A lack of management accountability is the root cause for wasteful and irregular expenditure at public broadcaster the SABC and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), said the Auditor General (AG).
The AG’s report to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications on Tuesday revealed that key state assets the SABC, Icasa, Brand SA, the Film and Publications Board (FPB) and GCIS (Government Communication and Information System) had racked up irregular expenditure of R451m, and fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R21.3m for 2014/15.
But audit executive Alice Miller, in particular, lambasted the accountability process at SABC and Icasa.
“The lack of consequence management especially at the SABC as well as Icasa: We’re raising these two because they’ve got the highest irregular expenditure in this portfolio,” said Miller.
“The minister has now made a commitment to monitor the implementation of consequence management at these two entities,” she added.
The AG disclosed that the SABC and Icasa each respectively notched up R18.8m and R2.3m in fruitless and wasteful expenditure for the 2014/15 period.
“When you look at the Icasa annual report, a lot of reasons for variations were noted. We found during our audit is that we couldn’t get supporting information to support those variations,” Miller said, highlighting the lack of procedures in supply chain management.
In her response, Icasa councillor Katherine Pillay said that the organisation was working to fill vacant positions highlighted by the AG.
“We’ve since filled five or six vacancies in terms of supply chain management.”
Miller recommended a closer monitoring of these entities with a focus on performance management.
“The lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions is one of the root causes in this portfolio and we recommend that consequence management needs to be linked to the performance management and action needs to be taken.”