Oversight responsibility of Public Service and Administration Portfolio Committee
The Public Service and Administration Portfolio Committee is responsible for oversight of the Department of Public Service and Administration/Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as the following statutory entities:
Committees conduct their business on behalf of the House and report back on matters referred to them.
Learn more about the work of this Committee: Legacy Reports
The role and functions of Committees in Parliament (provided by Parliament)
In accordance with the powers given to it by the Constitution, the National Assembly establishes a range of committees with assigned powers and functions. The committees are required to report regularly on their activities and to make recommendations to the House for debate and decision. A large part of the Assembly’s role in the law‑making process happens in committees and much of its oversight over the executive is also done through committees, particularly the portfolio committees.
There is a portfolio committee for each corresponding government department. The composition of the committees reflects, as far as is practicable, the numerical strengths of the parties represented in the Assembly. That committee will deliberate on bills covering that department’s area of jurisdiction and scrutinise and report on its annual budget and strategic plan. As the people’s representatives, members of the committees determine whether government departments are delivering on what they promised and whether they are spending the public money they receive in a responsible manner. As part of their oversight work, committees may also do site visits where they find out directly from the people at ground level whether the government is delivering on its promises.
If a committee reports on a matter and makes certain recommendations, that report will be debated in a full sitting or plenary to give other members of the House an opportunity to engage with the content of the report. Once the report has been debated, the House decides whether to adopt the committee’s recommendations. The House may also decide only to note the report or it may refer the report back to the committee with an instruction to do further work
Broadly speaking, the mandates of Committees are to consider and process legislation referred to it; exercise oversight over the Department and entities reporting to it; consider international agreements referred to it; consider the budget vote of the Department and its entities; facilitate public participation in its processes; and to consider all other matters referred to it in terms of legislation and the Rules of Parliament
Working in Committees allows Parliament to:
-Increase the amount of work that can be done
-Ensure that issues can be debated in more detail than in plenary sessions
-Increase the level of participation of Members of Parliament (MPs) in discussions
-Enable MPs to develop expertise and in-depth knowledge of the specific Committee's area of work
-Provide a platform for the public to present views directly to MPs, something which is not possible in a plenary sitting of Parliament
-Provide an environment for Parliament to hear evidence and collect information related to the work of a specific Committee
Rule 167 of the National Assembly Rules (9th Edition) say that for the purposes of performing its functions committee may, subject to the Constitution, legislation, the other provisions of these rules and resolutions of the Assembly –
-Summon any person to appear before it to give evidence on oath or affirmation, or to produce documents
-Receive petitions, representations or submissions from interested persons or institutions
-Permit oral evidence on petitions, representations, submissions and any other matter before the committee
-Conduct public hearings
-Consult any Assembly or Council committee or subcommittee, or any joint committee or subcommittee
-Determine its own working arrangements
-Meet at a venue determined by it, which may be a venue beyond the seat of Parliament
-Meet on any and at any time, including –
- On a day which is not a working day
- On a day on which the Assembly is not sitting
- At a time when the Assembly is not sitting, or
- During a recess
-Exercise any other powers assigned to it by the Constitution, legislation, the other provisions of these rules or resolutions of the Assembly
Committee membership is distributed among the parties roughly in proportion to the seats they get in Parliament, so if a party wins 20% of the seats, its MPs will occupy about 20% of committee positions.
The NA Rules Committee agreed that all Committees will be comprised of 11 Members: ANC – 6; DA – 2; EFF – 1; other parties – 2.
Where it is practicably possible, each party is entitled to at least one representative in a Committee.
Committees in Practice
With the agreement of members, the Committee staff sets the dates and times of committee meetings. The frequency of committee meetings is determined by a committee’s work programme but it is normal for a committee to meet weekly. From time to time, committees can meet more than once a week if they work programme so demands.
Section 59(1)(b) of the Constitution requires that the National Assembly and it’s committees conduct their business in an open manner and hold their sittings in public. Section 59(2) states that the National Assembly may not exclude the public or the media unless it is ‘reasonable and justifiable to do so in an open and democratic society’. Rule 184(2) of the Rules of the National Assembly further require that any decision to exclude the public from a committee meeting or part thereof must be taken ‘after due consideration’ by that committee
Who attends Committee Meetings?:
MPs (those assigned to the committee and if they so wish, any other MP)
Committee Staff: Committee Secretary, Committee Assistant, Researcher, Content Advisor
Departments, entities, organizations, individuals and experts who are invited by the Committee to speak and be questioned
Parliamentary Legal Advisor (from time to time)
THE DIFFERENT COMMITTEES OF PARLIAMENT
The National Assembly (NA) appoints from among its members a number of Portfolio Committees to shadow the work of the various national government departments.
The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) appoints from its permanent members a number of Select Committees to shadow the work of the various national government departments and to deal with Bills.
Because only 54 of the 90 NCOP Members are permanent delegates compared to the 400 of the NA, the Select Committees oversee the work of more than one national government department.
Public Accounts Committees
The National Assembly Standing Committee on Public Accounts acts as Parliament's watchdog over the way taxpayers' money is spent by the Executive. Every year the Auditor-General tables reports on the accounts and financial management of the various government departments and State institutions.
Heads of government departments and institutions are regularly called by this committee to report and account for expenditure. The Committee can recommend that the National Assembly takes corrective actions if necessary.
The National Assembly has a number of internal committees that deal with matters affecting the running of Parliament. The Committees normally consist of senior Members of Parliament. The Rules Committee and its sub-committees deal with House rules. There are structures to deal with support for Members, internal arrangements, disciplinary matters and powers and privileges of members. Other internal Committees are the Programme Committee that plans the work of the Assembly, the Disciplinary Committee, and the Committee of Chairpersons.
The National Council of Provinces also has its own domestic Committees. The Rules Committee and its subcommittees deal with the NCOP rules. There are structures to deal with support for Members, internal arrangements, disciplinary matters and powers and privileges of members. The Programme Committee plans the work of the NCOP and the Committee of Chairpersons make recommendations about the functioning of Committees and other NCOP forums.
Ad hoc Committees
Parliament or one of its Houses may appoint an ad hoc (temporary) Committee when a special task must be done. When the task is complete, the Committee is dissolved.
The National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces together appoint a number of joint committees.
There are six Joint Committees:
- Constitutional Review Committee
- Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence
- Joint Standing Committee on Defence
- Committee on Multi-Party Women’s Caucus
- Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament
- Joint Standing Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests
The committees play a very important role in the process of building democracy and involving the public in the processes and activities of Parliament.
|NW1385 by Mrs H Denner - (1) What number of (a) calls were logged with...|
|NW1607 by Dr L A Schreiber - Whether the Government is considering...|
|NW1424 by Dr L A Schreiber - (1)By what cumulative percentage in (a) real...|
|NW1433 by Mrs M O Clarke - (1)What total amount did his department...|
|NW770 by Dr L A Schreiber - (1) What is the breakdown of the number of...|
|NW1148 by Mrs H Denner - (1)Whether, with reference to his reply to...|
|NW558 by Mrs M O Clarke - What number of government officials have not...|
|NW431 by Mrs M O Clarke - (1)What is the name of each official in each...|
|NW879 by Mr C Brink - (1)Whether his department will offer any form...|
|NW313 by Mr C Brink - Whether a certain person (name and details...|
|NW987 by Mrs H Denner - (1)Whether his department awarded any tenders...|
|NW889 by Mrs H Denner - (1)Whether, with reference to the recent...|
|NW495 by Mrs M O Clarke - (1)What (a) total number of (i) national and...|
|NW666 by Dr L A Schreiber - Whether he, his department and/or any entity...|
|NW665 by Dr L A Schreiber - Whether he, his department and/or any entity...|
|NW490 by Dr L A Schreiber - Whether he intends to reduce the public sector...|
|NW454 by Mrs H Denner - (1)Whether, with reference to the recent...|
|NW430 by Mrs M O Clarke - What (a) total number of (i) national and (ii)...|
|NW273 by Ms S J Graham - What mechanisms does his department have in...|
|CW50 by Mr S Zandamela - When will the moratorium on the filling of...|
|NW254 by Dr L A Schreiber - Whether he approved the appointments of...|
|NW167 by Dr L A Schreiber - Whether he approved the appointment of a...|
|NW166 by Dr L A Schreiber - Whether he confirms his statement, made to the...|
|NW1212 by Mr D Joseph - What (a) type of performance or incentive...|
|NW1372 by Mr J N de Villiers - Whether his department did business with...|
|NW1328 by Mrs M B Hicklin - (1) With reference to Agrément South Africa’s...|
|NW1138 by MRS M O CLARKE - (1) (a) On what grounds were performance...|
|NW1021 by Dr Schreiber L A - Noting that his department is currently...|
|NW953 by DR L A SCHREIBER - (1) What number of public service employees...|
|NW788 by Ms M O Mokause - (1)(a) What amount was spent on advertising by...|
|NW1175 by Mr W F Faber - Whether his department incurred any costs...|
|NW693 by Mrs M O CLARKE - What (a) number of recommendations did the...|
|NW495 by DR L A SCHREIBER - What is the average remuneration package of...|
|NW750 by Mr N E Hinana - (1)Whether his department hosted any event...|
|NW426 by Mrs M O CLARKE - Whether the Public Service Commission has...|
|NW494 by DR L A SCHREIBER - What (a) number of public service employees...|
|NW493 by DR L A SCHREIBER - With reference to his reply to question 126 on...|
|NW369 by Mrs C Phillips - What (a) number of official international...|
|NW284 by Mr A C Roos - What (a) total amount is budgeted for his...|
|NW232 by Dr L A Schreiber - What (a) number of Public Service employees...|
|NW127 by Dr L A Schreiber - (1)Whether his department’s Public...|
|NW231 by Dr L A Schreiber - What is the total current vacancy rate across...|
|NW126 by Dr L A Schreiber - (1)What number of public service employees...|
|NW176 by Dr L A Schreiber - Whether his department intends to conduct the...|
|NW95 by Mr M Hlengwa - Whether his department has made any progress...|
|NW516 by Ms N V Mente - (a) What number of (i) buildings, (ii)...|
|NW676 by Ms D van der Walt - What is the total number of members of the...|
|NW675 by Ms D van der Walt - With regard to the 3 655 officials that were...|
|NW674 by Ms D van der Walt - With reference to the number of Senior...|
|NW349 by Ms D van der Walt - (1)What number of (a) employees are currently...|
|Bill name||Date introduced||Number||Status|
|Public Service Commission Amendment Bill||26 Aug 2015||B21-2015||Act commenced|
|Public Administration Management Bill||18 Nov 2013||B55-2013||Act partially commenced|
|Public Administration Management Bill||09 Oct 2013||B48-2013||Withdrawn|
|Public Administration Management Bill||13 Jun 2008||B47-2008||Withdrawn|
|Public Service Amendment Bill||17 Oct 2006||B31-2006||Act commenced|
AttendanceRanked 33 out of 60 for NA
Secretary of Committee
Tel: 021 403 8445
Cell: 083 709 8531
Secretary to Chairperson
Tel: 021 403 3233
Cell: 083 709 8478