Billions vanish from Government coffers: Auditor General


MILLIONS of United States dollars and billions in local currency have vanished from government coffers due to accounting malpractices and breach of protocol, with no paper trail to back the spending.

This is contained in Auditor-General Mildred Chiri’s report on the appropriation accounts, finance and revenue statements and funds accounts for 2021.

According to the report, Treasury’s exchequer account, whose purpose is to receive revenue, was used to make payments totalling $6,1 billion to various service providers during the financial year ended December 31, 2019.

Further payments of US$26,7 million, EUR100 809 and ZAR385,4 million were made from sub-exchequer accounts, which are also revenue receiving accounts, but there were no supporting documents.

“The respective supporting documents for the payments were not available. In terms of government accounting, all expenditure is supposed to be paid from the Paymaster-General’s Account. Monies paid from the exchequer account may not be properly accounted for and disclosed,” Chiri said.

The report covers financial statements on appropriation accounts, finance and revenue statements and fund accounts, highlighting the key audit findings and recommendations.

The report exposes a number of entities with variances between figures in the financial statements or returns and corresponding or related accounting records.

The variances totalled $3,2 billion.

Chiri said monthly reconciliations were not being done, and in other cases there was no evidence that efforts were being made to clear the variances, making it difficult to validate the correctness of figures reported.

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