Gauteng, South Africa – 27 June 2019: The Chartered Institute of Government Finance, Audit and Risk Officers (CIGFARO) welcomes the audit results released by the Auditor-General (AG), Kimi Makwetu. Yesterday the AG released yet another set of municipal audit results that show an overall decline in audit results for the 2017-18 financial year.
The AG notes that 18 out of 257 municipalities across the country were able to consistently achieve a clean audit status (being an unqualified audit opinion with no other findings) even though they were faced with similar challenges to their counterparts.
Twelve of these municipalities were in the Western Cape and included the local municipalities of Swellendam, Witzenberg, Bergrivier, Breede Valley, Cape Agulhas, Cederberg, Hessequa, Matzikama and Overstrand. Other municipalities that consistently perform well are Senqu (Eastern Cape), Midvaal (Gauteng) and Okhahlamba (KwaZulu-Natal). The best practices at these municipalities included stable leadership that is committed to a strong control environment supported by effective governance.
CIGFARO is pleased to announce that 12 out of the 18 municipalities which maintained a clean audit status have staff members who are active members of CIGFARO. These members have consistently attended seminars and workshops to help improve their skills and expand their scope of knowledge. In most of these municipalities it was noted that the Municipal Manager usually accompanies the Chief Finance Officer to the practical CIGFARO events. This proves that working together creates greater accountability and capacitate the country through building a better future for all.
CIGFARO President, Mr Peet du Plessis, says: “We need to ensure that we have the right people in the right positions to execute the plans and to deliver to the public we serve. Moreover, staff productivity is a key issue to ensuring service delivery. We are employing more staff and paying them more, yet there is more outsourcing and more overtime, with lower productivity at the end of the day. This is unsustainable. We need to look at interventions to increase productivity, such as the transfer of skills to minimise reliance on consultants, considering new shift systems, and ultimately enhance service delivery.
CIGFARO members and non-members in municipalities are encouraged to assess the performance of the municipality or departments regarding service delivery over the past few years, identifying the weaknesses and addressing them through implementing sound policies and procedures that will improve the quality of life for respective communities and customers.
He further alluded for the need to again professionalise the sector as it was in the past, where a person could not act as a Treasurer nor CFO unless he or she is well qualified and belongs to the Institute. This requirement was unfortunately repealed by legislation and there is a need to review this position and re-introduce this as a requirement. This requirement should also be rolled out to the whole public sector for officials in the finance, risk, supply chain and audit departments. A high standard of ethics and true leadership is required in the sector to bring it up to speed. CIGFARO has high standards of ethics for its members and could fill the requirement through its members.
Chief Executive Officer, Mr Abbey Tlaletsi, started by quoting Nelson Mandela saying: “What counts is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lived.”
“The partnership with Auditor-General and key stakeholders will be what jointly improves the lives of finance practitioners in the public sector. CIGFARO looks forward to promoting the interests of the finance related profession in the public sector”. He further remarked that, “As a recognised professional body for financial practitioners it is imperative that we partner with institutions that are inclined to deliver the most trusted solutions to clients.”
CIGFARO Annual Conference 2019
CIGFARO is inviting you to the 90th Annual CIGFARO Conference 2019, to be held at the Durban ICC from 7 – 9 October 2019.