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Public Audit Act Directive Released

May 18, 2020

Auditor-General of South Africa

A Directive in terms of the Public Audit Act has been issued.

The Auditor-General of South Africa published the Directive in Government Gazette 43326.

The Directive focuses on audit functions performed in terms of the act; annual audit; auditing standards as well as the frequency, nature and scope of audits; audits of public entities and other institutions not performed by the auditor general; auditees for which legislation is not prescriptive in respect of the financial statements; timing and submission of information for audit purposes – and confidentiality of information and assessment and recognition of the financial reporting frameworks applicable in the public sector.

The new Directive flows from the Public Audit Amendment Act that came into effect on 1 April 2019.

Inter alia, the act provides for the Auditor-General to refer suspected material irregularities arising from an audit performed under the act, to a relevant public body for investigation; empowers the Auditor-General to take appropriate remedial action; provides for the Auditor-General to issue a certificate of debt where an accounting officer or accounting authority failed to recover losses from a responsible person and to instruct the relevant executive authority to collect the debt and provides for additional reporting requirements.

In the Directive, the section on annual audits now stipulates that material irregularities are identified during the annual audit process and reported in the auditor’s report. The actions taken by accounting officers and authorities to address identified material irregularities are also audited and reported in the auditor’s report.

The Directive also stipulates that the auditor’s report must reflect an opinion, conclusion or findings on the financial statements of the auditee in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework and legislation.

As regards the audit of reported information on performance against predetermined objectives, the Directive now stipulates that the auditor’s report must reflect an opinion, conclusion or findings on the reported performance of the auditee against its predetermined objectives.

The Directive is effective for financial periods beginning on or after 1 April 2019 and is applicable until further notice.

Meanwhile, in Gazette 43316, the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) has called for nominations for its Investigations Committee (INVESCO).

According to the invitation, three vacancies on INVESCO need to be filled.
Members serve a three-year term limited to not more than two consecutive terms.

Applications are invited until 10 June 2020.