Committee Reports on Financial Statements of National Treasury for 2010/11, the Ombud for Financial Services Providers for 2010/11 & the Corporation for Public Deposits for 2010/11

NCOP Finance

14 May 2012
Chairperson: Mr C de Beer (ANC Northern Cape)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee considered and approved three reports dealing with the financial statements of National Treasury, the Ombud for Financial Services Providers and the Corporation for Public Deposits for 2010/11.
The Committee discussed its report on the oversight visit to the Northern Cape. Members voiced their concern about corruption, financial mismanagement, and wasteful expenditure, with the newspaper article on the Auditor-General given as a backdrop. The irregularities which existed in the Northern Cape were seen as a microcosm of a country-wide problem that required serious intervention by the Committee. As such, meetings were scheduled with the Minister of Finance and the Auditor-General as well as the Public Protector in an effort to deal with these problems.

Meeting report

The Chairperson read out apologies and contacted a few Members to confirm attendance. Upon reaching a quorum, the agenda was read out.

Adoption of Committee Minutes
The Chairperson tabled two sets of minutes for consideration. These were dated 9 February 2012 and 1 March 2012.
Mr R Lees (DA; KwaZulu-Natal) pointed out that he had attended the meeting on 9 February 2012, however this had no been reflected in the minutes. In addition, he highlighted the long list of attendees and asked if they belonged to the National Assembly (NA) or the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

Mr D Bloem (COPE; Free State) answered that it was because of the different ministers present for the meeting.

Mr Lees noted that 1 March 2012 minutes contained deadlines for certain ministers to act and/or respond accordingly and asked how the follow up would be done.

Members deliberated and decided letters would be addressed through parliamentary channels  to remind the relevant ministers closer to the deadlines.

Outstanding Reports
The Chairperson tabled three reports for consideration. The first report dealt with the Financial Statements of National Treasury for 2010/11. The other documents dealt with the Financial statements of the Ombud for Financial Services Providers for 2010/11 and the Corporation for Public Deposits for 2010/11 respectively.
Members approved all 3 reports with no amendments.
Report on Oversight Visit to the Northern Cape
The Chairperson asked the Committee whether they needed time to read it thoroughly before adopting it during the meeting or later in the offices. If they chose to read it later, would they prefer written submissions or another meeting to adopt it?

Mr Bloem noted that not all Members had attended the oversight visit. Those who did should utilise the meeting to brief the ones who did not attend. The same Members should decide whether the report was fine or needed to be amended. He stressed the importance of adopting the report at the current meeting as postponement would lead to more unnecessary delays.

Mr S Montshitsi (ANC; Gauteng) recalled that the Committee had been informed about irregularities and financial mismanagement during the visit. If this report did not reflect improvements then stronger recommendations needed to be made by the Committee.

The Chairperson referred the Committee to specific pages in the report detailing with wasteful expenditure, financial mismanagement, and corruption.

Mr J Bekker (DA; Western Cape) asked what happens to the report after adoption by the Committee.

The Chairperson explained that it would go to the NA then to the NCOP for adoption, and subsequently to the Province. He had already engaged with the relevant MEC regarding this matter. The newspaper report on the Auditor-General, Terrence Nombembe, pointed to issues relevant to the Committee (see documents handed out). The Committee needed “more teeth” to deal with these matters.

Mr T Chaane (ANC; North West) agreed with the Auditor-General’s plight. A meeting was requested with the Minister of Finance, however the Deputy Minister was sent instead. He advocated support for more Auditor-General initiatives similar to that undertaken in KwaZulu-Natal.

Mr Montshitsi suggested that the report should be accompanied by a recommendation that these issues be taken up by the Public Protector as the article on the Auditor-General seemed to suggest that the scenario was so grave that our democracy was being undermined.

Mr Bloem went further, suggesting that the Public Protector be invited to the Committee.

Mr Lees seconded Mr Bloem’s motion as a way to push those with executive powers to act accordingly.

The Chairperson summarised by saying a meeting would be called with the Auditor-General and the Finance Minister. A separate meeting would be called with the Public Protector.

Members agreed to adopt the report “in principle” subject to the inclusion of this meeting’s recommendations.

The Chairperson noted this.
Invitation
The Chairperson drew members’ attention to the invitation from the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs to attend the hearings on the White Paper on Climate Change.
The meeting was adjourned.

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