The Portfolio Committee on Labour has adopted its Budget Review and Recommendations Report yesterday, as well as the report on the oversight visits to Gauteng and Free State provinces that took place in August this year.
After considering the presentations made by the department and its entities on their annual reports and the input from the Auditor-General, the committee made observations that included the following: that the department materially underspent the allocated budget by R211.8 million primarily on administration programme (R92 million) and public employment services (R77 million and the major reason for variance between appropriated funds and expenditure was reported to be the vacancies in the department that resulted in underspending on compensation of employees.
The Auditor-General found that the financial statements submitted for auditing were not prepared in accordance with the prescribed financial reporting framework as required by the Public Finance Management Act. Furthermore, the department did not adhere to recommendations made by the Internal Audit and Audit Committee, the Auditor-General found that effective steps were not taken by the department to prevent irregular expenditure amounting to R1.2 million and the Labour Policy and Industrial Relations programme spent 98.4% of its allocated budget, but achieved 38% of its pre-determined targets. However, the larger portion of this programme’s budget goes to transfers and subsidies, mainly transfers to the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration).
The committee also made recommendations to the department that included, among other things, that the Minister takes steps to ensure that the vacant funded posts within the department are filled with suitably qualified persons without delay – and priority be given to critical posts; the services of the Internal Audit and Audit Committee of the department are fully utilised and their reports implemented to avoid negative findings by the Auditor-General; incidents of irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure are investigated; and officials who are found to have flouted regulations are timeously subjected to remedial action.
And the additional funding is made available to the CCMA to enable it to fully implement its statutory obligations in terms of the National Minimum Wage, Basic Conditions of Employment Act and Labour Relations Act.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.