The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) is the supreme audit institution (SAI) of South Africa. It is the only institution that, by law, has to audit and report on how the government is spending the South African taxpayers’ money. This has been the focus of the AGSA as an institution since its inception in 1911. But when our constitution came into effect in 1996, the role and responsibilities of the organisation were expanded even more, to enable the institution to fulfil its constitutional mandate.
The AGSA is a “chapter 9” institution, this is because its mandate is outlined in chapter 9 (sections 181 & 188) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. The AGSA annually produces audit reports on all government departments, public entities, municipalities and public institutions. Over and above these entity-specific reports, the audit outcomes are analysed in general reports that cover both the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) cycles. In addition, reports on discretionary audits, performance audit, and other special audits are also produced.
To be recognised by all our stakeholders as a relevant SAI that enhances public sector accountability.
Our reputation promise/mission
The AGSA has a constitutional mandate and, as the SAI of South Africa, it exists to strengthen our country’s democracy by enabling oversight, accountability and governance in the public sector through auditing, thereby building public confidence.
Independence and transparency
The AGSA not only has to audit and report on the financial management in the public sector, it also has to do so in a manner that will enable the legislature (parliamentarians) to call the executive (cabinet ministers) to account for how they dealt with taxpayers’ money.
Explaining how the public can be sure that the AGSA is indeed fulfilling its mandate and remains independent, former Auditor-General Terence Nombembe says: “Although we audit the public sector, we are not part of it. In 1993 we gained autonomy and were set apart from the public sector, so we are not bound by any public service rules and regulations. The Constitution also ensures our independence. We are legally, financially and operationally independent. We are governed by our own act, called the Public Audit Act, No. 25 of 2004 (PAA). To generate income, we charge government institutions for the audits we conduct. We report directly to Parliament.”
The National Assembly established the Standing Committee on the Auditor-General (SCoAG) to maintain the oversight of the AGSA as required by the PAA. In terms of the PAA, the committee is tasked with assisting and protecting the AGSA to ensure its independence, impartiality, dignity and effectiveness.