The National Arts Council (NAC) has received its third consecutive clean audit, for its financial year ended 31 March 2017. This milestone in the NAC’s growth trajectory was achieved through the diligence and innovativeness of the NAC’s finance team, spearheaded by its passionate chief financial officer, Dumisani Dlamini.
“Clean audits do not simply happen, they are a culmination of dedicated and concerted efforts, all year round, by each individual working in or representing the organisation,” says Dlamini, 39, who was last year awarded the Young CFO of the Year and Public CFO of the Year awards at the prestigious CFO Awards.
Since joining the NAC in 2014, Dlamini has taken the public entity from strength to strength through sound financial management, tighter measures for corporate governance and a concerted drive towards teamwork, collaboration and instituting practical efficiencies that save costs and boost the NAC’s capacity to fulfil its mandate.
“The NAC has embarked on a modernisation process to streamline its operations for more efficient service-delivery. This is envisioned to impact all facets of the organisation, from the way in which members of the Board take resolutions, how panels access and assess applicants and the way financial and operational strategies are executed, to the manner in which staff members conduct themselves,” says Dlamini.
The modernisation process, as driven by Dlamini and members of the executive, aims to move the NAC forward in a pragmatic way that maximises resources and minimises leakages. This, according to Dlamini, is key in a tough economic environment that is characterised by uncertainty and increased fiscal constraints.
The NAC’s third consecutive clean audit coincides with its 20-year anniversary, and highlights that young public entities such as the NAC can indeed turn the tide towards greater effectiveness and change perceptions of the public sector.
“The knock-on effects of this from an economic standpoint are tremendous, where more streamlined services from the NAC begin to impact more meaningfully on the day-to-day lives of all its stakeholders, especially beneficiaries; and, as a result, contribute to sustainable economic growth,” says Dlamini.
According to Dlamini, the NAC aims to maintain its clean audit results by focusing on effective service delivery in the arts, culture and heritage sector, hence a concerted effort to ensure quicker turnaround times in processing funding applications and making payments to artists and arts organisations, which would, in turn, reflect an efficient organisation.