Secretariat for Police; Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA); State Information Technology Agency (SITA) Annual Reports 2008/09

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26 October 2009
Chairperson: Ms L Chikunga (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Secretariat for Police stressed the importance of civilian oversight of the South African Police Service. The Secretariat wished to be independent and be able to manage its own budget. The Secretariat was under-spent on projects and goods and services, but had overspent overtime, on which it had imposed a moratorium. It sought to implement projects with long term sustainability. The Secretariat planned to deal with challenges, such as planning, historical lack of performance, inability to fulfil its mandate, and lack of capacity. Where there was good performance, it was often dependent on consultants.

The Committee expressed its support for a strong Secretariat. They pointed out that the Secretariat’s website was inaccessible; this prevented access to its reports and research which should be tabled to the Committee. Other complaints were that the legal services section of the Secretariat was highly unsatisfactory and the contact details were not apparent in the presentations of the Secretariat of Police and Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority. Such a lack of information was a problem from the perspective of a Member performing oversight.
The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority had received a disclaimer from the Auditor-General on account of unknown deposits amounting to nearly R12 million, and VAT liability of nearly R17 million. Emphasis of matter included overcharging interest penalties on trade debtors, and fruitless and wasteful expenditure on printer cartridges not compatible with the printers used by PSIRA, and on leased premises, that the Authority had rented but not used. The chief executive officer had been suspended since May 2008.

Members accused the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority of hiring a chief executive officer with a criminal record to oversee people to make sure that they were not criminals, and asked what checks and balances existed for an employee who received R1 million a year, and could not understand how the Authority had managed to receive deposits of some R12 million into its account and not know who the payers were. An African National Congress Member wanted to know whether the root of the Authority’s problems was policy or management. The Secretary for Police said that a complete overhaul of policy and legislation was required. In the meantime a Ministerial intervention team had been deployed and would report to the Minster on 30 October 2009, after which it was hoped to appoint a new council and chief executive officer for the Authority.

The State Information Technology Agency reported an unqualified audit report, achievement of 19 strategic objectives, and a robust revenue base. Objectives not achieved or only partially achieved, included government wide enterprise architecture, and conversion of software licensing to a single enterprise licence. These objectives would receive the highest priority. Key integrated service provision programmes were highlighted. Costs were rising but revenue was decreasing. The Agency’s information and communications technology support to the South African Police Service was highlighted. The South African Police Service business unit, with a turnover of R1.2 billion in relation to the Agency’s total turnover of R3.9 billion was responsible for approximately 32% of the total Agency turnover. A growth in revenue was expected to fall short of the required R1.195 billion. The South African Police Service business unit would have to reduce its staff, with an inevitable impact on service delivery, but it was still hoped to give the South African Police Service the best possible deal. The Agency’s operation was required to be self-sustaining, but not supposed to make a profit; thus it provided for an error margin. It was important that Members understood how the Agency’s costing model applied to the South African Police Service.

Members questions included the impact of the cutback of services, how the Agency divided its profits, the vacancy rate, the staff complement, what the Agency was doing to reduce unemployment by 2014, apparent double-billing, why the South African Police Service’s domain was ‘org’ and not ‘gov’, and the impact of budget reductions. The Agency was congratulated on its clean audit.

Meeting report

Secretariat for Police presentation
Ms Jenny Irish-Qhobosheane, Secretary of Police, Secretariat for Police, who had been appointed as such from September 2009, introduced the presentation. She said that in compiling the report the Secretariat had sought to focus on delivery and non-delivery, a novel approach for some staff members. The report had been revised several times, but she apologised for any remaining typing errors. Mr D Zimu, Chief Director, Secretariat of Police, and Ms Irish Qhobosheane were new to the Secretariat.

Mr M Moqatusi, Director, Secretariat for Police, who held responsibility for special projects, reported on the administrative programme’s good performance and support to the Minister during seven imbizos as well as during parliamentary engagements with communities. It had investigated and advised complainants on concerns raised at imbizos; conducted follow-up meetings on complaints raised, and provide reports on close-out of complaints. It had also organised a National South African Police Service (SAPS) Annual Crime Statistics Release workshop for the then Minister on sharing crime statistics, and facilitated seven provincial workshops on developing strategies to deal with crime. It had also convened eight meetings of heads of departments to discuss policing policy implementation by SAPS and strategies to enhance civilian oversight of SAPS. It had presented to mayors’ co-ordinating fora and municipal managers in eight municipalities in five provinces with regard to options for implementing policy on the redefined community policing fora. It had attended meetings with the 2010 local organising committee security sub-committee on security preparations for the soccer world cup, and facilitated local organising committee sub-committee and SAPS presentations on security plans at meetings of heads of departments. It had managed and controlled the inventory of assets, and developed a training and development plan for staff.

The Secretariat reported on good performance in programmes 2, 4 and 5: monitoring and evaluation, policy and research, and communication. The monitoring and evaluation programme had evaluated the effectiveness and efficiency of the SAPS national crime combating initiatives by conducting field work. It had also evaluated the implementation of the SAPS rural safety plan by commissioning research on the plan’s implementation and a report indicating areas for development. The policy and research programme had conducted an analysis of media reporting on crime. The communications programme had initiated a departmental magazine targeting international opinion makers and business partnerships with the SAPS, Ministry and Secretariat.

Mr Amichand Soman, Director, Secretariat of Police, responsible for Programme 3, Legal Services, reported average performance on amendment of the SAPS Act, 1995, and poor performance related to the private security industry. With regard to legislation to amend the SAPS Act, a bill had been drafted, but it had been withdrawn because of the transfer of the Directorate of Special Operations to the SAPS. The parliamentary programme had been amended.  The Secretariat had consulted the state law advisors on weaknesses in legislation. 

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane commented frankly on budget allocation and actual expenditure. The Secretariat had imposed a moratorium of overtime and there had been an audit thereof. The Secretariat was under-spent on projects and goods and services, and was aware that such under-spending had to be reversed. Moreover, the Secretariat needed to implement projects with long term sustainability. The Secretariat presented an analysis of expenditure, and its plans to deal with challenges, such as planning, the historical lack of performance in the Secretariat, and its inability to fulfil its mandate on account of lack of capacity in the Secretariat. Where there was good performance, it was often dependent on consultants. The Secretariat wanted to develop its own capacity. It was not enough to produce a report; what happened thereafter was important. The Secretariat needed a defined relationship within the SAPS and with the Minister. It could not work as an island. The Secretariat was headhunting for other chief directors. The Secretariat had collaborated with an audit house, and would advertise in the next two weeks. Over the past couple of years there has been an intentional downgrading of the Secretariat. Ms Irish-Qhobosheane stressed the importance of civilian oversight. The Secretariat wished to be independent and with its budget and be able to manage it. There was a team of ten people looking at restructuring and migrating. The Secretariat was also examining policy development, and wanted to refocus the Secretariat while developing legislation. It also sought to engage with provincial departments, and would hold a workshop with them as soon as Parliament had risen. It was hoped to submit a policy document to Cabinet by the end of October 2009. In following the migrating plan, the Secretariat hoped by January 2010 to be restructured, and to have legislation ready for Parliament by the first session of 2010.

Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) congratulated Ms Irish-Qhobosheane on her appointment as Secretary of Police, and commended her on her approach. Ms Irish-Qhobosheane’s overview had anticipated many of Ms Kohler-Barnard’s questions. Ms Kohler-Barnard asked if there had been any research done on imbizos, if these were effective, and which were the two provinces that had been previously omitted but which the Secretariat was now focussing upon. 

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane replied that the Secretariat’s approach to imbizos was based on priorities. One of them would be in the Western Cape on drugs.

Mr G Lekgetho (ANC) asked the Secretariat in which five provinces it had made presentations in community forums.

Mr Moqatusi replied that imbizos were held mainly in the constituency period. The plan was to visit as many metropolitan areas and municipalities as possible in various provinces.

Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) corrected the Secretariat and Members on the word imbizo, which he said should be replaced by izimbizo; secondly, he asked to see the study on violent crime in South Africa.  He asked what was meant by targeting opinion makers.

Ms Kohler-Barnard complained that the Secretariat’s website was inaccessible; this made its reports ‘invisible’. She asked the Secretariat about its research, in particular, the report on the SAPS rural safety plan. Such reports should be tabled to the Committee. It most important that the Secretariat’s work should ‘see the light of day’. She asked when Members would be able to access the Secretariat’s work.

Ms D Schafer (DA) said that she had never seen any communications from the Secretariat.

Mr Lekgetho complained that the Secretariat was not ‘visible’, in so far as the location of its offices was not apparent from the documentation. His enquiry was important from the perspective of a Member fulfilling his or her duty of oversight.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane replied that the Secretariat sought to develop partnerships with people such as Members of Parliament: to this end the Secretariat hoped to obtain a position of parliamentary liaison officer, in order to be better able to supply Members with information.

Ms Kohler-Barnard, addressing the legal services section of the Secretariat, she said that it was ‘a disaster’ in the SAPS with only 1% of cases settled, and asked for more information.

Mr G Schneemann (ANC) expressed great anxiety about the Secretariat’s legal services section; its role was critical. If its performance was ‘average to poor’, his concern was justified, and, in his view, warranted termination of the services of the staff members concerned.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane replied that from 01 September 2009 the Secretariat had begun to monitor legal performance. She recognised that the Secretariat needed to play a much bigger role in the legal processes, until such time as legal services could be rebuilt. Ultimately it was necessary to develop the process internally.

Mr Schneemann asked also about the budget allocation for legal services, which he considered poor.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane replied that she acknowledged that the Secretariat had presented an unrealistic budget.

Ms A van Wyk (ANC) said that it was ‘refreshing to see direction’ but commented that under-spending had always been a huge issue. In contrast, there had been over-spending on overtime. She said that the Committee should support the Secretary of Police.

The Chairperson criticised under-spending, a failure that the Secretariat had reported repeatedly. Both under-spending and over-spending indicated poor planning.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane replied that addressing over-spending and under-spending was very much part of the restructuring process. Moreover, she acknowledged that the Secretariat had spent on projects less than 5% of the budgetary allocation for projects, and that the Secretariat would definitely have to address that mistake.

Ms Van Wyk asked about monitoring and evaluation, which involved actually witnessing what was going on, rather than observing from an office. It was important to be active on the ground.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane replied that it was intended that monitoring and evaluation should inform the work of the Secretariat.

Ms Van Wyk asked the Secretariat why its members thought that the work that they did had little impact, and if they believed that they were fit to continue this role. She had heard the Secretary of Police to say that implementation of policy was a problem, but she, Ms Van Wyk, believed that the problem was with research. 

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane replied that the Secretariat was disappointed with the research reports. The key issue had been violence, but the reports not answered the question why. The Secretariat would report back to the Committee. 

The Secretariat reported that it aimed to present a positive picture to the international world, in particular with a view to the Fifa World Cup; it was concerned with statistics and public perception. Research was carried out to inform the Office of the Minister. 

The Chairperson expressed the Committee’s support for a strong Secretariat.

Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) presentation
Mr Benjamin Ntuli, Chairperson: PSIRA, said that PSIRA had been listed as a Schedule 3 A national public entity. It was governed by Section 6 of the Private Security Industry Regulatory Act. The Minister had appointed an intervention task team, which had overseen the day-to-day management of PSIRA, investigated allegations for corruption, and addressed any outstanding matters. He explained PSIRA’s organisational structure as per Section 14(1) and with additional senior management positions (slide 11).

PSIRA described the number of inspections conducted by province;  cases of improper conduct; the number of criminal cases opened by branch; and the firearm application enquiries– in this regard, if fees were not paid, then a letter of good standing was not issued; charge sheets and summons issued; safety and security sector education - before an individual could be registered, he had to undergo training; training for locksmiths and in electronic security; the legal department; legal department statistics; tender enquiry statistics; and security service provider registration which had been growing over the years (slides 15-31 / pages 13-29 of the Annual Report).

Mr Hendrick Mahlangu, Chief Financial Officer, PSIRA, explained PSIRA’s statement of financial position (slide 47). PSIRA had received a disclaimer from the Auditor-General on account of unknown deposits amounting to R11 709 278; value added tax liability of R16 807 178; property plant and equipment – revaluation and impairment; and other income – supporting documentation.  PSIRA said that it needed to revalue furniture more than ten years old that it was still using, since it was still deriving benefit from it; it had also begun the verification of its assets. It also blamed its second financial system, into which records were added manually, leading to error. It had within the past two months linked its two financial systems electronically to remedy this. Emphasis of matter included overcharging interest penalties on trade debtors, fruitless and wasteful expenditure on printer cartridges not compatible with the printers used by PSIRA, and on leased premises, specifically the Johannesburg office that PSIRA had rented but not used. Other matters included non-compliance with the Public Finance Management Act and Treasury Regulations. Currently, PSIRA lacked an internal audit. (Slide 48). 

Key challenges for the authority included sustaining growth and the increasing importance of the private security industry in partnership with the Police in the fight against crime; renewing registrations and ongoing security vetting; firearms control within the private security industry; compliance by the private security industry during the 2010 Fifa World Cup; strengthening the legislative and regulatory framework; establishing a national footprint and increasing public profile; curbing the deployment of unregistered and untrained foreign nationals in the industry; achieving industry accountability; extra-territorial enforcement; and long-standing uncollected debts (slide 50).

PSIRA’s key stakeholders were Government security establishments, namely the SAPS, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA); Government departments, namely, the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Home Affairs, Labour, and others; employer organisations; employee organisations; the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA); the Auditor-General and the National Treasury; and consumers of private security services.

PSIRA’s strategic objectives were to increase operating revenue by collecting 95% of PSIRA’s outstanding and the full recoverable debt, and collecting 90% of PSIRA’s fees on time; to obtain funding for specific, identified projects, for example, re-registration, and identified capital expenditure; to grow services in accordance with PSIRA’s legal mandate, which included law enforcement of all categories or classes of security service providers; and to comply with the requirements of the PFMA and receive and unqualified audit report (slide 53).
PSIRA anticipated a problem in collecting debt in that some debtor companies may have gone bankrupt or been liquidated.

The Chairperson commented on the seriousness of a disclaimer from the Auditor-General.

Ms Kohler-Barnard said that PSIRA’s mandate was not to be a profit-making organisation. She asked for an explanation on its profits, and about the significance of the number of inspections carried out, since the information given in PSIRA’s documentation was insufficient.  She said that it was nowadays unusual for an entity to receive an audit disclaimer, and could not understand how some R12 million could have been deposited into PSIRA’s account without any information as to who had paid in this money. Moreover, she asked how PSIRA could have allowed such a blatant error to occur, and how PSIRA could act as a controlling body when PSIRA itself had failed to comply with the PFMA and Treasury Regulations.

Rev K Meshoe (ACDP) asked if there was a link between the purchaser of the toner cartridges and the owner of the supplying company. It made no sense to buy toner cartridges that did not fit the printers, unless somebody benefited from the transaction. He asked also if there was a connection between the owner of the building that PSIRA had rented for two years but not used and the official who made the arrangement, about PSIRA’s VAT payments, and about appeals when applicants were rejected. 

Mr Ntuli replied that he could only lament the wasted cartridges: ‘If you don’t utilise cartridges, how do they land in your office?’ he asked himself. Measures taken included PSIRA’s involving the serious organised crimes unit to investigate such abuses, together with the matter of the property in Johannesburg; however, some of the employees concerned had left PSIRA, while others remained. Those who had resigned had been reluctant to co-operate, and had advised the investigators to interview the employees who remained. PSIRA awaited the serious crimes unit’s report on the matter.

Rev Meshoe asked if the serious crimes unit had opened a case against those involved, and if there was a case number.

Mr Ntuli replied that the serious crimes investigation unit was still assisting PSIRA in gathering information that could be used to build a case against those involved.
Ms Schafer asked about the period of time for deciding upon applications. She thought it ingenious of PSIRA to say that its not having been registered as a public entity contributed to its so-called challenges. Challenges, in her view, had nothing to do with being registered as a public entity or not.

Ms Van Wyk said that it was obvious from the Auditor-General’s report, and that of the intervention team, that PSIRA was disorganised, yet so many South African citizens were spending a large amount of money on the private security industry, believing that this industry would provide them with some measure of safety and security. She asked where the root of the problem was, over and above the ‘dysfunctional’ PSIRA. Was it policy or management? She asked Mr Ntuli as chairperson of the intervention team, but also the Secretariat, if they had discussed the issue and how to address it.

Mr Ntuli replied that the problem lay at the levels of leadership, management and staffing. When PSIRA lacked consistency in its council, there would be a problem in its management. PSIRA had discussed this matter with the Auditor-General, in particular the position of the internal audit committee in the organisation.  PSIRA, recognising the importance of matching skills and qualifications to jobs, had undertaken a skills audit.

The Chairperson asked, with reference to the 23 resignations, why and what level of staff was leaving PSIRA (slide 36), the skills and experience of the 18 persons that PSIRA had hired so quickly, and if those new staff members really met PSIRA’s requirements. She also asked about the status of the PSIRA’s council, its relation to the inter-ministerial task team, and implications for the governance of PSIRA; in regard to this report, she said that she would imagine that there were people who should go to court or even to jail over this report, which spoke to the highest level of mismanagement of public funds. She asked why an individual’s name had been used for VAT purposes.

The Chairperson asked about the circumstances of the suspension on full salary, while sitting at home, of the chief executive officer since May 2008, and why the process was taking so long.  This was a question of especial importance to the Committee. 

Mr Ntuli replied that the matter had moved from suspension with full salary to dismissal. The individual concerned claimed that a clearance had been given in 2005; however, no records of such clearance could be found. A report received by PSIRA within the past week indicated that the individual concerned could not be given a clearance because he had a criminal record.

Members were astonished.

Mr Ntuli said that, on the basis of a criminal record, the individual concerned should never have been employed by PSIRA.

Ms Kohler-Barnard accused PSIRA of hiring a chief executive officer with a criminal record to oversee people to make sure that they were not criminals. She asked what checks and balances existed for an employee who probably received R1 million a year. Was PSIRA going to recover the salary that it had paid him? The individual concerned had no right to that position in the first place. ‘I’m stunned.’

Mr Ntuli noted Ms Kohler-Barnard’s concern.

Mr M George (COPE) said that he was not sure that Ms Van Wyk’s question had been answered.  He said that one of the key issues was to control fire arms. PSIRA could not fulfil its mandate if it could not control firearms. He was not convinced that the root of the problem was in PSIRA’s council but went beyond that issue, and asked Mr Ntuli to say frankly if there were problems with the applicable legislation.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane commented from the perspective not only of the Secretariat but also of the Ministry. The Secretariat’s report had listed the need to monitor PSIRA as a poor performance area. She admitted that the situation in PSIRA should have been brought to the attention of the Ministry and even of the Committee long before, and Members such as Mr George, who had served on the Committee for a considerable time, would know that it was a situation of long standing. In February 2009, after consultations, the Minister appointed an investigation team to carry out a full enquiry into PSIRA. This team reported in June 2009, a month late on account of the complexity of the problem, to the Minister. Its report was based on an internal enquiry into PSIRA, but was also based on liaison with various stakeholders. That task team had identified a number of issues, related to the leadership, and to the chief executive officer, who had been suspended for some time. Other issues related to management and the integrity of PSIRA personnel and its information technology.  Other issues related to financial management, and to the fact that, even when a council had been in existence, there had been no proper control. These problems had not just arisen in the absence of a council, but had existed for a number of years. The enquiry recommended that the Minister invoke Section 11 (a) of the Private Security Regulatory Act; the position of the enquiry team was that establishing a new council was not going to solve PSIRA’s problems, since council members would not be full-time within the organisation. What was required was an intervention to address specifically the matters raised in that enquiry. The Minister therefore sent in an intervention team to resolve each one of the issues: that was the mandate of Mr Ntuli’s team – to go there for three months and stabilise PSIRA sufficiently for a council to be appointed and to oversee the work of PSIRA. Through that enquiry it was made very clear to the Minister that ‘tinkering’ with legislation would not solve the problem. An entire policy and legislation overhaul was required, otherwise these problems that had existed as long as PSIRA itself would recur, even with the appointment of a new council. Therefore a dual process was begun, the first being the intervention team. When this team reported to the Minister on 30 October 2009, Ms Irish-Qhobosheane felt confident that it might be possible to appoint a new council to govern PSIRA. Parallel to that process, a complete overhaul of the legislation and policy was being considered.  Siince the legislation had been passed in 2001 there had been amendments which had not addressed the fundamental issue of whether an independent authority actually succeeded in regulating the industry. That legislative overhaul would take some time.

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked if PSIRA’s chief executive officer remained in post.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane replied that the individual concerned was not being paid, but was challenging his case at the CCMA. A new chief executive officer would be appointed.

The Chairperson thanked Ms Irish-Qhobosheane and said that her answer had given cause for hope.

Mr Lekgetho criticised the insufficiency of contact details in the presentation and requested full details, including how to find PSIRA’s offices. He conceded that he had asked a similar question to the Secretariat, but stated that he was asking it again because it was a matter of importance for a regulatory body to identify its location and contact details clearly. This information was required to assist Members of Parliament in their oversight role and in order that they could refer constituents to the concerned offices if necessary. He also asked if standard procedures had been followed with the trade union movement and the like in the outsourcing of software and hardware services.

Mr Ndlovu asked about charge sheets, the number of summonses, and how many persons had been prosecuted.

Other questions included the role of foreigners in the private security sector.

Mr Lekgetho emphasised that all questions, including follow-ups, should be answered.

The Chairperson ruled that unanswered questions be answered in writing by Friday, 06 November 2009.

State Information Technology Agency (SITA) presentation
The Chairperson apologised to SITA for having to give briefing on the same Annual Report twice, to the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration and at this meeting to the Portfolio Committee on Police. She would endeavour that on the next occasion a joint meeting of the two Committees would be arranged.

Ms Zodwa Manase, Chairperson of SITA board, said that SITA had come prepared to answer questions only on the financial statements and issues that related to SAPS. SITA had achieved an unqualified audit report, with no emphasis of matter, and had a strong internal audit committee.

Ms Ramabele Magoma-Ntile, Acting Chief Executive Officer, SITA, reported that 19 of SITA’s strategic objectives had been achieved, notably growing SITA’s revenue base; developing and implementing an integrated, consistent and robust planning cycle regime; developing and implementing the service offerings to local government using a shared services model; an Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS); developing and implementing an information and communications technology (ICT) planning governance framework; E-government; Government Wide Enterprise Architecture (GWEA); developing skills, focus on embedding SITA organisational values to ensure that they were instilled in the way SITA worked; attracting and retaining critical skills and best performers; developing and implementing an integrated talent management strategy; and attainment of employment equity in respect of persons with disabilities.  The revenue base was robust.

Eight objectives were not achieved; it was important to note that these included those only partially achieved. These included conversion of all licensed software with a significant share of total Government ownership to a single enterprise licence; signing of service level agreements; a completely clean audit report (no other matters); and attainment of employment equity targets in respect of gender.  Such unachieved objectives would receive the highest priority.

The youth intensive programme remained at the centre of SITA’s capacity building.

More attention was needed to ensure full compliance with the SITA Act. Currently SITA was making progress in the signing of service level agreements. Necessary steps to fill the vacant position of the chief executive officer would be complete by the end of November 2009.

SITA noted that costs were rising but revenue decreasing.

Ms Ramabele Magoma-Ntile gave information specific to SAPS.

Mr Johann Andries, the General Manager for SAPS operations, said that his main focus in the SAPS business unit was to ensure that the SAPS business requirements were met. Although he handled predominantly the business applications, the desktop support domain, he also oversaw network applications.  He reviewed Police ICT cost drivers and their influence on pricing during the year, and strategic projects. The SAPS business unit, with a turnover of R1.2 billion in relation to the SITA’s total turnover of R3.9 billion was responsible for approximately 32% of the total SITA turnover. The unit aimed to reduce turnover time, make better use of SITA assets, offer value for money, and operational excellence within the SAPS domain was directly translated to ITIL alignment in service support processes for SAPS. The reason for adopting ITIL was that SITA was already ISO certified. Financial results for 2008/2009 were given. A growth in revenue to just over R1 billion was projected, but was expected to fall short of the requirement. 

Ms M Meyer, Assistant Commissioner (F), SAPS, pointed out that R1.195 billion would be the requirement.

Mr Andries said that therefore six months hence the SAPS business unit would be faced with a predicament. The challenge that Ms Meyer and he would have to face would be to make a reduction in the staff of the SAPS business unit. Inevitably there would be an impact on service delivery, but the aim was to give SAPS the best possible deal.

SITA’s operation was required to be self-sustaining. However, it was not supposed to make a profit. This necessitated provision for an error margin. It was important that Members understood SITA’s costing model as it applied to SAPS.

SITA had supported or established four strategic projects in 2008/2009: the deployment of e-docket solutions to 107 police stations; the development and implementation of forensic laboratory e-dockets for exhibit management; the implementation of the AVL vehicle tracking in 24 650 police vehicles: it was intended to introduce capability to integrate the metro police and ambulance services into one physical command system; the implementation of GIS satellite imagery obtained from the CSIR; and the integrated case docket management system (ICDMS).

The Chairperson asked about the implications of budget reductions.

Mr Schneemann asked about the impact of the cutback of services because of the insufficient level of funding, and if it would have a negative effect on the roll out of new projects.

Mr Andries replied that SITA would redeploy staff to maintain services and roll out of projects as far as possible.

Ms Manase said that SITA’s tariffs had been reduced.

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked how SITA divided its profits. The way SITA had presented its profit information was confusing. Given that crime was such a major concern, she hoped that funds for the SAPS business units were not diverted to other units.

Ms Van Wyk also wanted to know how SITA divided its profits. Crime was not only a police problem, but the concern of other departments – a slightly different perspective from Ms Kohler-Barnard’s.

Mr Andries said that profits were divided, after prioritisation by SITA’s board, subject to consent from the National Treasury.

Mr Lekgetho asked about the vacancy rate, the staff complement, and what SITA was doing to reduce unemployment by 2014.

Mr Andries responded that the vacancy ratio was about 15%, and was confident that SITA was making progress in staffing matters.

Ms Magoma-Ntile spoke about the youth internships.

Mr Moses Mtimunye, Chief, Strategic Services, SITA spoke about enterprise development.

Ms Van Wyk was dissatisfied with the lack of a definitive signed service level agreement between SITA and SAPS, which was a recurrent problem. It was also SAPS’ responsibility to ensure that the service level agreement was signed. It was a serious concern because of the millions of rands of expenditure involved.

Mr Andries replied that the service level agreement was signed on an annual basis, and had indeed been signed for 2008/2009.

Ms Meyer added that service levels had been maintained.

Ms Van Wyk could not understand why services were double-billed.

Ms Meyer said that, from the perspective of the SAPS, double-billing was impossible. SITA was the SAPS’ only service provider, and SAPS procedures were such that any double-billing would be detected immediately.

Ms Van Wyk failed to understand why SAPS’s domain was ‘org’ and not ‘gov’. ‘Are you not part of Government?’

Mr Andries explained that was a special secure site and a separate network; there were logistical obstacles to changing the domain to ‘gov’.

Ms Schafer asked about SITA’s service delivery overheads of 48%.

The Chairperson congratulated SITA on a clean audit.

The meeting was adjourned.

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