The Acting Director-General of the Department of Public Service and Administration briefed the Committee on the Anti-corruption Programme, initiated in 2001. The detailed presentation covered the background to the programme, the measures and structures in place to fight corruption, the capacity of the Department in fighting corruption, compliance with international anti-corruption instruments and the benefits and value of acceding to the international instruments.
Members felt that there should be a zero-tolerance approach to corruption in the public service. Concerns were expressed over the lack of implementation of the programme and the theoretical nature of the Department’s presentation. Questions were asked about the roll-out of the Batho Pele principles, external and internal evaluation systems, the capacity and human resources available to drive the programme, the budget allocation and the target dates for implementation. Other questions concerned training and capacity building, South Africa’s ranking on the Bribe Payer’s Index, which provinces were considered to be the most corrupt, the efficacy of financial disclosure requirements, reporting mechanisms, the practice of transferring transgressors to continue service in another province and the functioning of the National Anti-corruption Hot-line.
The Department briefed the Committee on the Batho Pele Programme, which aimed at improving service delivery by the public sector. The presentation covered the legal background, Batho Pele Principles and value system, the challenges with service delivery in the public sector, the Service Delivery Charter, the revitalisation programme, the impact assessment programme and the coordination of the Batho Pele programme.
Members commented that the presentation was theoretical and included little information on the actual implementation of the programme. Questions concerned the implementation of the Batho Pele Programme, the Impact Assessment and the Assessment Strategy, the training of public servants, the meaning of Batho Pele to people requiring service delivery (particularly in the rural areas) and whether the eight Batho Pele principles could be seen to be having a direct impact on people’s lives. Members commented on the Imbizos and site visits and public perceptions of non-delivery.
The Chairperson advised that the Members of other Parliamentary Committees had been invited to attend the meeting as suggested in the second cluster meeting on governance and monitoring issues. The cluster meetings had not yet been formalised. There was a need for interaction between the various clusters concerning oversight and more than one Committee could be dealing with related issues. The Committee had realised how effective the first cluster meeting had been and how the work done concerning issues of governance and administration impacted and cut across the various clusters.
The Minister and the Deputy-Minister of Public Service and Administration were unable to attend the meeting and had tendered their apologies.
The delegation from the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) consisted of Ms Colette Clark, Acting Director-General, Ms T Gopane, Director, Ms S Abrahams, Parliamentary Officer, Mr K Govender, Parliamentary Liaison Officer, Mr V Mthembu from the Minister’s office, Ms V Motolane and Mr M Wilson.
Presentation on the Anti-corruption Programme of the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA)
Ms Colette Clark, Acting Director-General, DPSA gave an outline of the presentation (see attached document). The briefing covered the background to the Anti-corruption campaign, the National Anti-corruption Strategy, the measures and structures in place to fight corruption, capacity building initiatives, international conventions and compliance undertakings and the benefits of being party to these conventions and regional legal instruments.
The Minister for Public Service and Administration had been driving an Anti-corruption Programme and a framework for South Africa since 2001. The Department was putting mechanisms in place and was responsible for implementing Outcome 12 and specifically Output 4 thereof, which was “Tackling Corruption Effectively”. The activities of the DPSA during the period 2010 – 2014 were the key deliverables of the draft Public Sector Anti-corruption Framework (PSACF). Behavioural changes to foster Anti-corruption practices were necessary. The Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) had a cross-focus on Anti-corruption.
Parliament had approved the Public Service Anti-corruption Strategy (PSACS) in 2002, which had put mechanisms in place to fight corruption. Other measures included the draft PSACF and the Public Service Charter (PSC), which was under revision.
The Anti-corruption Co-ordinating Committee (ACCC) was responsible for implementing the PSACS. The strategy had been in place since 2002 and a comprehensive audit was undertaken in 2005/6 to review implementation. An overall implementation rate of 96% was achieved insofar as gaps were identified and mechanisms put in place.
Following the Auditor-General’s Report, Departments had to include information about the nature and type of corrupt activities uncovered in their annual reports. A public sector summit was held in March 2010 where one of the resolutions taken was that public sector unions would be included in the campaign.
The Draft Public Sector Integrity Management Framework (PSIMF) aimed at strengthening and regulating good governance and probity in the public sector. It encompassed parastatals and local Government, and was broader than the public service. The ways in which the Framework would be achieved were summarised. Appropriate action would be taken in the event of non-compliance. The PSIMF was currently undergoing a consultation process.
Measures addressed in terms of the PSIMF included financial interests disclosure by all public servants; prohibiting public servants from doing business with Government; public servants to recuse themselves from any processes in which their families or business partners could benefit from contracts with their Departments; non-acceptance of gifts and the appointment of Ethics Officers (EOs) to administer the implementation of the PSIMF. EOs would regulate the conduct of public servants and their function was different from that of labour relations. Every Department would have a designated EO.
The Draft Public Service Charter (PSC) should be seen by public servants as a living document. It was aimed at public servants to re-commit themselves to the principles of the existing Code of Conduct and the Batho Pele principles. The PSC was a statement of commitment to the people of South Africa for the conduct of public servants and would contribute towards a fairer, sustainable and better future for all. The following components were addressed in the Charter: the eight attributes of a public servant; the nine commitments of a public servant to the people of South Africa; the seven rules of engagement for public servants and the 12 commitments of a public servant to the public service. The Charter was a key instrument and was still undergoing consultation.
A number of structures were put in place to fight corruption, for example the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Anti-corruption (IMCAC), the ACCC, the National Anti-corruption Forum (NACF) comprising big business, civil society and Government, and the G & A Working Group on Anti-corruption, which was a standing working group in the cluster system tasked with implementing Outcome 12 and Output 4 and tackling corruption effectively.
The ACCC was established in 2003 to co-ordinate Anti-corruption activities in the public service. It included senior representatives of key Departments, including the DPSA and the Departments of Defence, Home Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJCD), Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (DCOGTA), Trade and Industry (DTI), Public Enterprises, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), the Government Communication and Information Service (GCIS), the National Intelligence Centre (NIC), the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the National Treasury, the Office in the Public Service Commission (PSC), South African Police Service (SAPS), the South African Revenue Service (SARS) Special Investigation Unit, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and a provincial representative for each province nominated by the Premier. The recently established Governance and Administration Working Group would be merged with the ACCC. The DPSA would act as convenor.
The mandate of the ACCC was to ensure that the Anti-corruption fight was fully co-ordinated and integrated, to advise Government on regional and international co-operation, to establish a system for information, collection, co-ordination, dissemination and management, and to formulate proposals on a national Anti-corruption strategy. A workshop would be held during May 2010 to review the mandate and the functioning of the ACCC and to ensure that it responded to challenges and aligned its work with that of the IMCC.
The National Anti-corruption Forum (NACF) was established in June 2001 and consisted of representatives from the public and private sectors and civil society organisations. The third national Anti-corruption summit was held in August 2008 and one of the resolutions taken was to review the functioning of the NACF. A workshop to review the functioning of the NACF was held in April 2010. The report of the inter-sectoral task team was expected at the end of May 2010.
Capacity development to fight corruption was focused on the Anti-corruption Unit (ACU) and training programmes. The DPSA would be launching a specialist ACU to speed up investigations and the conclusion of Anti-corruption cases in collaboration with Anti-corruption agencies, such as the SARS Special Investigating Unit. There was a need for follow-through after reporting corruption – this would be done by the ACU, working with the line Departments.
A Corruption Management Information System (CMIS) was being developed to collect data on corruption. The system allowed for e-filing of financial disclosure forms and was linked with other relevant databases to monitor corruption.
With regard to training programmes, Cabinet had approved the establishment of Minimum Anti-corruption Capacity Requirements (MACCRs) in Departments in 2002. The DPSA was currently doing an audit of the MACCRs to assess capacity in Departments to detect, prevent, investigate and resolve corruption cases and to design training specifications. Between May and November 2010 the DPSA in collaboration with the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA) would implement the Public Sector Anti-corruption Capacity Building Programme (PSACCBP), aimed at strengthening the capacity of Anti-corruption practitioners and officials to combat corruption.
The international Anti-corruption instruments to combat corruption and bribery included the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention, the United Nations (UN) Convention Against Corruption and the APRM.
South Africa was the 37th country to accede to the OECD Convention in June 2007 and had joined the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions (OECD-WGB). The OECD-WGB was tasked with monitoring and evaluating countries’ efforts to implement the Convention through a peer review mechanism. The review process involved two phases – Phase one evaluation was done in 2008 and Phase 2 was currently underway. The OECD Convention was narrowly defined and focused solely on the use of domestic legislation to criminalise the bribery of public officials. It applied to both active and passive bribery, a recipient being any public official who directly or indirectly benefited from bribery. South Africa was compliant with the OECD Anti-corruption Convention. Certain issues were highlighted for further engagement as part of the Phase 2 evaluation. Measures had been put in place to ensure the effective implementation and application of the Convention. A task team was set up from different Departments, including the DPSA, which was responsible for co-ordination of preventative measures within public and private sectors, the NPA, SAPS, FIC, National Treasury, SARS, DTI, DoJC and the Directorate of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO). The roles of the various other Departments in the process were outlined. The benefits of accession to the OECD Convention included peer review and benchmarking against international good practice, strengthening of policy, legislative and international capacity, levelling the playing field, supply-side of bribery (for example, multi-nationals involved in bribery) and proactive investigation of bribery cases.
South Africa had ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2004. It was the first internationally-binding instrument against corruption. The Implementation Review Group (IRG) was established in 2009 to review the Convention – its first meeting would be held in July 2010.
South Africa was one of the first countries to accede to the APRM in March 2003. MPSA was appointed to formulate a national strategy. The National Governing Council (NGC) was formed from cross-sections of society. Countries were measured by the Bribe Payers Index of Transparency International as to the degree of perception of corruption. South Africa was currently ranked 55th on this Index.
In conclusion, Ms Clark said that over and above the activities as presented, the DPSA would jointly implement additional activities supporting Output 4 of Outcome 12 through a delivery agreement with COGTA, PALAMA and the PSC. These activities included conducting public perception surveys and the implementation of a national, standardised ethics campaign for the public sector. Continued capacity building was the key factor. The conduct and attitudes of public servants would be evaluated against the principles of Batho Pele.
Ms H Van Schalkwyk (DA) thanked the Department for the presentation. She said that corruption was a cancer which the public service could not afford. She could not disagree with the policy that was set out, but it was no good if the policy was not implemented. The Public Service Charter was a very good initiative. Every public servant must know that there would be consequences if they engaged in corrupt activities. There should be a zero-tolerance attitude towards corruption in the public service.
Ms F Mbikane (ANC) said that she felt that the programme was not implemented at the level of public service. It sounded too theoretical. She queried the degree of implementation and how many times the Batho Pele principles had been revised. She was concerned that there had been talk since 2006 about reviewing the Batho Pele principles and a roll-out plan was worked out. There had been problems with implementation and the effectiveness of the principles. She wondered what was different now. On the issue of monitoring and evaluation, she said that the outside world evaluated South Africa but she wanted to know what was being done within the DPSA to get in touch with public servants. People were not inducted on the issues such as committing themselves to a particular programme. She asked whether the training programme in the DPSA was available at the lower levels. She asked about the organisational structure and the human capacity and resources available. It was necessary to involve people directly. She asked what the budget allocation for the whole programme was and what the time-frames to address the challenges were.
Ms Mbikane remarked that there were interrelations outside Government, but the Department had yet to show the Committee a tool or framework for use within the DPSA. With regard to the Batho Pele principles, money had been spent on it, it was part of the legislative and policy programme, but one didn’t see a reaction to it. What was being done about ensuring continuing monitoring and evaluation and what were the success factors of the programme? The OECD was an anti-bribery convention and she wanted to know what the implementation process was and how it would be made more realistic for those within the public service. PALAMA was a key factor in providing training. The budget made provision for training but she doubted that there was a detailed programme in relation to Anti-corruption. She required an indication from PALAMA on progress made and suggested better monitoring. She found the presentation document to be too theoretical and felt that co-ordination, continuity and integration of the various programmes were the key factors.
Mr L Suka (ANC) expressed appreciation for the presentation and acknowledged the work done to improve the programme. He asked if South Africa was ranked 55th in the world and wondered how the country compared with other developing nations. He asked which country was ranked first according to the ranking system, and whether or not South Africa had engaged with the top five countries in order to learn best practice from them. Being ranked 55th did not give a good impression to the outside world. He also wished to know the status of the Arab countries in terms of good governance. Did the system only focus on the Western states? One seldom heard about good practice in the Arab states, but they were reputed to be harsh on corruption.
Mr Suka asked which provinces had caused disfavour in the public image. For example, was the Eastern Cape always corrupt? All provinces should not be painted with the same brush. If a particular provincial administration had received a succession of qualified audits from the Auditor-General, an intervention was needed. Vacancy rates and low morale in Departments should be identified. The President was saying that things must be done differently, but what was the real strategy at National, Provincial and also local level? He urged the Committee to bear in mind that the current Administration was still new. He did not seem to have the documentation referring to Outcome No. 12, and required an explanation in this regard.
Mr Suka said that an audit should be conducted in a particular financial year. He believed that the Department had produced a booklet detailing the performance of public servants and the number of cases of corruption that had been uncovered. Details of administrations that had performed well were also included. There should be a baseline, with an entry point against which Departments could be measured in a particular financial year. This would mean that when the Committee conducted oversight and reviewed the annual reports, they could see what progress had been made.
Mr Suka said that certain Departments had more Directors than others, but only served small populations. Suspended officials were awarded senior positions instead of being punished. Some Departments were not filling vacancies at a lower level but were “bloated” at the senior level. The tracking and vetting process did not seem to be good. There did not seem to be an audit system in place, creating a “black spot” for someone if they were found guilty. In certain cases, transgressors were simply transferred to another province, instead of being punished.
Ms J Maluleke (ANC) agreed with the last of Mr Suka’s comments. She said that transferees are accepted by provinces without asking questions. There were challenges around the issue of financial disclosure. In spite of disclosure requirements, individuals could have companies owned by relatives or associates to work for the Department and could ensure that certain companies were paid in advance before the work was done. She agreed that bribery was a cancer in South Africa and was aware of many instances where one could not get a licence or employment without bribery. South Africa was a developing country, but failed when it came to implementation. She had noted from the presentation that South Africa was ranked 55th but if the anti-corruption policies were properly implemented, the ranking would be improved. The implementation of policies was very important. It was one thing to make disclosure to a Department, but public servants should not have business interests in the Department at all. The system was weak in this regard. She felt that it would assist greatly with unemployment and poverty if these challenges were met.
Ms M Mohale (ANC) complimented the Department on the presentation. She said that she would not join the negative refrain of the other Members and expressed confidence in the Department’s ability to implement the programmes outlined. The programme was introduced in 2001 and she asked for statistical data on which Departments had improved. She asked for clarity on the anti-corruption campaign and the National Anti-corruption Hotline (NACH).
Ms Mohale commented on the issue of financial disclosures. Where was the line drawn? Even if a person had made disclosure, their company could still get the job or win the tender. That would be counter-productive, because that person would then spend their time on the job awarded, not at work. Public servants should not be allowed to be involved in tendering within the public service.
The Chairperson said that there was a clear need to move away from allegations to actual facts and tangible results. There could be no argument that there is corruption in the system. The question was how to deal with it. The Committee was satisfied with the initiatives to contain corruption, which hampers service delivery, especially to the poor. Another issue was how to bring private citizens on board. At the next meeting, the Committee would like to hear about the implementation and working of the programme and the progress that had been made. Practical things could be put in place, such as the Ethics Officers and the database. The Department would be requested to assess the degree of implementation and provide tangible results. The Public Service Commission (PSC) report had been tabled to Parliament and could be implemented. It was necessary to synergise and integrate the various systems in order to have clean Government.
Mr Suka mentioned that a march against corruption and crime had been arranged for the following Friday in Port Elizabeth,.
Ms Clark responded on the issue of implementation, specifically with regard to the establishment of the Anti-corruption Unit in the public service. Advanced work had been done in this area in terms of the structure and the mandate. One proposal was that the unit should not be a branch in the DPSA, but should be a Government component with wide-ranging powers.
Regarding Ms Mbikane’s question about organisational structures and the relationship between the line function and the people in the line Departments dealing with Anti-corruption, Ms Clark advised that Anti-corruption was currently under the Director of Labour Relations, but only in regard to discipline. The National Treasury was responsible for procurement, registering companies on the database and registering convictions for illegal activities. The issue was how the ACU would collaborate with National Treasury. The DPSA could only deal with public servants as far as they were involved in corruption. The mandate of the line Departments should therefore be linked to National Treasury, which would give them more teeth to prosecute.
Responding to the questions about implementation, she said that the existing framework was being decentralised. The ACU would not be limited. The Commission managed the hotline and complaints went directly from the hotline to the line Departments to investigate. If the ACU was in place, complaints would be directed to the ACU, which would be responsible to follow through and take appropriate action. If action was taken by the line Department it should be reported in the annual reports of the entity but this did not always happen. The ACU was the place to sort out the modalities of the monitoring and evaluation functions. At the moment this function was not located in the DPSA environment, but within the PSC.
With regard to the question of whether there should be external or internal review, Ms Clark explained that the public service focused on putting internal mechanisms in place but external evaluation led to best practice. The ACU would have an internal focus and would report upwards in terms of its mandate to the NACF, which was the structure reporting to civil society, but not downwards. The task team review highlighted the need to determine what the parameters of the mandate were and what the reporting structures should be. Reporting was on a periodic basis. Once in place, the ACU would respond in a practical way and would be responsible for implementation.
Regarding the ranking, she said that South Africa was currently ranked No. 55 out of 180 countries in the OECD. Our ranking had in fact gone down in real terms, because more countries had acceded to the Convention. The Scandinavian countries were listed in the top five in the OECD ranking. Botswana was ranked No. 1 in Africa. Regarding Mr Suka’s question of engagement with the top-ranked countries, she was unaware of any such engagement but thought that such engagement could be very useful. She could not respond to the question concerning the status of the Arab states but undertook to provide a copy of the OECD rankings to the Committee.
With regard to the problem of public servants moving from one province to another, Ms Clark said that an amendment to the Public Service Act in 2008 meant that if a person was under investigation, the new Department could continue with the process of charging that person. This legislative amendment ensured that these individuals were not “let off the hook”. Information was available to all Departments on the CMIS system. A red flag would be raised on the system if there was any adverse information on the person being recruited. This information would not be available to the general public but to all bodies participating at the level of ACCC.
Regarding the question of the organogram and “bloating” of Departments, Ms Clark said that the mandate of the Department would determine how a job was evaluated. National Departments had more positions at specialist management level, while provincial Departments had more at the operational levels. She agreed with Mr Suka that there was no audit requirement concerning the ranking of officials. The proposed ACU would be mandated to report on a regular basis on the categorisation of misdemeanours and the ranking of Departments.
With regard to the question of the efficacy of financial disclosure, Ms Clark agreed that where there was disclosure in respect of financial compliance, there should also be disclosure in the tender processes. The proposal was to prohibit public servants from having any business relationships with Government. It was therefore important to check the CIPRO database and understand that access to information on CIPRO helps with the CMIS system to reconcile the database and deal with disclosure.
The questions concerning Batho Pele would be responded to after the presentation on Batho Pele.
Briefing on the Batho Pele Programme for the Public Service
Ms Clark began the presentation with a quote by the State President, Mr Jacob Zuma. Mr Zuma had told top managers in the public service recently that a different, better type of public servant was needed. The presentation covered the legal background of Batho Pele, the eight principles of Batho Pele (BP), the BP value system, challenges with service delivery within the public service, the Service Delivery Charter, the BP Revitalisation Programme to address the challenges identified, the BP Impact Assessment Programme and the Co-ordination of BP (see attached documents).
In terms of Chapter 10 of the Constitution the public administration must be accountable and provide accurate information. The White Paper on the Transformation of the Public Service (WPTPS), 1995, set out eight transformation priorities, amongst which Transforming Service Delivery was key. The White Paper on Transforming Public Service Delivery, 1997, contained policy for the improvement of service delivery.
The rationale for BP was the need for commitment to service excellence. It was not additional to daily tasks, but a matter of how to approach daily tasks in a professional, efficient and organised manner, ensuring predictable services to all citizens. BP was a citizen-orientated approach to service delivery informed by the eight BP principles. There should be commitment to continuous improvement in delivering services to citizens through a Service Improvement Programme (SIP). The eight BP principles were consultation, service standards, access, courtesy, information, openness and transparency, redress and value for money.
There were challenges within service delivery in the public service. A 2003 Public Service Commission (PSC) survey found that there were differential levels of implementation of the eight BP principles and in relation to compliance. Challenges included public servants lacking practical skills to apply BP principles, narrow and uneven implementation and lack of adherence to basic requirements. The Service Delivery Charter (SCD) was a statement of the commitment a department made towards service delivery. It reinforced service delivery improvement to all recipients by meeting reasonable expectations. It was a consultative two–way process between Government and community. Monitoring and evaluating measures were put in place. Advantages of the SDC were the setting of service standards which were relevant and meaningful and which adhered to certain principles.
The BP Revitalization Programme involved the roll-out of BP Flagship Programmes. People often did not know what their rights were. In 2004 the Cabinet approved the implementation and promotion of BP according to key themes, namely, taking public services to the people, Know Your Service Rights Campaign (KYSRC), putting people first, mainstreaming, institutionalising, sustaining and fostering accountability for the implementation of BP, setting service standards, designing Service Delivery Improvement Plans (SDIP), hosting BP Learning Networks, the BP Change Management Programme. The presentation included a diagram to illustrate how the system worked.
An Access Strategy was developed by the DPSA during 2008, the objectives being: to facilitate improvements in the delivery of services through various channels such as Thusong Service Centres and Health and Policing mobile units; and to assist Departments in adopting a citizen-centred approach to service delivery. Regarding KYSRC, two booklets (social cluster and criminal and justice cluster) were developed and 274,000 copies were distributed. Each department had to submit a SDIP every three years, and report on implementation on an annual basis. In 2009/10 only 60 % of Departments submitted objectives.
KHAEDU entailed the deployment of senior managers to the points of service delivery to develop collective solutions to challenges. This was done on an annual basis after completion of a one-off five-day course given by PALAMA. The objectives were outlined.
The Batho Pele Change Management Engagement Programme (BPCMEP) was being rolled out on a train-the-trainer basis by the DPSA. The objectives of the BPCMEP included the roll-out of the Belief Set that was referred to earlier in the presentation.
The Annual Public Service Week (APSW), held in the last week of September, addressed the challenges and backlogs at service points by deploying senior managers to challenged areas. Africa Public Service Day (APSD) was celebrated annually on 23 June as endorsed by African Public Service Ministers. Debates by politicians, academics and public servants on public service delivery challenges would be broadcast throughout South Africa.
The Batho Pele Impact Assessment Programme (BPIAP) focused on the Batho Pele Impact Assessment Approach (BPIAA) and entailed an integrated service delivery approach; allocation of separate BP principles to each province and dedicated monthly themes in line with Government priorities. The BPIAA involved five key issues to support implementation. Imbizos and site visits were carried out by Ministers, Premiers and Members of the Executive Councils (MECs), as well as mayors and councillors. These were unannounced visits to service delivery points in order to meet with public servants and citizens. Objectives outlined included identifying areas of deficiency to reduce service delivery protests; demonstrating the seriousness with which service delivery was viewed; visibility of Government to support public servants in improving service delivery; monitoring and evaluating challenges and providing joint solutions to line and sector Departments.
With regard to the BPIAA provincial principle allocation, which linked each province to a single BP principle for one year, on a rotational basis, Ms Clark referred the Committee to Slides 54 and 55 of the presentation for details of the themes coupled with each month of the year. There was an outcomes-based approach to service delivery. Outcome 12 related to efficiency, effectiveness and development orientation in the public service and included factors such as service user satisfaction and responsiveness. Public participation was necessary in this process.
There had to be a collaborative effort for BP Continuous Improvement. Ms Clark suggested utilising Community Development Workers (CDWs) as foot soldiers for public service access, utlising Thusong Service Centres as key service delivery points, utilising the Office of the Auditor-General to enforce BP implementation and collaborating with local Government entities on service delivery challenges. Compulsory compliance measures must be put in place. In order to co-ordinate and implement the BP Programme and projects, a BP Co-ordinator must be appointed in each Department. The Co-ordinator would drive site visits and learning networks in each line Department and manage implementation.
In conclusion, Ms Clark said that the ultimate goal, encapsulated by the Belief Set, was to make a better life for all. Batho Pele must be seen as a living campaign.
Ms Mbikane said there had been too much repetition since the implementation of the Principle Policy. South Africa was a developmental state. The presentation gave information, but details on the actual implementation were omitted. The programme was not taking off, and even if it was, it was not the special programme instituted by the Office of the President prior to the 4th Parliament, in which BP “managers” were required to move out to the provinces. The Department was revisiting BP principles which had not been implemented, but one could still look for improvement. What would now happen to ensure workability? She queried the success of the Assessment Strategy, and said that progress had not been made in terms of service delivery.
The Chairperson said that progress was expected but the briefing to the Committee was about a re-orientation. This helped the Committee to some extent but some development was expected.
Ms Mohale said that she agreed with Ms Mbikane that the Department was still at the early stages of the process and had not progressed in terms of implementation. There was talk of the delivery of booklets to explain service delivery and rights. Many people in the rural areas were illiterate and a booklet would be meaningless. BP should mean something to the people needing service delivery. If a 16 year-old could not obtain an identity document from the Department of Home Affairs, BP was not happening. She asked what change a Co-ordinator would bring in the Department. This person would have to know the problems of service of delivery and the attitudes of public servants. Thusong Service Centres often cannot assist people, even if they have travelled a long distance. At Home Affairs offices, people often queued al day.
Mr Suka said that there was a lack of specialists to talk about these issues. BP had been launched and left to drive itself without being monitored. People were being employed and were moving in and out of the system. He said that existing tools were not used effectively. There were community radio stations, as well as the print and electronic media, that were not being used. He suggested that institutions of higher learning were accessed for the purpose of observing their systems. People often had to walk great distances to get assistance. Access in the rural areas was especially problematic and people didn’t always know where the offices were. Radios and the media could assist in getting information across. He said that the information pamphlets must be translated into all eleven languages.
Ms Maluleke said that it was a challenge to realise the BP principles. One only had to look at the Department of Health and the attitudes of nurses towards patients. She said that local authority demarcations added to the problems of service delivery. A person might live close to a hospital, but it fell under a different province. He then had to travel to the clinic which might be even further away. The Imbizos tended to provoke protest action. When the people saw the Minister or the MEC talk they expected something to happen the next day, or the next month. The Minister should do research into the areas he was going into and must give realistic answers. The Change Management Programme should research how BP was working for the people. Public servants were often overloaded – if they were stressed then they tended to take their stress out on others.
Ms Van Schalkwyk said that she had asked the Minister about PALAMA and the training in provided in the BP principles. She was informed that there was a two to three day compulsory course for public service entrance. There was theoretical knowledge of BP principles, but she wondered if new entrants had practical in-service training.
The Chairperson noted that time was limited and she asked the Department for further responses in writing. The Department should respond to the most pressing questions.
Regarding the question raised about Impact Assessment, Ms Clark said that the Assessment Strategy was attempting to address the issue, along with monitoring and performance evaluation. The programme was outcomes-based. The State President said that he wanted to see BP as a living campaign. The booklets had been translated into all eleven languages.
The Chairperson thanked the Department for the input. She mentioned some changes to the Committee’s schedule. It was important to get the input of the Minister in the forthcoming workshop. The Committee would like an indication from the Department as to the Minister’s availability during the following week. The reports and recommendations on the Thusong Centres were available.
The meeting was adjourned.
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