UFH recognised for “impeccable effort” in NRF Grant Administration and Management’s Audit Report

Read time: 3 mins

The University of Fort Hare (UFH) announced today it has received an unqualified audit for Grant Management from the National Research Foundation (NRF).

The primary objectives of the audit was to verify that the annual grant deposit and expenditure relating to scholarship and other awards were maintained in accordance with terms, to verify accuracy and validity of the grant expenditure, and to provide assurance that University’s maintenance of the grant deposit and the utilisation of scholarship and other awards are reliable. 

The scope of the audit further comprised the maintenance of the grant deposit’s interest earned, expenditure relating to scholarships and other awards, and adherence to the NRF’s terms and conditions, as defined in the Master Funding Agreement between the UFH and the NRF.

In their audit finding, the NRF relayed in the report, the opinion that the institution complied with the funder’s agreement, and that the audit test performed verified the accuracy and validity of transactions of compliance in that respect.  The latter was undertaken within the strong governance frameworks and the internal control parameters of the institutional policies and procedures.

The NRF recognised the “impeccable efforts taken by the University in improving the internal control environment as evidence by the reported issues that led to zero findings in relation to the last audit.

In two previous audits, the NRF rated medium significance with acceptable risk tolerance levels where control frameworks were in place reflecting adequate compliance.  However, improvements needed to be made in certain areas.

In the latest audit, UFH received an insignificant rating whereby no irregular findings were detected or reported because of a strong control environment in place and through effective administrative and management operations.

The residual risk exposure was insignificant on four tested objectives:  maintenance of grant deposit; its interest accrued and utilisation therefore; valid appropriation of funds; and general adherence to the NRF grant condition.

“We wish to congratulate the DVC: RPI and her Office, the Director: Research & Innovation and the team, as well as the CFO and the Finance Department for handling the audit process and improving the residual risk exposure to the best category” said Professor Sakhela Buhlungu, UFH Vice-Chancellor.

This achievement is indicative of the installation and effectiveness of improved governance mechanisms as the University continue down its path of renewal.

Earlier this year, (UFH) also announced that the University’s external auditors issued an unqualified and clean audit opinion for the University’s consolidated and separate financial statements.

Mr. Charles Matumba, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for UFH, said the external independent audit was completed by Chartered Accounting and Auditing Firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and encompassed reporting for the financial year ending 31 December 2021. 

The unqualified audit opinion indicates UFH’s financial statements contain no material misstatements and complied with predetermined objectives of legislation and performance information.

In the Independent auditor’s report to the Council and the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation on University of Fort Hare, PwC in their report on the audit of the consolidated and separate financial statements remarked UFH’s financial performance and cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards and the requirements of the Higher Education Act and the Regulations for reporting by Public Higher Education Institutions, 2014, issued in terms of the Higher Education Act of South Africa, 1997”.