Presidency spends R61m on travel - DA

2011-09-01 19:09
Johannesburg - The presidency has spent over R61m on travel and subsistence in the 2010/11 year, the Democratic Alliance says.

The party was commenting on the presidency's 2010/11 Annual Report, released on Thursday.

According to the DA's Athol Trollip, the report indicated that the presidency had "excelled at increasing the size of its budget, but not the quality of its performance."

Trollip said that between 2009/10 and 2010/11, the presidency's expenditure had increased by 74%.

However, according to the Auditor General's report, even the most basic regulatory processes were still not being followed, Trollip added.

"Despite spending over R61m on travel and subsistence, and almost R500m on the largely ANC Youth League-controlled National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), over the last financial year the presidency was unable to develop a satisfactory strategic plan, or implement sufficient performance monitoring procedures.

"How did this happen, given that the presidency includes the department of performance monitoring and evaluation, which is supposed to evaluate the performance of the entire national government?"

Trollip said the greatest impediment to the presidency's improved performance was the absence of regular oversight by a dedicated portfolio committee.

"Without constant parliamentary scrutiny to keep the department on the right track, the disjuncture between its vast budget and its underwhelming contribution to improving government performance will continue."

More than a year ago, Trollip proposed that a presidential portfolio committee be established to oversee the activities of the Presidency.

"The ANC has subsequently sought to bury this proposal in Parliament.

"I will be using the opportunity presented by today's release of the Presidency's annual report - and the concerning trends this report highlights - to put this proposal back on the parliamentary agenda."

Furthermore, Trollip would be submitting a series of questions to President Jacob Zuma and Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane about areas of concern raised by the auditor general, and to interrogate the reasons for the Presidency's significant expenditure increase over the past financial year.

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