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Public Accounts (SCOPA)

27 August 2002
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

27 August 2002

[This is a transcript of the meeting, produced by the Public Accounts Committee Secretariat.]



Chiba, Mr. L
Gerber, Mr. P
Gumede, Mr. D
Hlangwana, Ms. N
Kannemeyer, Mr. B
Mofokeng, Mr. R
Mothoagae, Ms. K
Nair, Mr. B
Smith, Mr. V


Beukman, Mr. F (Chairperson)


Dudley, Ms. C


Bruce, Mr. N
Lowe, Mr. M
Koornhof, Dr.
Woods, Dr. G

In attendance

Mr. M Chikane (PC on Public Works)
Mr. K Moonsamy (PC on Public Works)
Mr. Fakie (Auditor-General)
Mr. P Mosaka (Auditor-General's Office)
Mr. C Botes (AG's Office)
Ms. L Less (Auditor-General's Office)
Mr. A Van Dyck (Auditor-General's Office)
Ms. B. Letompa (Researcher)
Mr. N Marais (National Treasury)


The Chairperson welcomed members of the Committee. He indicated that the Committee would start with item number three on the agenda viz. Preparations for Public Works hearing.

Preparations for the Hearing: Public Works Department (Preparatory Documents sent to members)

2.1 The Committee adopted the following, to be the objectives of the hearing:

Examine the reasons for the overall financial management failures
Examine the underlying reasons for the systematic problems resulting in the lack of a proper audit trail between the subsystem and the main system.
Probe the circumstances and reasons that gave rise to the unauthorised expenditure.
Examine the underlying reasons for the under-expenditure on Programme 2.
Probe the extent and nature of non-compliance with PFMA requirements as possible instances of financial misconduct.
Determine whether issues of emphasis have been dealt with sufficiently by the Department.
Determine whether dedicated transitional plans are in place for the filling of the DG post.

2.2 and the following as the possible outcomes of the hearing:

Demonstrate to the public that SCOPA can effectively deal with serious financial management failures or inadequate stewardship of public funds.
Conclude whether there is a prima facie case of financial misconduct that requires to be dealt with in terms of the applicable legislation and appropriate recommendations.
Make appropriate recommendation on whether Parliament should or should not approve the unauthorised expenditure in question.

Ensure a sense of urgency and a sustainable plan of action by the incoming accounting officer to resolve the problem of a recurring qualified audit report.

2.3 Focus areas were allocated to members as follows:

Subsystem = Mr. B Nair and Ms N Hlangwana
PFMA = Mr. L Chiba and Ms. Dudley
Assets = Mr. P Gerber and Ms. Mothoagae
Management = Mr. D Gumede and Mr. B Kannemeyer
General = Mr. F Beukman and Mr. V Smith

Members who have not been allocated specific themes, would assist in follow up questions in a situation where they believe that the objective of a particular theme has not been achieved.

Matters Arising

3.1. The Chairperson reported that:


He has received a letter from the DG of the GCIS, in which he informs the Committee that Mr. Kotane has not lodged leave to appeal, and as a result the default judgment taken against him remains intact.


The JCIS is proposing that both Commitees should issue a Joint statement in the HOUSE about the recommendations of the task team on financial oversight on the Secret Services.

Mr Smith indicated that after some interactions with their counter-part from the JSCI on the financial oversight of the Secret Services, SCOPA's representation on the joint task team have agreed that the entire oversight of Secret Services should be the prerogative of the JSCI rather than that of the Joint Sub-Committee as per SCOPA's initial mandate.

Arts and Culture

Adv. Pienaar from the Office of the Public Protector has confirmed in a letter addressed to the Committee that the Office of the Public Protector has referred evidence that was in their possession to the National Prosecuting Authority.

The Committee resolved that the matter should be referred to the relevant Cluster to monitor its development. It was further resolved that, the letter from the Public Protector be forwarded to Ms. Wixley for information.

Water Affairs and Forestry.

The Committee resolved that the relevant Cluster should deliberate on whether it would be necessary to submit additional terms of reference to the Auditor General, on the forensic investigation on the bidding of Zama forestry asset.

Justice and Constitutional Development

The letter requesting a meeting between the Chairpersons of SCOPA, PC on Justice and the DG of Justice was sent to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice as per resolution of the Committee.

It was further agreed that the Chairperson should enquire from the department of Justice or the PC on Justice on whether it would be viable for SCOPA to visit magistrates' offices that are under investigation.

Opti-Plan filing System

The Committee was informed that DFID has indicated that they are unable to finance the proposed filing system for the secretariat, as the project was not budgeted for in the current financial year. A letter has been forwarded to the Management of the Committee Section in this regard.

Refund for Ms. Wixley.

After some deliberations the Committee resolved that Ms. Wixley should be refunded for travel expenses incurred in attending SCOPA meeting and that SCAG or the Management Committee should draft guidelines for future reference on cases of similar nature.


Outstanding Resolution

4.1.1 AG's General Report.

The Committee agreed that for purpose of passing a resolution on the AG's General Report, members should start drafting recommendations on themes that they participated on during the hearing.

4.1.2 Gender Commission

Mr. Chiba informed members that the draft resolution on Gender Commission is ready and the report would be tabled next week for adoption.

4.2 APAC training.

Members, who would be attending the APAC training scheduled for 20-23 October 2002, were requested to submit their names to the secretariat by Friday, 30 August 2002.

The meeting adjourned at 13:00.


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