The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is concerned that irregular expenditure by the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) departments and entities are mounting because there is no consequence management system in place to deal with officials who do not plan properly for the financial year.
According to a presentation at a recent Standing Committee on Public Accounts meeting, irregular expenditure for the current financial year is already at R4.3 billion and it is expected to increase due to widespread non-compliance in the procurement of Covid-19 related Personal Protective Equipment and infrastructure. In addition, there was also no adherence to the Supply Chain Management procedures, meaning not all tenders went through the open tender system. Entities for this financial year have already reported R6.4 million in irregular expenditure.
The worst offending departments in irregular expenditure include:
- Roads and Transport
- Human Settlements
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This vicious cycle continues every year, with the same issues and reasons given for irregular expenditure. While all irregular expenditure may not be bad, this does point to poor planning from the departments and entities, and also opens the door for corruption.
Irregular expenditure will continue for as long as there is no consequence management systems in place, and officials responsible are allowed to resign before disciplinary action can be taken against them.
It is high time that the public service is professionalised, as the constant irregular expenditure has a negative impact on future budgets, which will severely affect service delivery.
R15 366 405,30 of taxpayers’ money has been paid to the Special Investigating Unit for investigations in the GPG, yet the DA’s request for copies of these investigation and forensic reports are refused. Efforts to obtain these reports through the Promotion of Access to Information Act remains futile. It is clear that there is no transparency by the GPG and that they do not know how to implement consequence management.
The DA hopes that during the Budget speech on Thursday, the MEC for Finance, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko will address these issues and ensure that proper consequence management is implemented, especially in departments where regulations set out by Provincial Treasury are not adhered to. We will also be closely monitoring whether the GPG ensures that all municipalities adhere to the open-tender and integrity system that is expected to be rolled out to curb corruption.