SCOPA comes done hard on Treasury over Transnet’s irregular expenditure exemption

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Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) has warned Treasury that the right to issue an instruction note, is not a blank cheque to change legislation.

The comment comes after Treasury granted Transnet an exemption from reporting on its irregular expenditure for a three year period.

Treasury appeared before SCOPA earlier on Wednesday to explain the rationale behind the attempted move to grant SOEs exemptions from reporting irregular expenditures.

However, public outcry led to Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana withdrawing a gazette aimed at granting a partial exemption to Eskom not to disclose irregular expenditure in its annual financial statements.

“The prerogative or the right to issue instruction notes is not a blank cheque re-legislate through the back door. And I think the National Treasury must be very guarded to the extent to which it issues the instruction notes and the implications that they have to the established principles of the legislation. Because we can’t alter the legislation even if without the Parliament process, even outside public consultations on the bases that you got the rights, or the prerogative or the power to issue the instruction notes.”