The Committee met briefy to discuss several issues, including its programme, the roles of the various staff members and its strategic plan and processes.
The Committee was scheduled to meet the following week; however it agreed to put its meetings on hold until 1 August due to the number of other Committees the Members had to attend.
As part of the Strategic Plan presentation, the Chairperson advised the members to go through the documents as it would assist them through the various activities of the Committee, as well as with developing the next strategic plan for the next five years. The strategic plan was also a summary of the activities of the Committee and it highlighted the issues that the Committee had dealt with in the past.In addition, he advised Members on the manner in which they should ask questions during briefings.
Chairperson welcomed the Committee and received introductions and apologies from the Members. He explained how the Committee’s programmes would be structured and Members made proposals regarding the programmes structure. He also spoke briefly on the APAC invitation where he went into detail about APAC’s relationship with the Committee and the training offered by APAC.
The Chairperson opened the meeting and called for a round of introduction by the Members.
The Chairperson received apologies on behalf of Members who were absent.
Ms K Litchfield-Tshabalala (EFF) said she would not be staying for the duration of the whole meeting. Mr V Smith (ANC) said Mr E Kekana (ANC) would be arriving late for the meeting.
The Chairperson said the Committee would only be meeting today, one day in the following week thereafter 4 August 2014. He explained that all Committee meetings would be structured the same way except for the next meeting as the Committee would have the Auditor-General and National Treasury briefing them on their role in the Committee as stakeholders, and more specifically the work that those institutions did. He then asked the Members if they had any questions or concerns with regarding the meetings or if they wanted any clarity on the Committees programme.
Mr Smith proposed that the Committee should put its meetings on hold until 1 August due to the number of other Committees the Members had to attend. He said Members would not be able to contribute properly if they had the responsibility of attending more than one Committee meeting as those meetings would sometimes clash.
Mr A Emam (NFP) and Ms M Matshoba (ANC) both agreed with Mr Smith’s views.
Mr R Lees (DA) hoped that this would not give the impression that the work of the Committee was not important and could therefore take second place to all other Committees.
The Chairperson replied that Parliament had given the Committee another day on which it would have its meetings, therefore, if members were not available on Wednesdays, the Committee could meet on Fridays.
Invitations by the Association of Public Acounts Committees (APAC)
The Chairperson spoke briefly about the APAC invitation. He explained that APAC was a body that comprised of this Committee as well as all the other public accounts committees in the provincial legislatures. This body met annually. The annual meetings included training sessions for Members to enhance their understanding of their work. He further explained that members would have to indicate whether they planned on attending the training sessions. Members were encouraged to attend the training and the conference as it would benefit the Committee.
Briefing by CommitteeStaff
Ms Ntombi Nkabinde, Committee Secretary, explained that her roles and responsibilities included organising Committee activities, drafting Committee reports, as well as assisting with the Committee’s budget.
Mr Enrico Bazier, Committee Assistant, told the Committee that his responsibilities included assisting the two Committee Secretaries on the following; providing administrative support, organising Committee meetings by booking venues and catering, arranging flights for Committee Members and booking hotels and venues.
Ms Gloria Shabalala, Committee Researcher, said her role and responsibilities included analysing annual reports, providing additional information from other Committees to reports that members may need, preparing presentations for the Chairperson and Members of Committee and preparing documents on Departments that members wished to visit during various site visits.
Mr S Saki, an official from the Office of the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA), explained that his role as a representative from the AGSA was to ensure that there was coordination between the Auditor General and the Committee and making sure there were good relations within the institution itself. He would provide the Committee with any documents that Members may need from the Office of the Auditor General.
After these brief presentations, the Chairperson asked if the Members had any questions for the staff and officials.
Members expressed satisfaction with the brief presentations.
Committee Strategic Plan and Processes
The Chairperson presented the Strategic Plan and advised the members to go through the documents as it would assist them through the various activities of the Committee, as well as with developing the next strategic plan for the next five years. The strategic plan was also a summary of the activities of the Committee and it highlighted the issues that the Committee had dealt with in the past. The Chairperson said the Committee planned to have meetings three times a week due to the amount of work involved but that was not possible. He further explained that the plan was to have two groups from the Committee where each would have their own researcher and a secretary. The groups would be assigned with tasks and departments to monitor.
The Chairperson gave the Members advice on the manner in which they should ask questions during briefings. He said Members should not make questions too long but rather get straight to the point. He encouraged Members to write down any follow up questions which they had. He also mentioned the importance of the departmental visits. The Chairperson then reminded Members that they had to pay a joining fee to APAC as Members, The total for the Committee amounted to R120 000 per annum.
The Chairperson encouraged the members to work together and reminded them that the issues they would be dealing with were those already determined the by Auditor General, therefore the Committee would not be debating about the appropriateness of the issues but rather looking at ways of solving problems posed. He then proceeded by allowing Members to ask clarity seeking questions.
The Members indicated that they all understood the presentations processes.
The meeting was adjourned.
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