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South Africa: Auditors in danger

Members of Parliament want a tighter security for Auditor General Staff.
The audit environment in South Africa is been judged hostile and highly risky by the Parliament. The pressure is high and deserves national attention;
Auditors face hostage situations, threats, bribery and are even shot at. All of this is done by municipal officers who try to intimidate them and alter adverse audit findings. Kimi Makwetu, the Auditor General, argued that more security was needed to ensure the effective implementation of the recently passed Public Audit amendment Bill (PAAB).
Reportedly, during the 2016-2017 audit program, only 33 out of 257 municipalities received a clean audit, compared with 48 the year before. The municipalities of Emfuleni, Tshwane, Madibeng and Moretele are the most hostile to audit statements. The rigor with which audits are being conducted seem to be a problem to these officers who do not hesitate to endanger auditors- lives. 
The AG has presented the growing trend as a “crime against the state” and a security plan is being developed and may include harsh penalties for anyone obstructing the work of the AG.
Security has always been a great deal for SAIs as many public administrators may not be favorable to audit findings and conclusions on their governing methods. The example of South Africa can serve as a model for other States who are concerned with their auditors’ sake and the effectiveness of their work.

 

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