2002 RESULTS OF SAIGA'S REPORTING AWARDS Results of the First Annual Public Sector Reporting Awards The Department of Provincial & Local Government is the overall winner of SAIGA’s 2001 Reporting Awards. Other salient features: The full list of 2002 winners for the financial year ended 31 March 2001 is: Provincial statistics Independence Statement The Southern African Institute of Government Auditors received numerous offers for sponsorship of this project and specific categories. We do, however, believe that the information and the findings not only have to reflect absolute independence but that SAIGA also has to be seen and perceived to be independent. Consequently, no sponsor’s name is associated with the project – it is completely self- funded and independent. Media statement: Professor Dieter Gloeck, Executive President of SAIGA and Chairperson of the Award Committee praised the high scoring departments and stated that their achievements had set a standard or touchstone which will inspire others to improve. This will bode well for increased transparency and public accountability. Special mention should also be made of the national Department of Trade & Industry, being one of three departments (apart from the overall winner and the Western Cape winner) which achieved a score of above 90 percent. The overall average score recorded by all departments is 70% (27 departments did not qualify as their audit reports contained either a disclaimer or an adverse opinion). A total of 47 departments scored above 70%. “Taking into account that this is the first year that financial statements had to be drawn up, an entry score so to speak, it is clear that great progress has been made towards improving public accountability and transparency” Gloeck says. He also points out that departmental reports generally contain more information than the annual financial statements of listed companies. The main reason for this is that performance information is also being presented in public sector statements. Although this requirement was not yet fully applicable in the year under review, many departments already include substantial performance information in their statements. Compared to the standard format of private sector audit reports, the audit reports by the Auditor-General also provide a much more detailed account of the audit findings. Efforts need to be made to make the general public more aware of the existence of the annual reports of public sector entities. These reports contain a wealth of information that the public will find interesting and informative. It will also contribute towards reducing the “service delivery expectation gap” as Gloeck labels it. Ideally, all departmental reports should be published in electronic format on the government website. The SAIGA Reporting Awards will be an annual event. This will measure further progress made and identify emerging trends. SAIGA and the Offices of both the Accountant-General and the Auditor-General are confident that the project will contribute towards increasing the visibility of public sector accounts and incite departments to compete for higher standards. Congratulations to all category winners and in particular the Department of Provincial and Local Government which stood out and is the overall winner of SAIGA’s 2001 Reporting Awards. [ BACK TO THE TOP ]
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