National Development Agency (NDA): briefing

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Finance Standing Committee

19 August 1998
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Meeting report

19 August 1998


There was general acceptance of the National Development Agency Bill in the Portfolio Committee on Finance meeting. However, a number of issues were raised and the Bill was held over for further discussion:

- The definition should include CBOs and not exclude income-generating projects.
- The issue of financial management with regard to the Board and Management Committee as well as the organisations to be granted funding. The Board and Management Committee should have members with financial statements. Funding for this purpose should be included in the grant.
- To ensure an open and transparent process a committee will be appointed by the Minister to oversee the process of appointing the nine civil society Board members. The committee will advertise, shortlist and make recommendations to the Minister.
- Remuneration will be in line with all Boards of this nature.
- Another issue raised was the location of the Board in the Department of Finance.
- The borrowing power (section 2(b)) to be taken out of the Bill.
- The timeline for when the Bill will be passed was not discussed.

Appendix 1:
Purpose of Bill
1.1 The purpose of the Bill is to establish a National Development Agency ("NDA") aimed at promoting an appropriate and sustainable partnership between the Government and civil society organisations to eradicate poverty and its causes.
1.2 The objects of the NDA are -
(a) to grant funds to civil society organisations to carry out programmes aimed at meeting development needs of poor communities and at strengthening the institutional capacity of other civil society organisations involved in direct service provision to those communities,
(b) to promote consultation, dialogue and sharing of development experience between civil society organisations and relevant organs of state and to promote debate on development policy and
(c) to undertake research aimed at providing the basis for development policy (see clause 3 of the Bill).

Content of Bill
2.1 The Bill proposes that the NDA acts through a board consisting of six government representatives. appointed by the Minister of Finance after consultation with relevant Ministers, and of nine members representing civil society organisations. appointed by the Minister of Finance (see clause 5(1)). The duties and powers of the NDA are set out in clause 4. The Board of the NDA must be reconstituted every three years (see clause 6(1)). The Bill also deals with the appointment of a chairperson and deputy chairperson for the Board. with the filling of vacancies. remuneration and disqualification of members of the Board as well as with meetings of the Board (see clauses 5, 6 and 7).
2.2 Furthermore, the Bill provides for the establishment of a management committee and the appointment of a chief executive officer and other personnel to ensure the effective functioning of the NDA (see clauses 8 and 9).
2.3 Clauses 10 and 11 regulates the financial affairs, and auditing by the Auditor-General, of the NDA as well as annual reporting to Parliament by the NDA.
2.4 Provision is also made for the Minister of Finance. the Board and the chief executive officer to delegate certain of their respective powers and duties (see clause 12).
2.5 The Minister of Finance is enabled to make regulations which are necessary for the effective administration of the provisions of the Bill. if it becomes law (see clause 13).


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