A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
The unedited body of this report was provided by kind courtesy of Mr Elliot Molefe.
18 August 2004
SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT BACKS AND PREPARATION FOR HEARING ON AUDITOR-GENERAL'S REPORT: COMMITTEE PLANNING
Chairperson: Mr F Beukman (NNP)
Draft Resolutions from the Social Cluster (Council for Medical Schemes)
Draft Questions for Auditor-General Hearing (Asset Management)
Auditor-General's Report, tabled 4 August 2004
Table of Executive Replies Received
Draft Resolutions from the Economic Cluster
Both SCOPA subcommittees reported back on resolutions they had processed. Although meant to be used as a preparation for the public hearing the following Wednesday, much of the meeting was used to discuss the SETAs regarding which the Economic Cluster had tabled their resolutions.
The requested report on outstanding executive replies was tabled.
With regard to a letter to the Speaker concerning the late tabling of Executive replies and annual reports, the Chairperson reported that he received an internal memorandum, which indicated that the Chairperson of the House, Mr. Q Doidge and the Speaker's Office is still discussing the issue.
Group 1 would submit an amended Research proposal on SETA's at the next plenary meeting that would be adopted by the Committee. The following were proposed additions to the Research Proposal:
Expenditure on Corporate Business;
Cost per training of all SETA's;
The annual number of people trained by SETA's since their inception;
The extend in which the Department of Labour is monitoring this trainings;
The functioning of SETA's Board of Directors;
Salaries and Allowances of the Top Officials;
Unspent Funds and Investment Policies; and
Board Meeting Fees.
Group 2's Research proposal on leave in the Public Services would also be tabled next week.
Group 2's Research Proposal on the Accountability exercised over small entities e.g. Museums, would also be formally tabled next week.
Reportback by Group 1
The Convener of the Group, Mr P Gerber, reported that the Group has processed the following reports:
Public Works; with a proposal that the Committee should schedule a hearing on this report. A proposed date would be tabled to plenary next week;
Department of Trade and Industry. The Group has decided not to have a hearing on this report. The Group is however concerned with the high number of staff turnover that creates a high percentage of unfilled posts on critical areas especially those dealing with small businesses; and
Foreign Affairs. The Group is concerned with the number of unfilled funded posts. The Group would send questions for further information.
2.1.2 The Group would write letters to Departments and the Public Service Commission on the amount budgeted for unfilled posts. It was however agreed that the matter should be raised with the Auditor General and the National Treasury at the public hearing scheduled for next week.
Reportback by Group 2
Mr. V Smith reported that:
2.2.1 The Group after considering the report on Water Affairs and Forestry has decided to await, the tabling of the new report before deciding on the way forward.
2.2.2 The Group has considered a draft resolution on the Report of the Presidency. It was indicated that in principle the amount of R2.2 Million on unauthorised expenditure is approved, but the Group would request further information relating to this matter.
2.2.3 the unauthorised expenditure incurred by the Department of Correctional Services was not approved. The matter would be revisited after the hearing with the Department.
The Committee had discussions on the possibility of increasing SCOPA's annual oversight visits. It was noted that by visiting Regional Offices of the Departments the Committee would demonstrate to line functional Managers that Parliament cares about financial management in the Public Sector. It would also provide the Committee with the opportunity to check whether Senior Managers of Departments inform Regional Offices of what Parliament expects with regard to financial management. It was further noted that by scrapping overseas study tours, the 2005/2006 Committee Budget could fund these trips.
It was resolved that:
Oversight visits should be included, as a permanent tool, to evaluate financial control and management of Government Departments and Entities with reference to Public hearings, as part of the Committee's oversight activities;
This would be done taking into account the Committee's:
Document on Criteria for SCOPA's oversight visits (to be prepared).
The Budget of the Committee.
The Activities of the Portfolio Committees.
Decisions by Plenary.
Priorities of the Committee.
The Programme of the Committee.
After some deliberations on the draft 2005/2006 budgets, the Committee resolved to:
Schedule a meeting for Tuesday, 24 August 2004 where members would submit their proposals on the budget and the business plan; and
That the Committee should on Monthly basis be informed on the balance of the Committee Budget.
Tabling of Correspondence
The Chairperson tabled "Additional Information on Unauthorised Expenditure from the Department of Correctional Services".
Adoption of Resolutions
6.1 The following resolutions were adopted without amendments:
Council for Medical Scheme.
Registrar for Medical Schemes.
Film and Publication Board.
6.2 The following resolutions,
Construction Education and Training Authority;
Diplomacy, Intelligence and Trade education and Training Authority, Energy Sector Education and Training Authority;
Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and training Authority;
Media, Advertising, Printing, Packaging and Publishing Sector Education and Training Authority;
Council for Geoscience;
Corporation for Public Deposits;
Accounting Standard Board; and
Chemical Industries education and Training authority,
Were adopted with the following amendments:
6.2.1 Under Conclusion, the following paragraph was inserted 'The Committee will follow up on information requested as well as specific matters raised during the consideration of the next annual report'.
6.2.2 the numbering of paragraphs was corrected.
6.3 In addition to the above-mentioned amendments, the following amendments were effected on the resolution on Education, Training and development Practices sector education training authority:
6.3.1 Under, Matters Emphasised by the Auditor General, paragraph 3 which read ' The Committee notes with concern management's observation that the current accounting system is unable to provide management with the level of detail required to manage the budget of the divisions' was deleted.
6.3.2 Under, Matters Emphasised by the Auditor General, paragraph 4 was amended to read as follows 'The Committee expects the accounting authority to expeditiously rectify all identified weaknesses'.
6.4 The Committee also resolved that Groups should:
Consider whether standard resolutions should reflect or include emphasise of matters as reflected in the Auditor General's report; and
Refrain from using resolutions as a tool to request additional information from Departments.
It was further agreed that if the new reports on SETA's fail to address shortcomings identified in the previous Auditor-General's Reports, a hearing should be scheduled on SETAs.
The nomination of SCOPA's Council of Delegates would be held next week.
Preparations for a hearing on the Auditor-General's Report.
The Committee agreed that themes for next week hearing should be divided between the two groups. Group 1 member would prepare on the PFMA implementation Report.
Group 2 Members would prepare on the Activity Report for 2002-2003, Audit Outcomes for 31 March 2003, and the S65 Report for 2002-2003.
Both Groups will prepare for the item on unauthorised expenditure.
The meeting was adjourned.
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