Association of Public Accounts Committee Report; Committee Report on provincial visits

Public Accounts (SCOPA)

24 April 2013
Chairperson: Mr T Godi (APC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee considered, and made the necessary amendments to, the draft reports on the Committee’s visits to Eastern and Northern Cape and Gauteng, to deal with health infrastructure.  It was noted that the dates that were set to complete projects should be adhered to. The point was made that any delays with the completion dates of projects would impact on the initial costs that had been approved and allocated to the project. After the  necessary corrections had been made, mostly in regard to grammar or clarification of wording, the Report was adopted.

The draft Committee Programme was tabled and the highlights explained. Correspondence as follow ups to meetings held with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, Department of Defence and Department of Public Works was tabled. The Committee Secretary was asked to go through all past minutes and ensure that all matters had been dealt with.
Members were given a report back by the Parliamentary representative on the Executive Committee of the Association of Public Accounts Committee. Members asked why more courses and training were not offered, as this should be ongoing, and noted their appreciation for some courses mentioned. They stressed the importance of ensuring that the constitution for APAC was fully implemented, after being adopted shortly. They noted that the Council of Delegates was planning a trip to Pretoria to present on the Municipal Finance Management Act. They also noted that the Committee should be meeting more regularly with APAC.


Meeting report

Chairperson’s opening remarks
The Chairperson introduced and welcomed the new Committee Secretary, Ms Ntombi Nkabinde.

He noted that the purpose of this meeting was to assist the Committee in working more effectively by keeping abreast of matters. After this meeting the Committee would be working to try to avoid any delays  on appointments and finalise outstanding matters.

He noted apologies.

Consideration of Draft Oversight Visit Report
The Chairperson firstly tabled the Draft Oversight Report on Health and Infrastructure, asking Members to go through page by page to give their feedback and suggest amendments.

There were no amendments made to the introductory page or the list of delegations. Technical amendments were made in regard to initials being added,

On page 2, in the first sentence, the words “the infrastructure delivery profit” were to be removed. On page 2, under item 4, the Chairperson queried whether the language used in relation to Eastern Cape future cost increases was clear enough.

On page 3, the words “and Education Department were used, and the completion date was revised, in the last sentence, to read 20 March 2008, with the word “June” being removed.

On page 4, Members agreed that whilst there had been administrative errors, they did not have to be described as “major”. It was finally decided to replace that phrase with the word “challenges”. It was noted that electricity and water bills were billed separately, per department, for all the offices, so the words “the Department of” were removed.

On page 5 the reference to the contractor was amended to read that there were work conditions over the workforce by the contractor.

On page 6, the first bullet point was amplified with the word “supervising”. On page 7, the second bullet point was amplified.

Mr N Singh (IFP) asked that a glossary be inserted, to provide clarity to the readers.

Other Members referred him to the explanation of certain terms on page 5.

On page 8, technical amendments were made with the substitution of the word “for” for “after” and a phrase was added to state: “Due to absence of key individuals”. In the last sentence of the first paragraph, the reference to the Committee having a follow-up hearing was removed.

On page 9, a phrase was added referring to “The investigating authority in the role of higher individuals in the management of the project”.

Mr R Ainslie (ANC) referred to the last sentence, questioning the phrasing “yet it does not seem that anything was done”. He queried if this was correct, because it appeared to suggest that nothing had been done, which was not sol

On page 10, the second paragraph, third sentence, would be amplified by “the contract was terminated”. Two sentences were combined, and it was noted that Zola Hospital has been in operation at 4%, with an initial cost of R480 million, which would then make an overall cost of R888 million.

The report also observed that during a Committee visit, that the project was incomplete.

Mr Singh said that delays must be avoided as they impacted negatively on the cost of the project.

An estimated date was set for the project which should be complied with, to avoid further delays.

Members adopted the Report, with the necessary amendments.

Draft Programme of the Committee: Second quarter, April to June
A Member enquired if Parliament was aware that the Committee was sitting in regard to the Tabling of Committee Programmes, and the Chairperson asked for an agreement on that point, reminding Members to highlight the dates and points of the Programme to keep informed and updated.

In regard to the programme itself, Members noted that the hearing on a performance audit on the use consultants at Department of Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs took place on Tuesday 23 April, and was run by Mr Ainslie and Mr Singh.

It was noted that on 7 May 2013, there would be a hearing on the Department of Correctional Services annual report and financial statement for 2011/12 year end. It was noted that there would be no meeting on 1 May, as it was a public holiday.

The following dates for meetings were also noted:
- 8 May 2013: Hearing on the Department of Water Affairs annual report and financial statement for 2011/12.
- 14 May 2013: Hearing on the Department of Home Affairs annual report and financial statement for 2011/12.
- 15 May 2013: Briefing by Auditor General on the Department of Labour, South African Airways and on the annual reports and financial statements of 2011/12.
- 21 May 2013: Hearing on the South African Airways annual report and financial statements of 2011/12.
- 22 May 2013: Hearing on the Department of Labour annual report and financial statements of 2011/12.
- 28 & 29 May 2013: Group Meetings: Adoption of resolutions emanating from the hearing on the performance audit of the use of consultants at the relevant Departments.
- 3 to 6 June 2013: Oversight and follow-up visits were planned at the Zola Hospital in Johannesburg and the Mental Hospital at Kimberley.

The Chairperson also mentioned the suggested oversight visits to the Departments in Pretoria, as Public Works, Home Affairs, Correctional Services and Co-operative Govt and Traditional Affairs. He asked for the members’ suggestion on which department should come first.

On 11 June 2013, the Committee would deal with emanating from hearings of the annual reports 2011/2012 financial year, for the Departments of Home Affairs, Correctional Services, and South African Airways and for the Department of Labour. The Adoption of the resolutions for the relevant Departments would be done on 12 June 2013.

On 18 June 2013, the Meeting with the Department of Performance and Monitoring Evaluation was to be convened in Parliament.

Tabling of Correspondence
The Chairperson noted that during the Management Committee meetings it was noted that documents should be reviewed, and he asked the Committee Secretary to consult the Minutes, and attend to the responses that were requested, encouraging Members to give input. He was to ensure that the administration was up to scratch, and that documentation was provided as required.

Association of Public Accounts Committee (APAC):  Report on Activities of the Executive Committee
The Chairperson introduced the Report of the Executive Committee of the Association of Public Accounts (APAC), nothing that the National Assembly played a vital role and its office bearer on the Executive Committee played a prominent role. Legislation and the National Assembly were equally relevant for legal and political interpretation.

Ms Thapelo Chiloane, Office Bearer for Parliament, Association of Public Accounts Executive Committee, tabled her report, noting that it essentially set out the work done. She noted that part I dealt with the introduction and brief overview, and part 2 was a list of office bearers represented in the different provinces.

She noted that in respect of the draft constitution, the required preparations would be done, to give feedback. Proposed themes for 2013 were to be decided upon. Assessments had to be undertaken to determine how to move in terms of participating and providing assistance in future events.
Item 7 was a recommendation, made since the last meeting on 2 April, for the constitutional AGM, an Elective Conference to be held either in April, May or June. The President was expected to give a date.

Mr Ainslie did not understand the logic of not having training, as it should be on-going and implemented on a continuous basis. Training was identified as useful and adding value to the future of the country.

Mr Ainslie was enthusiastic about the course mentioned in item 2 on page 3, which would be very important. He hoped that it would go ahead. Course details could not be disregarded.

Mr Ainslie noted that it was also important to ensure that APAC’s constitution would be implemented.

The Chairperson reported on a trip planned, to Pretoria, by the Council of Delegates to present the Report on the Municipal Finance Management Act.

He expressed the hope that the Committee would meet more regularly, as APAC constituents, with the Executive Committee.

The meeting was adjourned.


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