Intervention must happen to solve the ingrained challenges faced by Municipal Public Accounts Committees, also known as MPACs, throughout the country as they strive to achieve unqualifi ed, or “clean” audits. These committees were created to be powerful institutions of accountability and oversight in public spending and should hold the key to better financial management.
This year so far, the Auditor General (AG), has reported more than R2bn in irregular expenditure by municipalities. A report by the AG, released earlier this year suggested some progress in achieving accurate and fair financial management at a municipal level had been achieved, with as many as 228 of the 319 auditees showing unchanged findings (as opposed to regressive findings) and 63 auditees showing improved findings.
At a two-day workshop which studied challenges faced by MPAC councillors earlier this month, Grant Thornton noted a list of obstacles that were hampering them from their
task of improving financial oversight at their municipalities. The responses of some 100 delegates from various municipalities in the North West province can be viewed as a case study for what is happening across the country.