NATIONAL NEWS - Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, has commended the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) for receiving a third consecutive clean audit for the 2019/20 financial year.
For the third year running, the Auditor-General delivered an unqualified audit opinion without any findings on the DSI's financial statements, and an Audit Committee report expressed satisfaction with the manner in which the department had conducted its affairs.
“The DSI achieved 87% (or 40 out of 46) of its targets, with just six targets (13%) not achieved,” Nzimande said.
The Minister also noted the Auditor-General's statement that the department should be recognised for adhering to best practice in its corporate and financial governance.
“During the period under review, Cabinet adopted the White Paper on Science and Innovation in March 2019. This White Paper was developed in response to rapid global technological advancement and megatrends, as well as the need to harness Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for greater and more inclusive social and economic impact.
“The department made significant progress in the development of the first Decadal Plan for STI, through which the new White Paper on STI will be implemented. The framework for the Decadal Plan, as well as institutional and strategic reviews and a foresight exercise to identify STI priority areas, had been completed, and the Decadal Plan will be finalised by the end of 2020/21 financial year,” the Minister said.
To ensure that the Decadal Plan was aligned with other government master plans, Nzimande said DSI will also be consulting the Departments of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development; Mineral Resources and Energy; Health; and Trade, Industry and Competition, among others.
Batho Pele Excellence Awards
Nzimande further congratulated DSI Director-General, Dr Phil Mjwara, for scooping the annual Batho Pele Excellence Awards for Best Director-General of the Year, while the department was recognised as the Best Functioning National Department of the Year.
“I also congratulate the entire DSI staff, led by the Director-General, for its commitment, dedication and resolve to ensure that the department maintains and improves its annual performance by achieving most of their set targets and financial prudence,” Nzimande said. – SAnews.gov.za