Auditor-General rebukes Gauteng Health Department for lack of controls and irregular expenditureby Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

October 9, 2018

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

The Auditor-General’s report on the Gauteng Health Department for 2017/18 rebukes the Department for lack of controls, unreliable information, and racking up irregular expenditure of R1.7 billion and fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R38 million.

This report was tabled last month in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

The A-G disclaims “the usefulness and reliability of the reported performance information” and says that “senior management did not ensure that sufficient controls are in place to prepare accurate and complete financial statements and performance reports that are supported and evidenced by reliable information.”

Furthermore, “there was a lack of monitoring controls to ensure compliance with laws and regulations including procurement and contract management, expenditure management and revenue management”.

The Department is criticized for not taking effective steps to prevent irregular expenditure of R1.7 billion, and fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R38 million.

Most of the irregular expenditure was caused by procurement of goods and services without following competitive bidding processes, and a large part of the wasted expenditure was due to interest levied on overdue accounts.

Details of the irregular expenditure include the following:

  • R679 million on security contracts;
  • R119 million on over-expenditure on employee compensation;
  • R91 million on supply chain processes not followed;
  • R91 million on outsourced nursing staff ; and
  • R3.8 million on Mental Health NGOs, which the SIU is investigating

The report noted that “various investigations, based on the allegations of procurement irregularities, fraud, theft and negligence, are being performed by the department dating back from prior periods.”

I am alarmed that the Department is still disregarding the necessary controls to curb irregular and wasteful spending.

This will only change when proper financial systems are put in place and disciplinary action is taken against officials who incurred or permitted irregular expenditure, which the report says did not occur.

I am disappointed that so little progress has been made in fixing the management of this Department which has never recovered from the rampant corruption when Brian Hlongwa was the Health MEC from 2006 to 2009.

Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa should be fired for her manifold failures, including the deaths of babies from hospital-acquired infections and the unsafe conditions that led to the disastrous fire at her head office.

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