The office of the Auditor-General has asked Parliament for more powers to deal with rampant abuse of public resources. Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu has once again flagged irregular expenditure, outstanding audits and lack of accountability among factors dogging allocated expenditure.

Presenting his latest audit outcomes, Makwetu wants his office to do more than just to highlight waste in government.

Makwetu has announced a small improvement in the number of government departments that have shown commitment towards clean administration.

However, poor financial management continues to characterise operations in most government departments.

Makwetu says poor financial management has been a trend in the past few years. He has also raised concerns about the audit outcomes of state-owned enterprises.

He says state-owned enterprises have continued to regress due to poor controls and oversight.

Makwetu says the number of clean audits increased to 30%.

However, irregular expenditure has remained high at R45 billion. He has singled out Free State and North West as provinces where lack of accountability and poor commitment towards clean governance is prevalent.

Gauteng and Western Cape continued to produce best results.

Makwetu says irregular expenditure would have been higher if Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa audits were included.