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Gengezi Mgidlana breaks laws by making a mess of Parliament’s financial reporting

Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana should have exercised his oversight responsibility regarding financial reporting, but failed to declare some of Parliament’s wasteful expenditure to his bosses, according to the Auditor-General.

City Press reported on Sunday about correspondence between the Auditor-General and Parliament in which the Auditor-General queries Mgidlana’s failure to sign an internal memo declaring details of irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and not reporting this to Parliament’s executive authority.

The Auditor-General states that, during the audit of expenditure management, it was identified that an internal memo dated May 12 2016 was submitted to Mgidlana by the chief financial officer, Manenzhe Manenzhe, to approve the finance management office’s recommendation for the periods April 1 2015 to March 31 2016.

But Mgidlana did not sign the memo, and there is no evidence that he submitted particulars to his bosses – Parliament’s presiding officers Baleka Mbete and Thandi Modise – as is required by the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, the law governing legislatures’ finances.

“This results in a contravention of the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act,” writes the Auditor-General.

He says proper controls were not implemented to ensure that the required section of the act was complied with.

“In our view, as soon as the accounting officer received the report from the chief financial officer, he should have notified the executive authority of the particulars of the matters as required [by law].”

But Parliament disputed the audit findings that they should report to the executive authority.

It insisted that, according to the act, where irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure or losses occur, they must be reported to the accounting officer, the secretary to Parliament in this case.

Parliament spokesperson Luzuko Jacobs said yesterday that Mgidlana took a view that before any fruitless, wasteful and irregular expenditure was condoned, a thorough diagnosis should be done to identify the root cause or causes, and corrective and preventative measures should be considered.

Jacobs said a committee is being established to evaluate all fruitless, wasteful and irregular expenditure, and that the committee will make recommendations to the accounting officer on whether these expenditures should be condoned or recovered accordingly.

The Secretary to Parliament will then sign these expenditures upon the recommendation of the committee before the end of the 2016/17 financial year, said Jacobs. –

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