The State Information Technology Agency and the South Africa Police Service briefed the Committee on its turnaround strategy for services to the Service and on the progress that the Service had made in achieving its on information technology. The Agency's presentation indicated seven outcomes – quality information and communications technology service delivery to the public sector, fulfilling the role of the proficient lead agency in public sector information and communications technology, competitive pricing and financial stability, fulfilling the role of an effective information and communications technology regulator, and effective governance and monitoring.
To ensure compliance with supply chain management processes, the agency sought to rotate members of the evaluation teams with representation from client Departments by the end of 2011. By the end of 2012 it sought to have established a supply chain management committee system and a bid evaluation committee with subject matter and technical expertise. The Agency sought to reduce the supply chain management turnaround times (working days) Its priority was to reduce the working days for request for bids from 280 days. Progress that had been made to date was that request for bids working days had been reduced to 119 days. The Agency also sought to reduce the days for contract finalisation from two years. Contract finalisation would be done in 83 days. The Agency intended to embark of a stakeholder relationship management through joint strategic planning sessions with clients such as the South African Police Service, the Department of Defence and Military Veterans, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, and the Department of Basic Education. The outcomes of the Agency-Service joint strategic planning session were a business agreement negotiations and service level agreement which were to be finalised by the end of September 2011. Five service level agreements had been negotiated and concluded at a functional level. Integrated case docket management system demonstrations had been presented to the Service and the integrated case docket management system backbone would be completed in December 2011. The e-docket (scanning solution) had been developed and had been deployed at 320 police stations in eight provinces with the exception of the
The South African Police Service intended to establish its capacity to detect fingerprints at crime scenes through digital capacity to photograph and enhance fingerprints lifted from crime scenes. The project was 100% complete but the Service was % complete in terms of training and roll out. The Service set a target of implementing investigation case docket management systems (e-docket) to 20 priority police stations by 2012 and 40 priority police stations by 2014. This entailed the management and administration of criminal cases, inquests and enquiries throughout the life cycle of a case from its inception to the disposal of the case. The Service was 10% complete in terms of software deployment. The Service sought to establish a mobile operational vehicles project. A target was set of having 450 vehicles by 2013 equipped with mobile communication technology and 18 buses equipped with the same technology. The operational requirement for mobile communication vehicles was to ensure effective command and control communications. Property Control and Exhibit Management was supposed to be implemented at forensic science laboratory sites in
The main concern that was raised by Committee Members was around Property Control and Exhibit Management. The Committee wanted to know whether Property Control and Exhibit Management was a South African Police Service or State Information Technology Agency contract. In the opinion of the Committee the response that was given by both the Agency and the Service further added to the confusion. This was after the Chairperson had brought to the attention of the Committee that the Service had said that Property Control and Exhibit Management was an Agency contract in a meeting earlier in the year. Around the same time the Committee had asked the Agency the same question and the Agency had responded in writing that Property Control and Exhibit Management was a South African Police Service contract. The Service alleged that Property Control and Exhibit Management was still a State Information Technology Agency contract but the South African Police Service had played a role in the negotiation of the contract. Members were also concerned with other issues such as how the 20 priority police stations had been chosen, why Contract 569 had been cancelled by the Agency, whether portable finger print reading units were still available and why the Agency's prices were being lowered after they had been set so high.
The Chairperson said that the Committee had been granted permission from the House to continue with this meeting, which was important because the South African Police Service (SAPS) had allocated R3 billion – a huge sum of money - to information systems (IS). If possible, the Committee would have invited the SAPS to brief it on mid-year spending. The State Information Technology Agency (SITA) had said in an earlier meeting that its services were cost effective; however the presence of middle men inflated the prices. The Committee had met SAPS in April 2011 with the intention to address the lack of joint planning and the finalisation of the service level agreements. The Committee was concerned whether the targets set by the SAPS would be achieved. Six months later the Committee expected that the SAPS would have achieved half of its targets.
State Information Technology Agency (SITA) turnaround strategy for services to SAPS
Ms Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, Acting Chairperson of the Board, State Information Technology Agency (SITA) presented the SITA progress report to the Committee. There were seven outcomes of the turnaround strategy, namely quality information and communications technology (ICT) service delivery to the public sector, being a proficient lead agency in public sector ICT, competitive pricing and financial stability, being an effective ICT regulator, and effective governance and monitoring. To end non-compliance with supply chain management (SCM) processes, SITA sought to rotate members of the evaluating teams with representation from client departments by the end of 2011. By the end of 2012 it sought to have established a SCM committee system and a bid evaluation committee with subject matter and technical expertise. SITA sought to reduce the SCM turnaround times (working days). Its priority was to reduce the working days for request for bids (RFBs) from 280 days. Progress to date was that RFBs working days had been reduced to 119 days. SITA also sought to reduce the days for contract finalisation from two years. In terms of progress, contract finalisation would be done in 83 days. In terms of the improvement in the quality of services, responses to request for proposals were reduced from seven months to 25 days.
A number of quality service interventions had been placed such as the finalisation of SITA service strategy with performance metrics in all services within the SITA service catalogue and by improving contract management. The Committee was briefed on the e-government objectives, the Integrated Financial Management Systems (IFMS) project and the ICT supply chain management. The SAPS specific ICT SCM benefits were lowering the prices for the war room installation, lower costs for the national network upgrade, more bandwidth and reduced cost of voice communication through voice over Internet protocol (VoIP).
SITA also sought to significantly reduce the pricing of its services. The lower costs would be as a result of industry partnership. SITA intended to embark of a stakeholder relationship management through joint strategic planning sessions with clients such as SAPS, the Department of Defence and Military Veterans, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and the Department of Basic Education. The outcomes of the SITA-SAPS joint strategic planning session were a business agreement negotiations and service level agreement (
Lastly the Committee was updated on the expenditure and progress of the national network upgrade programme and the ICDMS.
(Please refer to the presentation document for full details.)
South African Police Service (SAPS) progress on its information technology targets
The SAPS intended to establish its capacity to detect fingerprints at crime scenes through digital capacity to photograph and enhance fingerprints lifted from crime scenes. The project was 100% complete but the SAPS was 0% complete in terms of training and roll out. The SAPS intended to establish a Forensic Science Laboratory: Integrated Case Management System (FSLICMS) (LabWare) pilot site in
The SAPS set a target of implementing investigation case docket management systems (e-docket) at 20 priority police stations by 2012 and 40 by 2014. This entailed the management and administration of criminal cases, inquests and enquiries throughout the life cycle of a case from its inception to the disposal of the case. The SAPS was 10% complete in terms of software deployment. The SAPS intended to establish a mobile operational vehicles project. A target was set of having 450 vehicles by 2013 that were equipped with mobile communication technology and 18 buses that were equipped with the same technology. The operational requirement for mobile communication vehicles was to ensure effective command and control communications. The Property Control and Exhibit Management (PCEM) was supposed to be implemented at forensic science laboratory (FSL) sites in Pretoria, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Eastern Cape and the Western Cape by 2012, 150 police stations by 2013 and 482 police stations by 2014. The objective was to manage exhibits and property items from the time they entered the SAPS process until the lawful disposal of the case, without terminating the current system. The SAPS was 80% complete in implementing FSL sections nationally and provincially except for scientific analysis, questioned documents and case reception sections due to hardware unavailability.
The war room tender was supposed to be finalised and awarded by 2012 and by 2013 the SAPS intended to have implemented the war room solution in
(Please refer to the presentation document for full details.)
Ms A van Wyk (ANC) said that there was no improvement with what was happening within SAPS, which were buying equipment but not rolling it out. There was a
Mr M Swathe (DA) was concerned about SITA's pricing. SITA was asked why its prices were high and what the intention behind lowering prices was. He asked why the SAPS had purchased some tools for technology yet the officials had to undergo training first before they used the equipment. A list of the police stations that had been equipped with the fingerprint enrolment system (
Mr G Schneeman (ANC) was concerned that what the SAPS had said was in the Annual Performance Plan was not actually in the Annual Performance Plan as received, hence the Committee was supposed to be given the exact page. The presentation by the SAPS had not mentioned the pilot project in a certain police station. He asked how close the SAPS was to rolling out the project. SITA was asked why the tender that allowed Departments to acquire IT skills (Contract 569) had been cancelled and what were the implications of the tender not being renewed on SAPS.
Mr G Lekgetho (ANC) was concerned about the failure of SAPS to acquire skills. He asked whether the SAPS had plans to resolve the matter. In addition the SAPS was asked when it intended to decentralise its services to rural areas.
Ms D Kohler Barnard (DA) said that the SAPS had fallen so far behind in research and technology despite the fact that 2% of the budget had been allocated to research. She asked how much money had been spent on the portable fingerprint machines and whether or not the project was still functional. She also noted that the SAPS failed technologically to develop other provinces in particular the
Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) was concerned that the SAPS and SITA talked about e-government and yet the systems of the SAPS and SITA did not reflect this. He asked what the SAPS meant when it said that progress had been made yet it had said 0% complete.
The Chairperson asked what was the budget for each project that the SAPS had undertaken, how much money had been spent to date on each project and how would each project improve on service delivery. In addition she said that the Committee was not in possession of the strategic plan document that the SAPS had referred to. Lieutenant-General Layton Mzondeki Tshabalala, Divisional Commissioner: Technology Management Services / Head: Information and Security Management, SAPS, had said [on a previous occasion] that PCEM was SITA's brain child. SITA had responded to the Committee that PCEM was not a SITA contract as asserted by the SAPS. In light of this SAPS was said to have misled the Committee and there was need for an explanation from SAPS. She asked whether or not PCEM was the same as Emergency Medical Services (EMS) with additional value added items. She asked the SAPS where the budget for PCEM had come from, how it had gone in terms of the implementation of PCEM, and what was the total cost of PCEM. In addition the SAPS were asked how the IFMS project related to PCEM. Lastly SITA was asked why the SAPS had requested to be the last Department to roll out the IFMS.
Ms Van Wyk asked what was happening to the ring-fenced funding in terms of the criminal justice revamp - how much money had been spent and how much money was available. The Risk Management and Support System (RIMAS) was a system that dealt with Very Important Person (VIP) travel diaries and it was supposed to be used by the VIP Protection Unit. She noted that the system had been converted but it had not been implemented. In addition there was no technical support for the system and no one knew where the source code of the system was. She asked who took the decision to stop the system and what the reasons to stop the system were.
The Chairperson noted that there were companies providing information technology (IT) work that had been contracted by SAPS. She asked what role was SITA playing in this regard, how much money was being wasted on the contract process models, whether there was absolutely no coordination between what SAPS contractors were doing and SITA and if any of it was costed. The SAPS was asked whether it reduced contracts between itself and SITA, whether SITA projects were cut, and, if so, which projects.
Mr Schneeman, with regard to Contract 569, asked whether SITA intended to move to a position where it would not want to use outside contractors.
Mr Lekgetho asked whether there were vacancies within SITA and, if so, when the vacancies would be filled.
Mr L Ramatlakane (COPE) asked who was providing capacity to both SITA and the SAPS. In addition the SAPS presentation was not clear on how the SAPS had arrived at the figure of 20 or 40 police stations and there was no completion date.
Ms Van Wyk asked when the SAPS was going to change its domain from '.org.za' to '.gov.za'.
Ms Potgieter-Gqubule responded that SITA had about 3 500 full time staff and about 4 000 including contract staff. She agreed that there were contractors who had served for as long as the agency was in existence. An assessment of the service portfolio was done. If there was a recurring service then there was need to have in-house capacity to deal with the services. SITA was supposed to outsource services that were not needed so often as opposed to services that were needed regularly. SITA had a capability model was in the process of developing a skill plan which enabled it to work with universities in order to build the skills base. SITA had a number of vacancies but the reason why it had not filled the vacancies was because it was having a year by year contract extension. SITA was looking at strategically repositioning itself and was concluding an organisational design. Once it had done so it would be able to determine its capabilities. The SITA board discussed annually the increases that related to the cost of living and this was where the decision was taken to increase the salary of contractors by 4.1% and by 5.5% for permanent employees.
In addition there were certain functions that SITA had to cross subsidise such as investment in infrastructure. She agreed that the Member was correct about innovation. It was difficult to move straight from 0.2% to 5%, hence it set a target of 2% but the percentage would be increased in the next five years. If there was a central procurement agency SITA would be able to leverage economies of scale such that instead of buying 5 000 Microsoft licenses it would be able to negotiate and bring down the prices. SITA could only leverage economies of scale if it planned, hence there was need to coordinate ICT planning within Government. The purpose of the turnaround strategy was to ensure that SITA did what it was mandated to do such as making the cost of ICT to Government cheaper.
Mr Blake Mosley-Lefatola, Chief Executive Officer, SITA, said that the information that SITA had sent with regards to PCEM was not a joint submission between SITA and SAPS, hence it requested that it withdraw its to prevent the pointing of fingers.
Ms Van Wyk responded that there was no problem if the submission was the truth.
The Chairperson said that there was no need for the SAPS to respond and make a joint submission on the matter. The SAPS was asked to explain to the Committee about PCEM, why had the Department signed the contract first and why had an official from SAPS had signed the contract and written 'sick leave' in brackets besides his signature. In addition, Lieutenant-General Tshabalala had said on record in a meeting in April that the contractor had received an unfair advantage.
Mr Mosley-Lefatola said SITA had put in a lot of effort in trying to deal with tender backlogs. There were only two tender backlogs; one was likely to be cancelled and the second one was in the process of adjudication. SITA had reorganised its procurement section and staffed it appropriately in order to deal with the issue of tender backlogs. In addition there were improvements to the turnaround times and a lot of attention was being put in this area. In terms of pricing SITA was sitting with a revised tariff proposal which was supposed to be approved by the Minister. The revised tariff plan would result in significant cost savings.
Ms Thenji Mjoli, Executive, Supply Chain Management, SITA, responded that the closed circuit television (CCTV) tender had been cancelled because it was not aligned with the technology road-map of SAPS. With regards to detention management the biggest challenge was that no suitable service providers had been identified after a technical evaluation had been done. The IT Skills Tender 569 was said to be a costly approach with regards to services. In addition Contract 569 spoke to Contract 570 which was service orientated and hence most departments had access to and could make use of Contract 570. Furthermore all crafting of specifications was done in-house. The standard practice was that if anyone participated in the technical evaluation that person would not be able to participate in the bidding process.
Ms Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Chief Operations Officer, SITA, said that Contract 570 was service based hence it was cheaper than Contract 569. SITA had started a process of engagement of removing the four contractors from the SAPS with its full cooperation. There problem was that the contractors were at the SAPS for so long such that they possessed institutional memory and intellectual property of Government, hence a proper process had to be followed. On the web design team there was one manager, six analyst programmers and four programmers. The IFMS was a solution for the Government which covered generic requirements. There were, however, Departments that had unique requirements such as the Department of Defence which needed unique assets. SITA allowed such a department to have a system that could be customised and integrated. The SAPS wanted to be last because it wanted to see whether or not the scope of the IFMS would cover its full requirements. It was agreed that there were challenges around RIMAS and the challenges were being addressed. The source code of RIMAS resided with SITA.
The Chairperson said that she would be happy if time frames were set with regards to the four contractors.
Major-General Ngubane, IT Advisor: Technology Management Services, SAPS, said that the strategic objectives 2011/16 document that had been identified in the SAPS presentation was merely for illustrative purposes, hence it was background information. With regards to PCEM the SAPS had requested that SITA obtain a service provider to render a firearms control mechanism. The bid evaluation committee was joined by SAPS members as well as SITA. SITA then recommended to the SAPS that Wermark be the preferred bidder. A meeting was held between Wermark and the SAPS. In addition, the reason why consultants left SITA to work on PCEM was because the SAPS did not have control over consultants that Wermark chose.
Ms Van Wyk clarified that the question was directed to SITA and not the SAPS.
The Chairperson asked whether the PCEM contract was a SITA contract.
Major-General Ngubane responded that the SAPS had requested SITA to look for a service provider and then SITA advertised the tender. The signing of the contract was between Wermark and the SAPS.
Ms Van Wyk asked where the signature would normally lie - with SAPS or with SITA.
Ms Mjoli responded that there were two processes - namely procurement through SITA and procurement by SITA. SITA was a procurement agency hence it was mandated to do procurement activities on behalf of a department. When a department made a request SITA would go through a procurement process and then it would make a recommendation to the accounting officer of the relevant department. The department would then decide whether the preferred bidder was supposed to do the work. Once an award was concluded then there would be a contract in place. A contract would then be concluded by SITA on behalf of the department or, if the department had adequate resources, the Department would conclude the contract itself. With regards to PCEM, SITA made the recommendation of the preferred service provider and the contract was then concluded by the SAPS.
Ms Van Wyk asked how many contracts advertised by SITA the SAPS made use of.
Ms Mjoli responded that, when SITA advertised, it would make reference to the fact that the tender was for a particular department. The issue of contracting was a decision that the Department would take upfront in light of the resources that the Department had. Most Departments contributed to the procurement that was done by SITA.
The Chairperson was of the opinion that the Committee would not receive answers that related to PCEM in one meeting. PCEM was one contract that needed to be investigated. The Committee continued to receive different answers to the same question from the same people. The Committee did not know what was correct about PCEM. She asked whether SITA would allow a contract with open-ended clauses in it.
Lieutenant-General Tshabalala responded that the SAPS would reply in writing in relation to PCEM. The contract was awarded in 2008. There was an 18 months period for price negotiations. On the date the Forensic Science Laboratories placed orders the contract had already been awarded. A schedule D was negotiated after the contract had been awarded. It was true that the software provider of Information Management System (IMS) went into a consortium with Unisys [a worldwide information technology company]. IMS was procured for R 500 000 and had more than 4 000 licenses that had been paid for by the supplier. A new solution was drafted. There were seven people from SAPS and two from SITA. He stressed that he was not sure at what point the SAPS had awarded a contract when in actual fact it was only given a number by SITA. The SAPS was in the process of looking at the contract so that it could find closure on the matter. He acknowledged that he had mentioned the unfair advantage in that the contractor had developed IMS and later on he came up with PCEM. In his opinion the contract was done by SITA but it was negotiated by SAPS.
The Chairperson said that the response by SAPS brought more confusion.
Lieutenant-General Mofomme responded to the question about a
Ms Van Wyk asked how Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) differed from IMS.
Lieutenant-General Mofomme responded that AVL was a functionality. The system was linked to the motor vehicle of officers on patrol. The IMS system was [used on] a truck or bus fitted with equipment. It was more of a mobile control room and it would eventually lead up to the war room. He clarified further that the SAPS did not have the e-docket project but had the scanning project. The e-docket would correct all of the problems. The SAPS was hoping to have an integrated solution on one desktop. He apologised for the presentation that one of the Members had said was misleading. It was clarified that AFIS at the Department of Home Affairs was the national database and the SAPS AFIS was a criminal database. There was a project at Computer Development Systems (CDS) which would enable the SAPS to interface with the Home Affairs AFIS. The Home Affairs AFIS which was one of the top three in the world – but it did not store images.
The Chairperson asked whether there were time-frames for the transformation to happen.
Major-General E Mavundla, Head Technology Management Services Division Technology, SAPS, responded that each department was supposed to do its own part and then the departments would integrate.
The Chairperson said that a list was supposed to be submitted of the top 20 police stations.
Lieutenant-General Mofomme responded to the question of e-docket by saying that integration was being planned between the SAPS and Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and the Legal Aid Board. The integration between SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had been delayed.
Lieutenant-General Tshabalala responded that the SAPS had bought an additional 1000 units of the Mofo Touch (portable finger print units) but if they broke the SAPS would fix the ones that they could.
Lieutenant-General Mofomme responded that the roll out of the finger print exhibit system was done in a number of provinces. The
The Chairperson requested that a list of the police stations be submitted to the Committee.
Lieutenant-General Mofeme said that SAPS was that last to have IFMS because it wanted to see whether it would cover all the SAPS requirements.
Lieutenant-General Tshabalala said that the RIMAS system was used for national key points.
Ms Van Wyk said that there was no technical support for RIMAS.
Ms Ntshavheni responded that there were resources that were needed to support RIMAS in place currently.
The Chairperson asked the SAPS whether the services that they were receiving from SITA had improved.
Lieutenant-General Tshabalala acknowledged that there was an improvement in the services that SITA was providing to the SAPS. The two were interacting more and they were consulting one another.
The Chairperson said that there were a number of questions that the SAPS and SITA were supposed to respond to in writing. SITA and the SAPS would be held accountable for what they had presented. The Committee appreciated the turnaround strategies that had been presented by both Departments. In addition, the issue of PCEM had to be resolved and it was one contract that was not supposed to have been allowed to continue. The PCEM contract was too open ended. The Committee was also concerned that the SAPS was buying equipment which was not being used.
The meeting was adjourned.
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.