Minister Mthethwa to institute disciplinary action for R171 Million Irregular Expenditure
The Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa today pledged to institute disciplinary measures against officials if found guilty of irregular and wasteful expenditure between April 2009 and now.
Minister Mthethwa submitted a written reply to a question by the Democratic Alliance’s national assembly member, Mr L W Greyling who wanted details of all irregular and wasteful expenditure in the Department of Arts and Culture from 1 April 2009 until now.
The amount of irregular expenditure was nil in 2009/10 financial year and has exponentially increased from R3.6 million in 2010/11; R8.8 million in 2011/12 and to R95.5 million in 2012/13. In the financial year ending on 31 March 2014 the irregular expenditure is disclosed at R171 million.
The expenditure over the years have been mainly due to supply chain related matters which include consultants being appointed without following due processes and lack of competitive bidding processes. Furthermore there are other causes such as the use of 2010 FIFA World Cup Project funds without approval from National Treasury, breach of contract and payment for goods that were never delivered.
In a written statement, Minister Mthethwa acknowledged awareness of the problems and spelt out the steps that he has taken to address the matter.
“Since coming into office I have identified the problems raised by the member in his question. As a result, I have convened a meeting with the Auditor-General to get further understanding of the issues around irregular as well as fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
“The meeting with the Auditor-General confirmed what we picked up as problems.
“I have further engaged with the Department’s officials, internal audit and our audit committee to provide responses to the issues identified,” said the Minister Mthethwa.
Further, Minister Mthethwa expressed the view for strong action against officials if found guilty.
“My view is that those responsible for incurring these irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditures must face the full might of the law. We will endeavour to recover the amounts involved,” stated Minister Mthethwa.
In the meeting with the Auditor-General it was indicated that the Department of Arts & Culture will receive a qualified opinion for the 2013/14 financial year due to the incompleteness of the disclosed irregular expenditure.
“We shall institute the appropriate measures to prevent further occurrence,” said Minister Mthethwa.
For further details, call Sandile Memela, Spokesperson for the Minister of Arts and Culture on 082 800 3750