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STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
13 May 2003
REPORT-BACK BY WORK GROUPS; CORRESPONDENCE
Chairperson: Mr F Beukman (NNP)
Document handed out
Groups 1 and 2 reported back to the Committee. The focus areas for the upcoming hearings with the Department of Home Affairs were outlined. The correspondence was tabled.
Report-back by Workgroups
Group 1: Mr D Gumede (ANC) stated that the group could not hold a meeting because not any of the opposition Members had been present. The draft resolutions will thus have to be discussed at the next meeting, when political parties are better represented at the group meeting.
Group 2: Ms P Mothoagae (ANC) stated that some of the items could not be dealt with because of the preparations being made for the Department of Home Affairs hearings to be hosted by this Committee in two weeks time. The group had agreed to focus on the following five areas at the upcoming hearing:
(a) Qualified opinion on both Votes of the Department of Home Affairs
(b) Weakness in internal control
It was decided that the Public Service Commission, the Department of Public Service and Administration and Treasury would have to be engaged. The Government Printing Works
is not well managed because of lack of proper personnel. The contracting-out of services is anticipated but no progress report has yet been provided.
(c) Reliance of the internal audit unit
(d) Filling of senior management posts
(e) Vacant positions of key personnel
The Department of Home Affairs is currently experiencing problems with the employment contract of the Director-General. The legal advisor was consulted on the status of the employment contract of the then Acting Director-General.
(f) Electoral Commission
The Electoral Commission has reported a surplus since 1994. This matter has to be addressed, and it has to address this Committee.
The Chair noted that correspondence from the following structures had been referred to the Committee:
(i) Department of Defence
This deals with information requested from that Department during the last hearing. This will be dealt with by Group 1.
This deals with the 10% administration breakdown requested during the last hearing. This will be dealt with by Group 1.
(iii) Public Protector
The progress report form the Public Protector on the State Theatre issue will be dealt with by Group 1 as well. The correspondence from Ms Wixley will also be considered, in which she indicates her intention to institute legal proceedings against the Public Protector in this matter.
(iv) Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
This deals with information requested from that Department during the last hearing. This will be dealt with by the relevant group.
(v) National Treasury
This relates to the Statements of National Revenue requested from the Accountant General. This information has been provided to this Committee, and will be supplied to Members on a monthly basis.
(vi) National Treasury
This deals with the Memorandum on the changes to the form of the 2003 Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE). Members will receive a briefing on this tomorrow.
(vii) National Treasury
This is a response by Ms Ramos, the Director-General of Treasury, to a request from this Committee for information regarding the listing of public entities. The matter is addressed in her response.
(viii) Department of Public Service and Administration
This deals with the employment contract of the former Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs.
(ix) Public Investment Commission
The Chairperson of the Finance Portfolio Committee has invited this Committee to attend its meeting with the PIC on 24 June.
(x) State Theatre
As mentioned earlier, this will be dealt with by Group 1.
(xi) Tabling of Research Report
This document will be finalised tomorrow.
(xii) Auditor-General's Report on Comments of RAF Commission 2002
The Committee will respond to this Report.
Categorisation of Reports
The Chair stated that it is clear from the Convenors' input that there is no further categorisation.
The Chair stated that this will happen tomorrow morning.
Proposed Standard Resolution/Committee Report
The Chair stated that this has been proposed by the Office of the Auditor General. This will be considered by this Committee when a quorum is constituted.
Mr Cobus Botes, from the Office of the AG, stated that it would probably be best to consider this matter next week when the enhanced document has been finalised.
The Chair noted that Members agreed.
Report-Back by SCAG
The Chair stated that this will be considered tomorrow.
Further Discussions in the House
The Chair stated that this will be discussed next week.
The Chair stated that the next 10 days have to be focused on finalising the four open slots in August on the Committee Programme. This has to be discussed by the groups and a final recommendation must then be provided to the Committee.
Association of Public Accounts Committees (APAC) Conference
The Chair stated that this matter has not been handled satisfactorily. This Committee has applied to Parliament a month ago for permission to attend this conference, and it only received a response this week. This is very problematic. There should perhaps be a discussion between this Committee and the presiding officers of Parliament on this issue.
The meeting was adjourned.
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