Original Research

Governance and Public Sector Transformation in South Africa: Reporting and Providing Assurance on Service Delivery Information

Mariaan Roos
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 1, No 3 | a33 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v1i3.33 | © 2012 Mariaan Roos | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 November 2016 | Published: 01 December 2012

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Abstract

Reporting on performance was legislatively established in South Africa in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, Act 1 of 1999, section 40 (3)(a). The auditing of the reported information was legislated in the Public Audit Act, Act 25 of 2004, section 20(2) (c). The objectives of the article are firstly to provide an overview of the development and application of the reporting and secondly providing assurance on service delivery information and thirdly to reflect on challenges to the implementation thereof in South Africa. The aim through deploying these set objectives is to formulate possible future considerations for improved governance. As central part of the methodology, review of literature on reporting and audit of non-financialwas conducted. The research included scrutiny of the different philosophies and approaches adopted by different countries to the reporting and providing assurance on service delivery information. In this respect, the research reflects a comparative element. In South Africa the Auditor-General adopted a phasing-in approach. The development of the audit approach and audit procedures has reached a stable stage, nine years after the initial process started. The audit of performance information now forms an integral part of the regularity audit process. The analysis of audit findings of the period under study indicates a considerable improvement once initiated, but stagnation persists in subsequent years. Numerous challenges remain around the application of performance reporting in South Africa including non-compliance, the lack of sufficient and appropriate audit evidence, inconsistencies between the various strategic documents and the need to improve the usefulness of performance information. In conclusion the article proposes some steps to address the challenges.

Keywords

Audit; non-financial information; public sector audit; audit findings and service delivery information

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