The effective internal audit function as part of a sound corporate governance structure : the case study of Saldanha Bay Municipality

Dichabe, Omphemetse Lorraine (2020-12)

Thesis (MMil)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South African local government is marred by many problems relating to governance. Because of these problems, it is necessary to explore the effectiveness of the Internal Audit Function (IAF) in assisting management with governance within local government. Research has shown a positive relationship between the characteristics of corporate governance and the IAF. This study sets out to establish the effectiveness of the IAF as part of a sound corporate governance structure at the Saldanha Bay Municipality (SBM) during the period 2009/2010 to 2017/2018. A qualitative approach utilising the case study method was employed. Data was collected from municipal documents, as well as from unstructured interviews to corroborate the document analysis. The findings of this study highlight the challenges experienced by the IAF. The study found that the IAF lost skills and competencies repeatedly due to resignations. These staff shortages hampered the quality of work of the IAF, and prevented the IAF from being subjected to external quality assessments for the duration of the study. The low implementation rate of IAF recommendations is a cause for concern which contributes to repeat findings by the IAF and AGSA. The study also found that the IAF has two reporting lines - functionally to the audit committee (AC) and administratively to the municipal manager (MM), in accordance with best practice requirements. Although the IAF is not viewed as a strategic partner, but rather a supporting function of management, the support from the AC and MM may be utilised to improve governance at the SBM. The SBM can utilise the results of this research for purpose of reviewing current institutional management practices, and also as a benchmark for improvement of such practices. The findings and observations of this study may also assist other municipalities conducting a similar exercise.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Plaaslike regering in Suid-Afrika word deur talle bestuursprobleme geteister. As gevolg van hierdie probleme is dit nodig om the effektiwiteit van die Interne Oudit Funksie (IOF) te ondersoek om vas te stel in hoe ‘n mate dit bestuur op plaaslike regeringsvlak ondersteun. Navorsing het ‘n positiewe verwantskap tussen die eienskappe van korporatiewe bestuur en die IOF gevind. Hierdie studie het as doelwit die bepaling van die effektiwiteit van die IOF as deel van ‘n gesonde korporatiewe bestuurstruktuur in die Saldanhabaai Munisipaliteit (SBM) gedurende die tydperk 2009/2010 tot 2017/2018. ’n Kwalitatiewe metodologie met ’n gevallestudie metode is gebruik om die navorsing te doen. Data is vanuit munisipale dokumente verkry, terwyl ongestruktureerde onderhoude benut is om die resultate van die dokumentestudie te verifiëer. Die resultate van die studie beklemtoon die uitdagings verbonde aan die gebruik van die IOF. Die navorsing het bevind dat, as gevolg van bedankings, die vaardighede om die IOF effektief te bedryf herhaaldelik gekortwiek is. Personeeltekorte, wat as gevolg van hierdie bedankings ontstaan het, het die kwaliteit van die IOF se werk belemmer en verhoed dat die IOF aan eksterne kwaliteitsevaluerings gedurende die duur van die studie blootgestel kon word. Die lae implimenteringsfrekwensie van die IOF- aanbevelings is ook ‘n rede tot kommer en het bygedra tot herhalende bevindinge deur die IOF en Ouditeur-Generaal van Suid-Afrika (OGSA). Die studie het ook bevind dat die IOF twee rapporteringskanale het, naamlik ‘n funksionele kanaal na die oudit kommitee (OK) en ‘n administratiewe kanaal na die munisipale bestuurder. Hierdie twee kanale bestaan sodat aan Beste Praktykvereistes voldoen kan word. Hoewel die IOF nie as ‘n strategiese vennoot gesien word nie, maar eerder as ‘n ondersteuningsfunksie vir bestuur, kan die ondersteuning van die OK en die munisipale bestuurder gebruik word om bestuur by die SBM te verbeter. Die SBM kan hierdie navorsingsresultate gebruik om te besin oor bestaande bestuurspraktyke en ook as maatstaf vir verbetering van sodanige praktyke. Die bevindinge en waarnemings van hierdie studie kan ook deur ander munisipaliteite wat ‘n soortgelyke oefening wil onderneem, gebruik word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/109265
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