An analysis of the co-operation between the Office of the Auditor-General and provincial departments in the promotion of effective public accountability in the Northern Province

Nevhutalu, Muvhango Lawrence (1999-12)

Thesis (MPA) -- University of Stellenbosch, 1999.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY:The study project, conducted in the Northern Province, analysed the existing relationship between the Office of the Auditor-General and provincial departments to find out if it is conducive to the promotion of effective public accountability in the Province. The research was based on the understanding that there was no co-operation between these two public institutions, which is detrimental to good governance. The hypothesis of the research is that internal factors between provincial departments and the Office of the Auditor-General prevent co-operation towards public accountability in the Province. Internal factors prevent co-operation, and this lack of co-operation causes unaccountability. The reasons underlying non-cooperation between these two public institutions had to be investigated through a set of research questionnaires. The literature review gives a clear picture of the importance of co-operation between the provincial departments and the Office of the Auditor-General. These two public institutions are just two sides of the same coin and should work together in promoting efficiency and accountability in the public service. One side of the coin is not better than the other, thus without co-operation there cannot be harmony in the Province. It came out from the research that most public officials lack training and commitment. The research therefore suggests that proper training for public officials in public financial matters be conducted and also that the mindsets of most of them be changed through proper motivation and education. Commitment should flow from the Director-General to the various heads of departments and down to the functional staff. Senior officials should try to take a leading role in promoting and showing commitment at all times so that the junior staff members should follow accordingly. Once public officials and government auditors come to know that they are all working towards one purpose, but only from different angles, there will be co-operation and then the taxpayers will be comfortable that their taxes are well utilised and accounted for.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Ondersoek is uitgevoer in die Noordelike Provinsie om te bepaal of die huidige verhouding tussen die Ouditeur-Generaal en provinsiale departemente bevordelik is vir effektiewe openbare rekeningpligtigheid in die Provinsie. Die studie was gebaseer op die veronderstelling dat daar geen samewerking tussen die twee openbare instellings bestaan nie, wat nadelig is vir goeie regenng. Die veronderstelling van die navorsing is dat interne faktore tussen die provinsiale departmente en die Kantoor van die Ouditeur-Generaal swak rekeningpligtigheid in die Provinsie tot gevolg het. Interne faktore verhoed samewerking en hierdie gebrek aan samewerking veroorsaak 'n gebrek aan rekenpligtigheid. Die onderliggende oorsake van die gebrek aan samewerking tussen hierdie twee openbare instellings moes ondersoek word deur middel van 'n stel vraelyste. Die literatuur oorsig skep 'n duidelike prentjie van die belangrikheid van gesonde samewerking tussen die provinsiale departemente en die Kantoor van die Ouditeur-Generaal. Hierdie twee openbare instellings wat dieselfde doel nastrewe, moet saam werk om effektiwiteit en rekeningpligtigheid in die staatsdiens te bevorder. Die een is net so belangrik soos die ander. Dus, sonder samewerking kan daar geen harmonie in die Provinsie wees nie. Dit het uit die ondersoek geblyk dat die meeste openbare amptenare opleiding en toewyding kort. Die ondersoek stel dus voor dat behoorlike opleiding aan openbare amptenare betreffende openbare finansiele aangeleenthede aangebied moet word, en dat die houding van die meeste van hulle verander moet word deur middel van behoorlike motivering en opvoeding. Toewyding moet vloei vanaf die Direkteur-Generaal na die verskeie hoofde van departemente en af tot by die funksionele personeel. Senior personeel moet te aIle tye poog om die leiding te neem in die bevordering en tentoonstelling van toewyding sodat die junior personeeUede hulle dit behoort na te doen. Sodra openbare amptenare en staatsouditeure tot die besef kom dat hulle dieselfde doel nastrewe, slegs van verskillende kante, sal daar samewerking wees en sal belastingbetalers gerus wees dat hulle belastinggeld behoorlik aangewend en verantwoord word.

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