Ms A Dreyer (DA) said she was very disappointed at the poor attendance of Committee members and asked the ANC whip present in the meeting to address this with Members of his party.
The Chairperson replied that he had attempted to ameliorate the situation by arranging the current meeting, but he understood that Members also had competing parliamentary obligations.
Postponement of Planned Study Tour to Canada
The Chairperson noted that parliamentary committees were allotted two trips abroad over a five year period. These trips had to be arranged according to a parliamentary roster. Initially the Committee was allocated a time slot in July but after communicating with the potential host country, it was learnt that the Canadian parliament was closed during July, and they suggested September. The Committee’s application to travel to Canada in September/ October had been rejected and December was put forward as an alternative. It was very cold in Canada in December and recalled the recent problems flights from the northern hemisphere especially UK encountered as a result of inclement weather. He suggested that the matter be allowed to ‘cool down’ for while and be addressed at a later stage.
Ms Dreyer said Mr G George (DA) were not surprised that the application had been rejected.
Mr N Koornhof (COPE) said it was important that Parliament’s work continued. If the Committee believed the study tour to Canada would add value to its work it should not allow poor weather to deter them. The duration of the intended study tour was merely three to four days.
The Chairperson said that the application for September / October had already been rejected but provided an assurance that he would seek a solution and revert back to the Committee.
Report on AGSA Annual Report 2010-2011
Mr Thembekile Makwetu, Deputy Auditor General, Office of the Auditor-General South Africa, said many of the comments that were made in the previous meeting were not mentioned in the report.
The Chairperson explained that the report at hand was meant as a brief analysis of the AGSA Annual Report 2010-2011. It simply highlighted some of the key points raised and not repeat the report in its entirety. He asked whether the Committee felt the report required redrafting.
Mr K Moloto (ANC) said the Committee could meet on the morning of the 20 September before the plenary meeting. He asked whether this was sufficient time to allow for any information omitted in the report to be included in a redraft.
The Chairperson said the Committee Secretary and the Researcher had to make the necessary amendments and present them for Committee approval. This might not allow sufficient time for the adoption of the Committee Report.
Mr Koornhof asked whether the Committee faced a deadline for the adoption of the report.
The Chairperson said there was no deadline to the best of his knowledge. If the Committee could not meet on the 20 September, the adoption of the report would have to be delayed until October/ November to accommodate the Peoples Parliament and the National Parliamentary recess.
Ms D Nxumalo (ANC) said the Committee might simply require 30 minutes on the 20 September to adopt the report.Mr Makwetu said that the time needed to process all the outstanding information might demand much more than one week. In the previous meeting he reported on his office’s strategic plan, and he was unsure to what extend new members to the Committee we afforded an opportunity to familiarise themselves with it. The Committee report was a reference to the strategic plan and not a stand alone report. The Committee report required ‘quite a bit of work’ still. Presently the Committee report contained much information that was already in the public domain, the information required to truly measure the Auditor Generals’ performance was unfortunately not included in the Committee Report.
The Committee support staff had very little time at their disposal to draft this report and its shortcomings should not reflect negatively on their performance. But he reiterated that one week was insufficient time to include all the outstanding information.
Mr Moloto said the targets that the Auditor General committed themselves to and the reasons why targets were not met should be included in the report.
The Chairperson said the Committee wanted to add value to the report but advised that there could be some repetition between the two reports. He asked all members to provide input to the report and help add value to it. No specific date was set to adopt the report and the matter would be revisited after Parliamentary Recess
The meeting was adjourned.
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