Highly regarded auditing firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers has been fingered in the State Capture Report.
It has been found that PWC and its audit partner Nkonki Inc failed as the financial watchdog at the national carrier SAA. They had given SAA clean audits for five consecutive years while the airline’s board was in a state of precipitous governance decline and involved in acts of corruption.
The Zondo commission glaring points that had PWC and Nkonki Inc performed their functions properly, the shambolic state of financial and risk management in SAA would have been picked up earlier, and could have been addressed. Instead it was the intervention of the Auditor General that exposed the deep deficiencies.
Government has been advised to capacitate the AG’s office and let it audit all public entities. It says that the AG’s office clearly has the skills and understanding of governance to do the job. It adds that it also has the ideal level of independence.
The commission’s Chair Justice Raymond Zondo says private firms must only be appointed to audit state owned entities if they can demonstrate that they have both the requisite skills and understanding of their obligations to the public at large.