The Committee adopted its business plan on the second day of its workshop that was aimed at formulating a five-year strategic plan. The business plan was born out of the presentations and discussions that were held on the first day.
In its presentation of the business plan, the Parliamentary Projects Management Unit outlined the functions of the Committee and other legislative requirements such as the guidelines the Auditor-General and the Committee had to comply with; key issues for the Committee like assisting and protecting the Office of the Auditor-General; and the main tasks of the Committee with regard to core objectives of the Parliament and the right to be consulted on statutory matters.
Members unanimously agreed that the business plan was a guiding document for the Committee in discharging its duties.
Parliamentary Projects Management Unit Presentation
Mr Kevin Christiaan, Project Manager: Parliamentary Projects Management Unit, delivered the draft business plan for Committee which came out of the presentations made and discussions that followed. The Committee’s function was to:
•assist and protect the Auditor-General (AG) in order to ensure its independence, impartiality, dignity and effectiveness
•advise the national Assembly on any matter relating to the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) as stipulated in Section 2 (c) of the Public Audit Act
•consult the person recommended for appointment as Auditor-General and make a recommendation to the President for the determination of the conditions of employment including salary package
•consider budget and business plan of the Auditor-General and submit its recommendations to the Speaker for tabling in Parliament as stipulated in Section 38 (3) of the Public Audit Act
annually appoint an independent external auditor to audit the accounts, financial statements, and financial management and performance information of the Auditor-General as stipulated in Section 39 (1) of the Public Audit Act
Other legislative requirements included guidelines that the Committee and the Auditor-General have to comply with. Amongst others, the guidelines included the following:
•the AG must determine, after consulting with the Committee, the standards to be applied in performing audits, nature and scope of audits, and procedures for handling of complaints when performing audits
•the AG must determine, after consulting the Committee, the basis for the calculation of audit fees to be recovered from the auditee
•the AG must appoint, after consulting the Committee, a person with appropriate qualifications and skills as the Deputy Auditor-General
•the Audit Committee of the AG may communicate any concerns it may have to the Committee
•the Deputy Auditor-General must notify the Committee when the AG proceeds with the implementation of any decision that might result in irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure
•the AG may make regulations, in consultation with The Committee, pertaining to any matter to facilitate the application of the Public Act.
On the basis of challenges and problems, the following key issues were put forward to the Committee:
•assist and protect AGSA by fulfilling all the functions set out in the Public Audit Act
•review the legislative framework, that is, the Public Audit Act 25 of 2004
•enhance capacity of Committee Members to perform their duties
•enhance capacity of Committee Staff to support the Committee in performing its functions
•liaise with international counterparts to benchmark oversight practices of supreme audit institutions
•address the environmental factors that impact on the Office of AGSA to ensure that office is sufficiently capacitated to fulfill its constitutional and legal mandate
In keeping with the core objectives of the Parliament, the main tasks of the Committee was to process legislation, consider regulations, conduct oversight, facilitate public participation, facilitate co-operative government, and facilitate international participation.
Members unanimously agreed that the business plan was a guiding document for the Committee in discharging its duties and accordingly approved it.
Meeting was adjourned.
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