House Chairperson, this report is presented in terms of Joint Rule 124(2), which stipulates that the committee must report to both Houses at least annually on the operation and effectiveness of the code of conduct. The Council should note that this has already been done in the National Assembly.
In 2010 the committee considered 31 allegations of nondisclosure identified by the Auditor-General when the annual audit of Parliament was conducted. All members who were found to be noncompliant in respect of the disclosure of interests were required to attend compulsory briefings on the code. All the members' names in the report complied with the recommendation of the committee that required them to attend the compulsory workshop.
The 2011 Register of Members' Interests has been compiled, adopted and made public, in terms of the requirements of the code of conduct. All members have submitted their disclosure forms. However, certain members needed to be reminded and pushed to comply, but we are happy that after that little effort they have complied and submitted their disclosures.
The committee considered seven allegations of nondisclosure. A report on the complaint against Miss Yolanda Botha was tabled. Both Mr Dexter and Mr Godongwana resigned before the investigations were concluded. The complaint by Mr Davidson on Travelgate was outside the scope of the committee. At the closing of this particular annual report, the committee was still considering three complaints, which will obviously run into the next financial year.
The committee also has the mandate in terms of Joint Rule 124(1) to develop standards of ethical conduct for National Assembly and National Council of Provinces members; to serve as an advisory and consultative body both generally and to members; and also to regularly review the code and make recommendations for its amendment. The committee is at present dealing with the revised code.
In May 2011, three members of the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests visited the German Bundestadt to interact with their counterparts on matters related to ethics. The visit was a success.
In November 2011 the co-chairpersons of the committee attended a good governance conference, convened by the Public Protector, on strengthening synergies and leadership in ensuring public accountability. That conference was also a success.
The co-chairperson of the committee requested that the Public Protector investigate allegations regarding the conduct of Minister Sicelo Shiceka. The report of the Public Protector was noted by the committee.
To conclude, the purpose of the code of conduct is to help members conduct themselves appropriately as public representatives. Our task is to outline acceptable behaviour, establish minimum standards and ensure that members' personal interests are open to public scrutiny. At times these duties are onerous and sensitive, but we have a responsibility to uphold the standing and reputation of Parliament.
The committee would like all members to continue to protect the dignity of Parliament by complying with the code annually. This report is presented to the House as required. We hope that we have fulfilled our task in a responsible manner. This report is presented for consideration and adoption.
Question put: That the Report be adopted.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.