The Chairperson opened the meeting and then asked the delegates from the Department of Public Service and Administration and its entities to wait outside as the Members went through the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report and clarified the confusion concerning the invitation of entities. Some Members were unhappy with the fact that there were many delegates who came and it looked as wasting of funds unnecessarily.
Members agreed that they did not have time to read the Report as it was handed to them at the last minute. The Committee agreed that they had to give the Department and its entities time to answer and clarify questions that were raised during the workshop. They also agreed to adopt the Report after they had met on their own and discussed the Report.
The three entities briefed the Committee and answered outstanding questions that had been raised at the workshop. As a result, Members agreed that changes had to be done to the Report so that it included the information that was given. They also agreed to call the Public Service Commission to come and clarify some concerns the Committee had.
Members noted that in terms of the agenda, the Committee was expected to consider the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report for the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA). They had therefore not expected a delegation from the Department and some of its entities to be present.
A Member requested the delegates to wait outside while the Committee debated why they were in attendance and if they should participate in the meeting at all.
Mr L Ramatlakana (COPE) recalled that there was an agreement at the workshop that the Committee would invite the Department to discuss the Report. In addition, he expressed his displeasure that the Report had been circulated to Members very late.
Ms A Dreyer (DA) wanted clarity as to why 3 entities were invited as according to her recollection, it was only the Department that had been asked to attend. Furthermore, she voiced concern at the large number of delegates that came with the Department and described this as a waste of money.
Mr Ramatlakane stated that it was not the obligation of the Committee to choose who had to come to the meeting because it was the Director General who knew who could help in answering and clarifying some of the Committee’s questions and concerns.
Mr L Suka (ANC) also suggested that the Report had to be divided amongst Members according to their expertise and strengths.
The Committee agreed that the Department and its entities should be allowed to answer and clarify questions that were raised during the workshop in
The Chairperson asked each entity would be given an opportunity to address the Committee on outstanding issues that had been raised during the workshop.
Mr Kenny Govender, Acting Deputy Director General, DPSA, explained that the Department was focusing on skills development as it had a shortage of skills. The Department also wanted to ensure job creation. One of the Department’s challenges was the fact that the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA) acted separately from the Department in the area of skills development programmes. The Department met with its entities on a quarterly basis and had set a target of having 50% of women in management by 2014 which was very slow at that moment.
Ms Mandisa Manjezi, Deputy Director-General: Governance & Strategic Plan, DPSA, spoke on behalf of PALAMA. She mentioned that the organisation was looking at whether it would be necessary to have legislation that governed the training that it offered. The organisation wanted to break free from getting funds from the government departments.
State Information Technology Agency (SITA)
Ms Nontobeko Ntsinde, Acting CEO, SITA, apologised for not preparing for the meeting as she was under the impression that the organisation’s response needed to be sent to the Committee by 23 October 2010. Nonetheless, she clarified that the irregular expenditure stated in the presentation (made during the workshop) meant funds that were spent not according to their procedure.
Mr Ramatlakane wanted to know the reason why it was difficult for DPSA to meet its target of having 50% women in managerial positions.
Mr Govender explained that due to the procedures used in employing people it was very difficult to appoint women while there were men who qualified for the post.
Ms Dreyer asked if Mr Govender was satisfied with the productivity of public servants.
Mr Govender admitted that there was non performance by some public servants and assured Members that the Department was looking at addressing this problem.
A Member suggested that when DPSA appeared again before the Committee to present its annual report, it should clarify issues that had not been addressed particularly those relating to its human resource strategy.
Ms Dreyer wanted PALAMA to give outputs as she felt that Ms Manjezi focused on process, models and the future.
Ms Manjezi reminded the Committee that she only focused on issues that were raised at the workshop in
Ms J Maluleka (ANC) wanted clarity on numbers of trainees that were trained by PALAMA at the municipal level.
Ms Manjezi promised that she would furnish the Committee with the information requested.
A Member suggested that PALAMA ought to apply the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) model in order to have effective training and use fewer funds.
Mr Ramatlakane commented that non compliance drifted to many things which included corruption, how did SITA dealt with non compliance?
Ms Ntsinde admitted that non compliance had been raised more than once and assured the Committee that SITA was working on rectifying all the mistakes.
A Member addressed a few issues. Firstly, she reminded SITA that the Committee was still waiting for the Oversight Report of the regions. Secondly, she wanted clarity on the plan to deal with non compliance. Thirdly, she asked what the legislative issues were that made it more difficult for compliance as the SITA Act had a lot of loopholes. Lastly, she sought clarity on why SITA focused mostly on the private sector than on government.
Ms Ntsinde emphasised that in terms of its mandate, the organisation had an obligation to the three spheres of government and the public sector and not private sector. Where it worked with the private sector it was for delivery solutions for government and was to bring both public and private sectors together so to engage on how did they deliver more for less to the Government. She clarified that SITA were not sponsors for workshop or exhibitions
Ms H Schalkwyk (DA) wanted to know who was accountable for procedures not followed as SITA had a history of irregular procurement.
The Chairperson thanked the delegates for their input and excused them from the meeting.
Members agreed that changes had to be made in the Report so that it included the information that had been given. They also agreed that they had to call Public Service Commission to clarify some concerns the Committee had.
It was agreed that the Committee would meet the following week for consideration and adoption of the Report.
The meeting was adjourned.
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