Perceptions on internal audit function contributions in South African national government departments

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • Abstract:

    In terms of the Public Finance Management Act, Act 1 of 1999 and Treasury Regulations, it is compulsory for national government departments in South Africa to establish an effective and efficient internal audit function (IAF). An effective IAF can help achieve the policy objectives of the government, which promised that big strides would be made in the social and economic development arena. The question then arises whether, two decades later, key stakeholders believe that the mandatory IAFs are living up to expectation. Hence, the objective of the study reported in this article was to determine whether selected stakeholders were satisfied with the IAFs’ contribution on selected activities. The findings and conclusions are based on a quantitative analysis of the data. Responses to structured questionnaires were collected from chief audit executives (CAEs), accounting officers (AOs) and chairpersons of audit committees (CACs) in South African national government departments. The findings show that all three categories of stakeholders expect more from IAFs, but only the CAEs believed IAFs were currently contributing well. The AOs and the CACs did not regard the IAFs’ current level of contribution as very high. These findings should assist stakeholders responsible for the functioning of internal auditing in the South African public service.