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ARTS, CULTURE, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
19 FEBRUARY 2002
SOUTH AFRICAN HERITAGE RESOURCES AGENCY ANNUAL REPORT; NATIONAL FILM AND VIDEO FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT; CONSIDERATION
Acting Chairperson: Mr SL Dithebe (ANC)
Documents handed out:
South African Heritage Resources Agency Annual Report (awaited)
National Film and Video Foundation Annual Report (awaited)
National Advisory Council on Innovation (awaited)
Draft Programme of Action for 2002 (see Appendix)
The meeting deliberated on the annual reports of the South African Heritage Resources Agency, the National Film and Video Foundation Annual Report and the National Advisory Council on Innovation. The major concern was with the South African Heritage Resource Agency's Annual Report. Members felt that the Institution and the Department need to be summoned to account about the misgivings Members are entertaining about the report.
Ms Van Wyk A (NNP) said she was of the impression that the Chairperson has brought in somebody who is going to put the whole report in perspective for the Committee as agreed last week.
Ms Mtsweni NS (ANC) concurred with Ms Van Wyk that the reports are too technical.
Mr Cassiem (IFP) appreciated the concern of both previous speakers but emphasised that in the absence of a person who could interpret the Auditor General's report the Committee must do it themselves and begin to learn.
The Chairperson said that as they are the creators of the Public Finance Management Act, they should familiarise themselves with it and begin to detect any deviations from it.
Prof Mohammed IJ referred Members to the South African Heritage Agency (SAHRA) report on the Financial Audit.
The Chairperson said he is trying to reconcile the views of Members and at a later stage will call the authors of the reports to make representations.
Mr Cassiem added that they should take what the Institutions have done and compare with the budgetary objectives.
Ms Van Wyk said that sounded good in view of the fact that there are forty three documents that they need to read and they must get somebody who specialises in Arts and Culture to interpret them.
The Chairperson said that needs to be considered.
Mr Cassiem suggested that a maximum of three Members deal with each report and he has two documents that outlines this task but it still needs to be finalised.
The Chairperson suggested that Members glance through the financial report.
Mr Cassiem said it is important that Members read the reports because they have to submit their own report to the National Assembly. He referred Members to the Financial Audit which mentions a management letter from the Auditor General to the CEO of SAHRA. The Portfolio Committee must request a copy of that letter. He submitted that there were documents which were not made available for audit purposes to the Department by SAHRA. What action did the Director-General take in this regard? Mr Cassiem further stated that this amounts to irregularity or fraudulent practice where a third party claims expenses but no documents were submitted to substantiate such claims.
He said a mention is made of an amount to be paid by Trustees. What was the actual amount?
Mr Cassiem said that SAHRA is saying in its report that internal audit and compliance will not be cost-effective and he suggested that this needs to be checked while it still early. What was the value of the assets in the asset register, which has been set up? Members need to get more details on why the Institution is omitting doing certain things.
Ms Van Wyk enquired how they were going to get the answers that they need and what the criteria is for deciding which assets belong either nationally, provincially or locally which is quite a complex issue. She said the assets of SAHRA runs into thousands.
The Chairperson suggested that they need to set up a committee that will look into each report. They must decide what they will do because they need to report to Parliament.
Mr Opperman asked why the Auditor-General has passed an opinion on these matters while there are still queries.
The Chairperson said that the Auditor-General will say there seems to be an irregularity but he does not give a blank cheque.
Ms Van Wyk suggested that these need to be tested against the PFMA. SAHRA is not performing badly but there is an indication that SAHRA is not performing as it should. She suggested that the full Committee deliberates on these reports.
The Chairperson said he is mindful of such Committees as SCOPA, which deliberates on issues as a full committee and is of the view that this entire Committee must deal with these matters. Even if it means coming to meetings on Sundays.
Prof Mohammed expressed reservations about huge committees but said interested Members can attend.
The Chairperson added that the majority felt that Members should be in touch with the intricacies of the reports.
Ms Van Wyk said forming sub-committees is not the solution but they need to get more slots.
The Chairperson said they need to inform Parliament about that point and more meetings should be scheduled.
Ms Mphaka HM (ANC) said they need to get the Department to account on the reports and then call the Institutions.
The Chairperson concluded by saying the Committee Section will make the necessary arrangements in line with what the Portfolio Committee has said and they need to start with the Institutions and then the Department.
The meeting was adjourned.
DEPARTMENT OF ARTS, CULTURE, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
ARTS, CULTURE, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
Drafting or consultation stage
Through Cabinet with State Law Advisors:
Certified by SLA and tabled in NA / PC:
Passed by NA and tabled in NCOP / SC:
Passed by the NCOP and signed:
How the legislation will contribute to transformation and better service delivery
Natural Scientific Professions Bill
To transform the Natural Scientific Professions Council in line with Government policy and more effective service delivery.
Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill
Awaiting research results
To establish a regulatory authority on Indigenous knowledges for the protection and better co-ordination of the system.
The Institute for the Promotion of Science Bill
To transform the current Foundation for Education, Science and Technology for better co-ordination of science activities and service delivery.
The South African Museums Service Bill
To transform the Museum system to accommodate a system of National Museums separate from the current Cultural Institutions systems.
The NACI Amendment Bill
Amending the Science Laws to bring the legislation in line with new Government policy and more effective service delivery.
Language Professions Council Bill
To regulate the accreditation and monitoring of the professions within the translation and interpreting disciplines.
SA Languages Bill
To provide a regulatory framework for the use of all the official languages .
Innovation and Research Promotion Bill
To provide for the promotion of innovation and research.
Performing Arts Corporation Bill
To establish a framework for Performing Arts Councilsl.
Enquiries: Adv J L Beukes DD: LEGAL SERVICES (012) 3378000
Enquiries: Adv J L Beukes
DD: LEGAL SERVICES
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