National and provincial government departments racked up more than R46 billion in irregular expenditure during the past financial year.

That’s according to the Auditor General’s report on national and provincial audit outcomes.

Auditor General Kimi Makwetu is briefing journalists at Parliament.

His latest report covers 484 auditees, which include 169 national and provincial departments, and 315 public entities, with a total budget of R1.2 trillion for 2015-16.

The figure of R46.36 billion in irregular expenditure across national and provincial departments represents an increase of nearly 80% on the previous year’s figure of almost R26 billion.

Makwetu says the main reason for the increase in irregular expenditure was continuing non-compliance with legislation governing supply chain management in the procurement of goods and services.

Spending is classified irregular when there are deviations from controls and does not necessarily mean fraud.

Six auditees were responsible for just over 50% of the more than R46 billion.

They include the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, the KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga health departments, as well as the Department of Water and Sanitation and Gauteng’s Road and Transport and Human Settlements departments.