Cape Town - Auditor General Terence Nombembe
has given Parliament an unqualified audit opinion on its 2011/12 financial statements for the sixth consecutive year.
However, Nombembe drew attention to non-compliance with specific matters contained in the Financial Management of Parliament Act (FMPA).
These included the failure to always repay money owing by Parliament within 30 days of receipt of an invoice, as required by the FMPA, and the failure to charge interest on overdue debt, as required by the act.
The financial statements submitted for auditing were not prepared in all material respects in accordance with the requirements of the FMPA.
However, any material misstatements identified were subsequently corrected, resulting in the financial statements receiving an unqualified audit opinion.
Parliament had developed a plan to address internal and external audit findings, but adherence to the plan was not monitored on a timely basis by the appropriate level of management.
This resulted in the recurrence of findings from the previous year which related to interest not charged on overdue accounts in accordance with the FMPA.
Management had not adequately exercised its responsibility throughout the financial year to ensure accurate and complete financial statements.
This was evident in the extent of misstatements included in the financial statements, as well as non-compliance with the FMPA.
In a statement on Thursday, Parliament said it had initiated a project to remedy these matters, particularly the non-compliance with payment of invoices within 30 days of receiving them.
"The institution strives to obtain a clean audit result, and not merely an unqualified audit opinion," it said.
A clean audit result is one which has three criteria - an unqualified audit opinion on the financial statements, no findings relating to predetermined objectives, and no non-compliance with legislation.
While the presiding officers welcomed the unqualified audit opinion, a clean audit result, in the current financial year, would be the yardstick with which the institution’s performance would be measured.
"This, we are confident, is an attainable objective," it said.
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