It's taken five years, but parliament finally has a new CFO

09 May 2023 - 15:58
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Jason O'Hara 'joins parliament during the most critical period in which the institution is engaged with the rebuilding project following the fire incident', says parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo. File photo.
Jason O'Hara 'joins parliament during the most critical period in which the institution is engaged with the rebuilding project following the fire incident', says parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo. File photo.
Image: Moloto Mothapo via Twitter

After five years without a permanent CFO, parliament has appointed chartered account Jason O’Hara.

TimesLIVE has established that O’Hara started this month.

Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said the CFO will ensure continued financial stability, improvement of financial controls and strengthened governance.

“He joins parliament during the most critical period in which the institution is engaged with the rebuilding project following the fire incident, preparations for the end of the sixth term and arrangements for the new, seventh term of parliament after next year's elections,” said Mothapo.

“Therefore his wealth of experience and expertise will help the institution in deepening strong relationships with stakeholders and enhancing a culture of financial discipline and transparency to ensure the institution's long-term financial sustainability and success.”

O’Hara is the former CFO of the Eastern Cape department of sport, recreation, arts & culture, and the education department. He left his position in the latter in February 2020 while on precautionary suspension amid allegations of administrative misconduct, according to the department at the time.

When he resigned, the provincial department said: “This brings to an end intense negotiations between his lawyers and the department. The resignation is a culmination of an amicable resolution of differences as the two parties have reached a mutual settlement agreement.”

This week, Mothapo said O’Hara, during interviews, disclosed all material information relating to his past appointments. The details were canvassed extensively after voluntary disclosure.

“We understand all these matters relating to his charges and suspension. [They] were clarified and consequently all charges were dropped and he was paid compensation,” he said.

According to an internal memo sent to parliament staff last week, O’Hara has some 20 years’ experience, of which 16 were at senior management level. “He has worked for three of the largest accounting firms in the world, with his articles completed at KPMG in Johannesburg,” reads the memo.

O’Hara worked as interim CFO of the National Arts Council of South Africa before joining parliament.

Last September, secretary to parliament Xolile George told the Sunday Times he found the positions of CFO and head of security had been “juniorised” and he had to review their scope before he could pitch them to the market.

Parliament’s last permanent CFO, Manenzhe Manenzhe, left in 2018.

TimesLIVE

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