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PUBLIC ACCOUNTS STANDING COMMITTEE
14 May 2002
REPORT-BACK FROM WORK GROUPS
[This is a transcript of the meeting, produced by the Public Accounts Committee Secretariat.]
African National Congress
Mr DM Gumede
Mr P Gerber
Mr BW Kannemeyer
Mr VG Smith
Mr NS Bruce
Mr M Lowe
New National Party
Mr F Beukman (chairperson)
APOLOGIES: Ms NL Hlangwana, Mr RS Ndou, Dr GW Koornhof
The Committee will submit a standard resolution to the House on all reports in respect of which no hearings took place.
The legal opinion on Sarafina will be made available to all members. The researcher will summarise it.
The Committee adopted minutes 7 May 2002 with an amendment.
The chairperson reported that a letter has been written to the Speaker regarding the tabling of the Intelligence Services report and he is arranging to meet the chairperson of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence on Thursday.
The chairperson further reported that the management subcommittee met and agreed that it will not make any decisions. Decisions will only be taken at plenary. The draft program for the workshop is available and will be finalised tomorrow.
The Committee agreed that group three should decide on the date for the proposed visit to the airport and the harbour and that any other member who does not belong to group three should indicate if he/she wants to go.
Mr Smith raised concern about the Committee workshop being held on a Friday because of the budget debates that will be taking place in the House. He suggested that the date be shifted to Monday. Mr Bruce seconded the proposal. The proposal was agreed to.
Mr Lowe raised concern about the lack of representivity from other parties and asked whether there was any response from other parties about their participation. He also asked why the workshop is being held outside of Parliament if it can be held inside Parliament to save money. The chairperson responded that Dr Koornhof and Dr Woods attend Finance meetings on Tuesdays, and that money for the workshop does not come from Parliament but from DFID.
Mr Kannemeyer added that parties are responsible to send members to the Committee and that it is out of the control of the Committee if members from other parties do not attend. He added that the work of the Committee cannot come to a standstill if other members do not attend because the clash with Finance on Tuesdays has always been there.
The chairperson reported further that the analysis of the AG's general report has been commissioned to outside people and that each member will be allocated 15 minutes during the hearing.
2.2 Group report back
Group one: Mr V Smith
The group dealt with the preparation for the Legal Aid Board and agreed on focus areas. Mr Nair and Ms Dudley would be contacted to establish if they can handle some of the questions.
The group will circulate the Correctional Services resolution to members later today for adoption tomorrow.
All other reports that have been allocated to the group have been processed except the Intelligence Services one, which has not been tabled.
Group two: Mr B Kannemeyer
Ms Dudley apologised and was not in the meeting. Ms Hlangwana is still in hospital.
The new CFO of Parliament will be conducting cite visits in Parliament early next week and the group members would like to accompany him. Arising out of the hearing with Parliament, the group is concerned that the development of the fraud prevention plan and standard operating procedures is made dependent on donor funding.
The group was pleased by the involvement of the Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry. The Committee would like the group to assist it with the review of quarterly reports.
The secretariat will draw up a summary of all the information that has been requested during the hearing and will send out a letter to the Department on Friday.
The group received a 101 page legal opinion on Sarafina. The researcher will make a summary for the Committee and copies will be made for all members.. The group will look at a date for a meeting with the Director-General of Health although the group is concerned that the House has not been adopted the report.
The Communications report has been tabled but it has not been referred to SCOPA. The group will deal with Communications and the draft resolution on Water Affairs and Forestry towards the end of June.
Mr Kannemeyer proposed that there be a standard resolution for all the reports in respect of which there were no hearings. The Committee agreed that the AG's Office and the secretariat should come up with a draft that will be looked at by the Committee.
Group three: Mr D Gumede
The group dealt with the preparation for the hearing on Transport next week. Other matters have been deferred to a later date.
The hearing will be based on the following report: Transport, South African Road Agency, Road Accident Fund, Urban Transport Fund and Cross Border Agency.
The Transport report has got issues of irregular expenditure. The South African Road agency has got a qualified report, and there is an incomplete register of land. There is no provision for depreciation on the Urban Transport Fund.
There will not be a hearing on the South African Maritime Authority, ACSA, Air Traffic and Navigation Services, Civil Aviation Authority and the Rail Commuter Corporation.
Members of the Committee raised concern about the draft program and wanted to know why an impression was created that the President and the Minister of Finance were going to be present and then later the names were dropped. They also questioned the practicality of having five speakers at the gala dinner, and also wanted to know in what capacity Mr van Schalkwyk was being invited.
Mr Botes responded that he would relay the concerns of the Committee to the APAC executive.
The meeting adjourned at 12:15.
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