Original Research

Factors influencing the implementation of the auditor general’s recommendations in South African municipalities

Lesedi S. Matlala, Dominique E. Uwizeyimana
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 8, No 1 | a464 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v8i1.464 | © 2020 Lesedi S. Matlala, Dominique E. Uwizeyimana | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 February 2020 | Published: 08 October 2020

About the author(s)

Lesedi S. Matlala, School of Public Management, Governance and Public Policy, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Dominique E. Uwizeyimana, School of Public Management, Governance and Public Policy, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The establishment of democratic local government in South Africa in 2000 decentralised the decision-making powers from the centre to the periphery. Municipalities are accountable for their own financial preparation and the planning of their budgetary processes. Notwithstanding the enormous investment in terms of resources, empirical studies and municipal audit reports revealed that most of the South African municipalities were not taking corrective action on the issues of irregularities raised in prior year audits; hence, some of the weaknesses and problems remained unresolved or were recurring yearly.

Objectives: To identify and discuss the factors that influence municipalities’ failure to implement audit recommendations given by the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) efficiently and effectively.

Methods: The research methodology used in this study was mainly qualitative and relied heavily on robust literature study and the review of key official documents, such as reports on local government performance.

Results: The main findings of this study are that factors influencing implementation of audit recommendation include availability of resources and time, lack of audit action monitoring processes, absence of authority, staffing problems and sometimes the poor quality of audit recommendations.

Conclusion: To deal with these problems, the study recommends a number of practical strategies. These include regular progress monitoring, improving the quality of the AGSA’s recommendations and the amendment of the Public Audit Act to empower the auditor general. Most importantly, the study recommends the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) unit to regularly track progress for proper implementation of audit recommendations in the South African municipalities.


Keywords

auditor general; audits; audit recommendations; implementation; local government

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