Home Affairs Budget Review and Recommendation Report 2011

Home Affairs

19 October 2011
Chairperson: Ms M Maunye (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee reviewed the edits of the updated draft of the Budget Review and Recommendations Report and highlighted phrases that needed minor rewording in order to be consistent with the findings in the Department’s Annual Report. A reference to pending legal claims was corrected to read ‘the Gijima contract and the various pending legal claims, which amounted to R1.2 billion’. A reference to the Business Activity Statement and the Integrated Financial Management Systems was removed because it was a broader Government issue that had yet to be decided. A reference to a recommendation from the Standing Committee on Public Accounts regarding a six-year old overspend was removed because it was redundant.

The Committee reviewed the recommendations of the report. Recommendations were organised according to programme and were all time bound and specific. The report recommendations included that the Minister should prioritise the filling and funding of all critical vacant posts by 2012/13. The Minister needed to implement mechanisms to effectively measure compliance with predetermined service delivery targets by the end of 2011/12. The Minister should increase the employment of persons with disabilities to the required 2% an access to offices for persons with disabilities by 2012/13. The Minister should find permanent suitable office accommodation at the Itsotsengsa, Nkanyisa and Taung locations by the end of 2011/12. Further improvements on internal auditing including monitoring of performance objectives dealing with risk management and internal controls should be implemented by the Minister in the 2012/13 strategic targets. The Minister needed to implement a maintenance solution to ensure that all mobile units were working properly, particularly to service rural areas during the 2011/12 financial year. The Minister should assist government in deploying the South African national defence force along the borderline with an immediate effect. The Department of Public Works needed to be assisted by the Minister of Home Affairs to ensure that the matters of emphasis from the Auditor General’s Annual Report were not repeated.

Committee members raised the question of what role the Border Control Operational Coordinating Committee played in manning the border.

The Committee adopted the report with amendments


Meeting report

Consideration of Committee’s Budget Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR)
Mr Adam Salmon, Researcher, Parliamentary Research Unit, took the Committee through the updated draft of the Budget Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR). The draft had a number of grammatical and syntax changes that were made and phrases that needed minor rewording in order to be consistent with the findings in the Department’s Annual Report. Regarding substantive changes, the report referred to the Gijima contract as the pending legal claim that amounted to R1.2 billion. However, the Gijima contract was not the only pending legal claim included in the R1.2 billion figure. The reference was corrected to read ‘the Gijima contract and the various pending legal claims, which amounted to R1.2 billion’. A reference to the Business Activity Statement and the Integrated Financial Management Systems was removed because it was a broader Government issue that had yet to be decided. The recommendation from the Standing Committee on Public Accounts that Departmental money that was overspent six years ago had to be recovered did not have to be recommended again in the Committee’s report as SCOPA had already reported it. There was a question of whether highlights in the National Address should be included in the report.

Recommendations were organised according to programme and were all time bound and specific. On Administration, the following recommendations were made:
•The Minister should prioritise the filling and funding of all critical vacant posts by 2012/13.
•The Department needed to report its staffing requirements including unfounded vacancies and needed to report its vacancy rate taking these un-funded vacancies into account.
•The Minister needed to implement mechanisms to effectively measure compliance with predetermined service delivery targets by the end of 2011/12.
•The Minister should focus on improving provision of transporting in all Department of Home Affairs offices and ports of entry.
•The Minister should increase the employment of persons with disabilities to the required 2% an access to offices for persons with disabilities by 2012/13.
•The Minister should find permanent suitable office accommodation at the Itsotsengsa, Nkanyisa and Taung locations by the end of 2011/12.
•The Minister should find additional office accommodation at the Fitchburg and the Maseru border posts and improved conditions at the Thabanchu office.
•The Minister should initiate an analysis of measures to prevent the most common errors of civil litigation against the Department of Home Affairs such as following proper tender procedures. This should be conducted and included in the risk and strategic planning of the Department for 2012/13.
•An ongoing monitoring of the follow on effects of the ‘Who am I online’ project needed to be included by the Minister in the performance targets of the DHA.
•The Minister needed to ensure that the capital asset register management was up to date and conformed with the reporting systems as out lined in the Public Finance Management Act.
•The Minister needed to ensure that online verification of identities should be rolled out to all Home Affairs offices across the country by the end of the 2012/13 financial year.
•Further improvements on internal auditing including monitoring of performance objectives dealing with risk management and internal controls should be implemented by the Minister in the 2012/13 strategic targets. •The Minister should consider the establishment of additional excellence service centres. The Minister needed to implement a maintenance solution to ensure that all mobile units were working properly, particularly to service rural areas during the 2011/12 financial year.
•The Minister should ensure better utilisation and maintenance of electronic security surveillance in its risk-prone offices by the end of 2011/12.

Regarding Citizen Services, the following recommendations were made:
•The Minister needed to make provisions for passport live capturing machines in all offices of the Department.
•The Minister should proactively address the issue of duplicate identity numbers as a matter of urgency.
•The audit report on the smart ID cards was presented to Parliament and was expected that there would be no further delays in the piloting of this project.

Regarding Immigration Services, the following recommendations were made:
•The Minister should assist government in deploying the South African national defence force along the borderline with an immediate effect.
•The Minister needed to actively monitor the progress made in terms of eliminating the backlog of outstanding asylum applications and appeals, as well as fully capacitating refugee offices.
•Changes in the refugee act may also require additional legal staff by the Refugee Appeals Authority.
•The relocation of the Cape Town and Johannesburg refugee reception centres needed to be prioritised by the end of 2011/12.
•The Department had not provided sufficient justification for the recruitment of defence force personnel; the Department should consider recruiting and training the Department’s own personnel.
•The Minister of Home Affairs should motivate that the Government printing works must be given a special dispensation by the Minister of Public Service Administration to pay commercially competitive salaries for technical staff to prevent high vacancies over time and staff turnover.
•The former publications board should reduce wasteful and fruitless expenditure and initiatives to ensure that the status of an unqualified audit opinion was maintained.
•The Department of Public Works needed to be assisted by the Minister of Home Affairs to ensure that the matters of emphasis from the Auditor General’s Annual Report were not repeated.

Mr A Gaum (ANC) proposed that the Committee adopt the report with amendments.

Mr M Mnqasela (DA) seconded the adoption of the report.

The Chairperson declared that the BRRR was adopted.

M J Thebedi (ANC) asked whether the Border Control Operational Coordinating Committee (BCOCC) played a role in manning the country’s border. Should the report not have recommendations that point to that effect? There were concerns that such a Committee did not actually exist in practice.

Mr Salmon responded that there was a change in responsibilities. The BCOCC did include these various Departments and they held meetings, but the responsibilities had changed as before it was the DHA’s responsibility as part of this group of Departments to man the border. This responsibility had been changed to the South African National Defence Force, but the change was being implemented slowly.

The Chairperson closed the meeting.


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