GDE incurred more than R1 billion on irregular expenditure in the 2019/20 financial year

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is concerned that the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has incurred R1 030 657 000 in irregular expenditure for the 2019/20 financial year.

This information was revealed in the department’s 2019/20 annual report.

According to the Auditor-General, effective steps were not taken to prevent irregular expenditure amounting to more than R1 billion. This irregular expenditure is as a result of non-compliance in respect of procurement and contract management.

The reports of more than R 431 million in irregular expenditure purported to be used to decontaminate schools last year clearly confirms that the department is disregarding the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

Senior management have failed to adequately review and monitor compliance with the PFMA and treasury regulations. There are number of allegations of procurement irregularities, financial misconduct, fraud, and theft relating to prior years.

The DA has tabled written questions to the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to establish the status of investigations into these allegations.

Lack of consequence management contributes to irregular expenditure. These irregular expenditure amounts are increasing on a yearly basis and this clearly indicates that the department is failing when it comes to good governance.

It is high time that both the head of department and chief financial officer should explain why the department has failed to take the necessary measures to avoid irregular expenditure arising from procurement processes.