Re: Government to establish national skills database (The New Times May 16)
Are issues of mismanagement of public funds, as identified in Auditor General’s reports, attributable to lack of capacities or lack of sense of accountability and urgency to implement recommendations given?
Different schools of thought will argue whether the issues identified in OAG reports are issues of capacity gaps in public institutions or if it is the laissez faire attitude where no one feels accountable to public resources.
The latter would mean that institutions are capable but people have an attitude of “who cares”. Given a choice, I would go with the capacity issue because it is much easier to deal with than one of attitude.
MP Theobald Mporanyi is quoted saying: “When you look at the Auditor General’s Report and go back to discussions that we have in commissions based on the institutions that we have talked to, there are no institutions that give you courage that they are making progress. In fact most of them are causing losses. There should be a strategy in place to make sure that these losses stop.”
The argument advanced by the legislator creates a need to review how progressively, issues identified in public financial management and recommendations given need to be tracked.
This argument makes complete sense. Every report of the OAG comes with recommendations to handle the identified issues; the implementation of these recommendations is the starting point of addressing the challenges.
If these recommendations attract the need to build capacities at human, organisational and institutional level, all those concerned need to have the urgency to do so.
The balance now remains between performance and accountability.