She also stressed the importance of supply chain management,
saying a review of a department’s audited financial statements usually indicated this was where fraud and corruption crept in.
“If we had a central contract review process with an eProcurement tool we could go a long way in addressing deficiencies in supply chain management.
If you pick up any audited financial statement of a department there is just a host of huge procurement irregularities.”
Getting KZN out of financial woes MEC Scott said the province has had its fair share of financial woes, particularly in the 2009/10 financial year, when the province had an overdraft of R2 billion.
This was a result of high spending by the provincial departments of health and education.
The KZN Cabinet had to act quickly to bring over-expenditure under control by devising the Provincial Recovery Plan.
“The Provincial Recovery Plan spearheaded the cost containment measures before National Treasury introduced cost containment measures.”
The first step was to reduce goods and services procured by departments by 7,5 per cent to allow the province to start repaying the overdraft. This was expected to take three years.
“The Provincial Recovery Plan resulted in the bank overdraft being repaid in a mere 18 months and not the initial three years.”
MEC Scott said cost containment measures were now the norm in KwaZulu-Natal and were updated and re-issued to departments yearly.
“If you have a look at cost containment measures, there is nothing there that should not have been there in the first place. It’s about good governance and ensuring that good governance principles are adhered too.”
The MEC said provincial departments were very aware of their responsibility to cut costs.
“I think that this province is a lot cleaner than other provinces… You do not find a plethora of public servants travelling business class as in the past.
You do not find lavish engagements.” No tolerance for wasteful expenditure MEC Scott explained that unauthorised expenditure occurred when a department overspent its budget.
“Basically it spends money it doesn’t have… I do not tolerate it. We have a cash blocking system that has been introduced by National Treasury.
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