Parliament’s Executive Authority, namely the Speaker of the National Assembly and Chairperson of the NCOP, should appear before the Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament to explain their failure to conclude a written performance agreement with the legislature’s accounting officer, Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana.
According to section 8 (1) and (2) of the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act (10 of 2009), “[t]he Executive Authority and the Accounting Officer must conclude a written performance agreement for the Accounting Officer … within a reasonable time after the Accounting Officer is employed and thereafter within one week after the start of each financial year”.
Mgidlana revealed, in response to my questions in the committee on Friday, that no such performance agreement has been concluded for the 2016/2017 financial year, even though the financial year ends in six weeks. The Secretary was at pains to stress that he has earned no performance bonus in the current period; however, with no written performance agreement, it is unclear how any such bonus could be calculated.
Local news reports today reveal that bursaries have been awarded to Mgidlana and other senior officials at Parliament, whereas some 50 junior staffers have had their applications for bursaries turned down as “the legislature had run out of funds”.
Baleka Mbete and Thandi Modise must now appear before this important committee to explain why they failed in their duties.
The DA was at odds with Parliament’s Executive Authority on a number of issues relating to the recent State of the Nation Address, including the legality of the deployment of military personnel on the Parliamentary precinct. Now questions over Parliament’s financial management can be traced back to further failures by Mbete and Modise to adhere to legislation.
The Speaker and Chairperson have explaining to do.
Mike Waters MP
Deputy Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance