Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has blasted the National Treasury for its mishandling of a project valued at more than R1bn, BusinessLIVE reports.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has found the project to be irregular.

For nearly two decades, the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) project has undergone various iterations of planning and implementation. Its primary objective was to unify the financial management of national and provincial departments into a comprehensive system. Despite considerable time invested, a functional system is yet to materialise, resulting in the Treasury incurring expenses for technical support and maintenance, (except in 2023/24).

The delay impeded digitalisation of government processes.

The auditor-general qualified the Treasury’s 2021/22 financial statements because of what was seen as fruitless and wasteful expenditure on the contract.

According to BusinessLIVE, Scopa chair Mkhuleko Hlengwa criticised the department for persisting in claiming the project was above-board, despite evidence to the contrary. This was a ‘glaring indictment’.

It set a bad example for the rest of the government, he said. The Treasury had to be held to the highest standard.

Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo told committee members that the Treasury held itself to the highest standards in terms of governance and financial management. But he conceded that the handling of this project may have fallen short of these standards.

[Image: Jonathan Beech,]