Focused intervention study and the promotion of effective oversight: experiences from the Gauteng Provincial Legislature
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This aim of this paper is to analyse the experiences of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) and its Focused Intervention Study (FIS) to demonstrate that oversight could be effective in serving public interests if it is held as a continuous process, rather than fragmentary once-off event. In the interests of financial accountability and compliance as well as enhancing service delivery performance, Section 114(2)(b) of the Republic of South Africa’s 1996 Constitution accords the legislature the role of overseeing the activities of government departments and other organs of state. Notwithstanding this constitutional mandate for the South African legislative branch of government, threats to democracy have been incessant, characterized by maladministration and misuse of public funds, among others, which in return precipitates suboptimal service delivery performance, The measure of effective oversight is in its service of the interests of the public, especially that which involves the delivery of services. However, the South African legislature’s oversight role is characteristically reactive and, therefore, incapable of proactively dealing with emerging challenges, opportunities and emergencies. This paper argues that oversight can be effective if it is conducted as an on-going process before, during and after the implementation of programmes.