Municipal Audit Consistency Barometer 2018 (MAC-B4) : Municipal Compliance with National Audit Standards (2011-2016)

ACSL uses computational methods to model how governments can improve their performance, accountability and services to promote social justice. The Municipal Audit Consistency Barometer (MAC-B) is a tool to measure consistency in municipal compliance with national audit standards over a five year period.

Although the findings of the recently published AG report on the 2016/17 audit are not included in this MAC-B, it is noteworthy that the compliance trend in the AG report has regressed to the five-year mean in MAC-B. This is confirmation that a consistent pattern of behavior is a robust predictor of compliance, which has always been the central thesis of MAC-B.

Since its first publication in 2014, it has established itself as the leading measure of compliance with municipal finance law in South Africa. This MAC-B4 coincides with the 2011-2016 term of local government, creating the possibility to assess compliance for a whole term of local government.

This edition of MAC-B has several key findings, including:

  • During the period, 33 municipalities consistently complied with national audit standards, obtaining a MAC-B rating of unqualified without findings.
  • This was an improvement on the previous five-year period covered by MAC-B3 (2010/11-2014/15) when eight municipalities were consistently compliant.
  • One-quarter of municipalities (26%) received qualified audits. This was an increase relative to MAC-B3, in which 20 per cent of municipalities received a qualified audit.
  • One in five (21%) of municipalities received an ADF opinion (Adverse, Disclaimer, Failed to submit)
  • For the first time, however, more than half (54%) of municipalities received unqualified (with or without findings) audits.
  • By contrast, only 13% of metropolitan municipalities managed this achievement.

The 2018 edition of the Municipal Audit Consistency Barometer  (MAC-B) contains detailed analysis of these and other findings.