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ICASA responds to auditor-general

The Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) has defended itself against the damming report from the auditor-general`s (AG`s) office, which accused the regulator of gross financial mismanagement.

Asked yesterday why ICASA`s fixed assets are insured for R200 million, when the AG`s report said the net book value of fixed assets is R14 million, spokesman Jubie Matlou argued: “ICASA has insured its property on a cost-based or replacement value, not on net book value, because when the asset is stolen you have to replace it on the actual value.”

The audit report also referred to what it calls: "Fruitless, wasteful and irregular expenditure, totalling R6.7 million.” Responding to this, Matlou said: “ICASA is reviewing its supply chain management system and procedures to pluck the deficiencies identified by the AG in this regard.”

Xhead = Tighten screws

“It is the authority`s intention to tighten the screws in its system to ensure absolute compliance with the Public Finance Management Act,” said Matlou.

Africa Boso, spokesman at the AG`s office, explained: “After we have made the audits we give our findings and, at times, recommendations, in a report to parliament. Only parliament has the power to ensure that an audited entity takes corrective steps to remedy financial controls.”

Boso was unable to say whether or not any official recommendation on ICASA would be forwarded to parliament.

The ICASA annual report breaks down where the “wasteful” expenditure went. Notable entries include R2.2 million spent on labour dispute settlements, R430 000 on an erroneous contract for office equipment maintenance, over R720 000 on what the auditor-general has termed “potentially irregular” insurance expenditure and R1.2 million on consulting fees.

Related story:
Auditor-general slams ICASA

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