NKETOANA LOCAL MUNICIPALITY PRESENTATION: LOCAL GOVERNMENT WEEK
(31 July – 03 August 2012, Cape Town)
“Accountability and Oversight in local government.”
1. DEFINITIONS 1.1 Accountability: Broadly defined, it means the proper exercising of power so that efficiency can be improved and waste be reduced. It seeks to check and balance the potential abuse of power. 1.2 Oversight: A mechanism which seeks to promote good governance, transparency and accountability with regard to municipal systems and the use of municipal resources.
2. LEGISLATIVE IMPERATIVES
ACCOUNTABILITY Constitution: the provision of a democratic and accountable government for local communities (section 152 (1)(a). Municipal Structures Act: the development of a consultative mechanism by the municipality (section 19 (3). Municipal Systems Act: provision of accountable government by municipal council (section 4 (2)(b).
LEGISLATIVE IMPERATIVES (cont.) OVERSIGHT Municipal Finance Management Act: the exercise of oversight by the Mayor (section 52). The exercise of oversight through oversight report by council (section 129). Municipal Structures Act: allows council to establish a committee which will perform the oversight function on its behalf (section 79).
3. TYPES OF ACCOUNTABILITY (and tools of accountability) 3.1 Municipal council to local citizens: Elections. Open meetings. Report back mechanisms. Complaint, appeal and petition procedure. 3.2 Officials to the municipal council: SDBIP. Monthly budget statements. Mid-year budget and performance assessment report. Annual Report.
4. OVERSIGHT 4.1 Structures for oversight: Council (functional). Executive Committee (functional). Section 79 Committees (functional). Audit Committee (district). Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) (recently established). Oversight Committee.
OVERSIGHT (cont.) 5.1 Areas of oversight: Financial management. Performance management. Audit assessment. Risk assessment. 5.2 Challenges with regard to oversight: Thin line between oversight and interference in administration. Lack of understanding of roles by Oversight Committee members. Failure to take corrective actions on recommendations in oversight report.
5. MUNICIPAL AREAS OF SUCCESS 5.1 Stability: Same Municipal Manager and CFO for more than three years. Public participation and community consultation effectively implemented. 5.2 Implementation of corrective measures suggested by the AuditorGeneral: Proper asset register has been put in place and continuously updated. Proper financial and other systems in place to ensure reliable and accurate reporting and information. Necessary HR and finance policies are in place. Continuous and relevant training of officials in terms of the Workplace Skills Plan.