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Auditor-General in talks with Treasury to recoup R150m spent on auditing Covid-19 corruption

Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke.

Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke.

  • AGSA is in discussions with Treasury to recoup the R150 million it spent on real-time audits of Government’s Covid-19 relief package.
  • This will address the R57 million shortfall in its budget for 2020/2021.
  • The real-time audits were not budgeted for.

The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) is engaging with National Treasury to recoup the R150 million it spent on real-time auditing of Covid-19 procurement.

Last year, when government announced its R500 billion Covid-19 relief package, President Cyril Ramaphosa asked AGSA to perform real-time auditing on these measures.

Presenting the Standing Committee on the Auditor-General with AGSA’s strategic plan for 2021 to 2024, Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke said AGSA will have a budget deficit of R57 million for the 2021/2022 financial year, meaning that they will have to draw on their reserves.

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“This will have a negative impact on our cash cover going forward,” reads Maluleke’s presentation.

After DA MP Haniff Hoosen expressed his concern about the projected shortfall, Maluleke said this will be “diminished” once AGSA received payment for the R150 million it spent on the real-time audits.

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“We have yet to get the benefit of that money back,” she said, adding that AGSA continues to engage with Treasury on the matter. She said if the matter is not resolved in two to three weeks, she’ll turn to the committee for help.

She said they tried to recoup as much of the expenses from the auditees as possible, but this was not always possible. Furthermore, that work was not budgeted for, because it was necessitated by the pandemic.

Two weeks ago, Maluleke presented the findings of these real-time audits to the committee.

AGSA found that some of the projects were abandoned or redirected, while others didn’t achieve the required objectives.  

Furthermore, AGSA uncovered unfairness in the awarding of government business and found insufficient steps to prevent overpricing, financial loss, fraud, and abuse of the system.

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