.ABOVE: Rachel Fischer, OUTA Parliamentary Engagement and Research Manager, right, hands over OUTA's parliamentary oversight report to Advocate Victor Ngaleka, Parliament's Procedural Advisor for the National Assembly Table. Picture: OUTA
Parliament receives OUTA's report on parliamentary oversight
Today the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) formally handed over our fourth annual report on parliamentary oversight to Parliament.
OUTA’s Parliamentary Engagement Office team handed over the report to Advocate Victor Ngaleka, Procedural Advisor for the National Assembly Table.
OUTA’s team is: Rachel Fischer, OUTA’s Parliamentary Engagement and Research Manager; Liz McDaid, OUTA Parliamentary and Energy Advisor; and Christopher Scholtz, OUTA Parliamentary Liaison. This team compiled the report.
Advocate Ngaleka undertook to share this report with the Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who will then decide the next steps.
“OUTA is proud to deliver the report directly to Parliament. This means that Parliament is responding to civil society’s call for great public participation, which is encouraging” says Fischer.
Our report, Kicking the can down the road: OUTA 2022 Report on Parliamentary Oversight in South Africa, was published during October and also distributed by e-mail to targeted MPs, the Secretary to Parliament, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, party whips and the House Chairperson for Committees, Oversight and ICTs. At the same time, OUTA had asked the Speaker’s Office for a suitable date and time to officially hand over a hard copy of the report, resulting in today’s handover.
Using tracking mechanisms on the e-mails sent, the following has been established:
• On 13 October, we sent the report to 53 e-mail addresses. Records show 98% of these were received, 46% opened and 5% clicked on the link to the report.
• On 28 October, we sent the report to 575 e-mail addresses, including the initial group. Records show 94% of these were received, 27% were opened but none clicked on the link to the report.
OUTA’s comprehensive report was compiled by OUTA’s Parliamentary Engagement Office and covers the period July 2021 to June 2022. This is the fourth report in OUTA’s annual series of reports on parliamentary oversight.
OUTA hopes to engage proactively with Parliament, and thus hopes to meet with parliamentarians to discuss our report. Ideally, we would like to meet with the Speaker and the new Secretary to Parliament, Xolile George, before the end of this year. This would be a demonstration that Parliament is serious about engaging with civil society. We would also like to meet the portfolio committees which we reviewed in our report.
Last month, OUTA met with the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy to discuss our 2021 parliamentary oversight report, which we found a valuable engagement.
OUTA’s report focusses on the National Assembly side of Parliament, and the portfolio committees operated by our MPs which are responsible for oversight of the Executive and government. The Parliamentary Engagement team assessed the work of 10 of these committees. OUTA hopes that the evaluative report will be beneficial to the portfolio committees’ Budgetary Review and Recommendation Reports process, the AGSA briefings to the committees and the reviews of departmental and entity annual reports. The role of parliamentary committees in overseeing annual reports is crucial to closing the accountability loop of planning, budgeting, implementation, reporting, auditing, and, finally, oversight.
It is our aim to foster closer collaboration between civil society and Parliament, and through this report we seek to achieve this.
A soundclip with comment by OUTA's Rachel Fischer is here.
The advocacy brief is here.
OUTA’s video on how Parliament should work is here.
Information on OUTA’s previous parliamentary oversight reports is here.
BELOW: Handing over OUTA's report, from left: Liz McDaid, OUTA Parliamentary and Energy Advisor; Advocate Victor Ngaleka, Parliament's Procedural Advisor for the National Assembly Table; and Christopher Scholtz, OUTA Parliamentary Liaison. Picture: OUTA
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