A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
JOINT RULES COMMITTEE
19 August 2003
Chairpersons: Drs F Ginwala and N Pandor
Documents handed out:
ANNEXURE [A]: ANC Proposal on Implementation of the Recommendations of the Joint Subcommittee on Oversight
National Council of Provinces
Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces
Dep. Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces
Andrew, K M
Bakker, D M
Botha, C S
Dlulane, B N
De Lange, J H
Kolweni, Z S
Doidge, G Q M
Gibson, D H M
Makoela, M I
Greyling, C H F
Surty, M E
Jeffery, J H
Van Niekerk, A E
Kalyan, S V
Vilakazi, J N
Mngomezulu, G P
Mulder, C P
Seaton, S A
Sosibo, J E
Staff in attendance:
Mfenyana, S; Matyolo, L L; Hahndiek, K; Klassen, L; Keswa, N; Coetzee, M; Charlton, H; M Mbangula; L Meyer.
Modisenyane, L G; Green, L; Mahlangu-Nkabinde, G L; Ramodike, M N; September, C; Van Wyk, J F; Cassim, M F; Southgate, R M; Mbuyazi, L R; Nhleko, N P; Hendrickse, P A C; Setona, T S; Nkuna, N C; Durr, K D S; Ellis, M; Van der Merwe, J H; Choha-Kota, F; Landers, L T.
2. Adoption of Agenda (Item 2 on the Agenda)
The meeting agreed to the following additions:
- Management Board report.
- Discussions on "directing authority".
- Ethics Committee.
3. Adoption of Minutes of 20 May 2003
After the following correction on p23, the minutes, on the motion of Ms S Seaton and seconded by Ms Rajbally, were adopted.
Ms Seaton clarified that the matter she had raised at the previous meeting was that the Internet subscription needed to be included under the allocation for telephones. The wording in the minutes seemed to convey that the subscription should be excluded from that allocation.
4. Matters arising
4.1 Implementation Plan in respect of the recommendations contained in the final report of the Joint Subcommittee on Oversight and Accountability
Mr Surty reported that the African National Congress (ANC) had considered both the individual reports which were prepared by the Secretaries to both Houses as well as the consolidated report which was prepared by the Office of the Secretary. He outlined the recommendations contained in the document attached as annexure B to these minutes.
Mr Lever sought clarity on whether the ANC proposal was intended to supplement or supplant the consolidated report. Mr Surty responded that the proposal had been informed by the contents of the consolidated report. He added that most of the details contained in the consolidated report would be considered by the Task Team which would be chaired by the Presiding Officers. The Task Team would also need to set timeframes for the completion of its processes. Mr Lever indicated that the Democratic Alliance (DA) supported the ANC proposal and urged that the Task Team be established as soon as possible. He appealed that the Accountability Standards Act be implemented immediately. Both the New National Party and the Inkatha Freedom Party expressly indicated their support for the ANC proposal.
- African National Congress submission on the Implementation Plan agreed as a basis. (full text of ANC proposal attached as annexure A)
- Joint Rules Committee to report to the Houses for purposes of debates.
4.2 Deliberations on the report of the Joint Subcommittee on Delegated Legislation on scrutiny of delegated legislation
The Deputy Chairperson indicated that at the last meeting parties had been asked to consider the interim report of the Joint Subcommittee and report at the present meeting. The National Council of Provinces had convened a workshop on the report. The workshop was also attended by some committees of the National Assembly. When asked for comment by the Deputy Chairperson, Mr Masutha concurred with the Deputy Chairperson that parties had been asked to deliberate on the report, adding that the Joint Subcommittee was awaiting guidance on the matter.
Mr Surty intimated that the Joint Subcommittee should be commended for its work in compiling the report. He proposed that, first, the National Assembly conduct a workshop similar to that of the NCOP and, second, the next meeting of the Joint Rules Committee should consider the recommendations of the Joint Subcommittee. Both the IFP and the DA supported Mr Surty's proposal.
The Deputy Chairperson expressed concern that a year had passed without action since the report was published in the ATC. He appealed to parties to consider the recommendations and discuss them in caucuses with a view to reporting at the next Joint Rules Committee meeting.
- National Assembly to consider a workshop on the report.
- Next meeting of the Joint Rules Committee to consider the recommendations in the report.
- Parties to look at the Report in preparation for the next Joint Rules Committee.
4.3 Deliberations on the report of the Joint Subcommittee on the Parliamentary Budget
The Deputy Chairperson explained that the report of the Joint Subcommittee had been on the agenda of the special meeting of the JRC which was later cancelled. Political parties had been asked to consider the report. He pointed out that the budget process for the next financial year was currently underway, and this factor, should make consideration of this report more urgent. In view of this, Parliament urgently needed to consider the report of the Joint Subcommittee, especially annexure G (dealing with issues for policy decisions). Mr Andrew indicated that the DA member (Mr R Heine) who used to deal with budget issues had passed away. The party had appointed a new member who was still familiarizing himself with the issues. As a result of this, the DA had not been able to consider the report.
Ms Kgoali proposed that a special meeting of the Joint Rules Committee be convened in September 2003 to consider the report.
The Speaker indicated that she had been asked to approve excess expenditure that had been incurred by Parliament. At the present moment there was no legal requirement for Parliament to follow the normal procedure in terms of excess expenditure. She suggested that there was a need for a Parliamentary structure to be established to consider the basis for approving or disapproving excess expenditure, adding that she would need guidance on dealing with this matter. She further indicated that the SCOPA could be the appropriate structure for this purpose. In addition, the identified structure should also address the question of reporting mechanisms. Parliament, rather than a committee, should be involved in this process.
It was important that Parliament's accountability should be public, transparent and justified to the public. Responding to Ms Seaton's proposal that the matter raised by the Speaker be referred to the Chief Whips' Forum, Ms Kgoali pointed out that the Chief Whips' Forum was a National Assembly structure which did not involve the NCOP. She said that issues emanating from the Joint Rules Committee should involve both Houses. The Speaker agreed, adding that issues that had previously been referred to the Chief Whips' Forum for consideration tended to take long before reaching the Joint Rules Committee. She objected to the proposal that the matter be referred to the Chief Whips' Forum, instead, she proposed that parties be asked to consider the matter.
Ms Seaton amended her proposal to say that the Chief Whip of the ANC and the Chief Whip of the NCOP should bring chief whips together to consider the matter.
Adv Del Lange suggested that, if it occurred that before the special JRC meeting was held, that Parliament needed assistance with regard to the issues (over expenditure) raised by the Speaker, the SCOPA would be the ideal structure to deal with the matter.
Deliberations on the report of the Joint Subcommittee on the Parliamentary
- A special meeting of the Joint Rules Committee to be convened in September 2003 to deal with the report.
Speaker's report on requested approval for excess parliamentary expenditure
- Political parties to consider appropriate process and mechanism to deal with the matter, taking into account the need for Parliament to be accountable.
- Speaker could approach SCOPA on the establishment of an appropriate mechanism.
- The matter to be considered at a special Joint Rules Committee meeting in September.
4.4 Finalisation of the Language Policy for Parliament
The Deputy Speaker requested that both the Appraisal by the University of the Free State and the costing document related to this subject be withdrawn from the document-pack. She mentioned that a new "costing" document had been produced and circulated at the start of the meeting. She reported that the policy addressed the following areas: House debates and committee proceedings; official record of parliamentary proceedings and committee reports; daily papers such as order papers, announcements, tablings and committee meetings and external communication.
She said that in terms of the draft policy, two phases for implementation were being proposed. Phase 1 would entail the use of six official languages. Phase 2 entailed the implementation of all the official languages. At the start of a new Parliament after an election, members would be asked to register their language preferences. Dr Mulder indicated that the Freedom Front was in support of the proposed policy. He sought clarity with regard to the languages to be used in communication with the public i.e adverts. Ms Seaton also indicated that the IFP was in support of the proposed policy. Ms Rajbally asked whether it would not be proper to also include other languages, such as Indian languages, as part of the policy. She added that the speakers of these languages could be asked to give prior notice before using them.
Mr Gibson indicated that the DA was also in support of the proposed policy. He asked that the cost of implementing the policy be incorporated into Parliament's current budget.
He expressed concern, though, that the Hansard did not seem to serve any good purpose, adding that Hansard was a year behind schedule.
Mr Surty commended the Task Team on its work and indicated that the ANC was in support of the proposal. Responding to Mr Gibson's concern about Hansard, he suggested the concern related to an operational issue and should be addressed as such. On Ms Rajbally's point, he responded that it would be financially difficult to implement the proposal. Dr Benjamin explained that in terms of the proposed policy, copies of Hansard would also be made available in the Library. Mr Van Niekerk indicated that the NNP was in support of the proposed policy. He explained that the Task Team also used the National Policy Framework as its point of departure. Regarding implementation, he mentioned that the Task Team had indicated that the last two bullets (last page of the draft policy) should, if possible, be moved to the first phase. On the budget he suggested that the costing as presented should be revisited.
Mr Jeffery asked whether the Task Team had, during its deliberations, considered facilities to enable Members of Parliament to learn other languages during a Parliamentary term. The Deputy Speaker explained that during the constitution drafting process, a conscious decision had been taken to develop many of the languages that were previously ignored. The idea was also that these languages should also be included in curricula for tertiary institutions. She agreed with Mr Surty that it would be complicated to include in the policy other languages in addition to the eleven official languages. She mentioned that the Presiding Officers had agreed and signed a document dealing with the refurbishment of the National Assembly Chamber. The process of refurbishment would enable the full implementation of the language policy.
- Principle of the proposed policy agreed as per the document presented by the Deputy Speaker on behalf of the Task Team on a Language Policy for Parliament.
- Implementation and other details to be considered further by the Task Team.
4.5 Report on Draft Policy on Television Broadcasting of Parliament
Mr Surty reported that the Chief Whips had not been able to finalise the matter. The Speaker indicated that the Joint Rules Committee did not need to await the report of the Chief Whips' Forum for it to deal with the matter. She said that the Chief Whips' Forum was not a decision-making body but, rather, a facilitating mechanism. Therefore there was nothing preventing the Joint Rules Committee from considering this matter in the absence of a report from the Chief Whips' Forum. Ms Seaton indicated that the IFP was in support of the draft policy as initially tabled.
Ms Kgoali stated that the ANC had not yet finalised the matter and, for that reason, the party was not able to state its position on the issue. Mr Gibson said that the policy was generally acceptable to the DA even though it tended to be too restrictive in certain instances. He pointed out that it was important for whips to ensure that their members behaved themselves well in the House. The television camera should be able to move around to show what happened in the House. Mrs Vilakazi pointed out that members sometimes fell asleep in the House because of medication.
Mr Nel indicated that the Chief Whips' Forum had considered the draft policy and agreed that its principle was acceptable and should be adopted. He said that the issue of "monitoring" of the television policy should be referred to the Joint Subcommittee on Internal Arrangements for further consideration. He added that detailed guidelines were necessary with regard to, among others, televising of committee meetings. The issue of sign-language in this respect also needed consideration. The Deputy Speaker pointed out that there was not much time left before the end of the current Parliament. She appealed to parties to speed up the finalisation of this and other outstanding issues.
The Chairperson proposed that at the next meeting of the Joint Rules Committee concrete proposals on this matter should be made, adding that the proposals of the Chief Whips' Forum as outlined by Mr Nel should be made available to members of the Joint Rules Committee.
- Concrete proposals on the Broadcasting Policy to be considered at the special meeting of the Joint Rules Committee.
- The proposals of the Chief Whips' Forum, as outlined by Mr Nel, to be made available to members of the Joint Rules Committee before the special meeting.
- Proposals on the Policy to take into account the role of the print media.
4.6 Processing of Draft Bill on Financial Administration of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures
The Speaker stated that the Joint Rules Committee needed to discuss the procedure to deal with the Bill rather than its content. The contents of the Bill would be considered by a committee to be appointed for that purpose. She expressed concern regarding point 3 in the introductory note of the Bill which stated that the Bill was a mixed Bill. She said that the Bill ought to be a normative Bill. She proposed that the Bill should be dealt with by National Parliament, and that Provinces should have their own legislation in this regard. Ms Seaton supported the Speaker's view on the Provinces having their own legislation.
Adv De Lange indicated that the ANC had not finalized its position on the Bill. He proposed that this matter be added to the agenda of the special JRC meeting. Mr Andrew indicated that the contents of the Bill should be compatible with provisions of the Powers and Immunities of Parliament legislation. The Chairperson expressed concern about a provision in the draft bill, regarding the process. Among others, the procedure indicated that a committee needed to submit a memorandum to the National Assembly to obtain permission to publish the Bill. She said that if this procedure meant that the process could not be initiated before the special meeting, the process could be unnecessarily delayed.
The Chairperson suggested that the stages leading to the publishing of a Bill should be initiated immediately, adding that the Bill should be completed before the end of the current Parliament.
- Joint Rules Committee to discuss the procedure to deal with the Bill rather than its content.
- Contents of the Bill to be considered by a committee to be appointed for that purpose.
- Scope of the Bill to be limited to National Parliament, provinces could have their own legislation in this regard.
- The issue to be on the agenda of the special JRC meeting.
Process as outlined in the introductory note to the draft Bill to be implemented (National Assembly to proceed with the process to initiate the bill)
4.7 Report on Internet access and bandwidth
The Deputy Speaker said that in terms of the report she had received from management the Internet bandwidth had been increased four-fold. The Secretary indicated that the improvement of the service was on track and that an application had been made to Telkom for a further increase of the bandwidth. Dr Benjamin expressed concern that email from the constituencies had been inaccessible for the past two weeks.
Mr Gibson indicated that the reports of the Deputy Speaker and that of the Secretary were incompatible. He explained that the Deputy Speaker had indicated that the problem with the bandwidth had been resolved, however, the Secretary reported that an application on this issue had been submitted to Telkom. Mr Andrew added that the report by the Secretary was unacceptable. He said that parties needed information on the current size of the bandwidth and the envisaged extent of its increase. He suggested that this issue be reported in writing to parties within a week, adding that parties might need to consider matter within their caucuses.
The Chairperson explained that in terms of a report she had received from the Secretary, in April 2003, the bandwidth had been increased from 256 to 512 kilo-bites. However, this increase had proved insufficient and a further application to increase the bandwidth to a Million kilo-bites had been made. This further increase would be effective on 1 September 2003.
The Chairperson asked whether a trouble-shooting strategy was in place to assist members who encountered problems with the system. Mr Jeffrey requested that information on the Parliamentary website be updated.
- Management to make specific information on Internet access available to members immediately.
- Management to report on "trouble-shooting" office at the next meeting of the Joint Rules Committee.
4.8 Amalgamation of Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests
Ms Seaton mentioned that she agreed with the Legal Opinion that the same Committee could both establish and implement the code of conduct. If the Committee were to be split into two, the current problems regarding quorum would worsen. The Speaker stated that both the composition and the actual functioning of the Committee needed to be re-examined. On the functioning of the Committee, she pointed out that a report on Conflict of Interests which was requested from the Committee around 1996/97 was still outstanding. The records of the Committee should be checked to establish how far the issue had progressed. She also raised concern about the Committee's accountability to Parliament.
Regarding amalgamation, she said that the Joint Subcommittee on the Review of Rules could be asked to consider the implications of the amalgamation of the Committee.
In 1997, the Committee seemed to have taken a decision that, after a year, records of persons who ceased to be members of Parliament should be destroyed. This was, in part, due to a lack of filing space. In 1999 records were destroyed. The Committee did not report the matter to the House. She said that when people ceased to be members of Parliament what they declared and not declared was still relevant. The policy to destroy the records was never discussed by the House.
She indicated that prior to 1998, every six months, she used to write to the Committee asking it to report to the House. However, with time she discontinued the practice.
The last two meetings of the Committee could not take place due to lack of quorum. Again, there were still two vacancies in the membership of the Committee which were never filled by the smaller parties after the floor-crossing process.
She suggested that the Joint Rules Committee consider the decision of the Committee to shred documents. Questions to be asked in this regard should be - Should documents containing confidential information be destroyed? If not, for how long should these be kept? She suggested that perhaps a subcommittee of the Joint Rules Committee could consider these issues. She further proposed that any shredding of documents should be halted.
Ms Kgoali sought clarity on whether the Speaker's concerns had been raised with the Chairpersons of the Joint Committee. And, if yes, what had been the response of the Chairpersons? She said that the Joint Committee had in the recent past had different Chairpersons, adding that if the current chairperson did not have the relevant information they could not be expected to report on something that had not been requested of them. Ms Seaton indicated that the matter of shredding of documents had in fact been discussed by the Joint Committee. The Joint Committee would soon table a report on the matter. She agreed with Ms Kgoali that the Speaker's concerns should first be raised with the Chairpersons of the Joint Committee.
She said that there was a need to re-address the composition of the Joint Committee. The composition should not be based on a party proportional basis. Mr Gibson agreed with Ms Seaton's views on the composition of the Joint Committee. He indicated that perhaps the Committee took the decision to shred documents because Parliament had no jurisdiction over persons who had ceased to be members. He suggested that the decision of the Committee should be rescinded immediately.
On the absence of a Policy on Conflict of Interests, he said that this was a reflection on the Chairpersons of the Joint Committee, the Presiding Officers and the Joint Rules Committee, adding that the Joint Rules Committee seldom held the Committee to account.
Adv De Lange pointed out that the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests was a Parliamentary committee and no committee of Parliament could make decisions on behalf of Parliament. The decision of the Joint Committee on these issues should immediately be tabled before the Joint Rules Committee, with a view to including a rule in the Joint Rules on shredding of documents. He also proposed that the Secretariat should consider any outstanding tasks that were previously referred to the Joint Committee and request the Committee to report on those.
Mr Masutha highlighted the fact that the Powers and Immunities of Parliament Bill contained a provision on conflict of interests. He suggested that the Joint Committee should liase with the Ad Hoc Committee on Powers and Immunities of Parliament on this matter.
The Chairperson cautioned the meeting against directing the Joint Committee to amend its decision on the shredding of documents. She suggested, instead, that the Joint Rules Committee should write to the Committee expressing concern about the decision to shred documents and request it to amend that decision and report to both Houses in terms of Joint Rule 124 as to amendments the Committee intended making in respect of the decision. She suggested further that the Secretariat should ensure that the requirement for the tabling of annual reports by the Committee was adhered to. She recalled that both Mr M L Mushwana and Sister B Ncube, the former chairpersons of the Joint Committee, had reported on Conflict of Interests to the Joint Rules Committee. It was the Joint Rules Committee rather than the Joint Committee that failed to deal with the matter.
Ms Kgoali asked that the Joint Committee be given an opportunity to respond to the concerns raised by the Speaker. She indicated that the Joint Committee should report to the Presiding Officers and the Presiding Officers should, in turn, report to the Joint Rules Committee. Mr Surty agreed that the Joint Committee had in fact reported and that the Joint Rules Committee had been slack in responding to the matter. He asked that the Joint Rules Committee consider the linkage between the Code and the Powers and Immunities Bill. He added that the Committee had been responsive to matters relating to conflict of interests and ethical transgressions.
Mr Nel agreed, adding that Members of Parliament were serious about issues of governance and that mechanisms were in place to deal with issues such as conflicts of interests. Ms Seaton indicated that the Joint Rules were previously changed to accommodate the issue of amalgamation of the Joint Committee. She suggested that parties needed to consider the composition of the Joint Committee.
The Speaker clarified the basis for raising the concerns she had raised regarding the Joint Committee. She pointed out that she had at the start of the meeting indicated her intention to raise the issues. She said that her concern pertained to the fact that different accountability lines were not dealt with adequately. When the report on the Conflict of Interests was presented to the Joint Rules Committee, the difficulty was that the House rather than the Joint Rules Committee had to deal with the matter. However, this never happened.
She proposed that Dr Mulder should submit names of representatives of the smaller parties to serve on the Joint Committee. Further, that any further destruction of documents should be halted until the matter was addressed. She pointed out that parties had the responsibility to ensure that their members reported to them to ensure responsibility and accountability. Mr Gibson indicated that the DA member of the Joint Committee had not received the notices of the last two meetings of the Committee.
- Secretariat to identify tasks that were previously referred to the Joint Committee which were still outstanding and ask the Committee to report on those.
- Joint Committee to be requested to reconsider work previously done on Conflict of Interests and to report with proposals to the Houses i.e not to JRC.
- Joint Rules Committee to write to the Committee requesting that:
(a) Shredding of documents be halted immediately.
(b) Record-keeping by the Committee be discussed further.
- Secretariat to ensure that the requirement for the tabling of annual reports by the Committee was complied with.
- Dr Mulder to submit names of representatives of the smaller parties to serve on the Committee.
5. Report of Joint Subcommittee on Internal Arrangements
The Deputy Chairperson outlined the issues needing the decision of the Joint Rules Committee as follows:
5.1 Annual increase of catering prices:
The Joint Subcommittee recommended that the proposed annual increase of catering prices be agreed to.
- Food price increase as spelt out in the Report of the Joint Subcommittee on Internal Arrangements to be implemented.
- Management to submit a report to the Presiding Officers and the Joint Subcommittee on Internal Arrangements, spelling out in detail -
- steps taken to improve the catering services,
- the basis of individual cost increases, and
(c) the actual cost of meals.
- Management to ensure that correct policy is reflected in the policy guidelines.
- Management to address the varying standards in dining rooms.
5.2. Loan agreement in terms of existing Lending Policy:
The portrait painting of Speaker Van Coller (oil on canvas, by the artist Frank Wiles) had been requested by the Van Coller Museum in Cathcart. The museum had submitted a security and environmental control report which the Parliamentary Curator had approved. The Subcommittee on Lending of Artworks considered the details of the loan and reported to the Joint Subcommittee. The Joint Subcommittee considered the matter and recommended that the loan request of the Van Coller painting be agreed to.
- Loan agreement to be proceeded with.
5.3 Proposed amendments to Artworks Lending Policy:
The Artworks Curator proposed amendments to the Lending Policy. The Joint Subcommittee had been unable to process this matter. However, the Joint Subcommittee thought it prudent to submit this document directly to the JRC as time was of the essence.
The proposed amendment to the Artworks Lending Policy had been cleared by Parliament's Law Advisors. It is meant to allow for the streamlining of the process of considering loan applications. The present policy required decisions to be taken by the three structures, i.e. the Lending Committee, the Joint Subcommittee and the JRC, before a loan could be effected.
- Amendment to artworks lending policy to be proceeded with.
5.4 Postal services
- The establishment of a post office to be proceeded with.
6. Report of Joint Subcommittee on Support for Members
Dr Benjamin outlined the submission of the Joint Subcommittee. However, due to time constraints the detail of the report was not considered.
- Parties to consider and process the report for consideration at the next Joint Rules Committee meeting.
7. Other items on agenda stood over for discussion at the next Joint Rules Committee
The meeting adjourned at 13:00.
ANC PROPOSAL ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE JOINT SUB-COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT.
The Presiding Officers are required to present an implementation plan to the Joint Rules committee in the wake of the adoption of most of the recommendations of the ad hoc subcommittee on oversight. The one matter still outstanding relates to Accountability Standards and the JRC is yet to consider which of the two options it will adopt, or if indeed a third option should be considered.
2. Implementation Mechanism
The Presiding Officers being the implementing authority of Parliament will require the assistance of a dedicated Task Team, which will be chaired/convened jointly by the Presiding Officers. The Task Team should consist of key Members who will be able to dedicate time and commit the resources of their office to the process. In this regard the following people should be considered: The Chief whips and Deputy Chief whip of the majority party or their representatives, the two Chairpersons of Committees, two (or more) chief whips from opposition parties and perhaps six to ten other Members.
The Task Team will in turn have three components:
3. The Chair of Committees Component
This component should be chaired jointly by the Chairpersons of Committees. The aspects that this component will consider and report to the Task Team on will be:
- The drafting of the Best Practice Guide to capture inter-alia the best oversight practices of committees;
- Drafting guidelines for Portfolio and Select Committees to allow for Joint Planning of oversight work;
- Drafting protocols to ensure structured communication between committees of the two Houses;
- Capacity development in Select and Portfolio Committees;
- Developing a data compilation or record keeping system and monitoring and tracking mechanism in the committee section.
This component will require the technical assistance of and work closely with the head of the Committee Section and draw in further technical capacity from within Parliament.
4. The Budget Legislation Component
This component will be chaired jointly by the Chairpersons of the Budget Committee and should essentially develop Legislation referred to in Section 77(2) of the Constitution.
This component will conduct research and develop a draft policy in terms of S 77(2) and finally draft proposed legislation. This component will require the technical assistance of researchers and legal advisers/drafters.
5. The Projects Component
This component should be chaired by Members who are able to dedicate most of their time to the tasks allocated to this component. The tasks include:
- The drafting of the Constitutional "Landscape" document including commentary from key constitutional negotiators;
- An audit of the various bodies exercising public powers or performing public functions and the resulting delineation process;
- Developing a draft proposal toward a policy to be adopted in terms of section 55(2)(b)(ii).
This component may also be tasked with drafting the option preferred by the JRC in regard to the Accountability Standards matter, which is referred to above.
The component will also require the technical assistance of researchers/legal advisers/drafters for each of the three different projects.
6. Relationship between the three components of the Task Team
The different components will work under the auspices of and be guided by and will report to the Task Team.
Additional Members of Parliament may be drawn into each of these components depending on their needs. This will be done under the direction of the Task Team.
7. Immediately Implementable Matters
(1) Chapter 9 Institutions
The matters regarding the resolutions on organising workshops, debates and discussions and the consultative process aimed at engaging the Institutions Supporting Democracy, are matters that the presiding officers can implement without delay.
(2) Vision and Mission
There is already a process underway to develop a Vision and Mission Statement and this process should continue and feed into the Task Team for strategic planning and refining for adoption at the JRC.
(3) Subcommittee on Review of Rules
There should be a rule drafted through the Joint Subcommittee on the Review of Rules to implement the resolution requiring each new Parliament to assess and review it oversight capabilities at least once during its five year life-span.
The matter of programming more oversight debates can also immediately be referred to the programming committee for implementation.
All of the resolutions are captured in the above proposal and for ease of reference attached please find a summary of the resolutions. (Annexure 1)
The sub-committee recommends that:
i. Parliament through the Joint Rules Committee (JRC), compiles a
document "landscaping" the Constitutional provisions dealing with the
inter-related themes of Oversight, Accountability, Transparency and
responsiveness, and outlining international trends. Such a document
should also include inputs from key constitutional negotiators either in
form of commissioned research or essays, (preferably) both.
ii. Following the tabling of the abovementioned document debates,
workshops and discussions should be programmed and organised
within Parliament, first amongst MP's themselves, and then later on
expanded to include other stakeholders. These debates and
discussions should have as their objective the development of a broad
understanding of the Oversight Role and Purpose of Parliament within
our Constitutional democracy.
The subcommittee recommends that:
- Parliament commissions an audit of the various bodies exercising public powers or performing public functions and which should in addition clearly delineate which line-function departments are responsible for the various organs of state. Portfolio and select committees within Parliament will consequently assume the necessary oversight responsibility.
- Parliament through the Joint Rules Committee develops a policy aimed at meeting its constitutional obligations set out in S55(2)(b)(ii)
- Such policy should consider the necessity for basic legislation
giving effect to section 55(2) on issues of oversight and
accountability, and dealing especially with organs of state directly
accountable to Parliament.
The sub-committee recommends that:
- The JRC initiate a process aimed at drafting guidelines for portfolio and select committees to allow inter-alia for joint planning of oversight work.
- A process should be initiated to establish protocols to ensure structured communication between committees through streamlining of the committee section, which would allow for more effective and formal communication between committees of both Houses that embark on mutual interest oversight work and briefing sessions.
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