The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today by the DA’s Mike Moriarty MPL and Adriana Randall MPL during a debate on the 2014/15 Treasury Annual Report.
Mike Moriarty MPL
“Gauteng treasury: A department of lost opportunities”
- The people of Gauteng are denied the improvement of services but, even worse, the lack of progress regarding Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) denies our citizens of jobs and with it, the right to dignity.
- Recently, we learnt that in less than 3% of cases involving forensic investigation are criminal charges actually laid against the people involved.
- Our fellow Africans achieve far more than we do, in the same global economy, because of better government and policy certainty.
The full speech can be obtained here.
Adriana Randall MPL
“Treasury needs to be more transparent with public funds”
- The department further needs to establish what the major causes of accruals are, and how this will be addressed successfully. Urgent attention to the non-achievement of the development of a cost containment strategy must also be given seeing that it was one of the objectives not achieved.
- It is important to have a competent and capable workforce in the department and one thing that is worrying is that highly skilled production, levels 6-8, account for the highest band making use of sick leave at 33.73 %, with highly skilled supervision – levels 9-12, the most costly band when it comes to sick leave at R1 717 000 for the period under review.
- During a DA debate in the Gauteng Legislature over cross-departmental sharing of information regarding the details of poor performing contractors, MEC Creecy argued this would not be necessary as the transparency stemming from the open tender system would thwart this problem. However, the open tender system has thus far been less than open.
The full speech can be obtained here.
By Denis Joseph MPP, Chairperson of the Standing Committee of Finance in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament:
The Standing Committee on Finance in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament has considered the annual performance of Treasury today. While the department continues to support municipalities and the other departments in the Western Cape, treasury has received its 6th clean audit.
This is why the people of the Western Cape have confidence in the Western Cape Government. The department is committed to good governance and tangible service delivery. As such, competency and capacity are of utmost importance.
The Department depends on professional staff which is considered a scarce skill, this leads to staff turnover and vacancy rates which is of concern. I will request that the Minister of Finance in the Western Cape, DR. Ivan Meyer, to supply the Standing Committee of Finance with a detailed turn-around strategy on these vacancy rates.
The Municipal Economic Review Outlook (MERO) as well as the Provincial Economic Outlook (PERO), which were tabled in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament recently, serve to support efficient municipal and provincial delivery in the Western Cape.
While MERO and PERO provide important frameworks for the effective use of public money, it must go along with a competent staff. The challenge that the department faces is that the staff turnover is too rapid.
The department, along with the South African Association of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), is to establish a training office for public sector chartered accountants. Through this program the department will empower 5 to 10 trainee Chartered Accounts, who assist other provincial departments in producing and interpreting financial statements.
By Langa Bodlani (MPL), DA Limpopo Spokesperson on Treasury:
The DA has today written to the MEC for Treasury, Mr Rob Tooley to request his action against government officials who continue to do business with provincial departments. This practice is continuing unabated even after the AG has recently highlighted it as a concern. These officials continue to hand out contracts to themselves and their close cronies. It must be investigated and put an end to.
It emerged in a parliamentary response to the DA that 29 employees of the Department of Transport are doing business with government. Out of this number , nine of them benefitted more than R2.3 million after having conducted business with various other state entities in the last financial year. More are set to be revealed as more departments provide their responses.
Treasury as a custodian of our provincial finances with the transversal oversight role on all other departments must act swiftly to put an end on this practice.
This happens despite the Public Administration Act which was recently signed into law which prohibits public servants from doing business with the state.
The Act prohibits public servants from conducting business with the state or being a director of a public or private company that conducts business with the state. According to this Act, failure to comply with this prohibition constitutes serious misconduct which may result in the termination of employment by the employer.
The DA believes in government that implements fair and transparent tender processes, where each and every entrepreneur can bid fairly to receive business opportunities from government.
Where the DA governs, public officials are held to a strict code of conduct and timeously submit their financial disclosure reports. ANC-led governments must urgently implement provincial legislation which prevents state employees from doing business with government too, like the DA has done.