Public Sector Audit Committee Forum
The Auditor General Report on the National Audit Outcomes tabled at the National Assembly at the beginning of 2011 stated that there were vast shortcomings in areas of compliance with laws and regulations of government and also issues of reporting properly on service delivery information.
The report further stated that R831 million of irregular expenditure was identified by departments in 2009/10, while R898 million of irregular expenditure was identified at public entities. Some 13 departments and 58 public entities incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R27.6 million and R116 million respectively.
The report found that 26 public entities incurred material losses and impairment of assets of R2.5 billion.
Furthermore the Auditor General reported during June 2011 on the Audit Outcomes of the Local Government sphere. This report also highlighted similar concerns to those expressed above.
The Auditor General has over time reported regularly about governance weaknesses as well as other challenges faced by management and boards of public sector entities.
We believe that audit committees play a key role in preventing and addressing these challenges through their oversight role.
To this end The Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA), The Institute for Internal Auditors in South Africa (IIASA), The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), The Institute of Risk Management South Africa (IRMSA), National Treasury (NT), the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) and Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) have embarked on a joint effort to constitute a Public Sector Audit Committee Forum (“PSACF” or “the Forum”) to facilitate guidance of and assistance to members of public sector audit committees. The activities of the Forum will have specific focus on the governance and accountability role and duties of public sector audit committee members.
The activities of the Forum will be funded by National Treasury and The Institute of Directors in Southern Africa will act as secretariat for the PSACF.
The objectives of the PSACF will, inter alia be the following:
- To raise awareness of matters that relate to the function, duties and composition of public sector audit committees;
- To be alert to and consider matters concerning public sector audit committees in the public domain;
- To provide thought leadership on the function, duties and composition of public sector audit committees by discussing, researching, developing and disseminating position papers and good governance guidance;
- To embark on initiatives that address the training and development of current or potential public sector audit committee members;
- To provide a database of individuals who are experienced and qualified to serve as public sector audit committee members;
- To provide a forum for the mentoring of public sector audit committee members;
- To support public financial management, governance, risk and control initiatives to improve audit outcomes across all spheres of government.
Visit the IoDSA website to read more on the PSACF