Committee Report on Medium Term Budget Policy Statement: deliberations

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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


6 November 2007
Ms L Mabe (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Committee Report on Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement [available at Committee Reports once published]
Committee request for briefing by Department of Education
Department of Public Enterprises written response to 2 November 2007 meeting
Department of Housing written response to 1 November 2007 meeting
Committee request for briefing on 2007 MTBPS by Department of Agriculture

Audio recording of meeting

The Committee would not be able to complete the Report during the current term due. Insufficient time was granted to the Committee for completion of the Report, and it lacked proper support structures. Written responses had been received from three departments, and responses were awaited from four more.

Committee Report on Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS)
The Chair warned Members of the depletion of the Committee’s numbers, as some Members were serving on other Committees as well. Time constraints were a major factor, and the Report would not be finalized this term. The Committee should be given at least one month to cover its work on the MTBPS, rather than the few days that it was allocated this year.
Mr Perran Hahndiek, the Committee Secretary, pointed out that he had received three written submissions from the Departments of Education, Housing as well as Public Enterprises in responses to questions posed by the Committee during its hearings with those departments the previous week. The above-mentioned departments could not answer all the questions as a result of lack of time at that meeting. Mr Hahndiek was yet to integrate these submissions into the report, he noted.

The Chair had recommended that due to the depletion of the committee, it would be convenient to work in smaller teams.

Mr M Swart (DA) asked about written submissions on responses from the other four departments, as the Committee’s work on the Report could not carry proceed without them.

Mr Hahndiek replied that some of the departments would submit their responses the next day.

The Chair indicated that the previous year the Committee had sought the services of a consultant, whereas this year the Committee was operating on an experimental basis.

Ms J Fubbs (ANC) asked Mr Hahndiek for further clarity on the written responses to be received from other departments.

Mr Hahndiek explained that the other four departments were still drafting their reports to the Committee.

Ms Mabe reminded the Committee that those departments were due to submit their responses by noon on 5 November 2007 ie the previous day.
Mr Hahndiek informed the Committee that content advisors would be assisting the Committee in its work as of 1 April 2008. They were highly skilled personnel who would benefit the Committee.

Ms Fubbs recommended that the Committee Secretary of Parliament’s Standing Committee on the Auditor-General, Mr Dawood Petersen, would be sufficiently competent to assist Mr Hahndiek with the amount of work he had to do. She was of the view that Mr Hahndiek alone would not be able to finish the Committee’s Report on his own come January.
Ms Fubbs asked the Parliamentary Researcher, Mr Khaya, to produce the Report on the Committee’s MTBPS hearings in order for the Committee to complete the Report.

The meeting was adjourned.


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