RAF board comes under scrutiny before SCOPA

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The capacity of the board of the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to do its work came under scrutiny before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA). Some Members of Parliament proposed that strong action must be taken against the entity and that the 12 board members be declared delinquent directors.

This follows a legal tussle between the office of the Auditor General and RAF due to a disagreement after the entity changed its accounting policy when it tabled its financials. That’s despite the entity being advised against it.

SCOPA says the board of RAF failed to apply its mind when deciding to take this matter to court. The committee wanted individual as well as collective decisions of the board, saying they can be held personally liable for decisions. However, RAF chairperson Lorraine Francois kept mum, which raised the ire of some committee members.

“The board after this whole engagement must go back look into the mirror and ask themselves, have we done justice on the matter?” says ANC MP Sakhumzi Somyo.

“The board is actually delinquent. The board has allowed the executive to go ahead with court action without applying their minds properly,” says DA MP Alf Lees.

The RAF case was heard recently, and judgment has been reserved.

The committee also wants to be furnished with the rolling costs of the case and for the board to be personally liable, should the court rule against the RAF.

“There was no due diligence in this decision-making process about this and takes me to the conclusion that you did not apply your mind, which will then compel me to say you are a delinquent board not to have considered the expert advice of the people in this space who were telling you about this,” says SCOPA chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

SCOPA says the RAF cannot be allowed to have free reign and ignore existing accounting standards approved by authorized bodies in the country.