It is extremely disheartening but not surprising that several government departments have applied for a condonement of the irregular expenditure incurred for the 2020/2021 financial year.
This is the process where the relevant authority acknowledges the expenditure and pardons the action that has resulted in the irregular expenditure. Whilst in certain instances irregular expenditure cannot be avoided, this should only occur when absolutely needed.
Furthermore, it is concerning to note that in many instances where a condonement was applied for, no consequence management or remedial action reports were submitted with the application. Last year, the Auditor-General’s report highlighted that Gauteng incurred irregular expenditure to the tune of R9.7 billion for the 2020/2021 financial year.
The only way in which we will be able to clamp down on irregular expenditure which often opens the door for corrupt activities to take place, is to ensure that there is proper consequence management.
In a recent reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) regarding departments and entities that had applied for the condonement of irregular expenditure it was revealed that following departments had submitted a request:
• Department of Roads and Transport
• Department of e-Government
• Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
• Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation
• Department of Community Safety
• Department of Infrastructure Development
• Department of Education
• Department of Economic Development
• Department of Social Development
• The Office of the Premier
See full annexure here
While the following entities submitted a request for the condonement of irregular expenditure:
• G-Fleet Management
• Gauteng Tourism Authority
• Gauteng Growth and Development Agency
• Gauteng Gambling Board
See full annexure here
Our residents of Gauteng deserve better. Their hard-earned taxes must be used in an open and transparent manner where a proper paper trail exists that will allow officials to properly account for how each and every cent is spent.
Without this our government coffers are at risk of being looted and service delivery to our residents in the province will suffer the most.
As the official opposition in the GPL, we will continue to advocate for proper consequence management and remedial action to take place where the proper guidelines on how taxpayers’ money is spent has not been followed.
The DA is also demanding that the Gauteng Provincial Government considers establishing its own charter against corruption that every government department and accounting officer signs, so they can be held accountable for any missteps that take place in their department along with the officials responsible.