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Audit body IRBA is taking a hard line against erring members cited in state capture report by Zondo Commission

The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) said that it had independently conducted investigations and taken disciplinary action on the misdemeanours of two SAA IRBA members before the release of the first part of the Zondo Commission report on state capture. Photo: Twitter

The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) said that it had independently conducted investigations and taken disciplinary action on the misdemeanours of two SAA IRBA members before the release of the first part of the Zondo Commission report on state capture. Photo: Twitter

Published Jan 20, 2022

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THE INDEPENDENT Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) said that it had independently conducted investigations and taken disciplinary action on the misdemeanours of two SAA IRBA members before the release of the first part of the Zondo Commission report on state capture.

In a statement yesterday, the IRBA said all SAA matters were fully investigated during the 2017 to 2019 years, and findings of its probes had been through all the appropriate committee structures within the organisation.

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“On audit-related matters, the individual joint auditors were found guilty on five charges. Both respondents accepted monetary sanctions determined by the IRBA.

“On non-audit related complaints, one of the respondents opted not to accept the monetary sanction and this matter has been referred for a disciplinary hearing. This matter is on the IRBA roll and will be set down for a hearing in due course,” it said yesterday.

While the IRBA was not requested to appear at the commission, it did respond to a subpoena from the commission on matters relating to the audit of SAA in September 2019.

It said investigation relating to the other non-audit complaint was finalised in 2018 and the complaint was dismissed as there were no reasonable prospects of succeed with a charge of improper conduct against the respondent at that time.

“It is important to note that the IRBA's disciplinary processes, particularly the investigations, were completed in ample time to make the relevant submissions to the commission.

“In regard to the audit-related matters, the sanctions had already been finalised before the commission's Report Part 1 was issued,” the body said.

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The IRBA said it welcomed confirmation of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants' investigation of Yakhe Kwinana (former SAA board director and audit committee chairperson) and other implicated chartered accountants.

“We support initiatives by law enforcement agencies and other relevant authorities in taking appropriate action. The IRBA will continue to support the process of accountability for professionals implicated in state capture and corruption,” it said.

The IRBA said in terms of its new fiveyear strategy, it remained committed to restoring confidence and rebuilding trust in the financial eco-system. This it said, would be achieved by working to improve audit quality and secondly, by engaging financial sector players on issues around reforms to the ecosystem relating to financial reporting, governance and ultimately audit quality. “IRBA's strengthened enforcement powers will greatly assist it in delivering effectively on its mandate,” it said.

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The IRBA's endorsement of disciplinary process comes after Business Leadership South Africa was left with egg on its face after it mothered consultancy firm Bain & Company over recommendations of disciplinary action by the Zondo Commission.

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