General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill: deliberations and voting

Intelligence Legislation

22 September 2003
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


22 September 2003

Chairperson: Dr S Cwele (ANC)

Relevant documents
Amendments proposed to the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill

The Committee concluded the final stages of the deliberation process, clarified some of the outstanding issues on clauses 7, 11, 13, 14, and 18 with the assistance of the State Law Advisers, and passed the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill with all the proposed amendments.

On the Chairperson's request, Mr Hoon, the State Law Adviser, took the Committee members through the amendments one last time so that all concerns were clarified and the Bill could be voted on.

Clause 7
Mr Hoon said the amendment proposed to insert "with the consent of the employees concerned and", after "Inspector-General" in line 43 of the clause. Ms T Netshitenzhe (Legal Adviser) explained that it was part of the amendments submitted in the Memorandum by the Ministry.

Clause 11
The amendments in that clause split the subsections (a)-(d) into two categories, namely the immovable [(a) and (b)] and movable [(c) and (d)] properties. Ms Netshitenzhe said that in paragraph (a) the following phrase was added: "subject to section 70 of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999)" for clarity. Section 70 dealt with guarantees, indemnities and securities by Cabinet Ministers. If a Cabinet member wanted to issue a guarantee, indemnity or security, it had to be issued with the written concurrence of the Minister of Finance.

Mr E Ferreira (IFP) felt that the Minister should not be excluded from the decision-making process in any of the cases explained in clause 11.

Ms Netshitenzhe said that having the concurrence of Minister of Finance in the Intelligence Services Act was a duplication of the PFMA.

Mr P Schalkwyk (DP) argued that duplication did not equal negation and there was nothing wrong. He felt the amendment in the most recently proposed form was the correct one.

Clause 13
The new amendment in that clause was on page 6, in line 38, and asked to omit "[(2)(a) and (c),] 13(3), 14(6), (7), (8) and (9)" and to substitute "[,] and (2)(a) and [(c)] (b), 13(3), 14(6), (7), (8) [and], (9) and (11)".

The other suggested change was on page 6, in line 39, to omit "[(1) and (4)]" and to substitute "[(1) and] (4)".
Ms Netshitenzhe explained that (1) was excluded and (4) was retained. In Section 19 of the Principal Act, subsection (1) dealt with the powers of the Minister to transfer Intelligence staffmembers to any public service entity which fell under her jurisdiction (i.e. Comsec, OIC) and to transfer staff within the Intelligence services. In the Principal Act, that power could not be delegated. It was not always practical to have members at all levels transferred by the Minister and it could impact on management (i.e. the DDG, Chief Director, Director). The transfer of the rest of the people could then be done by the Director-General.

Clause 14
The amendment proposed involved substituting the word "responsible" with "accountable". The second amendment corresponded to omission of all the words after "that" up to and including "interest" in line 11 and substitution with "would be detrimental to national security".

Clause 18
In addition to increasing the number of the members of the Board from 9 to 12, the new amendment proposed insertion of: "one is designated by the Minister as non-executive chairperson".

Mr L Landers (ANC) inquired about the difference between a "chairperson" and a "non-executive chairperson".

Ms Netshitenzhe said the chairperson would be appointed as a non-executive director. The non-executive directors provided oversight of company activities. It was considered bad practice to have the same person as a chairperson and executive director because it concentrated too much power in the hands of one person.

The Committee then voted on each section of the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill. All of the proposed amendments were agreed to and the Bill was passed with the amendments.

The meeting was adjourned.


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