The Committee considered the Fourth Quarter Expenditure Report for 2010/11. Some Departments had under spent while others overspent. The Committee decided to flag some of the issues for later deliberations. Though most of the amendments were technical, there were some concerns; they included the haphazard nature in which the report was structured. One Department had even overspent by 300 %; Members could not understand how that had happened. The ongoing problem of the vacant posts in government departments was also raised.
Mr Musa Zamisa, Researcher, Parliamentary Research Unit, mentioned that the report would provide preliminary expenditure trends for the end of 2010/11 financial year. The focus was on the spending trends of different departments.
The Chairperson invited Members to comment or make corrections after each section of the report.
Mr M Swart (DA) on the second last paragraph substituted the word “for” with “to”.
Mr M Mbili (ANC) suggested the insertion of the words “under review” after word budget on page 1 paragraph 3.
Mr N Singh (IFP) on page 2, line 5 from the bottom suggested the substitution of the word “range” with “average”.
The Chairperson asked why only 17 departments were chosen for scrutiny.
Mr Zamisa replied that the 17 departments had either under spent or overspent beyond what was regarded as the norm.
Mr G Snell (ANC) suggested that the structure of the report should clearly separate the departments that had been identified by the Department and the 17 Departments that were selected by the National Treasury for under/overspending.
Mr Mbili on page 5, 2nd paragraph asked for clarity on the meaning of public bodies.
On page 6, first sentence, Mr Singh suggested that the words “as a result an amount of R 8 million was saved” should be changed to “resulting in a saving of R 8 million”.
On line 5 Mr Swart suggested that the sentence should be “the Department paid lower than the projected amount”.
Mr Mbili, page 6 last paragraph, enquired about the correct amount allocated to Lovelife.
On page 7 line1, Mr Singh suggested the substitution of the word” scheme” with the word “schemes’.
Mr Singh said that the report was not consistent because some parts were on bullet points while others were written in paragraph form. He asked the Secretariat to rewrite it consistently.
Mr Singh asked why the Department of Home Affairs was allowed to overspend by 300%. He felt that Treasury was not supposed to allow such inconsistency.
Mr Ramatlakane explained that money that had been allocated for one programme was sometimes shifted to fund another programme. Some Departments would sometimes use what was known as unauthorised expenditure, and it was usually approved by the executive.
Mr Singh also pointed out that the Department Of Women Youth and Children, People with Disabilities would use money that had been earmarked for the following year.
He then pointed out a spelling mistake of the word “allowance” on the page 10, table 3. He asked the reason that the Committee expressed recommendations on that Department and not the others. The report should focus on facts then the Committee would come up with findings.
The Chairperson promised that the Committee would look at that matter later at another meeting. He asked meeting whether the Committee was allowed to make conclusions or judgement.
Ms Mashigo explained that the recommendations were made by the portfolio committee concerned.
On page 11, Mr Swart suggested the deletion of the word “on” between the words “cut” and “cost”.
Mr Snell suggested that the Treasury could monitor spending patterns and the Committee could hold the Treasury accountable.
Mr Ramatlakane said that the Committee could comment on the overall analysis.
On page 12 Mr Singh suggested the deletion of “c” after R9, 50.
On page 14, 1st paragraph Mr Ramatlakane raised his concern regarding the three vacant DDG posts in the Department of correctional services.
The Chairperson told the compilers of the report not to over use words such as recorded.
Mr Swart said that there was no need to underline the words “Compensation of Employees” at the bottom of page 14.
On page 17, Ms Mashigo suggested that the report should reflect the fact that the DIRCO submitted their invoices very late.
Mr Singh suggested that all topics should reflect the departments referred to. He also suggested that the topics on findings should be made bold.
The Chairperson instructed the drafter of the document to structure it in the order of sequence, for an example it should start from Budget vote 1 to 5 etc.
Ms Mashigo said the report was not “readable”, she then suggested that Mr Zamisa should compiled the report in a more reader friendly manner.
Mr Singh suggested that a time frame of 60 months was enough for the executive to respond.
The report was not adopted pending amendments.
The Meeting was adjourned
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