Budget 2004 Committee Report; Committee Budget: adoption; Financial Administration of Parliament Bill: progress report

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Finance Standing Committee

25 February 2004
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Meeting report

FINANCE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

FINANCE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
26 February 2004
FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION OF PARLIAMENT BILL: PROGRESS REPORT; COMMITTEE BUDGET AND REPORT: ADOPTION

Chairperson:
Ms B Hogan (ANC)

Documents handed out
Committee Report on Budget 2004 (see Appendix)
Committee Budget for 2004/2005

SUMMARY
The Committee will not be able to develop any legislation dealing with the financial administration of Parliament before elections. The Committee adopted the Committee Budget and its Report on the 2004 Budget. There is a proposal that the Portfolio Committee on Finance be split into two separate committees: one would focus on the financial services sector, and the other would focus on the macro-economic oversight aspects.

MINUTES
Financial Administration of Parliament legislation: progress report
The Chair noted that this as yet undrafted piece of legislation would be the equivalent of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) for Parliament, which would apply to all legislatures. It was very important and would require much deliberation but, because the Committee simply did not have the necessary time for this prior to the elections, it had been decided that this matter would not be considered by the Committee at this stage. The Committee would thus report that it had not made any progress on this matter, but that it would stand over for deliberation by the new Committee.

The Committee agreed to this.

Committee Report on Budget
The Committee adopted its Report on Budget 2004 with a few technical amendments.

Committee Budget for 2004/2005
The Chair informed Members that this year for the first time Parliament's finance unit has provided for line items for possible spending in the Committee budgets. It was agreed that three Committees would continue to function: the Joint Budget Committee, the Finance Select Committee and the Finance Portfolio Committee. The Chair, together with the Committee Section, was proposing the splitting up of the Portfolio Committee on Finance into two separate Committee: one would focus on the financial services sector, and the other would focus on the macro-economic oversight aspects. She stated that the R4m indicated in the document outlined the amount that she and the Committee Section had budgeted for these two committees, and the amount of R4million would be divided between them. The actual budgetary amount agreed upon by Parliament was however the R1,4m indicated and not the R4m, because Parliament had not yet decided whether it agreed to the splitting up into two separate committees. An increased allocation has also been made for the Committee's research services

Mr D Hanekom (ANC) stated that the increased funds allocated to the Committee was an improvement, but they were still insufficient for this Committee to properly exercise its functions.

The Chair noted that the Committee agreed to the Budget, and effected minor amendments to it.

Concluding remarks by Members
The Chair thanked Members and the Committee staff for the excellent work they had done over the past five years. She reminded Members that the Committee had single-handedly devised and implemented the Public Finance Management Act and overseen the complete reformation of the South African tax system over the last five yeas. She wished Members well in future.

Mr N Nene (ANC), Ms R Taljaard (DA), Dr G Woods (IFP) and Mr A Blaas (NNP) echoed the Chair's sentiments on behalf of their respective political parties.

The meeting was adjourned.

Appendix : Committee Report on Budget

The Portfolio Committee on Finance

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Finance on its Budget for the financial year 2004/5, dated 26 February 2004.


The Portfolio Committee on Finance having considered the committees' budget for financial year 2004/5 reports that the Committee endorsed the Budget for the financial year 2004/5, but wish to express the following:

That this budget is still inadequate to meet its legislative and oversight needs, as outlined in the constitution;
It recommends that parliament assume financial responsibility for the grant funding that was previously available to the committee; and
Furthermore, this committee recommends that the parliamentary budgeting process include a more systematic participation of parliamentary committees in the budgeting process.


_________________

Ms B A Hogan, MP
26 February 2004

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