Members were briefed on the aspects of the strategic plan of the State Information Technology Agency affecting their work with the South African Police Service. A variety of network systems was provided although the Agency was trying to move away from providing resources and rather providing services. Assistance was also being given to develop systems which would improve the efficiency and accessibility of the Police. Several initiatives were being considered.
Members objected strongly to the fact that neither the Chief Executive Officer nor the Chief Financial Officer had made arrangements to be present for the start of the meeting. It was also clear that there had been no consultation between the two parties before the meeting so that the Department of Police was not prepared to provide the information required by Members. The Committee resolved to terminate the meeting without discussing the presentation and called on the two parties to prepare themselves for a future meeting. A written letter of censure would be sent to senior management and the Minister would also be advised of the situation.
The Chairperson welcomed Members and the delegation from the Department and the State Information Technology Agency (SITA). In honour of the Year of the Detective, a workshop would be held on 5 September to involve all relevant persons on the issue of the detective service. The Committee would form a task team to plan this event, which would brief the Committee on what it thought should be done on the day. The first report would be expected on 5 June. Ms A van Wyk would lead the team. A full day could be planned as this would fall within a Committee week.
The Chairperson announced that the Acting National Commissioner (NC) of the South African Police Service (SAPS) had written a letter to Gen Richard Mdluli and Gen Lazarus, advising of his intention to suspend them. The allegations of misuse of secret funds dated back to before Gen Mdluli's appointment. Some matters had gone unchallenged for too long. She stressed that this was not in reaction to legal action being taken by civic groups. At an appropriate time the Committee would consider inviting the Department to brief them on developments. She was being kept informed on developments.
The Chairperson invited SITA to make their presentation. She asked that a 40% profit margin on some services rendered to SAPS should be explained.
Mr Daniel Mashao, General Manager: Critical Applications, SITA, apologised on behalf of the Chairperson of the Board who was still on her way to
Mr Mashao said its value to SAPS was to enable smarter policing. The Integrated Case Document Management System (ICDMS, popularly knows as the e-docket system) was an example of this. SITA enabled effective and efficient crime investigation and improved accessibility of SAPS to citizens. The second phase of the project had been rolled out in 2011, providing a backbone with twenty connected sites. The system would be rolled out to a further forty sites during the 2012/13 financial year (FY), including features such as a Station Commander dashboard facility and registration of cases through e-statements. Since 2005, R1.8 billion had been spent on the network and 1 546 SAPS stations and sites had been connected.
Mr Mashao said that SITA had plans for the 2012/13 FY. These included improving SAPS legacy systems and deploying an integrated desktop management system. This would enhance the efficiency of SAPS at station level. At present SITA maintained 23 systems for SAPS. There was a possibility of extending the e-docket facility to Community Policing Forums (CPFs).
Mr Mashao said programmes to support SAPS included providing local area networks (LANs). Hosting services and printing links were provided. Applications were developed and maintained. Some connectivity was provided to other departments, such as the Department of Home Affairs.
Mr Mashao said that the service strategy was to provide services more than resources. Services were rated at various levels, from bronze to platinum. Network support services would be at the gold level. There would be 99% carrier provider availability and reachability. 95% of calls would be responded to within two hours. Other aspects of this classification were access link infrastructure, with 97% availability and response times of eight hours.
Mr Mashao presented the budget. The proposed total budget was R1.57 billion. The most significant facet was DSS services at R693 million.
Mr Mashao outlined some initiatives being considered for 2012/13. These included a remote infrastructure management system to manage assets. A voice-over-internet protocol (VOIP) would save up to 35% in telephone costs. The SAPS network would be integrated back into the government network. A SAPS/SITA integrated communications technology (ICT) would be established. The SAPS network would be integrated with other security services. SAPS war rooms would be supported. The Department of Public Service and Administration had requested the development of an electronic disclosure system for senior public servants, which would assist SAPS in investigating corruption cases.
Mr Mashao said that SITA was not involved in the Property Control and Exhibit Management system (PCAM) tender. This had been concluded directly between SAPS and the supplier.
The Chairperson asked about the Softshelf tender. There had been under-spending of R289 million. Her information was that SITA had added a 40% profit margin.
Maj Gen E Mavundla, SAPS, said that PCAM had been discussed under a hosting agreement. There had been underspending. She did not know where the invoice had come from. This was the first time that she had seen the proposal.
Ms A van Wyk (ANC) said that Members had asked for some time that SITA and the Department should agree on the issues before meetings. She asked if the service level agreements had been signed for the new FY. There was an indication that this had not been done in the current FY. It was perhaps time for the Committee to take action. This was not a forum for SAPS and SITA to negotiate with each other.
Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) was disconcerted that neither the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) nor Chief Financial Officer (CFO) was present. She felt that the meeting should be suspended awaiting their arrival. It was an insult to the Committee that they had planned to arrive late.
Mr G Lekgetho (ANC) agreed.
Ms van Wyk had questions which could be answered by the specialists present. If they could not answer the questions then the meeting should be adjourned. She now understood why the Minister of Justice was lobbying departments to move away from SITA.
The Chairperson excused the delegation while the Committee discussed the advisability of continuing the meeting. Sufficient notice had been given of this meeting. It was serious irresponsibility of SAPS to come to the meeting without being aware of the contents of the presentation, but at the same time SITA had not found time to meet with SAPS to discuss the issues.
Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) felt that the delegations should be excused and sort out the issues between themselves first.
Ms Kohler-Barnard said that the top two people in SITA had treated the Committee with contempt. SITA was a service provider to SAPS but had not communicated with their client.
Ms P Mocumi (ANC) felt that any responses to questions from Members would be inconclusive.
Ms van Wyk agreed that the delegation should be sent packing. Further sanction was needed. Letters should be sent to the CEO of SITA and the executive of SAPS. This situation would repeat itself if no action was taken.
The Chairperson welcomed the CEO of SITA who had arrived. Ms Chikunga informed the delegation that the meeting would be terminated. The Committee was disgusted at the way SITA and the SAPS were conducting themselves. The Committee would not be used as a bargaining chamber. The two parties must prepare themselves for the meeting properly. Any differences between the parties must be resolved elsewhere. The Committee's displeasure would be communicated in writing to the two parties, and the Minister would be informed as well. There seemed to be no relationship between the parties. She reminded the delegations that there were costs involved, and the meetings could not be treated lightly. There were 24 Integrated Technology projects in the SAPS planning, but she did not know which were related to SITA.
The meeting was adjourned.
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