Statement by the Secretary General During Stakeholder Consultations for the SADC Model Law on Public Financial Management(PFM), with Representatives of Attorney General offices


  • Our Keynote Speaker, my brother, Don Deya, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU);
  • Distinguished Attorneys General and officials from the Attorneys General’s Office from the SADC Member States; 
  • Mr. Daniel Greenberg, Legal Drafter for the SADC Model Law on Public Financial Management; 
  • Members of the Technical Working Group on the Model Law on Public Financial Management; 
  • Facilitator for the Meeting, Mr Pepukai Chivore, Director Parliament Budget Office, Parliament of Zimbabwe; 
  • SADC Citizens following proceedings on various social media platforms;
  • Members of the Media; 
  • Distinguished Participants;

Let me extend my fraternal greetings and warm welcome to you all our distinguished participants, to this Consultative session that heralds the development of the SADC Model Law on Public Financial Management (PFM). This session is dedicated to representatives from Attorney General Offices since you are directly involved with the administration of the legal framework of your respective countries.

As you may be aware, the Forum has since the last decade been developing a Bill of Rights in the form of successive Model Laws which are standard-setting instruments to facilitate domestication and advocacy exercises in view of the enactment of similar norms at the domestic level. These norms can take the form of regulations, laws, or administrative guidelines which are done under authority of law.

There are thus several ways of reflecting the SADC Model Laws into the national sphere and I am sure that most of you must have been involved in

domestication endeavours of the SADC- PF in one form or another during previous initiatives organised in collaboration with your national Parliaments.

In the last decade, the Forum has developed the SADC Model Law on HIV and AIDS, The Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children already in Marriages, the SADC Model law on Elections, with the Model Law on GBV being the most recent addition at the 50th Plenary Assembly of the Forum held last December. The SADC Model Law on PFM is the very first Model Law that speaks to financial and economic issues, an area yet unexplored by the Forum and its Membership.

It is thus with unique satisfaction and pleasure that we engage with you, legal advisers of the Governments of the SADC region, to consider the provisions of this Model Law that brings a new dawn of change to the Forum's legislative portfolio. In addition, I wish to highlight that the SADC Model Law on PFM is the first of its kind in the world, and the Forum is thus stepping towards the discovery of a completely new territory of norms in financial

management that are essential for good governance and democratisation in SADC.

Why engage representatives of AGOs?

Today, I address you as lawyers, but also as legislative drafters who are seasoned in reflecting policy of the Executive into law that is subsequently enacted through the institution of Parliament. We are aware that the Attorney General's Office does not formulate finance or governance policy but instead advises on same from a legal and constitutional perspective, thus a crucial function in a healthy democracy.

The Attorney General's Office is known to be the principal legal adviser of Government. The Attorney General is also normally a Member of Cabinet and laws can only be tabled to Cabinet once vetted by the Attorney General's Office. In some SADC countries with Presidential systems, the Attorney General also directly advises the President who operates at the very helm of the State.

Representatives present today thus occupy a fundamental function in the legislative process by understanding policy considerations and mirroring same into law whilst making sure that the law captures comprehensively the formulated policy.

There are no thus no better than representatives of Attorney General's Offices to determine what is the state of the PFM framework at national level and to compare through a legal analysis how the PFM framework may be improved by domesticating provisions from the Model Law. It is of course understood that policy follows the law, and not vice versa, but the rationale of today's engagement is that you will be ready for PFM legislative drafting when the right PFM policy has ripened and taken shape at the level of Line Ministries.

As advisers to the Government, you also advise on whether PFM irregularities or maladministration have occurred and whether legal proceedings should be issued against defaulting parties.

In addition, representatives of the Attorney General's Office often advise on international best practices

and policies and the provisions of the SADC Model Law will constitute additional information for benchmarking at the time when financial or revenue related treaties will be signed by Member States.

Last but not least, the Attorney General's Office is directly involved with the drafting of at least 3 or 4 laws that relate to State finances every year, including the Appropriation Act, the Finance Act which reflects measures taken through the Budget, and the Supplementary Appropriation Act. Although the nomenclatures may vary across SADC Member States, the rationale of enacting Budget legislation is the same, and this is done through the collaborative enterprise and assiduity of the Attorney General's Offices.

Expectations from the audience

Today, we expect that you consider the Model Law with an open mind and interact on relevant provisions of interest with the Legal drafter and rapporteurs. Since you are legislative drafters by profession, all provisions of the Model Law will be

relevant to you. However, you may pay particular attention to Part 4 on Public Funding, Part 5 on Appropriation and Part 7 on the National Budget since these are the provisions which relate to legislative activities, enactments and possible subsidiary legislation that will be channelled and processed through your Offices.

In addition, you may wish to consider the provisions on parliamentary control which aim to heighten the powers of parliamentary committees, however bearing in mind the sacrosanct notion of separation of powers.

Way forward for domestication

Dear Colleagues and Distinguished Participants,

Pursuant to this consultative meeting, the Forum's engagement with Attorney General’s Offices will not stop here. We will continue to coordinate various issues pertaining to domestication and the Forum will pursue with capacity building on PFM legal norms in collaboration with partners. The Forum will

thus accompany Member States as we make progress with domestication.

In addition, we plan to hold coordination sessions with the dedicated Forum organ for domestication, the Regional Parliamentary Model Laws Oversight Committee (RPMLOC), and Line Ministries may engage with the Attorney General's Office in view of submitting comprehensive state reports on PFM to the Committee.


We all want a better life and a better standard of living in the SADC region. We are conscious that this will not happen whilst public funds are squandered without a proper oversight of Parliament. This is why the Model Law is an important tool for good governance and to mitigate corruption at all spheres of the PFM framework. The Model Law is hope for sustainable economic development and a SADC region that responds to the democratic needs of its citizens. In the decades to come, the Model Law will be a locomotive pulling steadfastly the train of Southern Africa towards a promised destination imbibed with

good governance and freedom from corruption, which are the tenets of a thriving democracy.

On this progressive journey, I am confident that you will act as the legal custodians of the incremental domestication of the Model Law for the benefit of the SADC region.

On this cheerful note, I wish you all a pleasant session.

Thank You.

Ms B.Sekgoma, Secretary General,

SADC Parliamentary Forum 24th th February 2022


Statement by the Secretary General During Stakeholder Consultations for the SADC Model Law on Public Financial Management(PFM), with Representatives of Attorney General offices

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The Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) was established in 1997 in accordance with Article 9 (2) of the SADC Treaty as an autonomous institution of SADC It is a regional inter-parliamentary body composed of Thirteen (14) parliaments representing over 3500 parliamentarians in the SADC region. Read More

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