Canadian Studytour discussion and Committee Programme Planning

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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


21 June 2001
Canadian studytour DISCUSSION AND Committee Programme Planning

Mr F Beukes (NNP)

Documents handed out:
Committee Programme From July-18 November
Draft Resolutions (available shortly at
Committee Reports)
Committee Reports on Canadian studytour (available shortly at
Committee Reports).
Information Services: Research on Oversight Experiences and Lessons in Mozambique.
Various correspondence to the Committee (available shortly @
Committee Reports)
Committee Minutes 8 June 2005

A Committee delegation that had gone on a studytour to Canada briefed other Members on their impressions. The Committee then discussed their programme for August to September 2005. The next Committee plenary meeting would be held in Benoni on 12 July 2005. The Committee would undertake a studytour of Kenya and Mozambique from 1 to 5 August 2005.

Members also mentioned the Masters in Commerce degree programme and measures that would be taken to help those who did not have the usual entry requirements.


Committee planning
The Committee unanimously adopted the Clerk’s minutes of 8 June 2005.

Ms Mojela suggested that the Committee invite the Portfolio Committee on Finance to the 22 June hearings on the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, and the Committee agreed.

The Chairperson said that their plenary meeting would be held in Benoni on 12 July 2005. The Committee would undertake a studytour of Kenya and Mozambique from 1 to 5 August 2005.

Canadian Studytour discussion
Various Committee Members had met the Office of the Auditor-General of Canada and the Canadian House of Commons Standing on Public Accounts on their visit of November 2004.

Mr E Trent (DA) briefed the Committee about the studytour to Canada. His first observation was that the Auditor-General's office was staffed by highly qualified multi-disciplinary teams of sociologists, engineers, accountants and actuaries. Their core job was to maximise the value to the Canadian taxpayers. An independent group reviewed the Auditor-General's budget.

Ms L Mabe (ANC) said that she observed that the Auditor-General's stated objectives were used to evaluate his role. Government departments took asset management very seriously, which would be good for South Africa to emulate. She urged Members to behave as a unit when they go on a studytour rather than as Political Party representatives.

Mr G Dixon had observed that the researchers were dedicated staff for Committees, and they were highly qualified. There were no dedicated Committee clerks, but they revolved around different Committees.

Mr R Mofokeng (ANC) had observed that there was less mistrust and antagonism among the Political Parties in Canada, as compared to South Africa. It could be because that the Canadian democracy had been around for some time. Canadian MPs were highly educated, and many were specialists in their own fields. The national budget system in Canada was directed at less pressing problems than those facing South Africa.

Mr P Gerber commented that the South African Parliamentary system was on par with the best in the World. He felt that Members should be proud of their Auditor-General-G and their Committee because they were held in high esteem by the Canadian Parliament.

The Chairperson said that the use of various languages was tolerated in the Canadian Parliament. Members could answer in English even though the question was asked in French. The Canadian Parliament was in the process of elevating indigenous languages, and South Africa could learn from them. Ms L Mojela concurred.

The Chairperson said that the National Treasury Resolution and African Resolution 223 would be dealt with at a later stage. He continued that Members could read the letter from Professor Burger about the Masters of Commerce programme, Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma in their own time.

Mr Gerber reminded Members that they should not regard the M Com course as a Committee course, because Members from other Committees could have interest in the course. Mr Mofokeng said that other Members did not have the necessary qualifications required for registration in the course. Those Members would have to go through accelerated programmes to gain access to the M Com course.

The Chairpersons told Members that the newly appointed Director-General of the Department of Justice had written a letter requesting personal interaction with the Committee. This was a follow up from the previous Director General's request.

The meeting was adjourned.


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