Legislature Speaker accounts to Portfolio Committee on Provincial Affairs and Finance
25 Oct 2012
On Wednesday, 24 October 2012, the Speaker of the North West Provincial Legislature (NWPL), Hon. Supra Mahumapelo and the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Philemon Mapulane, Acting Secretary Ms. Petro Steyn, and the management of the institution appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Provincial Affairs and Finance to account on the Annual Report of the Legislature 2011/12 at the Legislature Building.
The Legislature had received an unqualified audit opinion with matters of emphasis for the 2011/12 financial year. The Committee, under the chairperson, Hon. Wendy Matsemela, complained that the Legislature has been getting unqualified reports with matters of emphasis for a long time now.
“Since 2009, there has been a pattern of irregular expenditure in this Legislature and from your statements I do not see how you are addressing the issue.
“The NWPL Management Act, guides the institution on how to conduct the business of the Legislature. If you deviate from what you have planned, this is what will happen. A number of issues need to be corrected from this Institution,” said Hon. Matsemela.
Issues that were raised ranged from; officials within the institution that had interests in supplying to other institution but did not obtain approval to perform remunerative work outside their employment, tender of R80 000 given to a supplier who did not get the highest score valuation, the delay in the renovation of the chamber, unauthorised expenditure in the official Opening of the Legislature.
The Speaker, Hon. Mahumapelo also informed the committee that the Accounting Officer of the institution, Mr Moss Kgantsi, has been put on precautionary suspension and that Ms Petro Steyn will be acting. Responding to the questions, Hon. Mahumapelo said “it is a culture to this institution that things are left till late and then there is no option but to approve as there are no service providers that will be available on such short notice.”
“I agree with you that there was a fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the Opening of the Legislature. A lot of things were repeatedly procured and were paid for,” said Hon. Mahumapelo.
Responding to questions about the refurbishment of the chamber and the state of the Legislature building, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Mapulane, said the problems that the Legislature is experiencing with regard to these are caused by the inefficiency of the Department of Public Works.
“I urge this Committee to assist us with this department. We had a meeting with them on Friday and we could not get any answers as most people in senior management are acting.
“We also heard that a service provider was appointed by a former Secretary of this Institution but there was insufficient funds to do the project (refurbishment of the chamber)," said Hon. Mapulane.
Acting Secretary, Petro Steyn, also said performance indicators and targets were not set out correctly in the Annual Performance Plan and that is why there was some deviation from the targets.
“We have now engaged National and Provincial Treasury to assist us with that.
“For the official opening of Legislature we had budgeted R2.5 million but it went up to R4.5 million. The costs went up because we had not budgeted for the event to be taken out of the Legislature. We then had to take money from our savings and Legislature Support Sector to pay for that,” said Ms Steyn.
Hon. Mahlakeng said the Legislature must look into getting its budget transferred to its coffersso they can be able to do all what they have planned to do. He also commented on the shortage of staff within the institution, that this makes it difficult for Members of the Provincial Legislature to do their work.
Hon. Mahumapelo thanked the Committee for doing its work. “You have interrogated us and we know that it is a matter of principle that we must account to this Committee.
Closing the meeting, Hon. Matsemela thanked all those who attended and especially thanked the office of the Auditor-General for the good workthey are doing.
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Issued by: North West Provincial Legislature
25 Oct 2012
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