The Committee sat to consider two reports. It considered its draft budget vote report and its oversight report.
In respect of the budget report the following was added to the findings:
-Underspending by the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) on infrastructure.
-The quality of information submitted by DAC to the Committee in response to questions had not addressed Committee questions.
-The challenges with the Enyokeni royal palace where DAC had been working without following the proper legal prescripts as that had the potential to create an unsustainable precedent.
In addition, the Committee agreed that the Department and National Treasury should review the 1% fee that small entities must pay to the Auditor-General of South Africa for auditing services.
The Committee also adopted the report on its oversight visit to National Arts Council and Ditsong Museums of South Africa Satellite Sites.
The Acting-chairperson welcomed everyone and announced that the Chairperson had apologised for her absence as she was booked off sick. The Committee then considered its oversight report.
Committee Report on Arts and Culture Budget
Ms Jabu Mtiya, Committee Secretary, said that the absent Chairperson had requested the addition of a few findings to the draft report:
- Underspending by the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) on infrastructure.
- The quality of information submitted by DAC to the Committee in response to questions had not addressed Committee questions.
- The challenges with the Enyokeni royal palace where DAC had been working without following the proper legal prescripts as that had the potential to create an unsustainable precedent.
Ms M Lesoma (ANC) wanted clarity on what the finding on the quality of information from DAC to the Committee spoke to as she perceived what the secretary had said to be more about DAC not responding appropriately rather than the information being of a poor quality.
Ms Mtiya replied that indeed sometimes DAC did not respond adequately but certainly there were times where the actual quality of the paperwork sent to the Committee was not of the appropriate standard. She would however; capture adequately the sentiments of the Committee.
The Acting Chairperson requested the Committee to consider the matter of the 1% fees paid for auditing of DAC entities to the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA). According to his recollection, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) had reported that the percentage was based on an arrangement, whereby the Committee had questioned the legality of such an arrangement as it had no legislative provision. The CFO had told the Committee that there was a rule that small entities had to pay a maximum of 1% so that National Treasury (NT) would cover the remainder of the fee amount for auditing of small entities. The Committee would have to request that resolution, directive or agreement from DAC as there were entities that struggled to pay that 1%. The recommendation from the Committee in that regard would be that DAC and NT had to review that arrangement.
Mr T Makondo (ANC) concurred with the Acting Chairperson that there had been an entity that had lamented that AGSA had wanted more money than the 1% agreed amount where the Committee had concluded that the increased fees charged by AGSA resulted from the auditor having to spend more time looking for documents when auditing small entities. The Committee had also resolved that DAC had to engage AGSA on the matter so as to avoid state institutions litigating against each other.
The Committee moved and seconded the adoption of its report pending the amendments which would be made and circulated to members before the report would be signed off by the Chairperson.
Committee Oversight report to National Arts Council and Ditsong Museums of South Africa Satellite Sites
The Acting Chairperson took the Committee through the draft oversight report page by page. He then asked for adoption of the report.
Mr Makondo moved for the adoption of the draft report.
Ms K Bilankulu (ANC) seconded the adoption.
The oversight report was adopted without any amendments.
The Acting-chairperson thanked everyone for attending and the meeting was adjourned.