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LABOUR PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
19 September 2006
WORKSHOP ON GUIDELINES TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PREPARING ANNUAL REPORTS
Chairperson: Ms O Kasienyane (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Oversight Role of Parliament and the provincial legislatures: Annual Reports
Evaluating Budgets and Identifying Budget Priorities
[PMG note: PMG did not attend the entire meeting, and a brief summary is provided below]
Mr Conrad Barberton, from National Treasury’s Provincial Budget Analysis Unit, presented the workshop. It was partly aimed at furthering Members’ expertise as far as budget and annual report analysis was concerned. The workshop would explore some aspects of effective annual report and budget analysis. Adequate analysis of these documents was of critical importance for improving performance of the entities being evaluated. He said that National Treasury looked forward to having legislatures playing a proactive role as far as the oversight of annual reports and budgets was concerned. Budgets should be evaluated and budget priorities should be identified so as to determine whether the allocations reflected department priorities.
Mr Barberton took members through a summary of some of the main points raised in Guidelines for Legislative Oversight through Annual Reports, which he co-authored. Budgets and annual reports were linked to each other, with the latter speaking to how moneys had been spent. Exercising of oversight by Parliament involved “looking to the past in order to improve the future”. He felt that this had to be the focus of every Parliamentary Committee.
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