, if the Auditor-General discovered corruption or irregularities due to negligence of officials while auditing the books of departments, municipalities and state owned entities, he would refer the matter to the executives to act but in many instances action would not be taken.

Now that the bill has been signed into law, the Audit Amendment Act will among other thing give the Auditor-General the power to refer wrongdoing to the law enforcement agencies for criminal charges to be pursued against implicated officials.

He can also recover money from officials who were negligent with public funds, by issuing them with a certificate of debt to recover that money.

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