2007 RESULTS OF SAIGA'S REPORTING AWARDS Click on the BEELD Logo above to read the article that was published in BEELD. Results of the Sixth Annual Public Sector Reporting Awards (financial year ends 2006) published August 2007 The Department of Education is the overall winner of SAIGA's 2007 Reporting Awards (published August 2007). Other salient features: The full list of 2007 winners for the financial year ended 31 March 2007 is: [ 2007 RESULTS ][ TOP 20 LIST ][ MOST CONSISTENT DEPARTMENT ][ BACK TO THE TOP ] Provincial statistics Province with highest average score: The Western Cape province with an average score of 88.87 takes first place amongst provinces. 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. Quality assurance statement: The quality assurance relating to the technical analysis and evaluation, is done by the Department of Auditing, University of Pretoria. Media statement: Professor Dieter Gloeck, Executive President of SAIGA and Chairperson of the Award Committee praised the high scoring departments and pointed to the overall sustained improvement in adherence to reporting standards since the inception of the awards six years ago. This bodes well for increased transparency and public accountability.  SAIGA’s Executive President highlighted the fact that due to the performance information and other factual disclosures, the annual reports of government departments contained a wealth of information not only about the financial results, but more importantly, about the activities and the performance of the departments. In this regard government departments’ reports generally provide more information than the annual financial statements of listed companies. The full effect of the Public Finance Management Act’s (PFMA) objective regarding transparency and performance management is becoming visible. 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. Referring to an increase in media reports about misuse of funds in government departments, Prof Gloeck put the matter in perspective by pointing out that the PFMA’s transparency requirements ensures that this information is publicly available. “The departments do not necessarily incur more unwanted expenditure, but there is simply more information available about it.” The PFMA requires that all unwanted expenditure (unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure), irrespectively of whether or not it is a material amount or not, has to be disclosed, citing figures and reasons for its occurrence. Gloeck pointed out that the time has come that private sector companies were placed on an equal footing with regard to the disclosure of this kind of information. Even after the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and after complying with the Companies Act and the King II Report on Corporate Governance, the information disclosed by private sector companies still does not measure up to the information in the annual reports of government departments. Efforts need to be increased to make the general public more aware of the disparity between disclosure requirements in the public and private sectors. This will also put perceptions on public sector fraud, corruption and mismanagement in a better perspective. “Communicating meaningful and understandable information is all about being accountable”. “And the public sector has provided the private sector with a good example” as Gloeck put it. Gloeck further suggested that departmental reports should be more easily obtainable by members of the public. In this regard it would be constructive to publish the reports on the government website. The SAIGA Reporting Awards are now firmly established and have become a highly visible instrument and benchmark to monitor public accountability and transparency in national and provincial departments. [ 2007 RESULTS ][ TOP 20 LIST ][ MOST CONSISTENT DEPARTMENT ][ BACK TO THE TOP ] The TOP 20 list Sixth SAIGA Reporting Awards - 2007 Since competition was intense special mention should also be made of departments which achieved a high score, but were not category winners. SAIGA has therefore decided to publish a "Top 20" list. The “Top 20” list shows that the competition was stiff – the lowest percentage in the Top 20 is above 90% (2006: 90%; 2005: 89%; 2004: 88%; 2003: 83%; 2002: 79%). It now seems that the top departments are consolidating around the 90% mark which is a remarkable adherence percentage. [ 2007 RESULTS ][ TOP 20 LIST ][ MOST CONSISTENT DEPARTMENT ][ BACK TO THE TOP ] Most consistent departments Second SAIGA Reporting Awards - 2007 The prestige of achieving the most consistent high performance over the past three years goes to the Department of Education (refer to table below). Methodology: The positions of the departments on the Top 20 list in the 2007, 2006 and 2005 years were added to arrive at a combined score. Where two departments have the same score the position in this year's Top 20 is deciding. The lower the combined score, the more consistent the department's performance over the three years. [ 2007 RESULTS ][ TOP 20 LIST ][ MOST CONSISTENT DEPARTMENT ][ BACK TO THE TOP ]
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