Air Services Licensing Amendment Bill [B25B-2008]: Department of Transport briefing

NCOP Public Services

29 July 2008
Chairperson: Rev P Moatshe (ANC, North West)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Transport presented the amendments made to the Air Services Licensing Amendment Bill. The decision to amend the Bill was made consequent upon the Minister’s concerns that the current Air Services Licensing Act of 1990 had expressly excluded a public servant from being appointed as a member of the Air Services Licensing Council if he or she was an officer or employee defined in the Public Service Act. The amendment was intended to rectify this position. In addition, the opportunity was being taken to delete references to obsolete laws, to substitute gender-insensitive phrases, to clarify that the Minister of Transport should designate the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson of the Air Services Licensing Council, to provide for a revised nomination procedure for appointment to the Council, the terms of office, reasons for disqualification for membership and other related matters. The Department detailed each clause of the Bill. Members voted to adopt the Bill and the Committee Report.

Meeting report

Election of Chairperson
In the absence of the Chairperson, the Committee Secretary welcomed all present and referred to Rule 92 of the NCOP Rules, calling for nominations for the election of an Acting Chairperson. Rev P Moatshe was elected as Acting Chairperson for the meeting.

Air Services Licensing Amendment Bill [B 25B – 2008]: Department of Transport Briefing
Officials from the Department of Transport briefed the Committee on the purpose of and principles contained in the Air Services Licensing Amendment Bill.

The background to the matter was that on 31 March 2006 the term of office of the current Air Services Licensing Council (the Council) had expired. In terms of the Air Services Licensing Act No 115 of 1990 (the principal Act) a call for nominations was made, applications were received and a recommendation on the appointments was made to the Minister for approval. At that stage, however, the Minister expressed concern that the position of the Chairperson was not held by an employee of the Department.

The Department had explained to the Minister that the Air services Licensing Act expressly excluded a public servant from being appointed as a member of the council if he or she was an officer or employee as defined in section 1 of the Public Service Act, 198. The only way to rectify the position, and thus empower the Minister to appoint a public servant as the Chairperson of the Council, was by amending the principal Act.

A decision was therefore taken to amend Air Services Licensing Act. The references to obsolete laws were to be substituted. Certain gender-insensitive constructions of phrases were to be substituted. It was to be clarified that the Minister of Transport should designate the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson of the Air Services Licensing Council. The amendments would also provide for a revised nomination procedure for candidates to be appointed as members of the Council, make further provision for the term of office of members of the Council and for one of the grounds of disqualification for membership of the Council. Other consequential matters were also covered by the Bill.

The Department then detailed the clauses of the Bill, explaining the content and reasoning of each (see attached presentation for details).

There were no questions recorded by Members.
Adoption of the Bill and Report
The Chairperson read out the Motion of Desirability for adoption, and this was duly accepted by Members, who then proceeded to adopt the Bill.

The Chairperson asked Members to consider the Report of the Committee, which was also duly adopted.

The meeting was adjourned.

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