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AD HOC COMMITTEE ON APPOINTMENT OF AUDITOR-GENERAL
04 May 2006
COMMITTEE PROGRAMME AND ELECTION OF CHAIRPERSON: POSTPONEMENT
In the Chair: Mr L Pakati (Committee Secretary)
This Committee had been formed to recommend a new Auditor-General to the National Assembly by 21 June 2006. The current Auditor-General’s term expires on 30 November 2006. This meeting had been called to continue that process. However, due to a lack of a quorum it had to be cancelled.
Members expressed serious concerns at the lack of attendance and appealed for better coordination and planning by Parliament’s Programme Committee.
The Speaker had established an Ad Hoc Committee on the Appointment of the Auditor-General and had requested that this Committee submit its report on the nomination of the Auditor-General to Parliament by 21 June 2006.
A Chairperson should have been elected at this meeting but as there was no quorum, the Committee Secretary informed Members on the process for the appointment of the new Auditor-General. The current Auditor-General’s term was due to expire on 30 November 2006. The Committee had been requested to report back to the National Assembly by 21 June. The meeting had been called to commence this process.
As there was no quorum, the Committee Secretary suggested that the meeting be adjourned and rescheduled for the following week.
Ms A Dreyer (DA) informed the Committee Secretary that she would then be unable to attend as she would be out of the country. She also expressed extreme disappointment that Members were not present for such important business, which showed a lack of interest and discipline.
Mr E Trent (DA) concurred with Ms Dreyer.
Mr S Asiya (ANC) felt that such a general statement should not be applied to Members. It was a matter of how meetings were organised. Training was scheduled to take place, which coincided with these meetings.
Mr V Smith (ANC) agreed that the meeting be postponed but felt that the absence of Members should not be discussed because they would be pointing fingers at themselves. All parties sat on the Programme Committee and should rather air their concerns about scheduling in that forum. He agreed with Ms Dreyer that it was an important meeting, but they should be careful not to blame other Parliamentarians as it was an institutional problem. He appealed for better coordination across the board from the Programme Committee. He had only been informed of the meeting a few days earlier. There was a need for better coordination and planning.
Mr Trent noted Mr Smith’s comments but raised the point that it was customary to tender apologies when one was unable to attend a meeting. If Members had tendered apologies the administration would have realised that this was an inappropriate day and the meeting could have been cancelled well in advance. Sometimes there was no quorum yet no apologies had been tendered. However, he accepted Mr Smith’s comments that coordination was poor.
The Committee Secretary noted the concerns and declared the meeting closed.
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