The office of the Auditor-General has revealed that about R6.9-billion of taxpayers’ money is unaccounted for by various government departments and other entities of the state over the past two years.

Briefing the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on Tuesday, senior officials of the Auditor General’s office referred to a period of “material irregularities” in the 2018 and 2019 financial years.

A representative, Mbali Tsotetsi, says their main concern in government departments is poor supply chain management and procurement processes.

“Most entities are not following the right procurement processes and therefore they result in overpricing. Or in some instances, they appoint service providers that are not delivering on services as required, and that therefore resulted in some material irregularities being identified and reported to the accounting officers in their respective areas.”

Tsotetsi says, “There are also some that have been identified around the service management which includes paying for services that cannot be received by the entity, or the goods revived were of poor quality. In some cases, it relates to interests of penalties that are paid because the department or entities failed to process invoices and pay them on time.”

Deteriorating financial management 

In July last year, the late Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu said the 2018/2019 municipal audit results painted a grim picture of local government’s deteriorating financial management.

The audit results found more than a R32-billion increase in irregular and wasteful expenditure in municipalities as well as fraud and corruption during that financial year.

The figure was up by R7-billion compared to two years prior.

The results also revealed how only 20 out of 257 municipalities in the country were awarded clean audits.

Makwetu expressed concern over government’s deteriorating financial management: