OPINION

Release of Performance & Expenditure Reviews welcomed - David Maynier

DA expects documents to contain some hair-raising details

DA welcomes the release of 22 secret Performance & Expenditure Reviews by National Treasury 

1 November 2016 

We welcome the fact that the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, has now made public 22 Performance and Expenditure Reviews, conducted by National Treasury, between 2013 and 2016.

We first wrote to the minister about this matter on 04 April 2016, and subsequently submitted a request for access to all Performance and Expenditure Reviews, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, (No. 2 of 2000), on 06 May 2016.

As a result we received a commitment from the minister to publish the Performance and Expenditure Reviews by 30 September 2016 and following a delay by 31 October 2016.

The Performance and Expenditure Reviews have now been published on the Government Technical Advisory Centre’s website (www.gtac.gov.za) and include reports on inter alia: 

- National Student Financial Aid Scheme;

- funding models for social housing;

- land restitution; and the

- National Skills Fund.

We expect some the Performance and Expenditure Reviews to contain some hair raising details since, according to the MTBPS 2016 Review, they are conducted by National Treasury to: 

scrutinize expenditure and programme performance data in order to assess and improve the cost effectiveness of public policy and budget planning.

However, this is not the end of the matter because at least two Performance and Expenditure Reviews have still not been made public by National Treasury.

The Performance and Expenditure Reviews which have not been made public include: 

- cost drivers in foreign missions; and

- comparative spending on provincial roads. 

The Performance and Expenditure Review appears, for some reason, to have been classified.

I will, therefore, be submitting a further request, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (No. 2 of 200), for access to the outstanding Performance and Expenditure Reviews from National Treasury.

In the end, the Performance and Expenditure Reviews, which cost the taxpayer R26.4 million, should never have been kept secret, and the fact that they have now been made public, is a welcome step forward by National Treasury.

Issued by David Maynier, DA Shadow Minister of Finance, 1 November 2016