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Qualified audits deserve no bonus - Scopa

May 21 2010 11:26 Troye Lund

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Cape Town - Parliament's public accounts committee (Scopa) chairperson Themba Godi wants to see an end to the payment of performance bonuses to directors general (DGs) whose departments receive qualified audits.

Godi, leader and only MP of the African People's Congress party, has the support of some ANC MPs.

ANC MP Roy Ainslie said on Friday unless there is a link between how departments are managed and the bonuses paid, DGs would have little incentive to address financial mismanagement and weak internal controls.

"To say a qualified audit does not necessarily affect [a DG's] bonus is unacceptable," said Ainslie. "How can you get a performance bonus when your financial management is not in order?"

Frustrated auditor general

Ainslie said DGs often shrug off qualified audits and points of concern raised by the auditor general (AG) by arguing that they had no control over the problem. This results in the AG raising the same issues year after year.

For example, when Tshediso Matona became DG of the department of trade and industry in 2006, Scopa warned it would press criminal charges against him if he failed to address weak internal controls at the Companies Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro). In Cipro's audit, the AG again flagged the same issue.

Meanwhile Matona's political boss, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, has promised Scopa he will be cracking the whip.

Godi's statements on this subject echo the frustration frequently expressed by AG Terence Nombembe.

In a recent report to parliament, Nombembe complained about a lack of leadership from ministers and their administrative heads. This, he said, leaves critical issues and weaknesses in government's financial management, making it vulnerable to corruption.

 - Fin24.com       

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