SCOPA pleased with term's work

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has expressed satisfaction at its work and legacy achieved in the past five years.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the committee said it had today adopted its legacy report.

The report details the work of the committee over the past five years which will assist the new Scopa committee in the sixth Parliament.

“Scopa’s legacy report indicates that in the past five years the committee has identified critical issues, such as financial mismanagement; non-adherence to supply-chain management; inadequate internal control management; ‘evergreen’ contracts, particularly in state-owned entities; leadership instability; non-compliance with laws and regulations, particularly the Constitution, the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), Treasury regulations, the Public Service Act and public service regulations in government departments and state-owned entities,” the committee said in the statement.

In five years, the committee held 150 committee meetings, undertook 12 oversight visits and conducted one joint oversight visit with another committee. Challenges identified during the oversight visits included officials and senior management disregarding legislation such as the Constitution, the PFMA, Treasury regulations and the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act, among others.

“Scopa’s key achievements include it role in ensuring the termination of the Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) contract, which was declared irregular and was renewed irregularly. Another key achievement was its role in requesting that the South African Social Security Agency negotiate with the South African Post Office (Sapo), to establish whether the role performed by CPS could be done by Sapo. An agreement was reached to award the contract to Sapo, thereby saving the state a substantial sum of money,” the committee said.

The committee also referred cases of possible corruption to the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT) for further investigation.

It scrutinised contract management and awarding of tenders at the State Information Technology Agency and the Forensic Data Analysts contract at the South Africa Police Service.

The committee also intervened in municipalities and other government offices defaulting on debt payments to Eskom. Scopa also intervened at the Public Investment Corporation, the Department of Water and Sanitation, and at the Department of Public Works (prestige contract).

Committee chairperson Themba Godi said the Scopa is grateful for the relationship it had with the Office of the Auditor-General, the National Treasury, ACTT, the Public Service Commission, the Special Investigating Unit, the Association of Public Accounts Committees and the Southern Africa Development Community Organisation of Public Accounts Committees, which assisted Scopa in its work. –