Standing Committee on Appropriations Legacy Report
Standing Committee on Appropriations
20 March 2019
Chairperson: Ms Y Phosa (ANC)
The Committee reviewed, discussed and amended their Legacy Report. It was highlighted that the Committee had to exercise monitoring over Parliament’s budget using a monitoring instrument, that this Committee was an overseer of all Committees and departments, and that this Committee had to validate information by benchmarking. It was stated that all departments had to comply with regard to appropriations.
Members expressed their concern about the situation where priority Members often served as alternatives on other Committees and sometimes missed meetings. In such instances the Chairpersons sometimes co-opted Members from other Committees to get a quorum when Bills were being processed. The amendment to the Report read as follows: Political Parties should consider, where possible, allocating permanent Members to the SCOA. Allocating permanent Members as alternatives to other Committees hinders the adoption of reports often resulting in MP’s from other Committees being co-opted by the Chairperson”; and further in situations where Bills were being processed: ‘for meetings where Bills are being processed, Members should prioritise SCOA meetings’
Members also expressed the need for people to be deployed in accordance with their expertise and area of specialisation. The following recommendation was added to allay fears about people being deployed who were not qualified: “Members should be deployed according to their competence and experience”.
The Legacy Report of the Standing Committee of Appropriations was adopted.
Minutes’ of 12 March 2019 and 13 March 2019 were adopted with amendments.
The Chairperson said that today’s meeting is the very last meeting and the Committee will be looking through the Legacy Report for all the departments that have appeared before the Committee and those that have helped the Committee.
Standing Committee on Appropriations Legacy Report
The Chairperson went through the Legacy Report page by page and invited Members to make inputs.
Mr N Gcwabaza (ANC) asked why the report starts with the 2017 financial year and not 2015 and 2016.
The Committee Secretary responded and said that this related to the key achievements of the Committee.
The Researcher stated that in the section that related to the international delegation, there had been an Indian delegation, the National Institute for Public Finance and Policy and it should be added to the list of international delegations.
Mr M Shackleton (DA) stated that, on the matter that relates to positive interrelations within all Committee structures, intra-relations would be relations internal to the Committee itself and inter-relations refers to when we have relations with other Committees. Which of the two relations is this section relating to because the difference completely changes the meaning?
The Chairperson clarified that it should relate to other Committee structures.
Mr Shackleton said that the last sentence should be made a bullet as well.
Ms D Senokoanyane (ANC) enquired about the bullet that stated that political parties must consider not allocating permanent Members to the SCOA (Standing Committee of Appropriations) as alternatives to other Committees and asked what about smaller parties because this will work against them?
The Chairperson answered that it was a political decision and that Committees do not have a say.
Mr Shackleton said that the heading should be corrected as this is not a Portfolio Committee but a Standing Committee.
The Chairperson said that the Committee must figure out monitoring over Parliament’s budget. A monitoring instrument is needed as was discussed in prior meetings. This Committee is an overseer of all Committees and departments. This information should be validated by benchmarking. With regard to appropriations all departments must comply.
Mr A Mcloughlin (DA) stated that any amounts that are appropriated have to be accounted for. Even though Parliament is not a department it still gets money from the National Treasury and should report to this Committee somehow even if it is via the Treasury.
Ms Senokoanyane said that in the last paragraph, the letter ‘s’ must be removed from the word adjustment.
Mr Mcloughlin asked whether when the Committee makes recommendations it is not in fact intervening. On the study undertaken, was it in 2017/18 or 2016/17? When was the study undertaken?
The Secretary said ‘no’, these referred to interventions in terms of the Constitution and is mainly an NCOP function.
On the study undertaken, the Secretary said that it was in 2016 and 2017.
A researcher stated that the word ‘Bills’ is spelled as ‘Bulls’ and should be corrected.
Mr Shackleton asked why the blocks do not indicate whether legislation was completed or not.
The Secretary said that it indicated that legislation was completed.
Ms Senokoanyane said that on the same page and in the last block, the word ‘equitable’ is used too many times.
The Chairperson responded that this is because it is an extract from the Bill itself, the information in that block is exactly the information found in the Bill.
Mr Mcloughlin said that the last line should read ‘quarterly’ instead of ‘monthly’ and ‘quarter’.
Mr Mcloughlin asked for clarity on the matter that relates to the retrenchment of defence Officials. He asked if it should be ‘defence Officials’ or ‘soldiers’ because soldiers will be affected the most.
The Chairperson said that he is right.
Ms Senokoanyane asked whether the second bullet should read as ‘Adjusted’ Appropriation Bill and not ‘Adjustment’ Appropriation Bill.
The Chairperson said that it should be ‘Adjustment’.
A Researcher asked what happens when a Bill is completely changed.
Mr Mcloughlin responded that if it is just amended, then one could use its old name, but if it was completely changed then one discarded the old name.
The Chairperson added that after a Bill is promulgated it changed to its new name.
Mr Shackleton asked whether the sentence on oversight over Eskom can be changed to read better. The word ‘should’ can be inserted after ‘The Committee’.
A researcher said that under issues, there are similar sentences between ‘SAA’ and ‘Post Office’, even the figures are similar.
The Secretary said that he would verify this.
Mr B Martins (ANC) said that the function of the Committee is oversight and that daily functions of the department are not its function. There should be a clear separation of powers between the Committee and the departments.
Mr Shackleton stated that the columns must have actual dates to make it more uniform and that the word ‘Committee’ must be in capital letters throughout the report.
The Chairperson said the expected report date must be added.
Mr Mcloughlin said that on page 26 the columns should have actual dates in the expected report date column and the status of reports column.
Ms Senokoanyane asked what the first bullet means.
The Chairperson responded that people have different leadership styles but in Parliament people do not get deployed in accordance with their areas of specialisation.
Mr Mcloughlin said that the first recommendation must be left as it is because it is just a suggestion and suggestions do not need to be followed.
Mr Martins said that he is concerned by the first phrase. It presupposes that on the basis of one’s experience it is their legacy. He suggested that this phrase be deleted to say that ‘Members should be deployed according to their competence and experience’.
The Chairperson responded that the Committee has nothing to do with deployment.
Mr Mcloughlin suggested that in the second sentence the word ‘ideally’ be inserted before ‘Members’.
The Committee agreed that the first sentence will be removed.
Ms Senokoanyane said that the word ‘beneficial’ should be removed from the first sentence because ‘beneficial’ and ‘enhance’ meant more or less the same thing and should not be used in the same sentence.
Mr Martins said the appropriate word to use is ‘symbiotic’.
Mr Mcloughlin said that the Human Science Research Council must be added to the list of academic institutions.
In the last sentence he said that Members should not be put in two conflicting Committees or positions.
Mr Gcwabaza said to make a quorum possible the Committee can say that ‘for meetings where Bills are being processed, Members should prioritise SCOA meetings’.
Mr Martins said that he is not happy with the manner in which the last bullet point reads. The intention is clear, but the construction is clumsy. The Committee wanted to state that Parliamentary parties should consider allocating priority Members to the SCOA.
Mr Shackleton said that the way that he and Mr Mcloughlin were allocated in the DA, was for the Auditor General and this Committee and the times often clashed and some meetings were missed. .
The Secretary stated that the new sentence reads as follows: Political Parties should consider, where possible, allocating permanent Members to the SCOA. Allocating permanent Members as alternatives to other Committees hinders the adoption of reports often resulting in MP’s from other Committees being co-opted by the Chairperson”.
Mr Mcloughlin said that parties must consider allocating Members who do not serve on any other Committee.
The Chairperson said that it was time to move and adopt the Report.
Mr Martins proposed the adoption of the Report.
Mr Shackleton seconded.
The Legacy Report was adopted.
Minutes of 12 March 2019
Mr Shackleton said that on page two under introduction there is a technical error, ‘meeting’ and ‘was’ are not supposed to be one word.
Ms Senokoanyane moved and Mr Martins seconded.
Minutes of 12 March 2019 were adopted with amendments.
Minutes for 13 March 2019
Mr Shackleton said that on page two, the last line of the first paragraph the word ‘regarding’ should be inserted.
Mr Mcloughlin moved and Mr Martins seconded.
The Minutes of 13 March 2019 were adopted with amendments.
The meeting was adjourned.
Phosa, Ms YN
Manana, Ms MN
Martins, Mr BA
McLoughlin, Mr AR
Senokoanyane, Ms D
Shackleton, Mr MS
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