Corrupt officials may soon find themselves personally liable for losses incurred by the state if Auditor-General (A-G) Kimi Makwetu has his way.
Makwetu has proposed that a review of the Public Audit Act be conducted to enable his office to refer undesirable audit outcomes for further investigation by appropriate investigative agencies, such as the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority – and, where financial losses were incurred through flagrant mismanagement, a debt would be raised against officials fingered.
Makwetu addressed attendees at this week’s presentation by the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants on the Public Finance Management Act audit outcomes. Speaking at the Sandton event, he said his office wanted the reviewed legislation to raise a debt in the state pension funds of those officials who had acted recklessly, to ensure that the debt incurred was settled by the guilty party.
According to Makwetu’s spokesperson Mandla Radebe, the procedures to support Makwetu’s proposal to Parliament to grant him extended powers are yet to be determined and will be articulated in a set of regulations after the amendments to the act are promulgated.
“The Public Audit Act, in its current form, does not require the A-G to report criminal activity to the law enforcement agencies. Indicators of suspected criminal activity are reported to management, who is charged with the responsibility to report those infringements for further investigation and possible prosecution,” he said.