DWS to fully cooperate with Parly inquiry

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) says it will fully cooperate in the inquiry set to investigate the financial state of the department.

“The department will fully cooperate with the due processes of parliament in line with terms of reference that were discussed by the joint meeting,” the department said on Tuesday.

It added that “while the parliamentary process unfolds, the department will continue to ensure that water and sanitation services continue to be delivered unabated to the people of South Africa”.

The inquiry, which is set up by the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), has considered the term of reference for the establishment of the commission.

The terms of reference speak to the rules of the National Assembly, the objectives of the inquiry, issues that the inquiry will focus on, time frames and the procedure of the inquiry.

The joint committee also on Tuesday considered the guidelines on the scope of the inquiry, which provide key focus areas and a brief scope for the inquiry in the department.

They have agreed to focus on financial areas, which will include irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, budgeting, deviations and expansions, accruals and duplicate payments of service providers.

The joint committee will also focus on human resources management, infrastructure projects, contract management and project management, implementing agents, ministerial directives to water boards, investigations, raw water revenue, governance of the water entities and reconfiguration of the department.

The draft guidelines also provide a suggested list of possible witnesses to appear and provide evidence at the inquiry.

The list of possible witnesses includes officials of the department, internal audit officials, audit committee, past officials implicated, project managers, implementing agents, contractors, sub-contractors, consultants, Reserve Bank representatives, whistle blowers, National Treasury, water boards members (former and current), the Auditor-General of South Africa and audit firms, some audited water entities and any other persons that may be identified by the joint committee.

The joint committee said it will finalise and adopt the programme for the inquiry next week. - SAnews.gov.za