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South Africa : Correctional Services strives for clean audit.

National Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), Mr. Zach Modise, has urged correctional officials to make a concerted effort towards a clean audit.

Following a meeting with DCS senior managers last week (29 and 30 March 2016), Commissioner Modise earlier today (4 April 2016) addressed approximately 300 correctional officials, from across the country, who are attending a performance information management workshop at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre in Tshwane.

Mr. Modise said it is crucial for the department to improve its audit outcomes. As the Department of Correctional Services, right at the beginning of this new (2016/17) financial year, it is crucial for us to make a concerted effort towards improvement, and reform, in terms of performance information. I expect that all of us will be working very hard to ensure that we obtain a positive audit opinion on performance information.

Remember, it is the responsibility of every official, from each of our 243 correctional centres to head office, to ensure a clean audit. All levels, from centre to regional office, will be held accountable for the performance information they provide. Malicious compliance will no longer be accepted. Officials responsible for signing-off reports must validate their performance information against source documents.

These officials will be required to sign an official declaration confirming that they have complied accordingly, and that all information being reported is complete, accurate and in the correct format. Changes to performance information, without valid reasons, will no longer be accepted.

As the Accounting Officer of DCS, I have continuously expressed serious concern about the state of our performance information. In light of the findings, by the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA), on the reliability, consistency, measurability and usefulness of DCS performance information, I have instructed the Branch: Strategic Management to implement a turn-around strategy in order to address all matters raised. Over the past financial years, DCS has been receiving qualified audit reports, from AGSA, on issues relating to non-compliance to legislative requirements, on planning and reporting, of performance information. Hence, we need to urgently adopt a rigorous approach to addressing, and improving, this situation.

Overall, the audit outcomes of DCS is improving slightly but much work still needs to be done to reach the level of clean audits. I also remain hopeful that these improvements will transpire at correctional centre level, where the progress has been slower. As the improved audit results show, this goal is within reach. However, we need to double our efforts to improve these outcomes and sustain the audit gains already made, Commissioner Modise said.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Apr 5, 2016
Words:440
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