PARLIAMENT, December 1 – Parliament’s Standing Committee on the Auditor-General (AG) on Friday condemned instances of threats and intimidation against State auditing staff.
In a statement, the committee said hot on the heels of reports by AG of South Africa Kimi Makwetu in his 2016/17 report on audit outcomes of national departments and public entities, that his staff were being threatened or intimidated amid increasing cases of contestation of audit outcomes, a similar picture had emerged during the current auditing of municipalities.
“The AGSA has already shared with us the specific examples and audit sites where these threats are prevalent,” the committee said.
“The AGSA has a constitutional mandate to audit the accounts of government without fear, favour or prejudice, and to comment on the strength of government’s financial and performance management. For that matter, the Constitution clearly prohibits any person or organ of state from interfering with the functioning of the Auditor-General or his office.”
The statement said the independence of the office of the AG was enshrined in the Constitution and was needed for the “key element of oversight on behalf of and assurance to the public of South Africa”.
“We call on everybody involved with public sector audits, political and administrative, as well as people doing business with government, to desist from creating any obstacle to the functioning of the AGSA and from threatening or intimidating staff of that office.”
– African News Agency (ANA)