Main Article Content


This paper examines the role of compliance units in the adoption of a combined assurance framework within provincial government departments in the Western Cape. It strives to avoid risks being managed in silos and ensure risks are efficiently managed collaboratively. A combined assurance framework provides a coordinated approach to all assurance activities. It aims to optimise the assurance coverage obtained from management and internal and external assurance providers on the risk areas affecting an organisation. Compliance is an independent function that supervises and participates in placing internal procedures in conformity with regulations within the context of the integrity policy covering fields such as corporate governance and fields possibly required by respective Boards of Directors, taking account of risks in various activities. This study followed a qualitative approach, and data was collected by interviewing various officials within the provincial government departments. A sample of 10 respondents ranging from CAEs, Internal Auditors, and Directors was selected to participate in the face-to-face semi-structured interviews. The study aimed to conclude that a combined assurance framework undeniably incorporates the efforts of management and external and internal assurance providers. It builds their alliance and develops a combined and more holistic breakdown of the organisation's risk profile. The general view is that the assurance gap is significant. However, the combined assurance framework will furnish a clear process and criteria for recognising each department's assurance gap and degree of risk coverage.


compliance units internal control combined assurance framework western cape government departments

Article Details


  1. Abbaszadeh, M., Salehi, M., & Faiz, S. (2018). Association of information technology and internal controls of Iranian state agencies. International Journal of Law, 61(1), 133-150.
  2. Alzoubi, H. M., Elrehail, H., Hanaysha, J. R., Al-Gasaymeh, A., & Al-Adaileh, R. (2022). The role of supply chain integration and agile practices in improving lead time during the COVID-19 crisis. International Journal of Service Science, Management, Engineering, and Technology (IJSSMET), 13(1), 1-11.
  3. Chen, Y., Lin, B., Lu, L. & Zhou, G. (2020). Can internal audit functions improve firm operational efficiency? Evidence from China. Managerial Auditing Journal, 35 (8), 1167-1188.
  4. Cheng, Q., Goh, B.W., & Kim, J.B. (2018). Internal control and operating efficiency. Contemporary Accounting Research, 35(2), 1102-1139.
  5. Creswell, J. W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. London: Sage Publications.
  6. Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
  7. Creswell, J.W., & Creswell, J.D. (2018). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. 5th ed. London. Sage publications.
  8. Dashtbayaz, M., Salehi, M., & Safdel, T. (2019). The effect of internal control on financial reporting quality in Iranian family firms. Journal of Family Business Management, 9(3), 254-270.
  9. Decaux, L., & Sarens, G. (2015). Implementing combined assurance: Insights from multiple case studies. Managerial Auditing Journal, 30(1), 56-79.
  10. Dhlamini, J. (2022). Strategic risk management: A systematic review from 2001 to 2020. Journal of Contemporary Management, 19(2), 1-26.
  11. Dubihlela, J. & Mukono, H. (2022). Barriers to effective corporate governance principles in state-owned enterprises in Zimbabwe. Jurnal Akuntansi dan Auditing Indonesia, 26(1), 1-10.
  12. Eton, M., Mwosi, F., & Ogwel, B. P. (2022). Are internal controls important in financial accountability? (Evidence from Lira District Local Government, Uganda). International Journal of Financial, Accounting, and Management, 3(4), 359-372.
  13. Feather, M. S., Guemni, S., Slingerland, P. C., & Spolaor, M. (2022). Assurance guidance for machine learning in a safety critical system. IEEE International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering Workshops (ISSREW).
  14. Hamdani, R., & Albar, A. R. (2016). Internal controls in fraud prevention effort: a case study. Jurnal Akuntansi & Auditing Indonesia, 20(2), 127–135.
  15. Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). (2013). The three lines of defense in effective risk management and control. The Institute of Internal Auditors. Altamonte. USA.
  16. IOD. (2016). King IV Report on Corporate Governance in South Africa, South Africa, Johannesburg: Lexis Nexus Assurance guidance. Retrieved from
  17. Islah, K., Harimurti, C., & Matyja, M. (2022). The Effectiveness of the role of internal control system in the preparation of regional financial statements. Ilomata International Journal of Social Science, 3(1), 84-96.
  18. Ji, X.-d., Lu, W., & Qu, W. (2017). Voluntary disclosure of internal control weakness and earnings quality: evidence from China. The International Journal of Accounting, 52(1), 27-44.
  19. Khan, T., & MacEachen, E. (2022). An alternative method of interviewing: Critical reflections on videoconference interviews for qualitative data dollection. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 21, 1-12. 16094069221090063.
  20. King, M., & Atkins, J. (2016). The chief value officer: Accountants can save the planet. Greenleaf Publishing, Abingdon: Oxon.
  21. Kuhn, R., & Morris, B. (2017). IT internal control weaknesses and the market value of firms. The Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 30(6), 964-986.
  22. Makgatho, K. E. (2013). Effectiveness of internal control mechanisms in monitoring financial resources at the Gauteng Department of Education. Unpublished BA Hons Thesis. North-west University, Vaal., South Africa.
  23. Mamokhere, J,. & Meyer, D. F. (2022). Comprehending stakeholders’ involvement in the integrated development planning process as a tool for improved community participation. Eurera, Social na Humanities, 4, 18-32.
  24. Masegare, P. (2018). Implementing value-added combined assurance interventions for South African organisations. Journal of Management & Administration, 1, 129- 149.
  25. Monteiro, A., Cepêda, C., Da Silva, A.C.F., & Vale, J. (2023). The relationship between ai adoption intensity and internal control system and accounting information quality. Systems, 11(11), 536.
  26. Moodley, A., Ackers, B., & Odendaal, E. (2022). Internal audit’s evolving performance role: lessons from the South African public sector. Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, 18 (5), 704-726.
  27. Muhlisoh, F. Z., Kurhayadin, K., & Sucipto, B. (2023). The influence of regional asset management and internal control systems on the quality of financial reporting in the Bandung City Education Department. Jurnal Akuntansi, Audit dan Sistem Informasi Akuntansi, 7(3), 607-619.
  28. Nahid, A. (2023). Economic value of integrated reporting assurance: Managerial investment efficiency, litigation risks, and environmental, social and governance controversies. PhD The University of Auckland.
  29. Nicholson, F., & Baker, C. (2013). Certification in risk management assurance. Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation.
  30. Nyakumwa, B., Wadesango, N., & Sitsha, L. (2023). The Impact of Internal Audit Function on Corporate Governance: A Case of NSSA, Zimbabwe (2018-2022). Journal of Economic & Social Development, 10(2), 97-105.
  31. Pfeil, K., Necker, S., & Feld, L. P. (2023). Compliance management in research institutes: Boon or bane? Freiburger Diskussionspapiere zur Ordnungsökonomik, No. 23/1, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Institut für Allgemeine Wirtschaftsforschung, Abteilung für Wirtschaftspolitik und Ordnungsökonomik, Freiburg i. Br.
  32. Pfisterer, S. & Van Tulder, R. (2021). Navigating governance tensions to enhance the impact of partnerships with the private sector for the SDGs. Sustainability, 13(1), 111.
  33. Polizzi, S., Lupo, F., & Testella, S. (2023). Quality assurance and improvement program: some considerations for central banks. The TQM Journal, 8, 2203-2227.
  34. Prinsloo, A,. & Maroun, W. (2020). An exploratory study on the components and quality of combined assurance in an integrated or a sustainability reporting setting. Sustainability, Accounting, Managemant and Policy Journal, 12, 1–29.
  35. Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). 1999. Act No 1 of 1999, Pretoria: Government Printers.
  36. Rabambi. (2021). Investigating the impact of the combined assurance model in the management of risks in a selected municipality. Masters Dissertation, North West University.
  37. Ratliff, T. (2022). Effective internal control strategies for an enterprise resource planning system. Mcom Dissertation, Walden University.
  38. Roos, M. (2012). Audit committees and combined assurance. Auditing SA, Summer 2011/12, 31-34.
  39. Sartor, M. A., & Beamish, P. W. (2020). Private sector corruption, public sector corruption and the organizational structure of foreign subsidiaries. Journal of Business Ethics, 16(7), 725-744.
  40. Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2019). Research methods for business students. 8th ed. New York. Pearson.
  41. Shukla, A., Katt, B., Nweke, L.O., Yeng, P.K., & Weldehawaryat, G.K. (2022). System security assurance: A systematic literature review. Computer Science Review, 45, 1-29
  42. Tarquinio, L. (2022). Assurance of Nonfinancial Information: A Comprehensive Literature Review. In: Cinquini, L., De Luca, F. (eds) Non-financial Disclosure and Integrated Reporting. SIDREA Series in Accounting and Business Administration. Springer, Cham.
  43. VanderLeest, S.H., & Matthews, D.C. (2021). incremental assurance of multicore integrated modular avionics (IMA). 2021 IEEE/AIAA 40th Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), San Antonio, TX, USA, 2021, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.1109/DASC52595.2021.9594404.
  44. Western Cape Government. (2023). Cape Town: Western cape Government. Retrieved from