Parliament rejects ‘sensational’ reports about R1m jaunt to London
Parliament on Sunday strongly rejected reports by two Sunday newspapers claiming that “Parliament blows R1-million on a jaunt to London”.
The reports were “sensational, baseless, and calculated to besmirch and damage the name of the institution, its administration, and the good names of the officials cited”, it said in a statement.
“The article was reckless and reduced a benchmarking exercise and attendance of an Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting by a delegation to a ‘jaunt, a journey made for pleasure’.”
“It cynically links the benchmarking visit, without any evidence, to the Rugby World Cup which took place in London at the same time to cast aspersions on the officials involved and unfairly impute nefarious motives.
“The article unfairly, maliciously, and grossly misinterprets the implementation of an approved Parliament strategy, budget, and annual performance plan by narrowly focusing on a jaundiced view and shallow perspective of what is otherwise a critical strategic function,” the statement said.
“No Parliamentary official attended a Rugby match during the benchmarking exercise. Authorisation for the trip was obtained from the executive authority as part of the approval of the strategy which was tabled as required by law.
“The signature on the travel documentation by a manager in the office of the secretary was done as part of administrative accounting. The article confused management reports with portfolio or select committee reports which were tabled as a matter of course.
“Management reports are dealt with in management structures as was the case with the benchmarking report. It is disconcerting when a journalist, as in this instance, relies on gossip and innuendo as the preferred source of news,” the statement said. – African News Agency (ANA)