31 March 2021 - NW896
Powell, Ms EL to ask the Minister of Finance
Whether the National Treasury intends to take any action against government departments that fail to publish the details of personal protective equipment procurement on the website of the National Treasury in accordance with the instruction to all government departments by the President, Mr M C Ramaphosa; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
In terms of Instruction No.11 of 2020/21 (PFMA institutions) and Circular 105 (MFMA institutions), all institutions are required to report procurement transactions on a monthly basis. All procurement transactions related to the emergency procurement for COVID-19 PPE items, fabric masks as well as other goods, works or services that were procured to prevent an escalation of the national state of disaster, declared on 15 March 2020 (the Disaster) or to alleviate, contain or minimise the effects of the Disaster, must be reported. This includes, inter alia, expenditure for quarantine and isolation services, humanitarian relief, etc.
The reports are published monthly in the public domain and serves as a transparency mechanism to lay bare non-compliant government institutions. It is therefore the responsibility of the accounting officers and accounting authorities to ensure that the information provided to the National Treasury is credible, accurate and auditable.
National Treasury has thus far followed up with National Departments, in writing, to make the accounting officers aware of the non-compliance to Instruction no. 11 of 2020/21. It must, however, be noted that not all non-reporting is necessarily regarded as non-compliance as some departments do not procure on a monthly basis. There are instances where departments have not reported in a certain month because no procurement was done in that month.
National Treasury has also engaged the Auditor-General to request that AGSA follow up with selected government institutions whether any expenditure was actually incurred and whether the institutions reported the expenditure in accordance with Instruction no. 11 of 2020/2021 or Circular 105. This will be included in the next annual audit cycle.