The Presidency has tabled its Annual Report for the 2009-2010 financial year in Parliament at the end of September 2010.
The Presidency is pleased with the Report, which outlines the sterling work done in the past financial year. This includes the reconfiguration of government as well as instituting a new ethos of working to change the way government works to improve service delivery in the public service.
The past year saw the introduction of a performance monitoring and evaluation function in The Presidency and government, as well as the introduction of the national planning function, leading to the establishment of the National Planning Commission later.
These have set the tone of the fourth democratic administration as one that is determined to improve the functioning of government and enhance service delivery, building on the foundation of the past three administrations.
The Presidency is pleased that the Annual Report did not receive any disclaimer from the Auditor-General.
However, we are aware of the weaknesses in the Report which relate to assets that have been written off as well as some irregular expenditure identified in the Report.
The Presidency wish to clarify the following:
The assets amounting to R5,8 million ,which have been written off, date as far back as 2002 up to last year. These assets relate to office furniture and Information Technology equipment. They were written off because they could not be located or accounted for over the years.
The Presidency has since put systems in place to rectify these weaknesses and ensure that there is proper and improved financial accountability in the institution.
We have implemented an effective asset management system that will ensure that all the assets within the office are properly accounted for, and that their physical location is known. All assets are physically checked twice a year to confirm their existence and location.
The report also makes reference to R939 000 worth of irregular expenditure. This expenditure occurs mostly in emergency situations where officials are expected to procure services before an official order can be generated. This practice is also being looked at to ensure that our system is able to generate orders even in emergency situations.
"These anomalies are identified through our internal controls and voluntarily disclosed to auditors. In this manner, we are entrenching a culture of accountability and the ability to detect problems and solve them in our financial management system. We have introduced the correct approach and it is bound to work,'' said Minister Collins Chabane, the Minister in the Presidency responsible for administration.
Minister Chabane will continue to supervise the administration to ensure that tighter controls are implemented for proper financial accountability.