The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) is appalled and shocked at the manner in which finances have been managed by the Department of Correctional Services in the past few years.Scopa held hearings with the department on its 201314 annual report and financial statements today. The Committee has noticed that the department has virtually violated almost every regulation in the Public Finance Management Act.
The Committee had to adjourn the hearings as it was not convinced by the answers that were offered by the current accounting officer of the department. The Acting Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services said he was not the accounting officer at the time of the financial year under review.
Scopa has requested the Acting Commissioner of the department to provide detailed information on issues of fruitless, wasteful and irregular expenditure by next week Tuesday. The Committee has also asked the Acting Commissioner for a list of investigations that are currently being undertaken by the department.
Scopa will set a date where it will request the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, the Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, the former accounting officer of the department who was in charge during the financial year under review, the chief financial officer, the head of supply chain management and the head of human resourcesto appear before the Committee to give clear answers on issues of concern on the finances of the Department of Correctional Services. The Committee will also request the entire information and technology (IT) team and the consultants used by the department to appear before the Committee to answer questions related to the irregularities caused by discrepancies in the IT system.
The Committee has noted that the department has not received an unqualified audit report for the past ten years and wants to get to the bottom of the challenges and to receive very firm and specific commitments from the department around the issues that are of concern.
ISSUED BY PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF MR THEMBA GODI, THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
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Source : Parliament of South Africa