ATC130509: Report of the Select Committee on Appropriations on the Appointment of Director for the Parliamentary Budget Office, dated 09 May 2013

Standing Committee on Appropriations



1. The Parliamentary Budget Office

Section 15 of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, Act No. 9 of 2009 (the Act), establishes the Parliamentary Budget Office. The Parliamentary Budget Office must provide independent, objective and professional advice and analysis to Parliament on matters related to the budget and other money Bills. A Director must manage the Parliamentary Budget Office. The Director must be appointed by resolution of both Houses of Parliament, after a recommendation of the Committees on Finance and Appropriations of both Houses. In terms of subsection 15(7) of the Act, any committee considering making such recommendation contemplated in the Act must do so in an open and transparent manner. In addition, the aforementioned Committees must also recommend to the Houses of Parliament the conditions of service for the appointee.

2. Setting up of Budget Office and Appointment of Director

On 24 May 2012 the National Assembly, citing technical challenges that have become apparent during the implementation of the Act, passed a resolution, instructing the Standing Committee on Finance (the Committee) to review the Act with a view to introduce amending legislation if necessary.

A Political Task Team was appointed to advise the Houses on the implementation of the Act, and to consider pertinent aspects relating to the implementation of the Act. The matter of the appointment of the Director to the Parliamentary Budget Office also received the attention of the Task Team.

Since May 2012, Professor M I Jahed was seconded from the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) to assist Parliament in the process of setting up the Parliamentary Budget Office.

The project led by Prof. Jahed has been able to outline and clarify the functions and scope of the office, design an operational structure, established networks with external stakeholders and engaged political parties and relevant Committees.

The Task Team was satisfied with the work that the project has been able to accomplish within a limited period of time and resources. In addition, the Task Team was of the view that it was important to ensure continuity in the work that has been initiated. To this end, the Task Team recommended to the four Committees charged with the responsibility of identifying the Director for the Parliamentary Budget Office to consider Prof. Jahed for appointment as Director.

3. Prof. Jahed’s Profile

Prof. Jahed holds a PhD in Economics and obtained experience and expertise in economic development, economic policy formulation and public and development management. He served as a senior economic planning specialist at the DBSA, was appointed Deputy Director General: Office of the Premier Limpopo Province , responsible for economic growth and development, economic policy, economic planning, transformation and provincial administration.

Prof. Jahed joined the South African business sector representative group, the National Business Initiative, as Director of Economics. From 2003 to 2005, Prof. Jahed was seconded by the South African Presidency as Chief Economist and Head of Policy, Strategy and Research of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) Secretariat. From 2005 to 2010, Prof. Jahed was a Professor at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) in the Graduate School of Public and Development Management (Wits Public and Development Management (P&DM)). Prof. Jahed taught macroeconomic policy, public economics and public finance, and supervised Master’s and Doctoral candidates. Prof. Jahed continues to serve as Visiting Professor at Wits P&DM.

Since May 2010, Prof. Jahed has been employed at the DBSA as Divisional Executive: Policy and Integration. In addition to being appointed to the National Presidential Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Advisory Council, Prof. Jahed serves on various Boards including, Chairman: Magalies Water Board and Director: Small Business Project.

4. Committee’s Deliberations

The Select Committee on Appropriations deliberated on the recommendations of the Task Team, and on Prof. Jahed’s profile. In reaching its decision on the matter, the Committee took into consideration the substantive interactions that Prof. Jahed has had with the different political parties and with individual members, his extensive expertise in finance and economics, and the degree of professionalism with which he has conducted his work over the past eleven months. Based on the above points, the Select Committee on Appropriations is of the view that Prof. Jahed is a suitable candidate to head the Parliamentary Budget Office.

The Committee having engaged and tested the suitability of Prof. Jahed as the Director of the Parliamentary Budget Office, recommended that he be offered a 5 year employment contract to head the office in line with section 15 (5) (b) of the Act.

5. Conclusion and Recommendation

In accordance with subsections 15(5) (a) and (b) of the Act, the Select Committee on Appropriations recommends as follows:

5.1 That Professor M I Jahed be appointed as Director of the Parliamentary Budget Office.

5.2 That the appointment of the Director of the Parliamentary Budget Office be subject to agreement to a 5 year performance based renewable contract with the conditions of service (including salary and allowance) being substantially the same as those of the top rank of the public service as per subsection 15(5)(b) of the Act.

To be considered


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