Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tight oversight on Presidency

ByOfentse Mokae
27 May 2010

Tight and strong oversight on the Presidency is expected to take full course as soon as a Presidential Portfolio Committee is established.

Plans are underway in parliament to see the establishment of this oversight committee, the first ever, finalised.

The proposal for the committee was submitted by the official opposition last month to the National Assembly to oversee the work of the Presidency and to strengthen legislative oversight over President Jacob Zuma’s administration.

Following the 2009 general elections two new ministries were created in the Presidency, the Monitoring and Evaluation ministry under Minister Collins Chabane and the National Planning ministry under Minister Trevor Manuel.

The Democratic Alliance’s Athol Trollip says the Presidency and its function forms a significant part of the work of the national government as a whole and, in order that it exercise the vast power vested in it in an open and transparent manner, it is necessary that it account to the legislature in the same manner national government departments are required to.

“Since 1994, no such portfolio committee has existed, this has limited the constitutional imperative that the legislature provides oversight over the work of the executive.

The Constitution recognises that parliamentary committees are the best mechanism through which to achieve these ends; and the same principles that apply to the rest of government departments should now be applied to the Presidency,” Trollip said.

The ANC in parliament has given the establishment of the committee the green light.

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