A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
JOINT RULES COMMITTEE
20 May 2003
SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS: CONSIDERATION
Please note: This is not the final draft
Parliament of the Republic of South Africa
JOINT RULES COMMITTEE
Co- Chairpersons: Speaker of the National Assembly
Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces
Committee Secretaries: M Xaso (NA Table) Ext. 3260
JA Borien, S Bowers (NCOP Table) Ext. 3647
DRAFT MINUTES OF THE JOINT RULES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 20 MAY 2003
(as at 12 June 2003)
National Assembly National Council of Provinces
Speaker Chairperson of the NCOP
Deputy Speaker Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP
Andrew, K M Durr, K DS
Aucamp, C Kgoali, J L
Bakker, D M Lubidla, E N
Benjamin, J Makoela, M I
Bhengu, F Nkuna, C
Blanche, J P I Sulliman, M A
Cassim, M F Surty, M E
Chohan-Khota, F Themba, M P
Ditshetelo, P H K Van Niekerk, A E
Doidge, G Q M Vilakazi, J N
Frolick, C T
George, M E
Greyling, C H F
Hendrickse, P A C
Jeffrey, J H
Kalyan, S V
Landers, L T
Louw, S K
Masutha, M T
Millin, T E
Modisenyani, L J
Mulder, C P
Nefolovhodwe, P J
Nel, A C
Ripinga, S S
Seaton, S A
Sosibo, J E
Van der Merwe, S C
Van der Merwe, J H
Staff in attendance:
Mfenyana, S; Coetzee, M; Mbangula, M S; Matyolo, L L; Hahndiek, K; Klassen, L; Keswa, N; Charlton, H; Ismail, N; Meyer, L; Mansura, K; Palmer, I.
Botha, C S; Carrim, Y I; Dlulani, B N; Gibson, D H M; Green, L; Hendrickse, P A C; Kota, Z A; Kolweni, Z S; Malumise, M; Mbuyazi, L R; Mngomezulu, G P; Njobe, M A; Setona, T S; Thabete, E; Tlhagale, J O.
2. ADOPTION OF AGENDA
The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces took the Chair and opened the meeting at 10:05. The Agenda was adopted without additions.
Mr Nair requested that item 9 on the agenda, the Report of the Joint Subcommittee on the Parliamentary Budget, be advanced on the agenda as he had other meetings to attend.
The Chairperson enquired whether Mr Nair would be able to attend his other meetings and return later to present the report, as the budget was inter-related to other areas that would be discussed.
Mr Nair explained that his other meetings would start at 12:00 and that in his absence in the JRC meeting, it would be possible for Mr Charlton to provide input into the discussion.
The Speaker said that it was important that the Chairperson of the Subcommittee was present to take part in the discussions on the report. She suggested that Mr Nair join the meeting again at a later stage. In addition, that the meeting would then be interrupted at that stage to allow a report on the budget. Further, that the presence of the chairperson was integral to the discussion in order to shape the JRC's understanding of the issues.
The Chairperson said that it would be possible to accommodate Mr Nair by moving the item forward on the agenda and dealing with it whilst he was present. She added that the report would be dealt with under matters arising in order to facilitate a response from him.
Ms Seaton raised a concern regarding whether a discussion would be possible since the report had only been received just before the meeting.
The Chairperson said that there thus seemed to be a need for Mr Nair to be present and to participate in the discussion, as he would be able to identify the salient points from the report, specifically those that required direction from the JRC.
Mr Nair asked whether, due to the fact that all the members may not have received copies of the report and would not have had time to study the report, members could peruse the proposals and the report be discussed at a later date.
The Chairperson agreed but said that he could present the critical issues which required policy decisions from the JRC. She further said that this would allow parties an opportunity to consider the report. She suggested that a special meeting be arranged to consider the report.
The Speaker enquired whether documents were sent out eight days before the JRC meeting. She said that the chairperson of the Parliamentary Budget Subcommittee indicated that the report was sent out the previous week, but that the documents received were dated Friday 16 May 2003. She was concerned that all documents seemed to have been distributed between the Wednesday and Friday of that week. She reminded everyone that the JRC had previously agreed that documentation would be distributed at least eight days before a JRC meeting. Also, that the date of the JRC meeting was known five months before and that the staff had sufficient notice to ensure timeous distribution of documents. She added that she would in future set dates for meetings only if the agenda and documentation were circulated eight days before the meeting. She further added that a commitment was needed from the Secretary to address the issue, as it hampered planning and discussion during the meeting.
Mr Van der Merwe referred to a memorandum from the staff dated 19 May 2003, which he only received prior to the meeting. He said that he would thus be unable to participate in a discussion on the matter.
The Deputy Speaker reminded everyone that there was a difficulty in deciding upon a date for the current meeting at the last JRC meeting. She said that the JRC then decided to deviate from the previous agreement which was that there would be at least two weeks between the first meeting when Parliament resumes after a recess and the convening of a JRC meeting to allow subcommittees to deliberate and report. This time around the meeting took place within one week of each other, as there was difficulty with suitable dates.
The Chairperson said that the meeting should proceed and requested the Secretary and his staff to note the problems and to improve thereon.
ADOPTION OF MINUTES OF 5 FEBRUARY 2003
The minutes were amended by the addition of the names of Mr Ditshetelo and Mr Andrew to the attendance list of the meeting. On the motion of Mr Surty, the minutes were adopted as a correct record of the meeting of February 2003. Mr Ditshetelo seconded the adoption.
ADOPTION OF MINUTES OF 18 MARCH 2003
On the motion of Ms Kgoali, the minutes were adopted as the correct record of the meeting. Mr Sulliman seconded the adoption.
5. ADOPTION OF MINUTES OF SPECIAL MEETING OF 25 MARCH 2003
The minutes were amended by the addition of the names of Mr Van Niekerk and Mr Andrew to the attendance list of the meeting. Further, by the deletion of Mr Doidge's name from the Council's attendance list. On the proposal of Mr Van Niekerk, the minutes were adopted. Ms Rajbally seconded the adoption.
6. MATTERS ARISING FROM THE THREE SETS OF MINUTES
The Chairperson indicated that the matters arising had been synthesised from the three sets of minutes, which had been adopted by the JRC. She further indicated that the Deputy Presiding Officers had to proceed by providing a report on the Language Policy.
6.1. Language Policy for Parliament
The Deputy Chairperson of the Council reported that the Task Team had met on 28 March 2003 to consider the submissions from the political parties. He said that the submissions had subsequently been consolidated into one document which had been circulated. Also, that the consolidated document had been sent back to the parties for more inputs. Further, that the Task Team had a follow-up meeting the week before the JRC meeting to consider all the inputs from parties to the consolidated document. He said that, due to the memorial service for Mr Walter Sisulu, there had not been enough time for the parties to express their inputs at the meeting and that only the New National Party had time to respond. Also, that the document which has thus been submitted to the JRC, was work in progress. In addition, that parties may have to be allowed to talk to the document as their inputs were also attached to the circulated document. He proposed that the Task Team be mandated to meet again and thereafter submit a refined document to the JRC.
The Chairperson responded that the Task Team should finalise the document and present the JRC with a composite agreed proposal. In addition, that they should include a costing.
The Speaker said that time frames should be indicated and urged the Task Team to plan its work and to advise the JRC when the final report would be available. Parties should ensure participation of their representatives in the process. She requested the Chairperson of Committees in the National Assembly and the Deputy Chairperson of Committees in the Council to assist by facilitating time slots in order to allow the Task Team the time to prioritise the issue.
The Chairperson informed the meeting that Ms Kgoali had been appointed as the Chairperson of Committees in the Council and would thus be working with Mr Doidge to provide assistance.
Mr Mahlangu explained that the Task Team had not attached the costing document, as they still needed to agree on the policy itself. He said that once agreement had been reached, that a costing would be done and included in the final document that would be submitted to the JRC.
The Chairperson requested the Task Team to continue to assist the JRC. She requested that the final document be a set of proposals which could be easily comprehended by all.
Task Team on Language Policy to present to the JRC a composite and simplified document which includes costing.
Task Team to plan its work and to advise the JRC as to when the final report would be available.
Chairpersons of Committees in both Houses to facilitate time slots to enable the Task Team to meet.
6.2. Implementation Plan regarding recommendations contained in the Final report of the Joint Subcommittee on Oversight and Accountability
The Chairperson reminded members that the Presiding Officers, assisted by the staff, were tasked with developing an implementation plan to be presented to the JRC. She asked the Secretary to Parliament to present the document.
The Secretary responded that the document was submitted to the Presiding Officers and that he had not expected to present it to the JRC.
The Speaker said that the Council and Assembly staff submitted proposals that had been compiled in a document dated 15 May 2003. Also, that she understood the document to be a composite report, based on the input from the two Houses. Further, that she assumed that it was circulated.
The Chairperson proposed that given that the document had not been circulated, a discussion on the recommendations and the policy issues be postponed.
Mr Jeffery said that he agreed with the Chairperson's proposal. He expressed his concern about the time that had lapsed since the adoption of the subcommittee's report by the JRC. He proposed that a special meeting be held to consider the issues and requested that his concern be noted.
The Speaker agreed that the time element was important. She said that there was an assumption in the documents from both Houses, the staff and the joint subcommittee, that there was a common vision. She said that it was important to set up structures and to link the vision exercise as a procedure. She highlighted the fact that one proposal argued in favour of a joint committee and the other in favour of a special task team. She said that even if they agreed on these differences within the documents, that there remained a need for a common view. She urged members to consider those aspects when dealing with the documents. She requested the Secretary to Parliament to ensure distribution of the composite document as well as the individual documents from each House.
The Chairperson said that a special meeting was needed to discuss the relevant document. She then said that Mr Nair would now be allowed to introduce the critical issues arising from the report of the Subcommittee on the Parliamentary Budget.
Secretary to Parliament to copy the individual documents from each of the House Secretaries as well as the consolidated document and distribute them to all the members of the JRC.
Special JRC meeting to be held to discuss the implementation plan.
6.3 Report of Joint Subcommittee on the Parliamentary Budget (Item 9 on the Agenda)
Mr Nair, the Chairperson of the subcommittee, referred to the comments by the Speaker and Mr Van der Merwe regarding the late circulation of documentation and apologised for the late submission and distribution of the subcommittee's report. He said that the subcommittee had still been experiencing problems with functioning as a subcommittee of 16 members, as only a few members attended meetings. He said that in this context, the subcommittee had requested a legal opinion regarding whether the budget subcommittee needed a quorum. He further remarked that these issues had been raised previously and expressed his concern that the subcommittee had not received clear-cut responses from the JRC on various issues. He referred to the recommendations from the Minister of Finance which stated that Parliament should have a vision for the next five years to enable Treasury to have a clear picture of where Parliament is heading and of its needs in terms of capital expenditure. He said that some proposals in the report required serious policy decisions and that members should carefully consider future strategies with regard to the process. He referred to page 2 of the report and suggested that when the Presiding Officers consider the issue of the composition of the joint budget subcommittee, that they involve the Chairpersons of Joint Subcommittee on Support for Members, the Chairpersons of Committees in both Houses, the Secretary to Parliament and the Chief Financial Officer. He proposed the establishment of what he referred to as the "treasury group". He also referred to the need for certainty regarding the composition of the budget perusal or treasury group. He further referred to page 3 of the report and requested the JRC to consider these issues as well. He said that if the proposals were accepted, that it could provide the appropriate structures to drive the budgeting process.
He said that the entire budgeting process would have the cooperation of Mr Charlton's Office, the management team and Chairpersons of Committees. He added that Mr Charlton and his team were prepared to train the Committee Chairpersons and their technical staff. He said that through such interaction, all committees of Parliament in both Houses, would be able to accelerate the budgeting process.
He further informed the meeting that policy decisions were required with regard to Annexure G, which deals with a summary of the recommendations and actions required as at 13 May 2003, of the report. He said that attention should also be paid to inflation and foreign exchange rates in the compilation of the budgets as they impacted on the budget. He also requested that the proposals be discussed at the next JRC meeting. He added that the allocation of R14 million required immediate decision. He said that the subcommittee had considered allocations which were suggested in Annexure D. He requested that annexure D, which reflects the committee budget allocation, be adopted to enable committees to have the benefit of resources.
The Chairperson said that Mr Nair had presented the salient issues and that the policy areas that would be considered by the JRC, were contained in Annexure G. She indicated that the decision with regard to Annexure D had been assigned to the Deputy Presiding Officers to deal with. She said that the Deputy Presiding Officers had met with the Chairpersons of Committees in both Houses as well as the committee chairpersons and that the figures that were submitted, had been broadly agreed on and accepted. She added that a JRC meeting should be convened to discuss the proposals captured in Annexure G.
The Speaker said that Mr Nair's subcommittee should be called the Parliamentary Budget subcommittee, as this would erase any doubts regarding the mandate of the subcommittee. She requested parties to ensure that their representatives participate in the work of the subcommittee. She further referred to Mr Nair's presentation in which he indicated that there was uncertainty regarding the composition of the subcommittee after the floor crossing process and requested that any further doubt be resolved before the end of the week. She also requested Chief Whips to ensure that their members attend the meetings of the Subcommittee. She said that the subcommittee should draft a schedule of meeting dates until June 2003. Further, that with regard to the question of inadequacy and complaints about committees, that the National Assembly had asked committees to table their programmes in the House in order for them to be adopted. She referred to complaints received from committees regarding lack of funds and inaccessibility thereof and proposed that a system be set up in terms of which resources could be availed. She requested the Chairpersons of Committees in both Houses to consider the issue. She tasked the Finance department with working out simple ways of assisting committees in drafting programmes to enable them to obtain resources within their budget allocation. She acknowledged that the Committee Section was inadequate to perform the task that it was supposed to do. She said that resources would be effectively utilised if all these issues were to be addressed.
Mr Cassim said that he was in agreement with the Speaker that all committees should have their programmes formally adopted by the House. He also said that he had already forwarded the programmes of six committees to Mr Charlton for costing.
Mr Doidge said that the House should also adopt edited committee reports and annual reports. He was concerned about the inadequate policy directives that existed. He said that it had been difficult for committees to access resources and that committees were often unable to get a statement of their account. He also acknowledged that the committee section was under-resourced and said that it was not appropriately structured.
The Chairperson requested Mr Charlton to note points relating to finance and to comment thereon.
Mr Modisenyane said that information was needed to enable committees to plan. He said that Parliament should provide guidance to committees in this regard.
Mr Mahlangu said that he agreed with the previous points regarding the submission of plans. He alluded to the uncertainty regarding the name of the subcommittee and referred the meeting to the Rules.
The Chairperson explained that there had been some confusion with regard to the way in which the subcommittee referred to itself. She said that there was a joint budget committee in Parliament, which deals with the national budget and that using the names as stated in the Rules would avoid confusion.
Mr Nel said that he was aware of the problems in the Committee Section and that a process should be initiated to address these problems. He raised a concern regarding the tabling of committee reports in the House and said that it might present problems, as committees may want to amend their reports from time to time.
The Chairperson acknowledged that there would be challenges but said that it should not prevent the JRC from proceeding.
Mr Surty said that the presentation had been helpful and proposed that the document which had been circulated be referred to the Whips for further consideration. Further, that the meeting adopt Annexure D.
The Chairperson responded that the meeting should be weary of adopting the annexure as it had not been a practice of the meeting and that the document had been brought to the meeting for information purposes. She said that the JRC would not like to adopt committee funds as it might lead to other areas of scrutiny.
Mr Doidge said that whichever structure needed to decide on committee budgets, should do so as speedily as possible, as committees had already been utilising the money.
The Chairperson said that the JRC had agreed on a line item for committees in the budget of Parliament. She said that the allocation was difficult as there had been a range of submissions and no intervening process with committees in order to decide the allocations. She said that it had been indicated that the allocations had been agreed upon by the affected structures that assisted the Presiding Officers. She requested the meeting to note that a procedure had been engaged upon, which had arrived at a much neater arrangement than what had previously existed. She added that the JRC should note the process but not decide thereon. She requested Mr Charlton to respond to areas that had been discussed.
Mr Charlton requested members to acquaint themselves with the approach to be used in the 2004/05 budgets process. He said that the budget software had been improved and requested parties to utilise it.
The Chairperson added that one of the areas in which improvement had been sought was the ability to establish the nature of expenditure of the budget of each unit within the institution and that improvement had been reached.
The Speaker requested Mr Charlton to compile a manual or guideline for committee chairpersons on how to access resources. She said that it could be done technically but requested that it be translated into a more user-friendly language.
The Chairperson said that the discussion had been concluded and that the JRC would have to come back to the policy issues raised especially with regard to Annexure G. She added that a special meeting had to be convened to deliberate these issues.
Special JRC meeting to be arranged to consider the policy issues, especially with regard to Annexure G (Summary of Recommendations and Actions Required as at 13 May 2003) of the report.
Chairpersons of Committees in both Houses to assist with setting up of system to enable preparation of plan and programmes to ensure that committees can access funds.
Chief Financial Officer to compile a manual detailing how Committee Chairpersons can access committee funds.
Whips to ensure that members take work of the Joint Subcommittee seriously.
Committees to co-operate with the Joint Subcommittee on the Parliamentary Budget.
6.4. Draft Policy on Television Broadcasting in Parliament
Mr Surty indicated that the matter was still under consideration and that it would be finalised by the next JRC meeting.
Chief Whips to finalise policy and report at next JRC meeting.
6.5. Bus Service and maintenance of Parliamentary buildings and villages
The Secretary to Parliament said that the report on the above matter had been forwarded to the Presiding Officers. He referred to a memorandum which had been addressed to Presiding Officers dated 15 May 2003 re Improvement of Bus Services. He said that the memorandum indicated that the matter had been attended to, which would lead to the involvement of some members from the Subcommittee on Support for Members and the Subcommittee on Internal Arrangements. He added that the processing of a new tender for the bus service would also assist in ensuring monitoring of the identified problems. He expressed the hope that, once a new service provider was identified, there would be participation of both management and members which would lead to an improved service.
The Chairperson briefed the meeting and said that the contract of the current service provider would be expiring on 30 May 2003. She said that members of the subcommittee had assisted the DPW with drafting of tender documents for the new service provider. Further, that it was anticipated that the new bus service would be in operation by the 30th of June 2003. Also, that interim arrangements would be made in the transition period.
The Deputy Speaker said that a further discussion with the Minister was needed and would be pursued. She added that they were currently considering a suitable date for a meeting with the Minister to discuss these and other areas of concern.
Ms Kgoali said that she was part of the subcommittee but that she could not recall that she had been invited to such a meeting.
Mr Klassen said that he had been informed by DPW that Mr Durand had assisted with the drafting of tender documents as he had been delegated by the subcommittee.
The Speaker was concerned that a government department had to inform Parliament as to its involvement, as the subcommittee had not delegated this task. She said that these irregular procedures needed to be cleared up. Also, that the quality of the bus service and security on the busses had been raised in the NA Rules committee. She said that the issue was how Parliament was going to monitor the service offered to members. She said that this needed to be addressed and that information needed to be provided to the subcommittee on support for members. She added that the NA Rules committee had tasked the Deputy Speaker to investigate those issues. She requested management to monitor Public Works and to ensure that a satisfactory service would be provided.
The Chairperson suggested that the subcommittee on support for members investigate the matter and the content of the tender document to ensure that the areas of concern had indeed been addressed.
Joint Subcommittee on Support for Members to consider the content of the tender document relating to the new bus service and ensure that areas of concern are addressed.
Security on busses needs to be addressed and a report to be submitted to the Joint Subcommittee on Members Support.
Management to monitor work being done by Public Works Department within Parliament to ensure that it provides a satisfactory service to members and to submit a report on the matter within one week.
6.6 Medical Services within Parliament
The Chairperson said that there had been various concerns regarding the nature of the medical services currently provided to members and the role of the health workers in the institution. She asked the Subcommittee on Support for Members to report on the item.
Dr Benjamin informed the meeting that the management and Presiding Officers were supposed to report on the matter.
The Chairperson responded that the report received from management merely contained a costing and that it had not indicated the proposed service to be offered.
Ms Seaton said that the management was supposed to submit a report with costing and proposals to the Subcommittee on Support for Members. Also, that the subcommittee had tasked management to investigate the possibility of bringing medical practitioners to Parliament, the required procedure and the cost thereof.
The Speaker said that she had also requested Parmed to consider the costing. She added that Parmed would be unable to proceed with the matter unless they were provided with the required information
Mr Jeffery referred to page 12 of the Minutes of the 18th of March 2003, which set out the tasks that had been assigned to management. He requested the Secretary to report on each of the items.
The Chairperson said that management should report to the Subcommittee on Support for Members within one week. She added that the report should also be forwarded to the JRC.
Mr Ellis requested that an explanation be provided regarding the absence of a report on the matters agreed to on 18 March 2003.
The Chairperson requested the Secretary to respond.
The Secretary said that there had been an understanding regarding the procedure that would be followed in submitting reports to the JRC. He said that the chairpersons of the joint subcommittees were supposed to report to the JRC. Also, that management and staff would make inputs into the joint subcommittees and that the decisions of the subcommittees would then be referred to the JRC. He added that the joint subcommittee might not have had an occasion to consider the report in this case.
The Chairperson said that the minutes of 18 March were clear on management's responsibilities. She requested the Secretary to ensure that emergency services were re-instated as a matter of urgency.
The Speaker said that the report regarding the costs of medical services was dated 14 May 2003. Also, that the report was a copy of the report from corporate services to the Secretary which stated that the JRC resolved that management should provide a report on costs of providing medical treatment on emergency and health treatment under Category B and C respectively. She added that the report provided the actual costs but contained no proposal. She said that there seemed to be a problem within the management system and requested the Secretary to investigate the procedure of dealing with documentation within his office.
Mr Jeffery suggested that the cost issue on category B and C be referred to the Joint Subcommittee on Support for Members in order to facilitate processing thereof. He requested the immediate re-instatement of core services and category B matters and that it be monitored by the Presiding Officers.
The Chairperson responded that a memorandum should be sent out by management the following day which should indicate the progress with respect to the re-instatement of medical treatment in cases of emergency.
The Secretary responded that he was under the impression that the emergency services were being provided and that it had already been re-instated.
Ms Seaton confirmed that the emergency services had been reinstated.
The Chairperson requested the Joint Subcommittee on Support for Members to consider the issues to enable action or decision on those areas.
Ms Benjamin responded that the process had started with the subcommittee and that the decision was made at the JRC. She said that it had been her understanding that once the JRC had made a decision, that it would be management's responsibility to ensure and report on implementation.
The Speaker said that the annual cost to Parliament could not be estimated due to the very nature of emergency services. She said that a submission to Parmed was needed which should indicate whether members were in need of the service as well as whether it could be provided at Parmed's cost or not. She added that this report should be submitted to the Presiding Officers and to the Parmed Committee.
The Deputy Speaker requested that a submission be made to the Parmed committee as soon as possible as the committee would be meeting the following week.
The Chairperson said that the decisions on page 12 of the minutes of 18 March 2003 needed to be revisited and acted upon by management. Also, that the category B costing had been done and that it should be submitted to the Parmed committee for consideration. She added that category C had to be considered after a detailed report had been received from management on the cost related thereto.
Decisions of 18 March 2003 relating to this issue to be revisited and acted upon.
Parmed Committee to consider issues raised under Category B.
Detailed report in relation to the costing of Category B to be submitted to the Presiding Officers.
Detailed report relating to Category C to be submitted to the Presiding Officers.
7. Report of the Joint Subcommittee on Internal Arrangements
The Deputy Speaker said that item 2 of the report related to the issue of working relations between DPW and Parliament on various aspects of the services that DPW rendered to Parliament. She added that the subcommittee, at its last meeting, had discussed a document that had been submitted by the DPW. She added that the subcommittee had noted some areas of possible difficulty and felt that co-ordination and planning would ensure the availability of services. Further, that the subcommittee had requested that an action plan be submitted for its consideration on how to address the problem areas. She said that the subcommittee would provide an update at the next JRC meeting. She further referred to item 5, which related to the artworks of Parliament. She said that the subcommittee had considered the report received from the curator and that it had decided to refer to the policy. Further, that the subcommittee had agreed that an "artworks management committee" be formed to consider issues such as the policy on loan of artworks to outside institutions.
With regard to the Statue of former President Mandela, she said that the subcommittee still had to decide on the issue of location. She referred the meeting to the document attached to the report which indicated the views of the various parties. She added that the subcommittee had established that there was no government policy on the issue of location of statues. She said that the subcommittee would proceed as soon as they had reached agreement on the issue of the location of the statue. She said that there were two parties that were in agreement that the statue of Louis Botha should be moved and that the NNP had proposed a location to where it could be moved. She also said that all the parties were of the view that the statue of former President Mandela should be placed in a prominent place.
With regard to the issue of the budget, the subcommittee was of the view that they
should input into the budgeting process of the department for 2004/05. She added that a suggestion was made that the Deputy Presiding Officers would seek to meet with the new DG of DPW on that issue as they had initiated discussions with the previous DG.
The Speaker said that there had to be a meeting with DPW before Parliament should allow them to proceed with repairs. She said that Parliament had to ensure that DPW submit a plan on all work to be done and that the way in which the plan was implemented would take on board the needs of Parliament. She said that it had previously been agreed that Parliament would include a budget of Parliament's needs in either Parliament's vote or that of DPW. She requested management to submit a report on Parliament's needs. With regard to the statue of former President Mandela, she said that it should not be erected outside the National Assembly entrance as that was the only public ceremonial place. She proposed that a part of the garden of remembrance be used as a possible location. She added that this location would be very prominent as it would allow the public to view it but that it would at the same time be on Parliament's premises. She requested the subcommittee to consider the possible proposed location.
The Chairperson agreed that a subcommittee on artworks should be established to deal with the issues being discussed. She also agreed with the Speaker that part of the garden of remembrance should be investigated as a possible location.
Mr Van Niekerk said that there had been a decision taken that there should not be a statue of a living politician erected. He said that the specific decision should be repealed or that an exception should be made in this specific case or that the JRC should deal with it if the decision had been taken in the JRC meeting.
The Chairperson responded that the subcommittee should also consider this issue.
Mr Mahlangu said that he recalled that the JRC took a decision that the statue should be erected and that it was only the location that was an issue at the time.
The Chairperson requested the subcommittee to investigate whether a national policy existed in this regard.
The Speaker referred to the minutes of 18 March 2003 and specifically to the question of allocation of office space. She requested the Secretary to indicate whether office space had been allocated to all parties.
The Secretary responded that it had been dealt with although minor adjustments were being made.
Department of Public Works (DPW)
Management in conjunction with Department of Public Works to draft an action plan for management of all DPW projects and maintenance in Parliament and that timeframes be included.
Chairpersons of the Joint Subcommittee on Internal Arrangements to meet with the new DG of DPW to discuss item for inclusion in the DPW budget for 2004/05.
Management to submit a budget of Parliament's needs in relation to Public Works Department and report to the JRC.
Joint Subcommittee to establish an Artworks Management Committee.
Former President Mandela's Statue
Joint Subcommittee on Internal Arrangements to verify whether there is any national policy concerning statues of living persons.
Joint Subcommittee on Internal Arrangements to consider further possible location of statue of former President Mandela, including part of "garden of remembrance" to be considered as possible location.
8. Report of Joint Subcommittee on Delegated Legislation
Mr Masutha reported that the interim report had been submitted to the JRC. He said that the subcommittee invited Professor Corder to express his views on the report. Also, that Professor Corder had been in general agreement with the report.
The Speaker responded that parties had to consider the report. She said that another JRC meeting should be scheduled to discuss the report.
Mr Andrew said it was difficult to prepare for the JRC meetings. He suggested that there should be a cross - reference in the memorandum to indicate whether there was a document attached to the item on the agenda or whether it had been referred to or distributed in a previous meeting or notice.
The Speaker said that the management board should look at a standard procedure and that documentation should be posted on the website to enable members to download additional copies for themselves. Also, that there should be adequate preparation for JRC meetings and that documents should also be cross-referenced.
Item 9 had been dealt with on the Agenda under "Matters Arising". The meeting proceeded to item 10.
Parties to consider report.
Special JRC meeting to be arranged to discuss report.
10. Report of Joint Subcommittee on Support for Members
Dr Benjamin reported that the joint subcommittee held a strategic planning workshop
to develop a comprehensive programme. She said that the report was still being finalised but that it would be submitted to the JRC upon completion. The purpose was to assess achievements and failures of the subcommittee and to develop a programme of action for 2003/04. She said that a number of decisions of the JRC had not been implemented and that the subcommittee had tried to impress upon the management that once the JRC had decided upon something, it had to be implemented. She raised some examples of decisions that had not been implemented.
Ms Seaton said that it had to be clarified whether the JRC had the power to make decisions, and why those decisions were changed somewhere else. She referred to the decision by the JRC that 70 tickets would be allocated to members but that that decision had subsequently been changed.
Mr Jeffery referred to the issue of airport parking and said that it seemed to have been dropped off the agenda. He enquired whether special arrangements could be made for members on the basis that they parked their cars quite regularly at the airport. He said that he understood that members of the pre-1994 Parliament were allowed to park their cars for free. He asked whether the Presiding Officers or the subcommittee could report on the current process and whether there could be an improvement on the current status.
Ms Rajbally said that various decisions had been taken by the JRC had not been implemented. She asked who was being tasked with follow-up to ensure that decisions were implemented.
Ms Kgoali said that the issue of parking was referred to the Presiding Officers to report on.
The Speaker informed the JRC that there was a proposal that was agreed upon but she requested management to report thereon.
The Secretary said that a structure had been set up to extract decisions within 3 days. He said that those decisions are sent to Presiding Officers and the Management Board to consider the action to be taken. He added that the follow-up action was based on the decisions. He said that in cases of uncertainty, decisions had been raised with the Presiding Officers or with the relevant subcommittee. He added that this procedure had now been re-enforced, as the Assistant Secretary was now responsible for co-ordinating meetings of joint subcommittees and JRC.
The Chairperson said that with regard to the airport parking, that the JRC had agreed that a card would be provided and an amount loaded for the year. With regard to the members' services office, it had been agreed that such an office would be established and that the budget of 2003/04 would address this matter. In terms of the video monitoring, that it had been discussed and agreed that such facilities would be made available in offices of whips and chairpersons as soon as funds were available. With regard to the L19 circular, it had been agreed that changes would be made. She requested responses from the Secretary on the above- mentioned issues.
Ms Seaton said that she had not yet received an answer on her question regarding the allocation of 70 tickets. She wanted to know where the decision was taken to take away the 10 tickets.
The Secretary responded that the ACSA cards had been flown from Johannesburg on the 19th of May 2003 and that they would be distributed upon arrival. He said that with regard to L19, there was a document for members to consider. He added that the Members Support Office had been discussed. Further, that most staff servicing members were located in various departments. He said that they had discussions in management to see how to address this and decided that they had to find a process to co-ordinate the work. He said that the services were being provided and that staff would be available to interact with members.
The Speaker suggested that the Secretary peruse the minutes of the previous 5 JRC meetings and extract all the decisions regarding members' support and submit a report thereon to the Presiding Officers. She said that the report should detail the progress made on implementation. She added that the Presiding Officers would circulate the report and follow up as well. She requested the Secretary to monitor progress. In terms of members support, she proposed that a virtual office be set up which would link all staff dealing with members support. She requested the Secretary to respond to the issue of the 70 tickets raised by Ms Seaton and said that she believed that it was already included in the budget.
The Secretary said that the matter was raised in a meeting with Presiding Officers and the Minister and that the Minister was reluctant to provide an additional ten tickets. He added that the Finance Section was still operating on the basis of 60 tickets in the hope that the 10 would be added.
The Speaker said that she had received a memorandum from the Secretary, dated 16 May 2003, explaining the basis of the request for 70 tickets and requesting the signature of the Presiding Officers.
Ms Seaton asked whether the Minister of Finance looked at the line items on the budget and whether prioritisation was made within Parliament. She referred to the delay in implementation of decisions and requested the Secretary to ensure that all decisions were implemented.
The Speaker requested members to feed all decisions to the JRC through the offices of the Presiding Officers. She further added that this would constitute a composite of all agreed decisions and could be a reference document if need be.
Mr Andrew said that there had been slow downloading of e-mails due to congestion in the system. He enquired whether anything was being done to increase the capacity of the network within Parliament and requested an indication of when there would be an improvement.
The Deputy Secretary responded that there was a problem with regard to the network bandwith. He said that Parliament had authorised the installation of larger capacity on the bandwith but that there was a technical problem with the type of system and service that Telkom could provide.
The Speaker said that the JRC should receive a written report on the problems and solutions as well as an indication of when it would be addressed.
Support for members
The following decisions of the previous JRC meetings to be implemented without delay:
Creation of Member Services Office - 7 May 2002
Provision of Video Monitoring Facilities - October 2000
Parking Facilities at Airport - 18 March 2003
Effecting Changes and Update Circular L19 on Facilities for Members. L19 still have clauses that the JRC had agreed should be removed i.e. the inclusion of Monthly Internet Subscription under Allocation of Telephones - 7 May 2002.
Secretary to Parliament to peruse minutes of previous 5 JRC meetings to extract all the decisions and report to Presiding Officers on implementation.
Presiding Officers then to circulate the report and follow up on delays.
Internet Access and bandwith
Management to provide report to members regarding problems and solutions of bandwith for e-mail and internet access.
11. Report of Joint Subcommittee on International Relations
There was no report to be considered.
12. Joint Committee on Ethics and Members Interests
The Speaker said that committees were being established and that chairpersons of all the committees and subcommittees of the JRC needed to be remunerated. She said that this had to be considered as it had cost implications. She said that there were previously two committees, one dealing with the Code of Ethics and the other with Enforcement of the Code. She added that these committees had subsequently been amalgamated. Further, that the result had been that there had been little progress on the development of the Code. She said that this issue needed to be debated.
Ms Seaton said that the parties had been asked to consider the issue and that her party was of the view that the committee should remain as one and she further proposed that the chairpersons be remunerated.
The Chairperson said that a distinction needed to be drawn between the form of remuneration of committees such as these and Portfolio Committees since the aforementioned fulfilled a particular function. She cautioned against the adoption of a blanket approach. She said that other systems provided an allowance and not remuneration.
The Speaker said that the parties should consider whether there should be one or two committees. Also, that the law advisers should consider whether the committee that would promote the Code would be the same as the committee who would adjudicate it. She emphasized that a debate on the matter was imperative. She said that a separate committee might be needed to deal with the issues and to focus on bringing them up for discussion while the issue of managing the register and the consideration of possible breaches could be dealt with by a certain group.
Parties should consider whether two separate committees are necessary:
one to deal with the development of the Code of Conduct;
another to deal with the implementation of the Code.
Law advisers to consider whether there are any legal obstacles preventing the committee which is tasked with the development of the Code of Conduct to also be tasked with the adjudication of matters relating to breach of the Code.
13. Report of Joint Subcommittee on Review of Joint Rules
Definition of Political Office Bearer
Mr Hahndiek indicated that he had received a number of issues that had been referred from the JRC and NA Rules subcommittee. He said that staff were finalising documents for the subcommittee. A meeting would be set for consideration of the documents.
14.Powers and responsibilities of structures of Parliament
The Speaker explained that this agenda item dealt with the functioning of the JRC, the question of where policy making lies, the proposal of directing authority and the proposal of the financial management of Parliament. She said that the JRC needed documentation to be able to proceed with a discussion on the issue.
Mr Jeffery proposed that the Presiding Officers work with management to ensure that documents would be submitted a week before the JRC meeting. Also, to ensure that decisions would be implemented.
The Speaker said that a meeting for the next JRC would be scheduled subject to the agenda and other documents being distributed 8 days before the actual meeting. She suggested that the Secretary look at the items that had been deferred at this meeting and submit a report to the Presiding Officers.
All documents relevant to this item to be made available to the members of the JRC.
Presiding Officers as chairpersons of the JRC to engage with management to ensure implementation.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:45.
F N Ginwala, M P G N M Pandor, MP
Speaker of the NA Chairperson of the NCOP
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