DEBATE ON UNAUTHORIZED EXPENDITURE BILL 2019

 

HON OB KUNENE, IFP MPL
KZN LEGISLATURE, 26 NOVEMBER 2019

 

Hon Deputy Speaker

As we are to debate the Unauthorised Expenditure Bill for the 2016/17 financial year the IFP notes with concern that some departments such as the Department of Economic Development incurred unauthorised expenditure of R8,094 million in Programme 1: Administration for the 2016/17, the Department of Education incurred over expenditure of R78,839 million in Programme 5: Early Childhood Development for the 2016/17 and the Department of Health incurred over expenditure of R18,997 million in the 2016/17 year. In total this amounts to R105, 930,000 million, a substantial amount indeed. What this means in essence is that money which could have be spent on service delivery for this year and next financial year will be spent to correct the wrongs of the past administrations.

The people of KwaZulu-Natal deserve to be told why they should be the ones who bear the brunt because some officials in these departments did not do their jobs properly. What is most concerning is that we are not even told what actions have been taken against those officials who led the were involved in committing these unauthorized expenditures? Answers are needed not because the IFP says so but because the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), a piece of legislation in the Republic makes it an offence not to utilise public finances in a prudent manner.

It is a well-known fact that the PFMA in section 81 states “an accounting officer for a department or a constitutional institution commits an act of financial misconduct if that accounting officer wilfully or negligently among others makes or permits an unauthorized expenditure, an irregular expenditure or fruitless and wasteful expenditure”. Now for the past financial years, KwaZulu-Natal has a lot of these kind of expenditures. The Act is clear on this; this financial misconduct is a ground for dismissal or suspension.

The IFP calls upon the Hon KZN Premier, to ensure that the KZN Provincial Government monitors the expenditure patterns of the Departments and that disciplinary measure must be taken against officials found guilty of financial misconduct and related transgressions.

The IFP supports this Bill, in view of the fact that people want service delivery and with the hope that accountability will be enforced against transgressions of the PFMA.

I thank you