Parliament, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology, met with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) today where it expressed its concern regarding the unresolved matter of the Interim Chairperson of the TIA Board, Dr Stephen Lennon, who has been appointed as the Interim Chairperson of the board despite him staying and living permanently in Australia.
This arrangement, where Government pays the travelling and accommodation costs for Dr Lennon to attend meetings and other business of the TIA in South Africa, is not in the best interest of the agency, the public entity which is already constrained by its limited budget during this dire economic environment.
Despite the concerns the committee raised during its meeting with TIA on 13 November 2019, this matter remains unattended.
“We call on the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology to address this anomaly by appointing an interim Board Chairperson who resides in the country, whilst the process to appoint a permanent Board Chairperson is underway. We wish to implore the Minister to adhere to the cost containment measures as pronounced by the Minister of Finance,” said Mr Philly Mapulane, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology.
Furthermore, the committee calls for the immediate termination of the appointment of the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ms Fazlin Levy-Hassen. Ms Levy-Hassen was a former TIA board member, who in her personal capacity had bid for a tender with the Agency before her appointment.
Notwithstanding the declaration she made to the board for her bidding for the tender, three months prior to her appointment as the Acting CEO, the committee is of the opinion that this practice of appointing a former board member who wanted to do business with the agency three months before her appointment, is not in keeping with the principles of good corporate governance practice and ethics, and has to be immediately addressed.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, MR PHILLY MAPULANE.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the Committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Sibongile Maputi (Mr)
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8041
Cell: 081 052 6060
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