Mechanisms to strengthen accountability and oversight within municipalities, with specific reference to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee and the Audit Committee of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    Public accountability is, to an increasing extent, becoming one of the main requirements of good governance in all spheres of government. Ijeoma and Sambumbu (2013:282) maintain that effective accountability and oversight result in improved good corporate governance, effective management of public finances and effective service delivery. Thornhill (2015:79) states that accountability refers to “a statutory obligation to provide for independent and impartial observers holding the right of reporting their findings at the highest levels of state, any available information about financial administration which they may request”. Oversight entails the proactive control mechanisms initiated by the legislature for the executive and administrative organs of state to encourage compliance with the statutory and legislative frameworks, in order to ensure effective delivery on agreed objectives for the achievement of government priorities (South African Legislative Sector 2008:4). This article determines what oversight and accountability mechanisms are currently applied within municipalities. For the purpose of this article the mechanisms to promote accountability and oversight within municipalities, with specific reference to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) and Audit Committee of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, will be discussed. This will be followed by a discussion of the current challenges of accountability and oversight within municipalities. The article further aims to make specific recommendations to strengthen accountability and oversight within municipalities in the Free State Province.