Public Protector, Human Rights Commission & Commision for Gender Equality Annual Reports & Strategic Plans: briefings

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Justice and Correctional Services

11 October 2004
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Meeting report

 

JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
12 October 2004
PUBLIC PROTECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION AND THE COMMISSION FOR GENDER EQUALITY ANNUAL REPORTS AND STRATEGIC PLANS: BRIEFINGS

Chairperson:
Ms F Chohan-Khota (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Auditor-General’s Report on Financial Statements of the Human Rights Commission
Office of the Public Protector: Annual Report: Part 1
Office of the Public Protector: Annual Report: Part 2
Office of the Public Protector: Strategic Plan
SA Human Rights Commission: Annual Report
SA Human Rights Commission: Financial Statement Report
SA Human Rights Commission: Strategic Business Plan
SA Human Rights Commission: Highlights and Constraints
SA Human Rights Commission: Strategic Plan 2005/2006 After Action Review
Commission for Gender Equality: Annual Report and Strategic Plan of Action

SUMMARY
The Office of the Public Protector (OPP), the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) presented reports on different aspects of their work in the financial year of 2003-2004. After the reports on the achievements and challenges experienced by the respective organisations during the past twelve months, the Committee raised a number of concerns surrounding the functioning of the internal auditing mechanisms, human resources and capacity-building.

During the afternoon session, the South African Human Rights Commission, the Commission on Gender Equality and the Public Prosecutor presented their Strategic Plans for 2005/2006. During the discussion on the Public Protector presentation, the Committee noted that many of the due dates would have to updated in its strategic plan; a costing exercise would also have to be done to give the Committee a sense of the kind of expenditure; it was crucial that the plan indicate the specific person responsible for a certain programme and the date by which delivery was expected and plans should be made for collaboration with other related institutions within the year.

During the discussion on the South African Human Rights Commission presentation, the Committee noted that the individual official responsible for programmes should be named in the plan, together with due dates; the reasons for the delay in responses from 30 government departments on socio-economic rights concerns were not provided; Parliament must develop a more interactive relationship with the Chapter 9 institutions and the organisations should be more pro-active and long-lasting throughout the legislative process by continuing to make submissions as the Committee deliberates on a Bill.

During the Commission on Gender Equality presentation, the Committee noted that an employment equity report was not submitted by the South African Broadcasting Corporation; there was a need to set in motion a process that would begin to develop more effective relationships between the three institutions and there appeared to be a legislative lacuna with regard to the international profile of the Chapter 9 institutions.

The Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission shared the Commissions’ version of the events reported somewhat sensationally in the media regarding victimisation by the SAHRC of a whistle-blower. The Public Prosecutor stated that Members of Parliament have approached his Office and wanted to operate through those individuals alone, without the knowledge of the Public Protector and this behaviour undermined the integrity of the institution. The Chair replied that such Members should be named and shamed.

MINUTES
Mr J Kollapen (SAHRC Chairperson) briefed the Committee on some of the fundamental aspects of SAHRC work during the past financial year. Then Ms L Mockate (SAHRC CEO) outlined the key strategic areas identified in the Annual Report including commissioners, management, advocacy, legal services, research and documentation, education and training and lastly the principal achievements of and challenges experienced by the organisation.

Ms J Seroke (CGE; Chairperson) presented various aspects of the CGE’s work including issues pertaining to the protection, promotion, consolidation and monitoring of gender equality. Mr B Khumalo (CGE; CEO) then briefed the Committee on some of the problems encountered by the institution during 2003-2004 including lack of access to information, inadequate financial resources and the non-cooperation of some Government departments. It was pointed out that of the 2 137 complaints received by the CGE, 33% of the cases had been referred to other organisations, 22% remained unresolved whilst 45% were closed.

Mr M Mushwana (Public Protector) introduced the OPP after which Ms S Thoke (OPP Co-ordinator) outlined some aspects of the institution’s operations during the past 12 months. Reference was made to the fact that a strategic plan for the organisation had only recently been developed and was not therefore reflected in the Annual Report.

Discussion
The Chairperson asked the SAHRC to elaborate on some of the issues raised in the Auditor-General’s Report. It had been established that there had been no overspending by the respective organisations in 2004.

Ms Mockate explained that the late submission of the annual financial statements to the Auditor -General was a result of administrative problems and indicated that SAHRC had notified both the Auditor General and the National Treasury of the delay. She also indicated that the problems relating to staff salary advancements, as identified in the Auditor-General’s Report, had been rectified.

The Chairperson pointed out that salary advancements could compromise the institution and queried whether such policies were in accordance with other government departments.

Ms Mockate responded that regulations and practices had been developed to ensure that the institution was protected.

The Chairperson requested that the SAHRC provide the Committee with a short report indicating current staff policies and practices within the organisation and particularly those dealing with the issue of salary advancements. She also raised a concern regarding deficiencies in the internal audit mechanism at the SAHRC.

Ms Mockate answered that the SAHRC had recently employed a new organisation to manage its internal auditing mechanism, as the previous organisation had been ineffective. As a consequence of this transition the auditing committee had failed to meet the requirements of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) for financial year 2003-2004. She added that the situation was being dealt with and that the auditing mechanism would be up to date within the next few months.

The Chairperson expressed disapproval at the fact that the Committee was only informed of problems pertaining to internal audits by the Auditor-General and not by the organisations themselves. She added that such issues had to be prioritised and proposed that the CEO of the SAHRC provide the Committee with a mid-year report informing them of the status of the auditing mechanism. She then requested clarity on supply chain management.

Ms Mockate replied that supply chain management had been introduced this year and that the SAHRC was currently involved with establishing procedures to ensure effective implementation.

The Chairperson inquired as to the date given for implementation.

Ms Mockate responded that an implementation plan for the supply chain management programme had to be put in place by 31 March 2005 at which point it would be submitted for auditing.

Mr Kollapen commented that it was essential for mechanisms such as the auditing committees to interact constructively with the commissioners as well as the executive authority.

The Chairperson agreed and emphasised the need for positive interaction between the commissioners and their respective institutions. She added that it was unacceptable for organisations such as the Chapter 9 institutions to be employing people without the appropriate skills, as their effectiveness and operating capacity were imperative to the development of democracy in South Africa as well as being representative of the broader civil service. She then invited comment from the CEO of the CGE with regards to the Auditor-General’s input into their Annual Report.

Ms Majake (CGE CEO) indicated that the CGE had received R17 Million from the National Treasury, which had enabled them to open two new offices in addition to securing a number of private donors. The CGE had conducted an internal audit, which had assisted the organisation in meeting the PFMA requirements.

The Chairperson suggested that the Committee focus on the CGE internal auditing committee and inquired about the attendance registry.

Ms Majake explained that a new auditing committee had been appointed in January 2004 and this accounted for the apparent discrepancy in the attendance registry.

The Chairperson requested that the CGE provide the Committee with a more detailed breakdown of both the previous and current auditing committees in terms of their attendance and their effectiveness.

Ms Majake pointed out that the CGE auditing committee had been operating efficiently and had contributed significantly to the functioning of the organisation. She also indicated that, in terms of supply chain management, the CGE was in the process of setting up systems to ensure its effective implementation.

The Chairperson then raised a query concerning the Fraud Prevention Plan and inquired as to when it would be implemented. She also asked the CGE delegation to comment on working capital shortfall.

Ms Majake answered that the Fraud Prevention Plan would be operational in a month or two, once the risk assessment had been completed.

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the CGE explained that the CGE had the assets to cover the capital shortfall.

The Chairperson then invited comments from the Public Protector on the Auditor-General’s input into their Annual Report.

Mr Mushwana responded that the OPP had suffered from the absence of a clear policy document and that many of the problems referred to by the Auditor General revolved around this issue. He added that the OPP was in the process of compiling a comprehensive policy document, which addressed the institution’s shortcomings including the question of human resource management and that this would be adopted and implemented by the end of October.

The Chairperson requested that the OPP submit a letter indicating the adoption and implementation of the internal auditing and financial mechanisms. She then invited the Committee to comment.

Mr M Malahlela (ANC) concurred with the Chairperson’s remarks on the importance of the Chapter 9 institutions and emphasised the necessity of retaining appropriate skills.

Mr S Swart (ACDP) asked the CGE to what degree they were dependent on donors.

Ms Majake answered that the CGE was heavily reliant on donor funding although a recent agreement with the EU would alleviate budget pressure.

The Chairperson raised a query concerning the reliability of independent funding and how this affected the organisation’s strategic plans.

Ms Majake responded that the CGE structured its objectives to ensure that the question of donor funding did not compromise the core functioning of the institution although the reliability factor did have a negative impact on the human resource capacity of the organisation.

Ms N Mahlawe (ANC) requested clarity on the issue of "stakeholders" and "other expenditure" as referred to in the CGE financial report.

The CFO of the CGE explained that "stakeholders" referred to the institutions with which the CGE worked and "other expenditure" referred to issues such as travel, printing, office and various other expenses.

Mr Mushwana commented that the issue of human resources was fundamental to the development of the Chapter 9 institutions like the OPP. Mr Kollapen emphasised that problems related to human resources in the Chapter 9 organisations should be understood within the context of South Africa’s labour environment, and the constraints experienced by the broader public service.

The Chairperson acknowledged the difficulties in the sector and suggested that policy makers needed to examine a variety of possibilities in terms of retaining skills including performance contracts, incentive bonuses and status formation.

Mr J Sibanyoni (ANC) queried the CGE agreement with the SABC in terms of its radio promotions and questioned whether shared infrastructure between the different Chapter 9 institutions would confuse the public.

Ms Seroke responded that shared resources and infrastructure had been a success and that people were able to distinguish between the different functions of the institutions.

The Chairperson pointed out that the various Chapter 9 institutions had a great deal in common and suggested a combined promotional project.

Mr Kollapen commented that promotional activities such as radio broadcasts had been effective and worthwhile in terms of the costs incurred. Ms Seroke added that the SABC provided the CGE with free radio slots.

After the lunchbreak, the Chair stated that in future presentations the institutions must compare their strategic plans of the previous period with what they have achieved, in tabular form, in their Annual Reports. This was an absolutely crucial piece of information and analysis that must be included in its Annual Report.

Public Protector Strategic Plan
Mr Mushwana stated that he would like to respond to two issues before Ms Thoke took over. Firstly, he discovered that his office did not focus sufficiently on the root causes of complaints, and his entire office was shifting its focus by now going back and investigating the causes of the complaints in order to prevent re-occurrence. The Chair stated that this should be included in the Public Protector’s Strategic plan.

Mr Mushwana stated that the second point was that due to the number of high profile cases, some of which required investigation within 30 days, the Public Protector had to establish a small unit within his office that specialised in such investigations. There were currently 3 such matters that needed to be finalised within 30 days. The whistle-blowing project would also be located in this unit, so that such matters could be reported timeously. These included matters raised against Ministers.

Ms Thoke stated that it became necessary for the Office of the Public Protector to define its strategic plan to ensure that the mandate and functions of the Office was well understood by staff members and stakeholders. She presented the Strategic Plan (document attached) which outlines the Public Protectors programmes and objectives.

Discussion
The Chair noted that many of the due dates contained in the plan were in the past, and the Public Protector would thus have to update its strategic plan.

Secondly, the Chair stated that a costing exercise would also have to be done by the Public Protector and submitted to the Committee, to give it a sense of the kind of expenditure that would follow the plans the Public Protector has put in place.

Thirdly, the Chair stated that she particularly appreciated the fact that the Public Protector’s strategic plan indicated the specific person responsible for a certain programme and the date by which delivery was expected, as this was ‘absolutely crucial’ in an strategic plan to assess whether all the targets have been met.

Fourthly, the Chair suggested that the Public Protector already plan for collaboration with other related institution within the year, and perhaps people from other commissions could be invited to the Public Protector’s strategic plan workshop to identify specific programmes on collaborative issues.

South African Human Rights Commission statement
Mr Jody Kollapen, South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) Chairperson, stated that he would like the opportunity to share some background relating to the events reported somewhat sensationally in the media regarding what was termed an act of whistle-blowing and an act of victimisation by the SAHRC. During August 2004 he wrote to the Chair of this Committee as well as to the Speaker of the House, both the Minister and Deputy Minister of Justice as well as the Office of the Presidency to brief the institutions in advance of the manner in which the events transpired.

In December 2003 the SAHRC employed Mr Colin Browdie, but who is no longer within the employ of the SAHRC. On 13 April 2004 he wrote a letter to the Auditor-General making certain allegations of financial irregularities, and a copy of that letter was copied to Mr Kollapen. He stated that he then immediately brought the letter to the attention of the CEO of the SAHRC and requested her to provide him with a response, which was provided. On 20 April 2004, less than a week after Mr Browdie had made his allegations, Mr Kollapen had met with the Auditor-General in order to discuss both Mr Browdie’s allegations as well as to present the SAHRC’s response to those allegations. The Auditor-General, after considering the matter, advised that his office would look into them as part of his normal audit function and was not of the opinion that it warranted any special intervention on his part. Notwithstanding this the internal audit unit of the SAHRC considered the matter and refuted the allegations of irregular, fruitless and irregular expenditure leveled at the CEO.

The second issue was whether Mr Browdie was victimised. In February and March 2004 the performance of Mr Browdie was considered by both the internal audit process as well as by the external audit. In April 2004 he chose to write to the Auditor-General, stating simply that he did not conduct a full investigation into the matters he was writing about but somehow felt the need to do so. Notwithstanding this the forensic audit found that act of whistle-blowing was not justified. Thus, in summary, well before Mr Browdie had decided to write to the Auditor-General, the SAHRC had already raised concerns with regard to his employment and his ability to conduct himself in the position of CFO. Mr Kollapen stated that he has argued before and maintains that should the SAHRC have taken action against Mr Browdie after he had written to the Auditor-General there might have been some basis to question the motives of the SAHRC. Yet this was not the case. Thus at the time that he wrote to the Auditor-General he was well aware that the SAHRC had raised concerns regarding his performance as CFO.

Mr Kollapen stated that he was somewhat disappointed that Members and indeed a Member of this Committee chose to publicly state that this was how whistle-blowers were treated by the SAHRC. He stated that he thought this was unfair without affording the SAHRC the opportunity to state its case. He stated that he understood perfectly that this Committee could not assume responsibility for that Member because that Member could have been speaking in his/her personal capacity. Be that as it may, the SAHRC was a national institution committed to the protection of human rights, and it will work both internally and externally in a manner which exemplifies that spirit. He stated that he has made available to the Chairperson’s office the full audit opinion.

The Chair thanked Mr Kollapen for the speed with which the SAHRC produced the documentation of the audit report, as this was a matter that was currently in the media. She stated that she allowed Mr Kollapen to make his statement on the basis that this Committee would not pursue this matter further, because it could become sub judice at some stage. She stated that it was entirely within Mr Kollapen’s prerogative to write to the specific Member of the Committee concerned, because she believed there was an element of "less than restrained behaviour". At the very least the SAHRC’s view should have been heard before the Member went on a tirade about potential problems that may have existed.

She stated that Members of Parliament sometimes behaved in a very opportunistic way and, frankly, this was less than desirable particularly at this juncture at which the status and reputation of institutions such as the SAHRC, CGE and Public Protector were being strengthened. Having said this, the Chair stated that she was not suggesting for one minute that such institutions were above criticism, but Members should at least act in a responsible way before "opportunistically getting yourself a little space in today’s paper".

Mr Mushwana stated that this matter was presented to his office at some stage, but when dealing with an anonymous complaint it was difficult to add or verify certain facts because it was not clear who should be contacted. His Office did have cases in which some Members of Parliament have approached individuals in his Office and wanted to operate through those individuals alone, without the knowledge of the Public Protector. He stated that his Office has refused such proposals by Members, and has also denied them access to confidential files in the Office. If they did not trust the Public Protector then they should take their case up somewhere else. Such misuse of the Public Protector will not be tolerated, because it divides the institution. He stated that he wanted to bring such difficulties to the Committee’s attention.

The Chair replied that it was Mr Mushwana’s prerogative to identify those Members and the Committee will support him. Such behaviour from Members of Parliament was ‘purely despicable’ and she had no sympathy for such behaviour, because the integrity of institutions such as the Public Protector must be protected and supported.

South African Human Rights Commission Strategic Plan
Mr Kollapen stated that the strategic objectives of the SAHRC remained the achievement and the eradication of poverty, which were cascaded into 8 programmes.

Mr Keet presented the strategic plan (document attached) which outlined the SAHRC’s after action review plan, the SAHRC monitoring mechanisms, its information and education programme, legislation monitoring, complaints directorate and its strategic linkages.

Discussion
The Chair noted that programmes were allocated to the SAHRC’s corporate units, but suggested that when specific outputs were referred to the individual official responsible should be named in the plan. Due dates should also be stipulated, because the delivery objectives were very vague.

Mr Keet replied that the fixing of dates was done at a work plan level, and a set of work plans can be provided to Members. He agreed with the Chair that the strategic plan, because of its broad nature, would not provide such detail.

The Chair stated that the Committee merely requested a sense of the kinds of activities the SAHRC was involved in, especially its service delivery issues and efficiency level targets. These issues need not take the form of work plans, per se.

Mr Kollapen responded that the programme was devised in such a manner that the responsibility was located with a specific person. Secondly the costing was arrived at with reference to specific work plans which took into account the detailed nature of each of the interventions. The information requested by the Chair was thus already available and would simply need to be summarised and presented to the Committee.

The Chair requested this information to be provided as soon as possible so that the momentum is not lost. She requested the SAHRC and the Public Protector to provide this information within the next 2 or 3 weeks.

Ms L Mockate, CEO: SAHRC, responded that human rights work by its nature was not easily quantifiable, and this was an ongoing debate within the SAHRC for some time now. The question was whether the hosting of 100 human rights workshops over a certain period of time, for example, equated with a culture of democracy amongst South Africans. Human rights work was thus a slow process, despite SAHRC’s efforts to best capture the work it was doing. Yet this did not exonerate the SAHRC from doing more, by being more scientific, in looking at mechanisms to be used to measure the impact of its work.

The Chair agreed, because the changing of the culture of South African society cannot be achieved in two or three or even ten years. Having said this, nothing prevented institutions from devising creative mechanisms to try to elicit this kind of information as best they can in the circumstances.

Mr J Sibanyoni (ANC) stated that 30 government departments were subpoenaed to respond on socio-economic rights concerns, and asked the SAHRC to explain the reasons for the delays in the responses.

Mr Kollapen responded that the reasons were mixed. One was due to ‘reporting fatigue’ because institutions were required to report to different structures on more or less the same subject matter, but requiring different formats. The second reason experienced by the SAHRC was the turnaround of personnel within institutions. When the SAHRC conducted socio-economic rights training invariably it would find different people in those positions when it returned to the institution. The reporting obligation seemed to be located with someone very junior in the institution, and they did not appear to realise that the reporting requirement was important not only for the sake of reporting but also with regard to what happens to that information and how it was used.

The SAHRC recently held a meeting within the context of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) with the Public Service Commission (PSC) to work with their training unit to make people realise that reporting was simply not just a duty. He stated that the SAHRC has had discussions with the Office of the President to identify means to streamline the reporting requirements.

The Chair stated that the Committee has recommended to Parliament that more interactive relationships be developed between Parliament and the Chapter 9 institutions, not just for oversight and accountability work but also for general information purposes.

Secondly, the Chapter 9 institutions should not only interact with the Committee when they make submissions to Parliament on a piece of legislation, but should instead be more pro-active and long-lasting throughout the legislative process by continuing to make submissions as the Committee deliberates on a Bill.

Thirdly, the Chair asked the SAHRC to explain the extent to which the areas in which it has under-performed was reflected in the strategic plan, because these have to be followed up on.

Mr Keert replied that these areas were reviewed during the SAHRC’s retreats, and areas that could and could not be rescued were identified. Those that could be rescued would have to be rescued by the end of the financial year. If the areas that could not be rescued were of sufficient importance, they would be carried over and possibly revived in the new plan.

The Chair requested that the issues raised during this morning’s session regarding the challenges that lay ahead for the SAHRC be clearly marked as stemming from the previous strategic plan.

Commission for Gender Equality Strategic Plan
Ms Joyce Piliso-Seroke, CGE Chairperson, reiterated that some of the impediments that hindered the CGE’s operations included the fact that it planned too many activities, and was thus not able to do justice to some of the programmes. It was currently streamlining its plan of action to be effective. Secondly, the CGE has inadequate monitoring and evaluation of work done, and the CGE was now planning for monthly reviews of its plan of action. Yet, as stated by the SAHRC, the CGE also at times had to deviate from its plan and respond to matters which arose unexpectedly. Thirdly, the strategic plan has been devised in accordance with the CGE’s objectives as stated in the CGE Act.

Ms Chana Majake, CGE CEO, Mr Phosa Mashangoane, CGE Head: Public Education and Information and Ms Mmathari Mashao, Head of CGE Legal Department, presented the strategic plan (document attached) which outlined the CGE activities, due date, target and outcome per objective.

Ms Majake added that the CGE has decided to focus on equality for this year as a pervading theme throughout its 8 programmes, and will finalise a manual on the Equality Act by the end of the month. The manual would prepare the CGE for equality cases referred to it. Secondly, the CGE would be continuing its workshops on the Annual Report Card (ARC) for municipalities, and SALGA informed the CGE that municipalities were not yet ready to respond to the ARC as a monitoring tool.

Discussion
The Chair stated that the same concerns she raised with the SAHRC regarding the specifying of individual officials that would be responsible for particular programmes as well as the time frames must also be included in the CGE strategic plan.

Secondly, the matters which the CGE was unable to finalise during this year should be included in its strategic plan for the next financial year. This should be submitted to the Chairperson within 3 weeks at the latest.

Mr Sibanyoni stated that the SAHRC had received employment equity reports from many employers, but not from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

The Chair agreed with Mr Sibanyoni and stated there was a big gap regarding employment equity reporting in the private sector, and she was not sure where Parliament currently stood with regard to the private sector.

Secondly, she realised that the work done by the CGE was largely done at its own prerogative, but stated that more regular interaction with Parliament would highlight important issues that would need the CGE’s involvement.

Thirdly, it was evident from today’s discussions that there were areas in which the work done by the 3 institutions overlapped, and it was clear that there was a need to set in motion a process that would begin to develop more effective relationships between the 3 institutions. Perhaps even a single Parliamentary Office could be established between the 3 institutions, so that they could make inputs in a more strategic manner.

Fourthly, she stated that there has been a measure of tension and uncertainty about the relationship enjoyed with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, which was very unfortunate. The problem with detachment from a department was that the institution now no longer had a champion for its cause, and the Department could not then take ownership of some of the CGE’s problems. This division must be bridged.

Ms Piliso-Seroke responded that the CGE has always enjoyed an excellent relationship with the Department.

The Chair stated that there should be more co-operation between the institutions with regard to litigation pursued and perhaps joint reports should even be submitted.

Furthermore, the Chair stated that she requested a comparative analysis of legislation governing each of the institutions, and there were some very interesting differences not only regarding their powers and functions but also ordinary matters. Yet there appeared to be a legislative lacuna with regard to the international profile of the Chapter 9 institutions, either on behalf of a government department or in their individual capacity.

Mr Kollapen responded that the SARHC was quite concerned by this matter when it established its secretariat. He wrote to National Treasury requesting permission to establish it because the Secretariat would use resources of the SAHRC, but it was not a solution to constantly approach Treasury.

The Chair stated that an operational review should also be conducted by each of the 3 institutions to identify the differences between them, best practice models and areas of concern. It would be an opportune time to embark on this process at this point in time, 10 years down the line.

Mr Kollapen replied that the SAHRC has decided to review its work over the last 10 years to critically evaluate the contribution it has made, given the expectations, legislation and resources it has used. The second area to be considered would be the contribution the SAHRC could make with regard to the role played by such institutions in the South African democracy. Perhaps a reference group consisting of the three institutions should be established to oversee the work done, but would not interfere.

Ms Piliso-Seroke responded that this was an interesting idea and the CGE was also currently reviewing the work it has done over its 7 years of existence. She welcomed dialogue with the other institutions on this kind of review. The CGE Act needed amendments because it was not able to react immediately to matters that arose as it first needed to contact Parliament or the Speaker, and stricter control of Commissioners was needed. She stated that the review would assist in this regard.

Mr Mushwana stated that his only hope was that the Chair conveyed all her sentiments to the Ministers concerned, as this would make a difference. He stated that he has tried everything and finally decided to leave the matter where it currently stood.

The Chair stated that this was a serious problem that needed to be addressed. The institutions bore some of the responsibility to develop healthy relationships with government departments in a more co-operative fashion than has been the case until now. A review of this nature would go some way to address the problem. She stated that she would engage further on the matter, but the time has come for the institutions themselves to establish a mechanism that would allow them to discuss such issues.

The meeting was adjourned.

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