South Africa: Department of Basic Education Scoops Auditor's Award for Annual Report

press release

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has received recognition for its pursuit of excellence in its annual reports in the 10th annual Southern African Institute of Government Auditors (SAIGA) Reporting Awards, announced in October 2012.

The DBE was the winner in the National Category of the 2012 SAIGA Reporting Awards, based on the Annual Report for the financial year ending 31 March 2011.

The awards recognise the pursuit of excellence in the annual reports published by public sector department and are aimed at assisting Treasury and public sector departments to meet the objectives of the Public Finance Management Act and related regulations that aim to advance accountability and transparency in the public sector.

The SAIGA Reporting Awards project produces twelve awards each year:

  • one for the best report of a national department (DBE)
  • one for the best provincial department (for each of the nine provinces)
  • one for the most consistent highest score over the last three years
  • a twelfth award is made for the department obtaining the overall highest score

Director-General (DG) of the Department of Basic Education, Mr Bobby Soobrayan said that the award is recognition of the department's efforts in sound planning and sound financial planning and management.

"Scoring above 90% in the judging of this award is evidence that the Department of Basic Education applies the highest reporting standards," said DG Soobrayan.

"The proper disclosure, according to evaluation criteria of the SAIGA Reporting Awards, of information relating to, amongst others, examples of fruitless and wasteful expenditure; irregular and unauthorised expenditure is a hallmark of transparency which the Department prides itself on."

Annual Reports submitted for the awards are adjudged on a number of criteria, including understand ability; relevance; comparability; accuracy; reliability and technical correctness.

Announcing the awards, SAIGA's Executive President, Professor Dieter Gloeck highlighted the fact that the statutory performance reporting requirements of the PFMA and the Treasury Regulations provided the South African public with a wealth of information not only about the financial results of the departments, including the DBE, in an understandable format, but also gave a detailed account of the objectives which were set and whether or not these objectives were met.

Further information which has to be disclosed includes reasons for non-performance and actions taken to rectify the situation.

"If the financial and performance disclosure requirements are compared to those of the private sector and especially listed companies which attract investments from the general public, it becomes clear to what extent the private sector accountability arrangements lack behind the public sectors'. Yet the media awards hardly any attention to the achievements in terms of financial reporting in the public sector" remarked Gloeck.

The Awards have been tailored according to similar projects and practices world-wide. SAIGA is managing this project with the support and co-operation of the Accountant-General as well as the Auditor-General of South Africa.

The fact that the Awards are managed and administered by an independent Institute which has been active in the public arena for the last fifteen years adds the much desired elements of independence and credibility to the Awards.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has received recognition for its pursuit of excellence in its annual reports in the 10th annual Southern African Institute of Government Auditors (SAIGA) Reporting Awards, announced in October 2012.

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