SOUTH AFRICA’S NATIONAL ASSEMBLY PASSES BILL TO ENHANCE POWERS OF AUDITOR-GENERAL

CAPE TOWN– The National Assembly, the lower chamber of the South African Parliament, has unanimously passed a Bill to strengthen the powers of the Auditor General to enable him to directly refer fraud, corruption and collusion within government departments and entities to the relevant law enforcement authorities.

Up to now, the Auditor General has had no powers to deal directly with any of the malfeasance except to refer them to the relevant departments for further action but the screws are now tightening. The Public Audit Amendment Bill will not only empower the Auditor General to press criminal charges against the culprits but to recover the State’s losses, even from the individuals concerned.

Parliament heard that the rot within State departments was such that certain officials even attempted to bribe auditors to cover up their corrupt activities.

The Chairperson of the Standing Committee on the Auditor-General, Vincent Smith, said Tuesday: It is incumbent upon this Parliament to condemn all those who attempt to bribe, so that they do their job without fear or favour.

Last week, the Auditor General disclosed that South African Airways (SAA) had a net loss of 5.6 billion Rand (about 441 US dollars) in the 2016/2017 financial year.

The Bill will now be referred to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), the upper chamber of Parliament, for its approval, before President Cyril Ramaphosa signs it into law.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK