RESPONSES TO COMMENTS FROM WILLEM OPPERMAN
A. STATE V PRIVATE AUDITORS [S1 2]
In executing his functions the AG utilises two sources:
1. The staff in his office - consisting of:
· CA's - registered with PAAB
Government Auditors and
· Other people with suitable competencies and qualifications
2. Private firms:
· Registered with PAAB
Other individuals or firms with specific competencies and qualifications
For both internal and external sources there are adequate procedures in place to ensure that audits are:
· Conducted in a cost effective manner
· Are of a high quality
These procedures include, but is not limited to:
· Determining the minimum qualification and competencies for each category of staff member in the office
· Guidelines on audits contracted and
· Comprehensive training initiatives and the ability to properly assess competencies
The office also embarked on a program, accredited by the relevant institutions, to employ trainee accountants in terms of the SAICA or ACCA training modules. All new appointments at auditor level are now made on the basis that the candidate will be registered with one of these institutions.
From the above it is clear that the individual's perceived concerns are adequately addressed.
I The issue of independence is covered in the office's Code of Professional Conduct. It states that
Independence of mind - the state of mind that permits the provision of an opinion without being affected by influences that compromise professional judgement, allowing an individual to act with integrity, and exercise objectivity and professional scepticism; and
II Independence in appearance - the avoidance of facts and circumstances that are so significant a reasonable and informed third party, having knowledge of all relevant information, including any safeguards applied, would reasonably conclude a firm's, or a member of the assurance team's, integrity, objectivity or professional scepticism had been compromised.
This concept is also addressed by PAAB in their Code of Conduct in a similar manner.
C. AUDIT STANDARDS [S 13]
In section 13 it specifically states that the Auditor-General after consultation with the Audit Commission must take into account all relevant factors including best auditing practises, both locally and internationally.
The current practice of using South African Auditing Standards is still in place.
D. CODE OF CONDUCT
The office's code was developed using the PAAB code as a benchmark. It applies to all staff members.