The Joint SubCommittee was supposed to discuss the proposed shortlist of candidates to fill the vacancy of Director at the Parliamentary Budget Office. However, the meeting was adjourned early due to the attendance of an alternate member from the DA.
The Chairperson noted that the DA had sent an alternate member while other parties had not. He questioned whether this was fair and followed correct procedure as other parties who were not present could have send alternates if they knew this was allowed.
The Chairperson said that in their haste to appoint a Parliamentary Budget Office Director they did not give everybody an opportunity to attend the meeting. Some members could not attend because they were at other meetings. He emphasised that the process should not be rushed. He suggested that the meeting be postponed so that the Subcommittee was properly constituted.
The Committee Secretary read out the apologies. He indicated Mr G Hill-Lewis from the DA would not be able to attend the meeting and Mr A Sarupen was appointed as an alternate member.
The Chairperson said they were supposed to be told upfront about the arrangements of alternate members. This could have given the opportunity to other political parties to appoint alternate members too. He asked the other members for their views.
Mr D Joseph (DA) sought clarity if this Committee was established with the understanding that alternates would be allowed. He was not sure and needed guidance. Irrespective if it was his own party, did the Committee afford the other parties to have alternates? He wanted clarity on the matter.
The Chairperson noted that there were other parties who were not present. Those parties might have been there if they knew they had the opportunity of sending an alternate. He wanted to ensure that the Subcommittee was starting on the right footing and that they were not performing any procedural error.
Ms E Peters (ANC) asked if Mr Sarupen was replacing Mr Hill-Lewis. If that was the case, then the Committee could continue with that understanding. If it was not, it would be unfair on other members who were not there and did not have the opportunity to appoint alternates.
The Committee Secretary said that according to her understanding Mr Hill-Lewis would not be replaced. He was sending an alternate as he had to attend another meeting at the same time.
The Chairperson said that in their haste to appoint a Parliamentary Budget Office Director they did not give everybody an opportunity to attend the meeting. Those members could not be here because they were attending another meeting. The process should not be rushed. He suggested that the meeting be postponed so that the Subcommittee was properly constituted.
Mr M Moletsane (EFF) said before the meeting is postponed they still have to deal with the issue of alternate members. He suggested that there should not be any alternating member.
Mr E Njandu (ANC) agreed with the Chairperson on postponing the meeting. This was the first meeting where the Committee would be dealing with the core content and no members should be left behind in the following meetings.
The Chairperson agreed with the point Mr Molestane made. He wanted this matter to be discussed by the Subcommittee members and then they would take their proposal to the Joint Committee.
Mr Joseph said that the issue at hand was the rules and how Parliament established Committees and Subcommittees. That principle should guide this Committee. His view was that if they constituted the Subcommittee, in terms of the rules, without alternates then it means the Committee should continue following that principle.
The Chairperson said that due to them rushing to complete the process they had made some errors.
The meeting was postponed.