Parliament responds to Mgidlana’s spending
Parliament defended Mgidlana’s expenditure, saying the trips referred to were undertaken “as a strategic imperative as the fifth democratic Parliament is saddled with a responsibility of repositioning Parliament from its first-generation achievements and challenges, and to relaunch itself on to a new development trajectory for the second generation”.
“Even in a context of cost-cutting measures adopted by Parliament a few months ago, these strategic interventions to help reposition Parliament for a new epoch cannot be sacrificed, as the cost of such omissions would be too bad to think of, including the exchange programmes, benchmarking and strengthening of South Africa’s role in the fast-evolving sphere of international legislative systems,” said Parliament’s new media manager, Manelisi Wolela.
He said all their actions and decisions were in line with international protocols such as “the imperative of getting chauffeured vehicles in the countries visited”. “The value of these trips undertaken by the secretary to Parliament and a number of executive managers continues to manifest in the current efforts of repositioning Parliament,” said Wolela.
Wolela said the international engagements have helped the institution to, among other things, remove inefficiencies in the system and have improved its business processes, and began to enhance savings, close gaps in budget management, resulting in the finances of Parliament remaining afloat and healthy, as acknowledged by the Auditor-General.
Wolela said the decision not to pay bonuses was taken after a systemic and objective analysis of the institution’s overall performance rating and its finances, including the application of the balance scorecard introduced in the previous financial year.
After the introduction of the balance scorecard, the overall performance of Parliament was below 46%, although there are a number of emerging pockets of excellence that include the attainment of the best audit opinion the Auditor-General of South Africa can grant to an institution.