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MPAC PROGRAMME TRAIN THE TRAINER. MUNICIPAL PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY COMMITTEE Dr N.S. KEKANA. MPAC Mentorship Programme. After completion MPAC members should understand: The frameworks that regulate the workings of strategic partners

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MPAC Mentorship Programme

After completion MPAC members should understand:

  • The frameworks that regulate the workings of strategic partners

  • How the MPAC can utilise the various tools to enhance oversight

  • The mandate, role and functions of MPACs

  • The legal frameworks that regulate the local government oversight

  • How to analyse the annual reports

  • The place and value of questions in the oversight functions of MPACs

Objectives continued…

  • The questioning techniques that must be adopted in order to get the best out of the MPAC public hearing

  • The key considerations for effective reporting by MPACs

  • The process of drafting MPAC resolutions

  • The process to follow in following up on the implementation of MPAC resolutions

Ice Breaker

  • Why are you on this programme?

  • What impact have you made on the lives of your colleagues?

Course Content


  • Introduction

  • The Role of Strategic Partners in Oversight

  • The Mandate, Role and Functions of MPACs

  • Understanding the Legislative Framework of MPACs

  • Facilitation Skills

Course Content


  • Recap of Day One

  • Governance Structures and Responsibilities under the MFMA and the Role of MPAC

  • The Use of the Annual Report as an Oversight Tool

  • MPAC Oversight Function: Questioning Techniques

  • How to Write an MPAC Report and Resolutions

Role of Strategic Partners in Oversight

Accountability and Oversight

  • Effective Oversight means:

  • Have financial governance system

  • Financial reporting

  • Written committee charter

  • Regulatory mechanism

  • Oversight contributes to clean administration

Oversight & Accountability

By having oversight of:

  • Strategic planning process

  • Budget process

  • Implementation of strategic plan & budget

  • Effective year-in & year-end reporting


  • Is strat. Plan in line with statutory requirements?

Oversight & Accountability

  • Is it in line with objectives?

  • Is it in line with: national priorities?

    eg: national plan of action

    Cabinet Lekgotla; MTEF


  • Is budget aligned to strat. Plan?

  • Adequate resources for priorities?

  • Budget constraints dealt with?

  • Budget changes focus year to year?

Oversight & Accountability

  • Implementation/Monitoring on the following:

  • Is spending on track with strat. plan priorities?

  • Evaluate monthly & quarterly reports

  • Develop action plans to address audit findings

  • Design, improve & implement internal controls

  • Deal with fraud

  • Is governance effective?

Oversight & Accountability


Oversight reporting oversees:

  • Compliance with MFMA

  • Compliance with Council appropriations

  • Effective & efficient resource utilisation

  • Review of annual report on

  • Financial information

  • Non- financial information

Role of Auditor General

  • Conducts all types of audits

  • Ensures standards

  • Ensures mandate is carried out

  • Ensures compliance with Acts, eg

    DORA; MFMA; Companies Act

  • Ensures internal controls like:

  • Leadership: finance & controls

  • Financial & performance management

  • governance

National & Provincial Treasuries

  • Roles laid down in:

  • Constitution of the Republic 1996

  • PFMA 1999

  • MFMA 2003

  • DORA

  • Intergovernmental & Fiscal Relations Act

  • Municipal Systems Act

  • Regulations; Circulars & Guides

National & Provincial Treasuries

  • MFMA section 5 addresses general functions of National & Provincial Treasuries

    National Treasury

  • Enforce compliance with Section 261(1)

    of Constitution; PFMA & MFMA

  • Chapter 13 of Constitution

  • Monitor budget

  • Promote good practices

  • Investigate financial management

National Treasury

  • Address breaches of financial control

  • Monitor & assess compliance

    Provincial Treasury

  • Assist National Treasury to enforce compliance by municipalities & its entities

  • This done in Section 6: Delegations by National Treasury to DG of Treasury & MEC

Role of SALGA

  • Represent; promote & protect interests of LG

  • Transform LG to fulfil development role

  • Raise profile of local government

  • Ensure women participation in local govt

  • Develop capacity in municipalities

  • Advice & support municipalities

  • Act as employer in collective bargaining

  • Improve image of local government

Role of Public; Civil Society; Organizations & Media

  • Local govt is coal face of service delivery

  • It is crucial to public; media & interest groups

  • All hold municipality accountable

  • Therefore full & accurate info is important

  • Timeous info & education

  • MPAC should hold info workshops

  • Accurate info to be disseminated

  • Transparency & accessibility

Role of Public; Civil Society; Organizations & Media

  • CSOs include: unions; faith groups; community groups, etc

  • MPAC to determine those with direct interest

  • Criteria: diversity; assistance; engagement

  • Treasury & CoGTA to encourage MPAC to engage stakeholders

Role of Public; Civil Society; Organizations & Media

MPAC to use following checklist:

  • Competency of MPAC mbrs to engage CSOs

  • Does MPAC have spokes-persons?

  • Does MPAC provide info?

  • Is info updated regularly?

  • Does MPAC hold media briefings?

Activity Group Discussion

  • Discuss how the MPAC can utilise the various tools and insights from the strategic partners in order to enhance oversight in the local government sphere?

  • What areas need to be focused on to improve the oversight?

  • Each group must report back after 20 minutes

Mandate; Role & Functions of MPACs

Oversight Arrangements

  • Legislatures have various committees to share work

  • There are 3 committees on the budget;

    Finance Comm; Sectoral/Portfolio Comm & Public Accounts Comm

  • Coordination is important

  • Budget oversight focuses on 3 principles:

Oversight Arrangements

3 Principles

  • Fiscal discipline

  • Allocative efficiency

  • Operational efficiency

  • Finance coo deals with budget ex ante

  • MPAC deals with budget ex post

  • Circular 32 of Treasury: oversight on report & establishment

Objectives of Local Government

  • Outlined in Mun Structures & Mun System Acts

  • Local govt uses resources to:

  • Provide democratic & accountable local govt to communities

  • Ensure sustainable service delivery

  • Promote socio-economic development

  • Promote health & safety in environment

  • Encourage community involvement

Developmental Duties of Local Government

Local govt to give priority to:

  • Basic needs of communities

  • Promote socio-economic development

  • Participate in national & provincial development programmes

  • Mun. to provide ff. services”

  • Building regulations

  • Airports & public transport

  • Public works

  • Storm water management

Developmental Duties of Local Government

Socio-cultural Services

  • Health

  • Cemeteries; funeral parlours & crematoria

  • Fencing & fences

  • Animal services & burial of animals

    Administration & public order

  • Control of public finances

  • Licences & control of food sellers

Developmental Duties of Local Government

  • MPACs to ensure municipalities can offer such services

  • Services to be efficient; effective & economic

    Guidelines for Establishing MPACs

  • MPACs strengthen oversight in municipalities

  • Guidelines explain how to do that

  • Guideline to be read with Circular 32 15/3/06

  • Speaks about structure & work of MPAC

Developmental Duties of Local Government

  • Guideline issued by Nat. Treasury & Coop & Gov

  • Consulted with SALGA; APAC; provinces & Municipalities

    Purpose of MPAC

  • Established by Local Govt Mun Structures Act 117: 1998

  • Serve as oversight of executive obligations of council

  • Hold mun. entities to account

Purpose of MPAC

  • Increase council & public awareness of financial performance of mun. & entities

    Institutional Context & Functions of MPACs

    Institutional Context

  • Not a duplication of other council committees

  • Performs like SCOPA at Prov & National

  • Can call mun officials to account

  • May engage directly with public

  • May even request documents from public

Institutional Context of MPACs

  • Can use advice of internal/external auditors

  • Standard rules of council apply to MPACs

  • Has referral documents relating to:

  • In-year reports of mun & entities

  • Financial statements of same

  • Audit opinion; reports & reports

  • Information relating to compliance of MFMA

  • Performance info & any reports

Institutional Context of MPACs

  • MPAC does not formulate policy

  • Does not prioritise council matters

  • Reports directly to Speaker of Council

  • Interacts with community through Speaker

  • MPAC can follow up on reports of AG

  • Can also investigate performance of council

  • Legislation allows MPAC to call witnesses & documents

Functions of MPAC

  • Consider & evaluate annual reports

  • Make recommendations

  • Review past recommendations & reports

  • Examine financial states & audit reports

  • Consider improvements previously recommended

  • Evaluate implementation of AG recommendations

  • Promote good governance, transparency, accountability

Functions of MPAC

  • Recommend investigations on authorised matters

  • Perform other functions assigned by council

  • Council must ensure officials support MPAC

    Composition & Membership

  • Comprises of councillors

  • Those who are not on executive

  • By resolution taken in council

  • Committee can co-opt experts

Composition and Membership

  • Experts have no voting rights in meetings

  • Size of committee determined by size of Mun

  • Less than 15 councillors = 5 MPAC mbrs

  • Between 15-30 = 9 mbrs

  • Between 31-60 = 11 mbrs

  • More than 60 = 13 mbrs

  • Mbrs should have wide experience

  • Must have expertise as well

  • Should represent various political parties

Composition and Membership

  • Term of office related to that of council

  • Resignations should be in writing

  • Replacements by resolution of council

    Chairing of MPAC

  • Chair appointed by council resolution

  • Exercise transparency, ethics & good governance

  • Chair may be from other parties

  • Position of chair may be full time

MPAC Work Programme

  • They develop own programme

  • Link with council work

  • Programme to be approved by council

  • Work plan based on budget cycles

  • Should have good understanding of:

  • Priorities of municipality

  • Key programmes of municipalities

  • Achievement targets & priorities

  • Status of budget execution per vote

Typical MPAC Meeting

  • Review progress on issues

  • Review service delivery statement & achievem

  • Consider financial statement & budget execution

  • Consider audit reports & financial management issues

  • Mbrs of public welcome to such meetings

Focus of MPAC Reports

  • Technical quality

  • Performance information quality

  • Quality of service delivery

  • Implementation of improvements plans

  • Evaluating why explanations of unreached targets & budgets

Attendance of MPAC Meetings

  • Minimum 4 meeting pa or as necessary

  • Meetings are part of council calendar

  • 14 days notice for meetings


    MPAC reports to council on activities

    Reports on: meetings held; past/present financial year & resolutions

    Reports quarterly or as necessary

    Full council deliberations

    Meetings open to public

Monitoring by MPAC

  • MPAC should develop monitoring mechanism

  • Responses to reports given to MPAC

    Public Involvement & Media Coverage

  • Public should participate

  • Public can make submissions

  • Public can be called as witness

  • Parliamentary privilege applies to witness

  • Meetings open to media

Matters of Importance to MPAC

  • Local govt structures must be adequately capacitated

  • This strengthens service delivery

  • Council must ensure MPAC is supported by officials

Activity: Group Discussion

  • In groups discuss the following:

    -The Frameworks that regulates the workings of MPACs

    -The mandate, role and functions of MPACs in the broader local government oversight

    -The powers that MPACs have in terms of the legal frameworks governing the local government sphere

Understanding Legislation Governing Municipal Finance

  • The legislation that is going to be discussed is the following:

  • The Constitution

  • The MFMA

  • The Municipal Structures Act

  • The Municipal System Act

  • Guides; Circulars and Policies

The Constitution of the RSA

  • Chapter 7 deals with issues of Local Government

  • Deals also with municipal finance

  • Section 139(1) deals with Provincial supervision of local finance

  • Principles of mun. finance & admin are addressed by Section 195(1)

  • Section 214 & 227 deal with matters of raising mun revenue nationally

The Constitution of the RSA

  • Sections 160(2), 215 & 229 deal with mun budget; revenue & expenditure

  • Treasury control over mun finance is found in Section 216

  • Procurement is dealt with in Section 217

  • Municipal loans & guarantees are found in Section 218 & 230

Municipal Finance Management Act

  • Implementation of MFMA started in 2004

  • Principles of MFMA:

  • Promote sound financial governance

  • Clarify roles & responsibilities

  • Ensure strategic approach to budgeting

  • Introduce modern financial management

  • Promote cooperative & consultative gov

  • Promote sustainable local government

Municipal Finance Management Act

Chapter 1

  • Deals with definitions

    Chapter 2

  • Deals with role of Treasury & Prov Treasuries

  • Delegation by National Treasury

    Chapter 3

  • Municipal bank accounts

  • Transfers from Prov & National Gov

  • Trusts

  • Relief & others

  • Cash management: policies; disposal of assets; mun services

Municipal Finance Management Act

Chapter 4

  • How to prepare the budget

  • The role of the mayor

  • 10 months before presentation

  • Multi yr capital & operating budget

  • Link with current & future priorities in IDP

  • Budget implementation

  • SBDIP within 14 months of budget approval

  • Responsibilities of MM

  • Unauthorised expenditures & consequences

Municipal Finance Management Act

Chapter 5

  • Cooperative governance

  • Fiscal & financial management

  • Improve allocations & strengthen plans & budgeting

  • Pricing policies for bulk resource suppliers

  • District mun support: for planning; coordinating IDP, budgets, performance reports

Municipal Finance Management Act

Chapter 6

  • Debt borrowing

  • Limitation of short/long term debts:s45,s46

  • Provisions cover: security for loans: s48

    disclosure obligations: s49

    issuing guarantees:s50

  • Prohibit borrowing in foreign currency:s47,163

  • Governance obligations to officials

Municipal Finance Management Act

Chapter 7

  • Focuses on the mayor

  • Provides political leadership

  • Monitor progress

  • Council oversight on the mayor

  • Review of IDP & related policies

  • Ensure compliance with deadlines

  • Monitor performance

  • Table reports to council

  • Approve SDBIP & performance agreements

Municipal Finance Management Act

Chapter 8

  • Role of accounting officer

  • MM is accounting officer

  • Accounts to mayor

  • Accounts for admin & policy implementation

  • Implementation & compliance with MFMA


  • Fudiciary: honest & disclosure

Municipal Finance Management Act

Role of MM continued…

  • Financial: efficient; effective; no fruitless;

    no waste; discipline

  • Asset & liability management: asset register


  • Revenue & expenditure management

  • Realistic revenue projection & collection

  • Payment of dues

Municipal Finance Management Act

Top municipal managers:

MM; CFO; HODs, those designated by MM

Chapter 9

  • Role of the CFO

  • Administration of the budget

  • Assist the MM

  • Delegations from MM

  • Meet prescribed competency levels

Municipal Finance Management Act

Chapter 10

  • Municipal entities

  • Governance structure

  • Establishment process

  • Reporting

  • Systems Act alignment

    Governance Structure of Municipal Entities

  • System Act; MFMA

Municipal Finance Management Act

  • If major shareholders: Prov & Nat: PFMA apply

  • Types of entities: company; service utility; multi jurisdictional service utility

    Municipal Entities: MFMA Compliance

  • No councillor on Boards

  • Same financial requirements as Municipalities

  • Same financial year

  • Budgets & establishments consolidated into mun

  • CEO is accounting officer

Municipal Finance Management Act

Chapter 11

Deals with matters relating to supply chain

  • No councillor on mun. tender committee

  • No oversight roles by councillors

  • Competency by officials as prescribed

    Private Public Partnership

  • Alternative service mechanism

  • Provide public sector investment

Municipal Finance Management Act

  • Consultation process

  • Feasibility study undertaken

  • Government support

    Chapter 12

  • Deals with annual financial statements(AFS)

  • Accounting officer responsible for that

  • Prepares & submits to Auditor General

  • Within 2 months after financial year end

  • Starts with accounting standards

  • Complies with GRAP

  • Parent municipality to prepare

Municipal Finance Management Act

  • Parent mun prepares consolidated AFS for entities

  • Disclosures: intergov & other allocations

  • councillor; director & official payments

  • Other: bank accounts; losses; unauthorised expenditure

  • Auditing & financial statements

  • AG complete audit 3 after submission

Municipal Finance Management Act

  • Audit report compiled

  • Mayor to comply with audit report

  • MEC to assess & report to Prov Legislature

    Details of Annual Report

  • Prescribed AFS information

  • Mayor to table at council by 31 Jan

  • Council to discuss & adopt by February

  • Prepare in accordance with Nat Treasury requirements: Circular 11

Municipal Finance Management Act

  • AFS to have: fin & non-fin information

  • New formats issued regularly

    Chapter 13

  • Deals with resolving financial issues

  • Guided by Circular 21 of MFMA

  • Develop process to deal with Fin Recovery Plans

  • In-year reporting

Municipal Finance Management Act

  • Municipality takes responsibility for:

  • Avoid; identify & resolve: financial problems

  • Prov to intervene in failure to execute obligation

  • Fail to execute mandate

    Chapter 14

    Deals with forbidden activities like:

  • commercial activities not prescribed

  • Or outside powers

Municipal Finance Management Act

  • Councillor payment contradicting s167

  • Take reasonable steps to comply or rectify

  • Prepare risk-based audit plan

  • Same with internal audit programme

  • Advise MM & report to committee for implementation

  • Responsible for establishing Audit Unit I Audit Committee

Municipal Finance Management Act

Chapter 15

  • Deals with misconduct & criminal proceedings

  • Applies to councillors; CFO, Board mbr & senior managers

  • Deals with deliberate or negligent acts

  • Acts contravening the MFMA

  • Failure to comply or delegate

  • Expenditure: unauthorised; wasteful; irregular; fruitless

  • False & misleading information

Municipal Finance Management Act

Chapter 16

Deals with:

  • Limited liability when acting in good faith

  • Delays & exemptions: their categories

  • Transitional provisions

  • of entities: PPPs & long term contracts

  • Repeal of legislation

  • Local Govt Transitional Act; Promotion of Local Govt Affairs Act; Municipal Accountants Act

Municipal Structures Act

Provides for:

  • Establish & disestablish municipalities

  • Division of powers of mun in categories

  • Regulation of: internal systems; structures & office bearers in municipalities

  • Committees of municipalities: Section 79

  • Meetings of council: once per quarter

  • No. councillors in council: from 7 to 260

Municipal Structures Act 32, 2000

  • about internal control systems & admin of mun

  • Municipal finance:

  • Credit control & debt collection

  • Support; monitoring & standards setting by other municipalities

  • Tariffs & control policies in place

  • Establish framework for planning; performance management; resource mobilisation & org change

Municipal Systems Act 32, 2000

  • On municipal finance:

  • IDP

  • Performance management

  • Credit control

  • Debt collection

  • Conduct of conduct for staff

Privileges & Immunities for Municipal Councillors

Sec 28 Municipal Structures Act states:

  • Councillors have freedom of speech in council committees

  • Subject to council rules

  • Not liable to civil or criminal claims or prison

  • For speaking in council

  • Revealing things in council

  • Province must pass relevant legislation

  • Councillors not to vote for resolution contradicting any legislation on local government

#Governance Structures & Responsibilities under the MFMA

Public Purse or Fiscus means:

  • All municipal monies & resources

  • All municipal property: land; time of employees

  • All municipal processes: billing; zoning; trading

  • All municipal public offices

  • The socio-political mandate given by the voters

Governance Structures & Responsibilities under the MFMA

Elements of Accountability

  • There has to be a principal who has

  • Authority; means & clear objectives

  • Appoints agents to achieve those objectives

    The agent:

  • Appointed to achieve objectives of principal

  • Is given authority to do so

Governance Structures & Responsibilities under the MFMA

  • Then there are standards to measure performance

  • Systems to gather & report on performance

  • Review oversight purposes

  • Then sanctions for poor performance

    MFMA and Accountability

  • Explained in section 2 of module 3

  • MFMA protects the public purse

Governance Structures & Responsibilities under the MFMA

  • MFMA protects through: policies; processes; people & practices

  • The challenge in local govt is implementation of above

    Role Players in Protecting Public Purse

  • In the municipality: citizens; customers; councillors

  • Municipal Council: MPAC

  • Mayor & Executive

  • Municipal Manager & Staff

Governance Structures & Responsibilities under the MFMA

External to Municipalities

Provincial Executive

  • Dept of Local Govt & Provincial Treasury

    National Executive

  • Dept Cooperative Governance

  • Water; Transport & Housing


    Provincial Legislatures



Governance Structures & Responsibilities under the MFMA

Responsibilities of Role Players under MFMA

  • Mayors: Chapter 7 of MFMA

  • Accounting Officers: Chapter 8 of MFMA

  • Councillors: Code of Conduct

  • Councils: Constitution & Local Govt Legislation

  • Further; see pp. 51-55

Governance Structures & Responsibilities under the MFMA

Code of Conduct for Councillors

  • Perform functions in good faith; honest & transparent

  • Act in best interest of municipality all times

  • Not vote in conflict with local govt laws

  • Disclosure of conflict of interest: withdraw

  • Not abuse privilege

  • No gifts

  • Not to disclose privileged information

Governance Structures & Responsibilities under the MFMA


  • Vested with authority: Constitution, MFMA,

    Municipal Structures & Muni Systems Act

  • Has oversight authority

  • Ensures linkage of strat plan & service delivery

  • IDP priorities

  • Good budget

  • Separation of roles: officers & politicians

Governance Structures & Responsibilities under the MFMA

Oversight Report

  • Final major annual reporting process in Mun.

  • Requirement of section 129 MFMA

  • For both municipality & entities

  • Resolution of council on report needed:

    Rejected; referred back or with/without reserv.

    It is different from annual report

    Annual report submitted by mayor & MM

Governance Structures & Responsibilities under the MFMA

  • Annual report is part of oversight

  • Oversight report belongs to council

  • Oversight report follows after annual report

  • Promotes effective governance & accountability

    Samples of Reports

    Annexure A: Oversight Report

    Annexure B: Annual Report

Activity: Group Discussion

  • The role and mandates of different structures within the municipality

  • MFMA and roles and responsibilities of senior managers eg MM, CFO etc

  • What does the Code of Conduct say about heir role in Council?

Basic Facilitation Skills

  • Adults learn differently from children, more experienced, have life knowledge

  • Need to learn in way that builds on this experience

  • Need facilitator rather than teacher -Learner is active partner

  • Facilitator imparts knowledge and allows learners to share and explore new knowledge

  • Learn best when they want to learn something

  • Not just telling - debate, explore, involve them in finding answers and solutions

  • People learn by taking in and processing information: Listening, reading, seeing, thinking, doing. Use as many senses as possible

  • All learning events should involve own experience, new information, analysing and thinking and applying the knowledge

How Adults Learn

  • Adults learn more if they are:

    • actively involved in the training process,

    • motivated by the topic, the facilitator and or the training tools,

  • Relate the topics to the duties or experiences of the participants,

  • Use examples whenever possible; don’t over use!

  • Adults, generally like to have fun when learning; don’t be too formal with them

  • They like to mask how much they don’t know about the subject,

How Adults Learn

  • Do not assume the topic is understood because there are no questions,

  • Adults learn better if they are neither criticized or judged,

  • Adults learn better in an atmosphere of support, trust and empathy,

  • Allow participants to express how they feel about the topic,

  • Informal environment work well for any learning.

The Role of the Facilitator

As a facilitator you are not expected to be an expert of the subject you are facilitating,

You are not responsible for each person’s learning,

  • Your role is to:

    • Present facts as you know them,

    • Allow the participants to make their own judgment,

    • Share your knowledge and provide examples,

    • You are acting on behalf of your employer; therefore avoid swaying the participants to your point of view.

Basic Facilitation Skills

Skills of a Good Facilitator

  • Not just a chair – must allow for effective and shared learning

  • Competent, confident, able to direct group

  • Encourage participation

  • Credibility – expertise, ability, style and dress

  • Prepared and aware of weaknesses

Basic Facilitation Skills

Skills of a Good Facilitator

  • Assertive but nor overly dominating

  • Constructive (never humiliate), warm, friendly, empathy

  • Correct if needed

  • Protect against dominating participants

  • Keep control

Training Tips for the Facilitator

  • Use the KISS rule,

  • Be prepared,

  • Be enthusiastic,

  • Know your teaching aids or get someone to do it,

  • Assemble training material in advance,

  • Re-hearse your training,

  • Anticipate questions (if you don’t know the answer, promise to comeback)

  • Focus the training on participants’ jobs

  • Encourage hands-on participation

  • Test your audience at the beginning and at the end of the training.

Training Tips for the Facilitator

  • 20 minutes max concentrate – keep short, lively and stimulating

  • Powerful beginnings grab people’s attention

  • Understand audience and keep the input at the right level for them

  • Keep sentences short and simple – get main points across

Training Tips for the Facilitator

  • Careful with statistics, figures, tables, Keep it straight and simple.

  • Repeating is boring - get your main points across well

  • End strongly with clear statement about topic and the way forward

  • Allow questions and contributions from the floor, unless using participatory method after input.

Training Tips for the Facilitator

  • People know much more than you may think,

  • Respect for opinions goes a long way,

  • Represent the employer,

  • Be passionate don’t dropout.

#The Use of the Annual Report as an Oversight Tool

Purpose of the Annual Report

  • Primarily for accountability purposes

  • Important tool in accountability loop

  • Serves to inform oversight structures & other key stakeholders about the performance of an entity in relation to services provided

The Use of the Annual Report as an Oversight Tool

  • Accountability Loop : p.67

  • Accountability Instruments

  • Strategic plans

  • Estimates of National Expenditure / Budget Statement Two

  • In-year monitoring reports

  • Annual reports

  • Audit Report issued by external Auditor

  • General Report of the Auditor-General on Audit Outcomes

The Use of the Annual Report as an Oversight Tool

Guides to Use in Preparation

  • Regulations for preparing strategic plans

  • Guide for the preparation of Annual Reports and AFS

  • Guide to understand oversight reports of municipality

  • Framework for Managing Programme Performance Information

The Use of the Annual Report as an Oversight Tool

Contents of the Annual Report

  • Vision, Mission & Values

  • HR information

  • Annual Financial Statements

  • Information on predetermined objectives

Group Activity

  • Using the information in Module 5 pp68-72,

    write a report to use the annual report as an oversight tool.

    Group 1 Evaluating Annual Report

    Analysing the Annual Report

    General Purpose of Financial Statements

    Annual Financial Statements

    Group 2 Annual Financial Statements issues to look out for

    Audit Committee Report

Group Activity

Accounting Officer’s Report

Appropriation Statement

Group 3: Statement of Financial Report

Statement of Financial Position

Cash Flow Statement

Notes on Financial Statements

Accounting Policies

#MPAC Oversight Function: Questions and Techniques

Preparing for Hearings

  • MPAC mbrs should prepare carefully for each hearing to ensure that they will serve their intended purpose.

  • Committee members should:

  • Scrutinize the report, or allocated sections of it, as well as any briefing documents, such as those prepared by the Auditor-General.

  • Conduct their own research on issues of concern to supplement the information they have available. 

  • It is important to know how much time is available to ask questions

What are Preliminary Questions

  • The MPAC inquiries should begin with an initial review of the Auditor-General (AG) reports in question, supplemented by a number of “preliminary questions” based on the audit report

  • Accounting Officer/Municipal Manager is required to respond in writing.

  • This is also the first interaction of the MPAC with the AG report.

  • Based on the information before it at this stage, the MPAC decides on appropriate further action which could include the following:

  • No further scrutiny

  • Additional written questions

  • Decision to hold a hearing

  • The purpose of preliminary questions is to provide further background to the findings of the AG

  • Call to account all AOs/ MMs at least in this manner seeing that not all appear the Committee during a particular year.

What do Preliminary Questions Consist of?

  • Standard/ general questions and questions regarding the audit findings/ matters of emphasis.

  • Standard/ general questions: the purpose of standard/ general questions is to gather information from all the votes on a transversal subject e.g. implementation of the MFMA.

  • It allows the Committee to get an overall sense of the general problems in the municipality.

  • Question regarding audit findings/ matters of emphasis: these questions are mainly based on the contents of the AG report.

  • Questions should be compiled on the regularity, computer, performance and/or forensic audits conducted at a specific municipality.

Questions and Techniques

What is the context?

  • Method of Work adopted by the Committee.

  • Business Plan adopted by the Committee.

  • Formal arrangement between the Committee and the AG.

    What materials are used?

  • Historical AG reports for reference

  • AG report tabled

  • Previous resolutions of council or MPAC reports

  • Preliminary questions, replies thereto and evaluation by the Auditor-General of the previous year

How are Preliminary Questions Produced?

  • First phase of reporting stage when the reports are being drafted, standard procedure should be that preliminary questions are compiled.

  • The standard questions are added and a final set of preliminary questions is submitted to the MPAC for their approval and amendments.

  • The approved preliminary questions are sent to the AO/ MM for his/ her written replies within a certain deadline by the MPAC Secretariat.

  • Upon receipt of the replies from the AO/MM, the MPAC meets to consider the replies and determines possible way forward.

What are the Criteria of Preliminary Questions?

  • Are the questions phrased in a manner ensuring that responsibility is accurately pinpointed?

  • Are the questions clear from any ambiguity?

  • Do the questions address the main areas of concern, to effectively enable the Committee to deal with the report?

  • Do the questions contain clear reference to the audit report sections?

Types of Questions to be asked

  • Type of questions posed by committee members will have a big impact on the nature and quality of the information you gain.

  • Committee mbrs should have knowledge of the different types of questions

  • Open question

  • Closed question

  • Leading question

Tips for Formulating Questions for Hearing

  • Plan the questions beforehand.

  • Give different committee members different areas to question.

  • Ensure you know the law or regulations that apply to the specific topic. If necessary, get help from expert advisers.

  • Be assertive, not aggressive or abusive. But do not allow slippery witnesses to obscure issues and escape accountability. (The witness must answer you.)

  • Ask one question at a time and do not make a speech. Stick to the KISS rule: Keep It Short & Simple.

  • If you think you are being misled, don’t lecture the witness. Rather ask more questions.

  • Use leading questions to uncover inadequacies, lies and inconsistencies.

Group Activity

Group 1: Discuss the use of questions by the MPAC

Group 2: Discuss the type of questions that can be used and their purpose

Group 3: A municipality has received a qualified audit report due to non-compliance. What kind of questions will MPAC members ask during interview? MM& CFO role players

How to Write an MPAC Report and Resolutions

Contents of the MPAC Report

  • Recommendations to municipality

  • Matters raised by Auditor General

  • Municipality has to respond to questions by MPAC

  • Normally within a prescribed period

How to Write an MPAC Report and Resolutions

When is an MPAC Report Effective?

  • Reflect the tone of the hearing and the weight of its concerns.

  • Spell out the committee’s reasoning in a brief summary based on relevant facts, figures & examples

  • Contain conclusions that are tightly argued and which support specific, realistic recommendations.

  • Are accurate and are substantially based on the evidence gathered.

  • Are direct and easy to read.

The Structure of the MPAC Report

  • Introduction & Summary

  • Give background & refer to MPAC meeting

  • Supply subheadings

  • Main Body

  • Subheadings & background

  • Conclusion & Recommendations

  • Reasoned & logical

  • Reasonable

  • specific

MPAC Resolutions

  • Oversight of MPACs is important as part of municipal oversight

  • No oversight by MPACs over Mun will result in no oversight at all

  • MPAC strengthen Councils through their resolutions

MPAC Resolutions

Process of Drafting Resolutions

  • AG tables reports through road shows

  • Reports given to relevant authorities like mayors

  • Council adopts report & forwards to MPAC

  • MPAC is briefed by AG & then scrutinises report

  • MPAC then conducts hearing

MPAC Process of Drafting Resolutions

  • MPAC makes recommendations based on AG report & forwards to council

  • Council adopts as resolutions & now becomes answerable about them

  • MPAC liaises with Speaker to ensure that council is clear about resolutions and actions it

Process of Follow-up on Resolutions

  • Speaker informs mayor & MM about resolution

  • MPAC informs mayoral committee or Mun entity about resolution

  • Track progress of implementation: MPAC inform Internal/External Audit Committees

  • Speaker follows up Mayor/MM to ensure progress on implementation

Process of Follow-up on Resolutions

  • AG reports on progress of implementation of his recommendations

  • Checklist for effective follow-up process


Group Activity

Group 1

Develop a checklist for drafting quality reports

Group 2

Discuss Process for implementing MPAC resolutions

Group 3

Report on checklist for follow-up process

The End

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