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Clean Audits – What does
it mean to the people of
South Africa
The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) issued their General Report on the outcomes of Local Government Audits covering the 2011 financial year on the 23 July 2012. The number of clean audit opinions remained unchanged compared to the previous financial year with 6 new municipalities achieving clean audit opinions. On the other hand, the number of municipal entities with clean audit opinions had regressed from ten last year to four this year.
There has always been ongoing debate to the meaning of the term “clean audit”. But what does it really mean? And do South African citizens have a full understanding of its meaning?
Many people are familiar with the terms “qualified” or “unqualified” opinions on audits, says Mohammed Lorgat, Project Director, Public Sector at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). “These refer to an opinion expressed by auditors on the financial statements of entities.”
Unlike private sector audits, the AGSA’s audit scope in the public sector is much broader. Besides the audit of financial statements, it also covers reporting of performance against predetermined objectives as well as compliance with laws and regulations.
“Therefore, in the South African public sector audit context, an entity needs to be unqualified in all the audit areas mentioned above in order to obtain a “clean audit”. If any of these three areas are deficient, then the audit will not be clean even in instances where the audit of the financial statements is unqualified, explains Lorgat.
These three elements are complementary and not exclusive to each other. It may be asked how they impact on South African citizens. One can assume that an entity that has a clean audit opinion has strong financial management, sound internal controls and a robust budgeting process. All of these elements bear witness to the fact that the entity spends the funds at their disposal efficiently and effectively towards meeting the targets set out in their strategic plans which ultimately will result in improved service delivery for the citizens of that area.
Hadley Francis, Chair of the SAICA Public Sector Committee says: “We must take caution when interpreting the audit opinions issued by the Auditor-General and not misinterpret these in anyway. Furthermore, obtaining an unqualified audit opinion on financial statements with certain reportable deficiencies on matters pertaining to reporting on performance against predetermined objectives and compliance with laws and regulations may suggest that an entity may not be too far off from achieving a “clean audit”.
The elements required to make the full transition to clean may not be too onerous to achieve in certain circumstances. Getting this right may require some additional interventions such as improved processes and better skills competencies in public finance. “Clean audits” are therefore critical to achieve as it demonstrates a fully functional entity and this ultimately enhances public confidence and accountability significantly. All entities must therefore strive to achieve a “clean audit”.
Corporate Executive at the AGSA and member of the SAICA Public Sector Committee, Imran Vanker re-emphasised the role of leadership in addressing the audit outcomes. “We have witnessed commitments made by political leaders at the national, provincial and local government spheres to put operation “clean audit” firmly on the agenda. These commitments are necessary and welcomed because they are the first step to remedying the current situation.”
A common ingredient in the few entities that have produced excellent audit outcomes has been the readiness of leadership to take a direct and personal interest in a properly functioning internal control environment. These leaders make effort to understand the value to be obtained from them playing their part in monitoring of key controls, and reach out to their audit committees and internal auditors to support them in their goals. AGSA’s interest is in seeing excellence in government in all spheres.
In respect of the role of professionals, Vanker highlighted that skills at the municipal level could benefit from securing professionals for posts, bringing along relevant practical experience. “Accountants, auditors, engineers, lawyers are just some of the varied professional skills that are needed to be deployed to municipalities. The efforts of SAICA to recognize the part it can play together with its formidable 33,000 strong membership, is an example of the contributions other professions could be planning as well.”

SOMER-SET-OOS HOU SKOU

SOMERSET-OOS
Somerset-Oos het weer lekker skou gehou hierdie jaar. Elke jaar is dit ‘n groot inspanning om skou te hou.
Elke jaar se skou vind egter plaas in groot geloof en geniet almal dit. Ook hierdie jaar is die skou gehou.
Die Boerbokke en Merino’s het die krale volgestaan en die Jeug is ook betrek waar hulle kom help het met die skou van diere.
Gelukwensing aan die president, mnr. Syce Botha en sy hele komitee wat so hard agter die skerms gewerk het. Mag ons skou van krag tot krag gaan. Vrydagaand se dans en modevertoning het ook goed afgeloop.
Kampioenskap
Saterdagmiddag se perdekampioenskappe was meestal oorheers deur pragtige boerperde wat geskou is.
Aankondiger, mnr. Roelie Meyburg van Oudtshoorn was oudergewoonte op sy stukke. Goeie perderuiters en hul perde was te sien tydens die kampioenskappe. en het vir goeie opwinding gesorg. Die kompetisie was veral sterk in die 5-gang Boerperd Grootkampioenskap, waar 11 ruiters en hul perde sake uitgespook het vir die gesogte titel. Onder hulle was ons Landbougenootskap se President, mnr Syce Botha, wat op sy jong boerperd gewys het, hy kan nog ‘n perd deur sy passies vat. Hierdie kampioenskap is gewen deur Johan Marais, Marais Stalle van Gallantskloof net buite Kookhuis, op sy spogperd ‘Coco’!
Welgedaan Johan!
Die 5-gang Saalperd Grootkampioenskap is hierdie jaar deur ‘n plaaslike ruiter, Francois Strydom, Strydom Stalle van Gertina Strydom, gewen op sy pragperd ‘What a Night’.
BOERPERD 5-GANG KAMPIOEN
Johan Marais op sy perd “Coco”. Johan het die hoofprys vir die Groot Kampioen 5-gang Boerperd van die Somerset-Oos Landbouskou wat die naweek hier gehou was, gewen. Die Boerperd 5-gang Kampioenskap, het ‘n naelbyt kampioenskap met 11 top Boerperde in aksie opgelewer. Louisa Vermaak, wat Saterdag as een van die beoordelaars opgetree het, oorhandig hier die prys aan Johan Marais en ‘Coco’. Nog foto’s en uitslae in ons volgende uitgawe.

Eastern Cape hope Eray sets her
sights on return to Hansa Fish
CRADOCK
Popular Eastern Cape paddling icon Michéle Eray is holding thumbs that her miserable year and a quarter of paddling injuries will come to an end and allow her to be part of the Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon on 5 and 6 October, a race that she describes as the greatest river race in the world.
Eray, who was a cornerstone of the South African women’s K4 that made their A final at the Beijing Olympics went on to achieve massive success as a river marathoner and surfski racer until she picked up a serious wrist injury from overuse midway through 2011.
The gutsy Plettenberg Bay star, who is also a professional biokineticist, battled to get her wrist to respond to treatment and only made her serious racing comeback with stunning victories in the Sella Descent in Spain and the Nelo Summer challenge surfski race in Portugal last month.
Her plans to race the Breede marathon as a final peak before heading for the world marathon championships in Rome in late September were scuttled when she picked up a flu bug and had to withdraw from that race at the eleventh hour.
A frustrated Eray said she is desperate to get back to her normal full racing schedule, particularly with the Hansa Fish in her home province just two weeks after the world marathon championships.
”Things are not really stacked in my favour, especially as I have a long roundabout trip to and from the worlds in Rome to deal with,” said Eray.
”It is a tough ask for anyone coming back from Rome to get up again for the Fish,” she added. “To be honest, all I want is to be able to be part of it again. I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines.”
Eray was the toast of the Eastern Cape when she partnered Robyn Kime to victory in the 2011 Fish, in the process becoming the first local paddler to claim the title since the late Daniel Conradie, who had mentored her into canoeing, won it in 1997.
Her plans to defend that title the following year fell apart when he wrist tendon injury failed to respond to rest after her impressive Berg victory last year.
The Hansa Fish takes place in Cradock on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 October 2012 and will decide the SA K1 River Championships. More information can be found at
www.fishmarathon.org.za
Michéle Eray in action on the first day of the Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon 2010. The popular Plettenberg Bay star is hoping to shrug off illness, jetlag and her wrist injury to be on the startline at Grassridge dam on 5 and 6 October. JustinVellacott/Gameplan Media

Read inside this edition / Lees binne hierdie uitgawe
  • More Managerial Posts, but continued poor Service Delivery in EC Municipalities
  • Karoo Hartland Kunstefees kom nadir
  • Lions Woodoc Kat MTB Challenge 2012 and photos
  • Cradock Voorbereidende Skool is nou Groen
  • Hobson & Co Brakfontein Bull and Production Sale

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