Allocation of reports to members; Planning for groups

Public Accounts (SCOPA)

09 June 2009
Chairperson: Mr T Godi (APC)
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Meeting Summary

The Chairperson stated that the Committee would operate more effectively if tasks given to SCOPA were dealt with by different groups and not by the Committee as a whole. Members voiced concerns about the clash of schedules, as most members belonged to more than one committee. In this regard the chairperson said that he would advise the members of what will be done regarding this. Members were content that each group would be provided with a secretary and a researcher for assistance. The meeting ended with an agreement that the entire committee would meet on a weekly basis to synchronize the different tasks and to address any decisions that need to be taken collectively.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks
The Chairperson apologized for not delivering the agenda to Committee Members in advance. He announced that Members would be divided into various groups, as the work designated to the Committee would not be done by the Committee as a whole. Each group would be assigned a report and would be responsible for overseeing all aspects relating to that document. The Chairperson announced the three reports that would be allocated to the different groups and indicated that each group would be allocated with a secretary and researcher. 

Mr A Ainslie (ANC) stated that the Committee should hit the ground running and start to prepare for the work that lied ahead. He raised concerns regarding those Members that had not yet been confirmed within the Committee. Lastly, he pointed out that there were major clashes between the committee’s schedules and those of other committees, and that this would result in absenteeism.

Mr N Singh (IFP) stated that the ANC had many members and was therefore not affected that much by absenteeism. However, all other parties were affected by this in a big way because they only had a few members. He appealed to the Chairperson to discuss this matter in the Chairpersons forum.

Ms M Tladi (UCDP) mentioned that she was affected by the clash in schedules as she served on another committee.

The Chairperson stated that he would advise the Members as to what needed to be done with the clashes that existed outside the meeting.

Mr M Steele (DA) asserted that his party members are not in this contradiction as no duplication existed. DA members were allocated to one committee and not more than one.
Mr S Pillay (ANC) mentioned that he was also facing a clash in that he belonged to the health committee as well.

The Chairperson believed that Members could not serve on SCOPA alongside other commitments with other committees. He emphasized that SCOPA was different from other committees in that the workload was immense. Finally, he stated that Members should familiarize themselves with the rules that determined the work that was expected from this Committee.

Mr Steele asked for clarity with regards to the dates on the report and further questioned whether there were any reports that the committee may not be keeping track of.
The Chairperson mentioned that the reports were not time bound because they were performance audits. As such, he Committee needed to look at them and decide on the action that would be taken based on the audits. He further stated that although tasks would be carried out by different groups, the committee should not fail to synchronise their work and that decisions should be taken collectively at all times.

Mr S Thobejane (ANC) noted that the researchers had a pivotal role to play (in the various groups) and asked if they would be able to do the work allocated to them.
The Chairperson emphasized that the work was allocated to Members and not to the researchers and that the latter was only there to assist the Committee Members. He emphasized that members should take responsibility for their work.

Mr Singh asked whether the transcripts of the Committee’s hearings with the Land Bank (from the previous year) could be made available to Members.

The Chairperson replied that the tapes were available and that Members would have to wait longer to get the transcripts.

The meeting was adjourned.


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