The Committee met briefly to adopt Draft Minutes and the Committee’s report on the AG’s Strategic and Budget Plan.
Amendments to the Committee report were made under ‘Background and Introduction’ because a section of the paragraph read as if the Committee had tabled a report to both the National Assembly and the National Treasury. Further corrections were made under the heading Value-add auditing, a suggestion was made to bullet points on page 6 so that they would all start with “for debts collected over 12 months”, and the abbreviation of Enterprise Resource Planning System had to be corrected.
On audit directives discretion, a member of the DA reminded the Committee that there were international standards that have to be applied; hence the Committee should be specific about which directives it gave to the Auditor-General. Also, although there were Members missing, the Committee agreed to the changes made to the report.
Mr N Singh (IFP) asked when the Office of the Auditor General (AGSA) would present their Strategic and Budget Plan to the Committee.
The Chairperson replied that normally the AGSA presented its Strategic and Budget Plan at the beginning of the year; however he was informed that the AGSA’s administration was dealing with some internal issues, which had thus caused a delay with their report.
A Member of the Committee asked for clarify on how the Committee would adopt the report if it had not yet met with AGSA.
A member of the parliamentary support replied that the AGSA would normally present its Strategic and Budget Plan at the beginning of the year. Although the Committee was unable to meet with the AGSA at this moment, the entity was aware that a request for one could be made. He reminded the Committee that it would have to meet with the AGSA as soon as possible as Parliament would rise soon and only come back after the elections.
Mr Singh said the Committee should request a meeting with the AGSA so that they can answer questions, and not only for support purposes.
The Chairperson said the report, as well as any matters relating to the AGSA would be discussed as soon as Members came back from campaigning, and when the elections are over.
Report of the Standing Committee on the Auditor-General on the Strategic Plan and Budget for 2016-2019 financial years
Mr A McLoughlin (DA) asked that there be a rewording of the last line on page one under ‘Background and Introduction’ because it read as though the recommendations reports were tabled to both the National Assembly and the National Treasury
The Chairperson agreed with Mr McLoughlin and therefore the word “National Treasury” should be removed.
Mr McLoughlin added that under the “Value-add auditing” the word ‘commit’ should be changed to ‘committed’ instead. Secondly, in the second paragraph of the same section, “90 to 100 percent for completion of the actions” should be changed to ’90 to 100 percent of the actions’, omitting “for completion”. Thirdly, the three bullets on page three should all start with “For debts collected over 12 months”, therefore bullet number 3 should be changed. Fourthly, the abbreviation of Enterprise Resource Planning System should be corrected because the ‘S’ was omitted. And lastly, in the next paragraph the word “program” should be spelt correctly.
Referring to page five, an apostrophe‘s’ must be added to “AGSA’” in the first line, and in the last paragraph before the table; the word “the” in the first line should be omitted and the sentence should be read as “In order to adhere to requirements of the section 38(1)”.
Mr Singh suggested that under Recommended Audit Tariffs the second last sentence should be corrected as follows “The average tariff will increase from R576 (2014/2015) to R602 in the 2015/2016 financial year”, and the last sentenced must also be corrected to “lower than that of 2014/2015 financial year”.
Mr B Topham (DA) proposed rephrasing two sentences. He added that the Committee should be specific about which directives it gave to the Auditor-General, and he reminded the Committee that it should not deviate from the international standards.
Six members of the Committee agreed to the changes made to the report on the Auditor General’s Strategic and Budget Plan.
The Chairperson said that a member of COPE had withdrawn from the proceedings of the Committee and that the party had taken a decision to withdraw from parliamentary activities.
Adoption of Minutes dated16 March 2016
The Chairperson asked if the Committee had any changes they would like to make on page one.
Mr Singh asked what was meant by “Members were only expected to adopt outstanding Committee instruments” on page two. He suggested that the word “instruments” be removed.
Mr McLoughlin suggested that the word “the Committee” under the introduction section, which was put in brackets, should be removed.
The Committee adopted the minutes.
The meeting was adjourned.
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