e-Tolls Media Release

SANRAL OUTSOURCING INTERNAL AUDIT UNACCEPTABLE

During a grilling by members of the Standing Committee of Public Accounts (SCOPA) in parliament on 29 November, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) acknowledged that it spent up to R20 million per annum on external audit companies who have been appointed to conduct their internal audit functions.

“We find it highly irregular and unprofessional of a state owned entity to outsource what ought to be an internal capacity,” says Ben Theron, OUTA’s Portfolio Director of Transport. “Clearly an external business which enjoys a revenue of R20 million per annum will find it hard to pressurize the board and internal structures, when and if it uncovers highly irregular expenditure.”

An internal audit process requires an internal capacity with the necessary structures and ability to conduct rigorous internal audits and findings which is required to be put to management for answers and actions to be taken. To outsource this function is tantamount to dereliction of duty and a sign of lazy management.

OUTA agrees with SCOPA that it is unacceptable that SANRAL is unable to develop its own capacity to manage its internal audit process. Even at less than half of what they pay to their outsourced service providers, SANRAL could appoint an internal team to manage this internal function. To now say to the SCOPA committee that it takes note and will consider doing so, is an acknowledgment of their poor and unacceptable business practices.

“We believe it is now high time that an independent forensic audit is undertaken to get to the bottom of many a questionable conduct and issues raised not only during the SCOPA session, but also by OUTA and others. This includes issues on the expenditure and dubious relationship with the collusive construction companies, a number of whom are shareholders of toll concessions and who have recently been let off the hook for their collusive civil summonses which SANRAL has decided to abandon,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s chairperson.

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