Members met to review and adopt its report on observation and recommendations on the performance of the Department of Social Development and its entities. Members made some corrections, added more input to the observations and recommendations. The two main recommendations raised were the silence of the annual report on institutionalism of grant payments and fraudulent activities in SASSA.
Minutes of Committee meetings of 12 and 13 October 2016 were adopted.
Election of Acting Chairperson
Following an apology from the Chairperson, Members nominated Ms H Malgas (ANC) to act as the Chairperson.
Social Development Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report
The Content Advisor said Members should focus on the observations and recommendations because the analytical part of the report was prepared for Members before the briefings last week. The new information captured by the report was mainly the observation and recommendation.
Committee observations for DSD
Ms S Tsoleli (ANC) changed the statement on page 19 of the report that read ‘it was concerning that one of the reasons of underspending was non-payment of not-for-profit organisations’ to non-profit organisation.
Committee observations for SASSA
Ms E Wilson (DA) said there was a long discussion over the fact that the Annual report did not reflect anything on progress in reporting for budget on the SASSA takeover of grants. It was a long discussion that did not appear under any of the headings in the observation.
Ms N Sonti (EFF) said the report did not reflect the issue of the people stealing the grants.
Ms Malgas said that fraud within SASSA will be added to the observations.
Ms Tsoleli said that the consequence management written on the report does not reflect the seriousness of the matter; it was very light. Those people that did not stick to or breached PFMA must be held accountable.
Ms Wilson suggested that the point raised by Ms Tsoleli be read as ‘form of disciplinary procedures should be followed with a form of investigation’.
Ms Abrahams suggested that where virement happened, there should be a form of monitoring and evaluation before it happened.
Ms Masango said there should be a mechanism that makes Committee follow its recommendations and the implementation thereof. The recommendation should be tightened so that they speak to specific things and not broader things.
Ms Wilson said entities should be told that when compiling reports there should also be report on how the committee’s recommendation has been followed or implemented.
Ms Tsoleli said she had in the previous meeting raised the point that Parliament was not doing well in making sure that resolution is tracked. There should be a committee that tracked resolution. There was no point in making resolutions on another when the previous had not been implemented.
Ms Abrahams said there was a document on procedure for tracking recommendations, the support staff should send to Members.
Ms Tsoleli said that procedure may be there but the problem remains implementation. She urged the chairperson to raise the issue in the forum it sits.
Ms Malgas said it will be raised in the meeting it has on Friday.
Ms Tsoleli said the fourth point should read ‘must’ and not should.
Ms Masango said that the impact of targeted communities are not always reflected in the report.
Ms Tsoleli said there is a gap in Parliament in terms of assessing impact. Parliamentarians should go out in the community to access the impact. There should be time allocated for the discussion of the impact of departmental targets.
Ms Wilson said it was a welcome recommendation.
Ms Masango said all the ‘should’ in this area should read ‘must’.
Ms Wilson said that the board could not form part of the audit committee.
Ms Masango said departmental baseline should be worked on. This would help in solving the issue of misalignment of targets. Targets should be based on a realistic and proper baseline.
Ms Masango said that awareness campaigns to stop illegal deductions should be intensified. The work of SASSA is not known where it is supposed to. The point should read illegal deductions and all other services.
The Content Advisor said that the two main recommendations raised were the silence of the annual report on institutionalism of grant payment and fraudulent activities in SASSA.
Ms Malgas asked that Ms Wilson should give the recommendation to the content advisor. Ms Masango and Ms Sonti could give their recommendation to the content advisor in vernacular which will be interpreted.
Mr Mabilo proposed that the recommendation by Ms Sonti be read as ‘fraud mechanism should be strengthened’.
Ms Malgas said the report on the recommendation will be reworked.
Adoption of minutes
12 October 2016
Ms Abrahams said that page 3 and 5 of the minutes should be corrected to BRRR.
The minutes were adopted with that amendment.
13 October 2016
Ms Masango asked that her be corrected.
The minutes were adopted with that amendment.
Meeting was adjourned.
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