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AG TO RESOLVE GOVERNMENT DEBT! 

The Standing Committee on the Auditor-General received a briefing from the Office of the Auditor-General (AG) on its integrated annual report for the 2020/21 financial year. The committee also received a report from the Audit Committee that conducts oversight over the AG’s office.The committee appreciates the positive report from the Audit Committee, which indicated that the system of internal control over financial reporting and the risk management processes is adequate and operating effectively in the AG’s office.

The committee commends the AG for obtaining a clean audit and demonstrating a clean administration. The committee has noted the AG’s ability to manage its debtors book, but it is concerned about the R1.085 billion that is still owed to the AG by some national and provincial departments, municipalities and statutory and other debtors. The committee is committed to finding ways to assist the AG to resolve this non-payment.

The committee will convene another meeting to look into the AG’s report and make recommendations on the matters raised in it. The committee will have to come up with firm proposals when dealing with the report. The committee plans to address the areas of intervention in terms of debt-related costs. It also plans to look at the National Treasury’s role in ensuring that the office of the AG is more empowered internally.

The committee will also consider furthering the depth of the AG’s independence in its work, particularly in the areas that have led to risk mitigation. The committee will also look at areas relating to operational capability, especially the scale of internal appointments and the commitment of its staff to work in a manner that contributes to the highest standard of work, as the AG’s office is doing.