oa Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences - The perceived effectiveness of audit committees in the South African public service

Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1022-2529



Audit committees have increasingly been recognised as an integral part of modern control structures and governance practices in both the private sector and public service. The audit committee is an integral element of public accountability and governance processes. It plays a key role in underwriting the integrity of corporate governance of a government department.

The broad aim of this study is to investigate the status and function of audit committees in South African national government departments. The research question investigated in this paper is to determine whether audit committees in the public service are perceived to be effective in assisting accounting officers of government departments to discharge their responsibilities. The study concludes that the majority of audit committees in the South African public service are not perceived as ineffective in the performance of the required functions of committees. Audit committees can still improve their effectiveness in their performance of certain key functions in the areas of oversight over risk management, governance, financial reporting, internal control and support for the external audit function.

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