Provincial Treasuries plans against fraud and corruption, & expenditure reporting

NCOP Finance

13 August 2012
Chairperson: Mr C De Beer (ANC, Northern Cape)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

Four Provincial Treasuries presented their individual plans on how to deter fraud and corruption within provincial departments, and tabled the expenditures of their respective provincial departments as at the end of the 2011/12 financial-year.

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Treasury had taken pro-active measures to reduce the risk of fraud and corruption. These included IT fraud risk assessments that had been conducted in all provincial departments, the implementation of the Biometric Access Control System (BACS), the review of the workings of supply chain management, and cash management controls. Supply Chain Management procedure were under review, an provincial conflict of interest policies and guidelines were being drafted. All officials in government would be required to declare their interests, irrespective of their levels. Compliance was being enforced by Provincial Treasury through regular supply chain management compliance reviews. The Public Finance Management Act was to be amended to define the conditions under which deviation may occur. An e-procurement tool was designed to combat fraud and corruption, as it would electronically deal with requisitions and issuing of orders. It was budgeted to cost R6 million. A contract inventory of all existing contracts was to be done, and this had been piloted in six departments and six municipalities. It had picked up a number of problems. The projected budget for this was R26,8 million. A Tender Appeals Tribunal was in place for provincial departments and was also to be implemented in municipalities. There were stricter controls being introduced for cash management. There were measures in place to work with the Office of the Premier, and disciplinary courts were to be established to address existing backlogs of disciplinary cases. Audits were widely accepted as a method of curbing corruption and were acting as a good deterrent. The spending in this Province was then outlined. KwaZulu-Natal province had budgeted for a surplus close to R1 billion. It had collected revenue to the tune of R771 million. On conditional grants, it had under-spent by R1.8 million. Of the R8 million granted for housing, only R3 million was spent because no commitments were proved.

In the Free State, Chief Risk Officers had been appointed in all the provincial departments in order to manage fraud in the work place. A Concept Fraud prevention policy had been developed and circulated to all departments and entities. Finance and Supply Chain Management (SCM) delegations were reviewed, and a prescribed minimum level was set for delegations. SCM forums were being held quarterly. Provincial Treasury had embarked on a training programme for Chief Risk Officers in order to manage fraud in the workplace, and had issued guidelines, including bi-annual assessments for fraud management. Procurement initiatives included a hotline and central supplier database, and provincial departments were bound to do specific reporting. Only specific payments outside of the LOGIS and PERSAL systems were allowed, and mandates were being confirmed with the banks. All supplier payments above R1 million, and PERSAL payments above R5 million, were to be verified and approved by Treasury before implementation by the bank. Provincial Treasury also had to approve Forex payments. The financial expenditure in this province in the first quarter showed that the Provincial Department of Agriculture was underperforming, that mining was increasing but not creating jobs, and construction, whilst still small-scale, was doing well. Three departments were underspending and overall, the first quarter performance was 24%. Only 28% of the conditional grants budgeted for payment in this quarter had been spent.

The Gauteng Provincial Treasury had revised the Gauteng Anti-Corruption Strategy, which was led by the Office of the Premier and the Forensic Services Unit. The Gauteng 2010 Anti-Corruption Summit had passed numerous anti-corruption resolutions, signed by the Provincial Government, organised business and civil society representatives. Risk Management units had been established in all departments to increase awareness of fraud risk, and this had improved awareness. There had been implementation of restrictions on the supplier database, publication of sanctions upon conviction, a Minimum Anti-Corruption Capacity audit, and development and maintenance of fraud prevention plans for each department. Visible Anti-Corruption poster campaigns were launched for all Gauteng Provincial Government buildings. This had already reduced year on year fraud risk incidents reported. From a financial point of view, accruals and over commitments were continuing to impact negatively on the service delivery targets for 2012/13 financial year. There were problems in achieving value for money on infrastructure delivery. Lack of skilled personnel internally was inhibiting efficient management of infrastructure delivery and there was heavy reliance on external service providers. In the 2011/12 financial year, Gauteng was allocated R65 billion, but under-spent by R977 million, specifically in roads, education and social development sectors.  

The Mpumalanga Provincial Treasury reported on a decision to rotate all supply chain management officials, in order to eliminate corrupt and fraudulent practices, a requirement for screening of all officials responsible for procurement of goods and services and works, and regular training programmes, including a joint programme with University of Pretoria for a Certification programme, covering a five-year period, to capacitate SCM practitioners from various institutions. All bid committee members were required to sign a declaration of confidentiality and impartiality form. New procurement systems had been introduced, also aimed at minimising fraud and corruption, and this had already resulted in better internal controls over procurement. In order to improve reporting, a method was introduced whereby the spending of individual departments had to be tracked via the BAS system. Practice notes were issued in relation to the prohibition on government officials from engaging in outside business with their departments in the province and all potential companies had to be verified both in terms of their standing and their directorships. In relation to expenditure, this province reported that it aimed to shift expenditure from consumption to investment. It had also received a directive from National Treasury to plan for value for money, not for rollovers. A huge under-expenditure on infrastructure development had been recorded in the province.

Members commented that some of the measures taken to deter fraud and corruption were good and proactive but the challenge would lie in whether they could be properly enforced. They remarked that Provincial Treasuries should not tolerate mediocrity because, just like Parliament, they were doing oversight. They wanted to know what was being done to address the escalating wage bills, in light of calls for moderation, and asked to what extent Provincial Treasuries had addressed challenges pointed out by the Auditor-General. They questioned why there was less expenditure on conditional grants in the first quarter, when planning had been done before the end of the previous financial year, enquired what was being done to correct under-spending and over-spending departments, and what was being done to ensure officials were not working with syndicates in defrauding the government.

Meeting report

KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Treasury presentation
Ms Mmapula Motaung, Senior General Manager: Public Finance,: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Treasury, said that this Treasury, as part of the plan to combat fraud and corruption, had conducted fraud risk and IT fraud risk assessments at all provincial departments, under Project Unembeza. This had identified potential incidents of IT fraud and had detected and tracked down vulnerabilities in existing networks of government.

The Case Management System was in the process of being developed and would assist with the registration and monitoring of cases under investigation. It was aimed at improving accurate reporting on cases of fraud and corruption, and would enable the Provincial Treasury to track the implementation of recommendations such as disciplinary actions, civil recoveries and criminal cases being registered with law enforcement agencies.

A Biometric Access Control System (BACS) had been implemented in all departments, across the BAS and PERSAL accounting systems. It was designed to provide a much better audit trail because it required the use of fingerprints to log onto BAS and PERSAL, and had replaced the password system.

She reported on the procedures for review of supply chain management. The Provincial Conflict of Interest Policy and related guidelines were at a draft stage. All officials in government would be required to declare their interests, irrespective of their levels. The previous lack of proper delegation and poor segregation of roles had prompted the Provincial and National Treasury to improve the assignment of supply chain management delegations to the correct level. As a result, accounting officers were instructed to implement clear Supply Chain Management Decision Frameworks, and compliance was being enforced by Provincial Treasury through regular supply chain management compliance reviews and enforcement of the code of conduct for supply chain management practitioners.

Loopholes had been discussed with National Treasury, and an amendment would soon be made to the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) to define the conditions under which deviation may occur, rather than leaving it to the Accounting Officers or authorities to decide whether it was acceptable.

The Provincial Treasury was planning to acquire an e-procurement tool. It had been designed to curb fraud and corruption done through cover-quoting and many other similar fraudulent practices, and it was an electronic method of dealing with requisitions and issuing of orders. This tool was ready to be piloted but was being delayed by the proposed implementation of Integrated Financial Management Systems (IFMS) by National Treasury. The budget for implementation was estimated to be around R6 million.

The Provincial Treasury was implementing the development of a contract inventory of all existing contracts in all departments. This had been piloted in six departments and three municipalities, and was currently running in Phase 1. Its shortcomings so far included the awarding of contracts to service providers not registered in the provincial suppliers database, payments made with amounts exceeding the amounts reflected in orders issued, and continued provision of services after expiry of contracts without any legal extensions. Phase 2 would focus on a clause-by-clause review of each contract to ensure that delivery had met expectations. The projected budget for this was R26,8 million.

The Tender Appeals tribunal, which was already in place for provincial departments, had been offering the public the opportunity to question any process in the awarding of tenders. Soon, it would be implemented in municipalities. A pilot project was in progress already. Municipal Tribunals would provide a mechanism of reporting irregularities in the awarding of contracts by municipalities in the province.

With regard to cash management controls, all payments over R500 000 would require to go to tender. All payments over R1 million would be verified by Treasury and this would enable it to pick up bogus bank accounts, ensure that the right people were being paid, ensure that top management of different departments were aware that large sums of money were coming through, because they have to sign them, and would act as a deterrent because fraudsters would know that Treasury would be checking. The Provincial Treasury was currently working on measures to tighten up controls on smaller amounts.

Other internal audit initiatives included working with the Office of the Premier. Special arrangements had been made with the High Court. Disciplinary courts were to be established to address existing backlogs of disciplinary cases.

Progress so far indicated that audits were widely accepted as a way to curb corruption and were acting as deterrents to waste and abuse of public funds. The Audit Outcomes had shown a general improvement in compliance with financial reporting. The cost cutting measures had acted as a deterrent by making top management aware of managing finances in their departments.

She then tabled graphs on the financial expenditure, and indicated that the KwaZulu-Natal province had budgeted for a surplus close to R1 billion. It had collected revenue to the tune of R771 million. On conditional grants, it has under-spent by R1.8 million. Of the R8 million granted for housing, only R3 million was spent because no commitments were proved.

Free State Provincial Treasury Presentation
Mr Thami Mabhija, Chief Financial Officer, Free State Provincial Treasury noted that his Department had appointed risk management committees together with Chief Risk Officers in all departments. The composition of Audit Committees for departments was reviewed during the 2011/2012 period. It was indicated that no government official should serve on these committees. The aim was to improve the effectiveness of Audit Committees.

Finance and Supply Chain Management (SCM) delegations were reviewed, and a prescribed minimum level was set for delegations, and segregation of duties was ensured. SCM forums had been held every quarter to highlight fraud issues that affected provincial departments.

On the issue of capacity building, the Provincial Treasury had embarked on a training programme for Chief Risk Officers in order to manage fraud in the workplace. Guidelines had been issued on fraud prevention and detection, and later on, a Concept Fraud prevention policy was developed and provided to all departments and entities. For the 2012/2013 period, bi-annual assessments for fraud management had been developed.

In relation to procurement, a hotline and central supplier database had been established. Provincial departments had been instructed to report on expansion and variations of contracts, to submit procurement plans in April each year, and do monthly reports on deviations. Certain goods were to be procured through a transversal contract arranged by Treasury, and provincial departments had been tasked to report monthly on payments made within 30 days.

In relation to systems control, sundry payments outside of LOGIS were being limited to specific payments which were not provided for on LOGIS or PERSAL systems. System Controllers for BAS were situated in the Provincial Treasury. Mandates were continuously confirmed with South African Reserve Bank, and only the Head of Treasury could amend these mandates, by a written instruction to the bank. All specimens of authorised signatories were with the bank.

With regard to cash management and payments, it was agreed that the Provincial Treasury would handle all registrations of banking details. The second verification would be done by Standard Bank before the details were captured on the system. All supplier payments above R1 million, together with PERSAL payments above R5 million, were to be verified and approved by Treasury before implementation by the bank. It was further decided that the Provincial Treasury would approve all Business Online and FOREX payments before these could be processed, and verify all signing authorities on a quarterly basis.

The tables and graphs of financial expenditure in the Province were then presented for the first quarter. It was indicated that the Provincial Department of Agriculture was underperforming in the province and that mining was increasing, though it was not creating jobs. Construction was fairly doing well though it was on a small scale. Population in this province was growing faster than the rest of the country. Unemployment rates were increasing. The Departments of Education, Health, and Police, Roads and Transport were identified to have spent less in this quarter. The first quarter performance of the province was standing at 24%. Of the total budget allocated in the first quarter for conditional grants, only 28% had been spent.

Gauteng Provincial Treasury Presentation
Mr Jeff Mashele, Deputy Director General, Provincial Treasury, Gauteng, noted that his Treasury had revised the Gauteng Anti-Corruption Strategy, which was led by the Office of the Premier and supported by the Forensic Services Unit. The latter was providing central fraud prevention and investigations of actual cases within the provincial departments.

Mr Mashele indicated that the Gauteng 2010 Anti-Corruption Summit passed numerous resolutions which were signed by the Provincial Government, Organised Business and Civil Society Representatives. The revised anti-corruption strategy consisted of eight objectives, as follows:
-Report corruption, effective follow-up and impose maximum penalties
-Promote ethical procurement
-Build a social compact against corruption
-Campaign against corruption and build an ethical public service
-Develop and implement sectoral anti-corruption strategies
-Fight nepotism
-Promote an ethical public service
-Manage conflict of interest

Action Plans already in place included restrictions on the supplier database, publication of sanctions upon conviction, a Minimum Anti-Corruption Capacity audit, and development and maintenance of fraud prevention plans for each department. These plans were informed by fraud risk profiles of event risk.

Achievements recorded so far resulted in the production of an anti-fraud awareness DVD, which provided clear fraud reporting guidelines and details of the national Anti-Corruption Hotline. Risk management units had been established in all departments to increase awareness of fraud risk. Visible Anti-Corruption poster campaigns were launched for all Gauteng Provincial Government buildings. This reduced year on year fraud risk incidents reported.

On the issue of finances, he mentioned that accruals and over commitments were continuing to impact negatively on the service delivery targets for 2012/13 financial year. The value for money on infrastructure delivery continued to be undermined by both internal and external factors, and this was compromising the provincial infrastructure delivery targets.

The lack of skilled personnel internally was inhibiting efficient management of infrastructure delivery and there was heavy reliance on external service providers. The current processes for supply chain management for infrastructure delivery and maintenance applied similar principles used for general goods and services. This was restricting exploration of alternative procurement and contracting strategies.

For the 2011/12 financial year, Gauteng was allocated R65 billion. As at the end of the financial year it had under-spent by R977 million. Instances of specific over-expenditure amounted to R730 million. Under-spending was noted in the Departments of Roads and Transport, Education, Local Government, and Social Development. Tables and graphs were presented for financial expenditure.

Mpumalanga Provincial Treasury Presentation
Ms Junior Mbatha, Acting Head, Department of Finance: Mpumalanga Provincial Treasury, noted that the Provincial Treasury of Mpumalanga had issued a circular to all provincial departments and public entities, which instructed them to rotate their SCM officials within the 5 sub-division of the SCM unit. This was aimed at eliminating corrupt and fraudulent practices in the public sector procurement system. All departments and municipalities were also advised to screen all officials responsible for the procurement of goods, services and works. Provincial Treasury ran an awareness workshop, in collaboration with the Office of the Premier, to capacitate officials on the importance of vetting. Provincial and National Treasury provided regular training to departments, public entities and municipalities in order to capacitate these institutions on supply chain management issues, with the objective of rooting out fraud and corruption in the public sector. In addition, the Provincial Treasury and University of Pretoria had established a Certification programme, covering a five-year period, to capacitate SCM practitioners from various institutions as another tool of reducing fraud and corruption.

The Provincial Treasury had also encouraged departments to require newly-appointed bid committee members to sign a declaration of confidentiality and impartiality form. Training sessions were conducted in various institutions in respect of code of conduct to ensure compliance.

A procurement system was introduced to all departments, in order to promote transparency, fairness, integrity, value for money and equality in the treatment of suppliers or contracts in the procurement process, in order to minimise fraud and corruption. The system had assisted departments to increase internal control in their procurement process in order to improve efficiencies in contract management.

In order to improve reporting, the Provincial Treasury had established a method of retrieving all the spending of individual departments from BAS System in order to ensure that what was received from individual departments equal to what was on the system.

The Provincial Treasury had issued a practice note restricting government officials from doing business with their departments and other departments. A list of restricted officials and their entities was being published on the website. Before the contract was awarded, the directors of the company would have to be verified against the Persal System of the Provincial Treasury, and this system also listed blacklisted companies.

The detailed tables and graphs of financial expenditure were then presented. It was noted that this provincial treasury aimed to shift expenditure from consumption to investment. It had also received a directive from National Treasury to plan for value for money, not for rollovers. A huge under-expenditure on infrastructure development had been recorded in the province. Under-expenditure was standing at R503 million, and R223 million remained unspent on compensation of employees.

Discussion
KwaZulu-Natal
Mr T Chaane (ANC, North West) wanted to know the extent to which the corruption plan, which was driven by the Provincial Treasury, was linked with local and district municipalities. He also asked for further explanation on the disciplinary courts.

Ms Motaung explained there were committees in provinces with representatives from Department of Cooperative Governance and South African Local Government Association, to look at clear audit issues in municipalities and provinces. Officials from the Department of Human Settlements had been brought in as well. These representatives would meet on a quarterly basis to share experiences from the provincial and municipal side. In addition, Provincial Treasury held workshops for municipalities on their legal responsibilities, and had developed a template. The Provincial Treasury was getting support from municipalities at a technical and political level, and had extended a campaign on how to act responsibly to the district municipalities.

Ms Motaung note that the disciplinary “courts” were in fact internal processes. In the past, there had been lack of skills and some reluctance in bringing offending officials to book. Now, all disciplinary cases were to be heard by the executive, and a retired judge has been invited to oversee the most serious cases, to ensure that lawbreakers were punished.

Mr S Mazosiwe (ANC, Eastern Cape) wanted to find out if checks and balances were in place when recruiting officials.

Ms Motaung confirmed that there was a system in place. The Provincial Treasury was very careful about who was sitting on the selection panel, and National Intelligence Agency was involved in vetting. Temptation seemed to be the main issue, and syndicates would exploit and target vulnerable people. The Biometric Accounts System was a huge step forward, especially for payments, but caution was still needed as those who wanted to defraud were always a step ahead of those detecting it.

Mr M Makhubela (COPE, Limpopo) enquired what was being done to ensure that officials were not doing business with the departments.

Ms Motaung stated that Provincial Treasury had taken some innovative steps. Firstly, in the past, it was only senior managers who had to disclose, but it was then found that junior staff were also involved in working with syndicates. Everybody was required to disclose their interests, and the Provincial Treasury was working closely with the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office to check up on people’s interests.

Mr Makhubela asked for clarity on the role of High Court and Office of the Premier in fighting corruption.

Ms Motaung elaborated that regular meetings on special cases were discussed with the Office of the Premier and South African Police Service (SAPS) investigators. The project managers of each case were handling these cases, and the services of Judge Tshabalala would be used, together with the Asset Forfeiture Unit. Another challenge was the lack of skills at prosecutorial level, since many cases were particularly complex.

Mr B Mashile (ANC, Mpumalanga) stated that the three shortcomings that were picked up on Phase 1 of Contract Management seemed to be simply a violation of rules. Secondly, he wanted an explanation on the issue of R500 000 and R1 million payments, and asked why the Provincial Department of Public Works was under-spending.

Ms Motaung stated that it was very difficult to get a sense of how many contracts a department had, and service providers were producing contracts written in their favour, which government was asked to sign. It had now been suggested that government itself must draft all contracts. There were, however, insufficient trained staff to examine all the contracts. In relation to the payments of R500 000 and R1 million, she indicated that Provincial Treasury was required, by National Treasury, to approve all payments above these amounts, but it was sometimes hard to find service providers who could do a particular job. In relation to the under-spending, she said that the Department of Public Works claimed this was due to lack of capacity. As a result, a team of technical experts on infrastructure had been selected to help with planning and monitoring, in terms of a three-year intervention. This team was contracted to the Provincial Treasury. The whole exercise started in November last year.

Free State
Mr R Lees (DA, KwaZulu Natal) asked why there was under-spending on conditional grants.

Mr Mabhija said under-spending was mainly seen in the Departments of Health and Education. The two departments indicated lack of readiness in their commitments and cited issues of capacity, but had since  committed to taking steps that would yield good results. He said this was not something unusual; in the past, the Department of Agriculture used to have chronic problems but now it was on the right track.

Mr Mashile remarked there was a lack of financial discipline overall. There were deviations on the part of all departments, and this seemed to point to an arrogant attitude and lack of care. On the other hand, the annual performance painted a good picture. The first quarter capital expenditure gave a bleak outlook for job creation. He asked if the Provincial Treasury had the capacity to oversee the finances of the Province.

Mr Mabhija explained that the Provincial Treasury took a decision to review the projects to be funded on this financial year. The National Treasury was helpful in making sure that certain measures for expenditure were in place. The Executive Council was told to reconfigure the budget for projects in departments that were over-spending and under-spending. Capacity was a challenge with which the Provincial Treasury itself was grappling. Currently, the Provincial Treasury was trying to apply the rules more strictly.

Mr Chaane asked about steps that would be taken to bring the under-spending and over-spending departments into line.

Mr Mabhija elaborated that the Provincial Treasury was in control of matters. Under-spending was linked to Departments of Health, and Police, Roads and Transport (PRT). These departments had caused the province to be placed under administration. Treasury had made an intervention in the Department of PRT. It discovered that service providers were given contracts without following proper channels, and for this, punitive measures were taken. That Department of PRT had now produced evidence of improvements. Money had been taken from under-spending departments, as it was anticipated they were not going to spend the money by the end of the financial year, and had instead been re-directed to other issues or commitments highlighted.

Mr Chaane asked what the difference was between Chief Risk Officers and Internal Auditors.

Mr Mabhija said that Chief Risk Officers were primarily tasked to assess risks and mitigate processes to the risk. Internal Auditors concentrated on internal audit controls, though they were using risk assessments from Chief Risk Officers in doing this as well.

Gauteng Province
Mr Mashile enquired if the lack of skilled personnel internally was not hindering the execution of work and promoting over-reliance on external service providers.

Mr Mashele indicated that a lack of skills was noted in the construction, road and transport sector. Qualified people were, however, available. Those who got contracts tended to sub-contract the work. Bursaries were now being made available to students. Another problem was the migration of staff, but that was being addressed. Part of the intervention from National Treasury was that the Provincial Treasury had to have the necessary strength and resources so that it could monitor other departments.

Mr Mashele responded that the problems with third party transfers might be anecdotal, but agreed that the tables of finances presented before the Committee indicated money transferred, and those transfers were less than they should be. This was not a question of dumping money to other government agencies. The Provincial Treasury was tracking the direction of the money.

Mr Mashile further asked why third party transfers were recorded as expenditure, and why there was less expenditure on conditional grants in the First Quarter when planning should already have been done.

Mr Mashele said that R560 million had been rolled over, though there were commitments, but affected departments could not prove them. The issue of capacity had not reached alarming magnitude as yet, but it had affected infrastructure development. The Provincial Treasury had interacted with departments to assist them. Departments were expected to submit business plans for the next financial year, and these had to be approved by Treasury. If the plans were submitted late, approval would be delayed, and that meant the spending of the grant would be delayed as well.

Mr Makhubela wanted to find out the extent to which the Provincial Treasury had addressed challenges pointed out by the Auditor-General.

Mr Mashele stated that there was a forum of Chief Financial Officers, who met every month to look at the findings of the Auditor-General. Plans were in place to reduce the challenges indicated in the report of the Auditor-General.

Mr J Bekker (DA, Western Cape) asked why over-spending was continuing in relation to the compensation of employees.

Mr Mashele said the wage bill issue was resolved, although the bill was going to be higher than expected. The Provincial Treasury was busy looking into the matter.

Mr Mashile remarked that the Provincial Treasuries should not tolerate mediocrity, because they were doing oversight, just like Parliament. If they were allowing mediocrity to continue, then they must account for their own actions.  If departments were doing their work, the work of Treasury was going to be simple. The Committee was aware of what the departments were doing, because they accounted to the Parliament every quarter. He urged that Provincial Treasuries should track the transfer of the monies so that they were not misled and to give Parliament a clear picture of how the finances of the country were managed.

Mpumalanga Province
Mr Mazosiwe wanted to know if the Provincial Treasury was finding the MTEF budget, pointing out that it had over-spent by R68 million.

Ms Mbatha said that there was not an easy answer to this question. There was transparency if the budget was known in advance. However, it would not help, if there was no capacity. A detailed explanation on this question would be forwarded to the Committee.

Mr Makhubela asked what was being done to address the escalating wage bill, pointing out that the  Premier of the Province had issued a call for moderation.

Ms Mbatha explained that the issue was presented to the Executive Council, and it was conceded that there had been under-expenditure on capital investment. That was why the Treasury was now emphasising shifting expenditure from consumption to investment. She also indicated that the wage bill increase was caused by matters that were dependent on the outcomes of the Bargaining Councils, and in addition to this, there were positions to be filled, all of which had an impact on the vote.

Mr Mashile enquired if the MEC and Treasury had influence on the money being spent.

Ms Mbatha explained that the MEC and Treasury did send their recommendations to planners and conditional grant managers. With the introduction of Work Groups, they were now able to work directly with those who were ultimately executing the plans, but not with the infrastructure grants.

Mr Mashile commented that the steps that have been taken by the Mpumalanga Provincial Treasury on fighting fraud and corruption were commendable, proactive and good, but the proof of them would be seen in how they were enforced. He was unsure if officials would have the courage to bring offenders to book.

The meeting was adjourned.

Share this page: