Group report-backs, Adoption of resolutions

Public Accounts (SCOPA)

14 August 2003
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

14 August 2003

Chairperson: Mr F Beukman (NNP)

Relevant Document:
Auditor General's Special Report


The Committee discussed the hearing for Mr Shoukut Fakie, the Auditor-General to be held on 20 August 2003, as well as requests for additional information. The Chair then requested report-backs from workgroups 1 and 2. The Committee also adopted a number of resolutions, two of which were to be re-tabled at a later stage.

The Chair that it had been decided that hearings for Mr Shoukut Fakie, the Auditor-General (AG) would be held on 20 August 2003, where SCOPA Members would be allocated two questions to pose to the AG followed by a closed plenary session. There had been requests for additional information and that the AG was comfortable with most of it, but pointed out problems in a few areas.

Mr Fakie referred to the list of required documents. He indicated that he would make available media documents as these were basis for SCOPA investigations. All affidavits from the AG had already been dealt in court proceedings, but would also be made available to the Committee. Concerning the draft versions of the JIT (Joint Investigative Team) reports, the AG said that the massive volume of these documents had to be taken into consideration. Defence officials would also have to be brought to sift through these as they may contain Defence secrets and details. He requested that the Committee consider the implications related.

The Chair pointed out that the AG's report would be the source of the hearing, as well as additional information.

Mr Bell (DA) said that he understood the AG's position and suggested that he be released from making additional information available. He urged that no in-depth discussion be entertained in the meeting as this would be undertaken in the hearing next week.

Mr Vezi (IFP) asked whether there had a rebuttal of allegations made.

Mr Mofokeng (ANC) voiced his agreement with Mr Bell's statement.

The AG replied that there was no rebuttal as the main allegations emanated from media reports and referred Members to page 13 of the AG Report.

Mr Vezi said that he was satisfied as no individuals were mentioned.

The AG then presented a file with the media reports to the Committee.

The Chair said that only the AG's report would be dealt with. He requested that the AG leave the meeting so that the Committee could continue its discussions. The AG then left the meeting.

Mr Bell, referring to the allocated two questions or ten minutes to each party, said that it must be realised that other parties like the ACDP should also be afforded an opportunity to question the AG. He urged that Members to keep questions short so as to allow for follow-up questions.

The Chair reiterated that Members would only be allowed ten minutes within which to question the AG. He said that the entire report should be covered.

Mr Bell agreed and said that SCOPA should act as a team in next week's hearing.

The Chair moved to the adoption of minutes. The minutes were adopted. The Chair then requested report-backs from workgroups.

Workgroup 1:
Mr Gumede (ANC) said that the PIC (Public Investment Commission) issue had been given a deadline of 29 August 2003, after which a resolution would be drafted. Concerning other resolutions, Mr Gumede said that some entitites had not submitted annual reports for a number of years, and proposed that letters be drafted to request that they do so, failing which they would called to a hearing. He referred to the matter of the State Theatre and said they were awaiting a report from the Public Protector pertaining to the matter. Mr Gumede indicated that they would report on it and then forward it to the Chair of the Audit Commission.

Workgroup 2:
Ms Mothoagae (ANC) referred to Mr Kotane's mid-term report saying that a copy had been sent to Treasury so that outstanding monies could be collected from him as soon as possible. She said that the Statistics South Africa (STATS SA) 2002 report had revealed inadequate administration of funds and unverified advances to provinces, amounting to unauthorised expenditure of over R120 million. The Water Affairs and Forestry resolution was not ready, and the Health resolution needed re-doing as the Sarafina resolution could not be tracked. The Justice hearing transcripts were awaited.

Mr Bell said that the Health resolution should be checked on.

Mr Kannemeyer (ANC) referred to the PMFA (Public Finance Management Act) and said that if deadlines were not met, the Directors-General and executive authorities should be contacted to establish exactly why this was so.

Mr Gerber (ANC) added that Workgroup 1 had decided to visit the PIC (Public Investment Commission) offices as soon as possible.

The Chair turned to the resolutions to be adopted. Resolutions to be re-tabled included the Legal Aid Board and the National Home-Builders Registration Council. Those including "matters of emphasis" were to be redrafted and were adopted in the meeting as is.

The Chair referred to the PMFA report and said that issues arising could be discussed at a later date. He said that the matters pertaining to the Public Protector report would be delegated to Workgroup 1. He said that Ms February's input would be considered in the following week's hearing. He then informed the Committee that the AG's office had invited Mr Kannemeyer to participate in a Senior Management Workshop in Durban from 4 to 6 September 2003. He went further to say that the APEC (Asian Pacific Economic Community) conference report would be dealt with in a discussion during the course of next week.

The meeting was adjourned.


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