The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has become the first local public sector institution to implement Oversight, a leading solution for monitoring transactions in the procurement system in real time. The organisation will be using Oversight to further improve its existing internal control mechanisms.
Oversight enables the continuous monitoring of transactions, and integrates with all major ERP and bespoke solutions. It is endorsed by SAP, the enterprise platform used by SARS, and is used by leading international organisations such the US Department of Defence, Coca-Cola and McDonalds.
“SARS consistently sets the pace when it comes to the smart use of technology,” says Zola Ntolosi, corporate services director at Barnstone. Barnstone is Oversight’s only partner in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“They are using Oversight to be even more proactive in identifying process improvement, particularly where there is particular risk of fraud, price manipulation, deviation from tender processes and corruption.”
Ntolosi was until last year responsible for the organisational strategy of the Special Investigating Unit, and also for advising the various heads of the unit. He also played a leading role in the formation and steering of various government initiatives to improve governance and obtain better value for money, such as the Multi-Agency Working Group and the Anti-Corruption Task Team.
Themba Godi, Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) says that the implementation of intelligent tools such as Oversight in the public sector would be significant as it would demonstrate the seriousness with which government regards improved governance particularly in procurement processes and in combating corruption. “Service delivery is a major priority and is negatively affected by corruption,” he says. “This would be a good milestone when it comes to using smart technology to strengthen the public accounting function across government.”
Ntolosi adds: “Recent international and local legal reforms have seen increasing pressure on directors and accounting officers to ensure that the best possible controls are in place and reviewed constantly. Individuals tasked with the responsibility of governance now assume serious personal liability for shortcomings in this area. For example, in terms of the UK’s Bribery Act, directors can be held individually liable for bribery unless they can prove that they have done everything possible to prevent it.”
Software that monitors transactions has emerged as one of the most effective tools in helping managers in both the public and private sectors to provide dynamic controls for corporate systems. Oversight Systems is a leader in this field, using analytics to provide managers with an easy way to pinpoint potential errors and risks in core organisational processes.
“Oversight has more than a decade of experience in helping corporate managers use the power of analytics to continually refine their organisational controls without having themselves to become analytics experts,” says Leon Dippenaar, senior finance and processes consultant at Barnstone Corporate Services. “We believe this software could play a significant role in helping public and private entities see through the complexity of their process environment to identify areas of concern.”