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STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
15 November 2006
RESOLUTIONS & CONSIDERATION OF COMMITTEE PROGRAMME FOR 2007: ADOPTION
Chairperson: Mr. T Godi (PAC)
Documents handed out:
Standing Committee on Public Accounts Committee Papers Wednesday, 15 November 2006
The minutes of the two prior meetings were adopted. It was decided that a meeting with the Minister of Minerals and Energy was necessary and would be scheduled after the State of the Union address on 9 February 2007. The resolutions on the Marine Living Resources Fund, Sheltered Employment Factory and National Skills Fund were adopted. The programme for 2007 was considered briefly.
Meeting held on 1 November 2006
The Chairperson apologised to the Committee for the Department of Minerals and Energy’s (DME) absence and stated that this was due to the unavailability of the Minister.
Ms A Dreyer (DA) asked whether the Minister would be willing to come to a committee meeting.
The Chairperson replied that he had not probed that path, but that he was sure that the Minister would comply.
Ms. Dreyer stated that they should have a meeting once the Minister was back in the country, even if it had to be after Parliament has adjourned.
The Chairperson called for suggestions.
Mr V Smith (ANC) asked who exactly would be having the meeting – SCOPA or as a whole or only Cluster 1. He highlighted that if the meeting took place during Parliament’s constituency period it might prove difficult to have all Members present.
The Chairperson replied that the Committee’s 62nd Report, on the Diamond Board, was categorised as Cluster 1. The Auditor General did his job, and the Committee will now await the Minister’s decision on the matter. He asked whether this meant that the Committee would not be able to meet before 5 December.
Mr E Trent (DA) asked whether the matter was urgent or whether it could wait until January 2007.
Mr P Gerber (ANC) said that the Minister has stated her availability and that this matter has been dragged out over 13 years. He was thus of the view that a further postponement to January 2007 would not make a difference.
The Chairperson suggested that they postpone the meeting until January 2007.
Ms Dreyer agreed.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee adopted the minutes on the meeting.
Meeting held on 7 November 2006
The Chairperson stated that they had not discussed the matter, and asked for any practical suggestions.
Ms Dreyer said that the Committee should write a letter to the Speaker pointing out the comments which, in SCOPA’s view, were inappropriate.
The Committee agreed.
The Chairperson asked if there was anything to report.
Mr. Gerber reported back that he had completed Category B and C reports. He stated that the Marine Living Resources Fund (MLRF) resolutions had been adopted.
Ms L Mashiane (ANC) reported on the following Group 2 resolutions: South African Library for Blind, Refugee Relief Fund, Public Service Commission, SITA, Arts & Culture – part of the African Cultural Museum project. In terms of correspondence from GCIS they had discussed and adopted the resolutions. She also proposed that they move the aforementioned meeting to after the State of the Nation address on 9 February.
The Chairperson said that Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) asked for their R1.6 million debt to be written off, as well as the interest on the amount. He noted that the debt resolution was passed, but not the interest issue. He asked whether the Committee agreed.
The Committee agreed.
Mr Trent expressed dismay at the lack of reports tabled by some institutions and at the lack of efficient distribution of said reports. He suggested that they put to the Speaker that the SCOPA Secretariat received a copy of every report.
Mr Gerber asked whether the report from Group 1 on the Auditor General’s findings had been factored in. He also stated that Parliament’s 2007 year began on 2 January, and he thus failed to see why the meeting needed to be postponed until 9 February.
The Chairperson replied that that was a strategy consideration.
Mr Smith responded that if they went ahead before the State of the Nation Address then they would not receive full attention.
The Chairperson stated that they would have to wait until next year to deal with the resolutions. He noted that the Committee adopted the minutes on the meeting.
Committee Draft 2007 Programme
The Chair noted that if the Committee had hearings on Wednesdays and Fridays from 09:00 to 13:00, it would also need to utilise Wednesday afternoons in order to shorten the time spent on Category A reports. If that were not done, Category A reports alone would take them until 4 May 2007.
Ms Dreyer proposed that, in order to be more effective, the Committee interchange between Group 1 and Group 2 hearings.
The Chairperson said that this had already been agreed upon, and that the primary was time utilisation.
The issue of transcription was raised by the Committee Secretary.
Ms Mashiane conceded that it was a problem. She also suggested that they shift the hearings on 9 February 2007 in order to fit the aforementioned meeting with the DME and its Minister.
The Chairperson noted how concentrated next year’s programme would be.
Mr Gerber read through the draft resolutions on the Marine Living Resources Fund, Sheltered Employment Factory and National Skills Fund. The resolutions were adopted.
The Chairman thanked everyone for coming and expressed his festive greetings to his colleagues. The meeting was adjourned.
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