The Public Audit Act, Act no 25 of 2004 [PAA] (section 11), allows the Auditor-General to engage registered auditors from the private
sector to assist in performing public sector audits. This requirement is not new and echoes similar provisions to those in the now
repealed Auditor-General Act (Act 12 of 1995) and the Audit Arrangements Act (Act 122 of 1992).
Although such involvement of private sector auditors in the public sector domain may seem like a logical and reasonable practice
(for example, to overcome bottlenecks due to 31 March year ends), a number of factors affect whether or not such arrangements
are ultimately in the public interest. This article attempts to examine three of the most important factors.
• The effect of such practice on the cost of public sector audits.
• Possible threats to the Auditor-General's independence.
• Assuring the competence of private sector auditors.