Preotoria – Provincial departments and public entities in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal improved their audit outcomes over the past three years, with more than 80% achieving unqualified audit reports.
But while the three provinces had shown sustained improvements, the situation in the remaining six deteriorated over the same period.
This was according to the 2010/11 General Report on National Audit Outcomes released in Pretoria on Monday by Auditor General Terence Nombembe.
The North West regressed during the previous three years while the Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape had "stagnated".
For the 2010/11 year 52% of the North West province’s audit reports were qualified, including one disclaimer. According to the report there were still 11 audit reports outstanding. The deadline was September 30 2011.
The Western Cape was the top province with 96% of audit reports being financially unqualified, followed by Gauteng with 94% of audit reports being unqualified, Mpumalanga with 89% and KwaZulu-Natal with 86%.
A clean report is financially unqualified with no findings.
The Northern Cape and the North West were the only provinces where no departments or public entities received clean audits.
A disclaimer is issued when the auditor cannot form an opinion on the financial statements. This can happen where the entity being audited conceals or fails to provide relevant information, is involved in litigation, or if its status as a going concern is threatened.
In the Northern Cape there were three departments or entities that received disclaimers.
According to the report 1 103 investigations were completed or underway during the 2010/11 year. Of these 710 involved fraud while 255 were classified as investigations into "other financial misconduct".
Another 138 related to supply chain management issues within the provincial departments or entities.
The next highest number of investigations was in the Eastern Cape with 250. The North West had the least with only eight such investigations.
The Western Cape was the only province where the auditor general did not find any unauthorised expenditure. In contrast there was R1.43bn worth of unauthorised expenditure in Gauteng.
Of the R16.79bn the auditor general classified as irregular expenditure in all the provinces, Gauteng topped the list with R4.8bn, followed closely by the Eastern Cape with R4.5bn.
In terms of fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the provinces, Gauteng again led the pack with R400m, followed by Limpopo with R225m and the Eastern Cape with R117m.
According to the report human resource management was problematic in all provinces. In provincial government departments about 21% of senior management positions had remained vacant for more than 12 months, while in the provincial public entities the figure stood at 15%.