Parliament Condemns Comment on Protection of State Information Bill Consultation Process by Nameless Official in Cape Times Article
Parliament condemns comments from an unnamed “senior Parliamentary official, who is not authorised to speak on behalf of the institution” and distances itself from such unprofessional conduct.
The comments from the unauthorised nameless official reported in the Cape Times of 29 September berated the proposal from the ANC to establish a public consultation process around the Protection of State Information Bill.
Parliament has clear procedures for engagement with the media and a designated spokesperson. That spokesperson is the Secretary to Parliament, Mr Zingile Dingani, who, from time to time, delegates this function to the Parliamentary Communication Services.
It is unprecedented for an official of the institution to see fit to air personal comments and launch a personal attack on the activities of a political party represented in Parliament and the merits of processes related to Parliament.
Such conduct compromises both the integrity of Parliament and the impartiality required of its officials.
It is equally disappointing that a political journalist, from a major daily newspaper, based in the Parliamentary precinct and familiar with the procedures for comment, saw fit to use comments from an official who, the journalist openly acknowledges, is not authorised to speak on behalf of the institution.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES