Independent Police Investigative Directorate on the ICD 2011/12 Annual Report

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09 October 2012
Chairperson: Ms A Van Wyk (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee researcher provided findings on the Independent Complaints Directorate Annual Report 2011/12 which was the final report of the entity before it transformed into the Independent Police Investigative Directorate. Success rates in key areas were given and it was shown that there had been a balancing of the budget for the first time in three years. Although there had been no unauthorised expenditure and limited irregular or wasteful expenditure, there had been virements between programmes, indicating that the original budget allocation had not been accurately done. The researcher emphasised that the figures given by ICD were inconsistent with its Annual Report. Although many ICD targets had been met they were set relatively low to begin with. Other challenges included failure to retain staff resulting in low capacity and that recommendations made to SAPS were not being implemented and failure to implement was not being penalised.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate presented its own findings on the previous financial year and came to many of the same conclusions.

Members expressed concern over the vacancies in the Directorate that were being blamed for various inefficiencies. It was reiterated that the discrepancies in ICD figures was unacceptable and that any attempts to mislead the Committee would be punishable. Other matters discussed were the increases in domestic travel expenses and the unnecessary expenses incurred by allowing ICD members to use Government Garage vehicles rather than their own subsidised vehicles. Members accused the ICD targets of not being reflective of their actual mandate, saying that only artificial success was being achieved. It came to light that a needs assessment that had reportedly been submitted to Treasury weeks earlier had in fact only been submitted the day before. IPID admitted that there were systematic management flaws that were exacerbated by its centralised nature. The conclusion was that there needed to be a restructuring of IPID that gave provincial heads more authority and control with regards to budgeting and SAPS oversight control.

Meeting report

Committee Researcher report on Independent Complaints Directorate Annual Report 2011/12
Mr M Buthelezi, parliamentary researcher, noted that the Independent Complaints Directorate 2011/12 Annual Report was the final report of this entity before it was transformed into the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). He proceeded to go through all aspects of the Annual Report, giving his findings and raising significant questions when he identified discrepancies or weaknesses. 

ICD’s legislative mandate was derived from Section 206 of the Constitution and South African Police Service (SAPS) Act. Its primary purpose was to investigate complaints or reports of misconduct on the part of SAPS members. It also had oversight over the Municipal Police Service (MPS) and was obliged to report to Parliament every six months. Key objectives and priorities for 2011/12 were to effectively investigate criminal offences committed by SAPS and MPS members, report and monitor recommendations made in respect of members under investigation, improve reporting and accountability practices and develop policy frameworks and operating procedures.

Key achievements were listed, the first of which was the passing of new legislation that would transform the ICD into the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). Further, 90% of serious cases were resolved, severe backlog of cases was reduced, community outreach was strengthened, 86% of criminal investigations were finalised and there was a 91% success rate in registration and allocation of cases. The 9% shortfall in that final respect was contributed by Western Cape and Gauteng. Also, 98% of misconduct cases were concluded and 1 276 recommendations made to SAPS about disciplinary action.

The Directorate spent 99% of its budget. The previous years saw 91.1% and 97.7% spent respectively. The balancing of the budget was noted as a relative achievement. There was no unauthorised expenditure, fruitless and wasteful expenditure was limited to R1000 and irregular expenditure amounted to R247 000, of which R184 000 was carried over from the previous year. R20 000 of the previous year’s irregular expenditure has been condoned. The remainder was under investigation in a number of areas such as unapproved overtime. Virement occurred, with R1.276 million being moved between programmes. Questions were asked in the researcher’s report, such as the reasons for the virement, the progress made in investigating irregular expenditure and the disciplinary steps taken.

Spending on service based wages was decreased while other categories of salaries increased. There was an increase in expenditure under Computer Services. Operating leases increased from R15.5 million to R22.7 million. The Directorate spent R15.7 million on travel costs, an increase of R5.1 million. Outsourced services increased, as did capital costs.

The ICD received an unqualified audit report from the Auditor-General emphasising one matter, regarding an error in the figures presented in the 2010/11 annual financial statements that were restated. The performance indicator information was unreliable, such as the indicator on the registration and allocation of cases within 48 hours. The researcher also identified problems with poor internal control and a lack of financial and performance management. There was no backup plan when the CFO was on maternity leave and there had been appointment of “weak” provincial heads. It was asked whether there were any measures in place to address the AG’s concerns and if not what challenges had prevented this. There were outstanding explanations for the concerns raised.

There were three ICD programmes in 2011/12: Administration, Complaints Processing, Monitoring and Investigation and finally Information Management and Research. Before examining the figures, it was noted that the figures given by ICD differed from those stated in the Annual Report and this discrepancy had not been explained yet.

Programme One (Administration) achieved 100% of budget allocation, a major improvement on the previous years. Corporate Services experienced over spending amounting to R700 000. Human Resources revealed a vacancy rate of 7.9%, less than the target of 10%. The highest vacancy rate was at Senior Management level, with 19%. Programme Two had the highest vacancies out of the three programmes, despite being critical to the Directorate. The highest overtime rates were recorded in Programme One, with the majority of overtime being done at the level of highly skilled production and supervision levels. 540 courses were identified as necessary to address training needs, but only 211 courses were actually offered. There was a staff turnover of 11.3%. In Senior Management Band B there was a 25% turnover rate.

Seven misconduct and disciplinary hearings were finalised in 2011/12. Three cases related to misrepresentation, two to insubordination, one to theft and the last to contravention of policy. Performance rewards amounted to R1.3 million, with R67 333 going to six individual beneficiaries at senior management level in Band A. The rest was divided amongst 103 beneficiaries. In light of the poor performance at ICD the senior level bonuses were seen as surprising.

Programme Two (Complaints Processing, Monitoring and Investigation) aimed at promoting proper police conduct, specifically the finalising of investigations of deaths in custody, of complaints of criminality against SAPS members, conducting station audits in terms of the Domestic Violence Act and processing applications for exemption in cases of non-compliance. 99.9% of the budget was spent. Registering of cases reached 91%, with capacity constraints in Western Cape and Gauteng. Investigation of deaths had a 90% success rate. Investigation of complaints of criminality and misconduct had 86% and 98% success rates respectively. Monitoring implementation of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) achieved 99% of its target. However, these success statistics were deemed misleading, as the targets were set very low.

In Programme Three (Information Management and Research), the strategic objectives were to analyse information relating to the DVA, increase the number of community awareness programmes and strengthen the ICD’s technology by developing and implementing an action plan. This programme recorded 100% expenditure and met all of its targets, except for the proactive research target.

In conclusion, it was noted that the ICD had a shortage of personnel and that its recommendations made to SAPS were not implemented nor were there consequences for non-implementation. There was inadequate staff retention and concerns existed over the ratio of administrative staff to line function staff on a national level. Irregular expenditure and reporting of statistics needed to be carefully monitored and scrutinised.

The Chairperson drew attention not merely to the number of vacancies but also the class of vacancies. The clerks and junior staffers were leaving, not the investigators themselves. She commented that Programme Three, despite having 44 staff members was unnecessary and should rather be integrated into other programmes. This was highlighted by the fact that they had been unable to reach their proactive research target.

Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) noted that ICD had previously identified an alarmingly high level of non-compliance with its recommendations to SAPS. She requested specific statistics for recommendations and implementation. She wondered whether it was standard procedure to charge a police officer who discharged his weapon in the course of duty with murder – as this was often inappropriate.

Mr D Stubbe (DA) asked how many investigators were permanent and how many were in acting posts.

Mr G Lekgetho (ANC) asked how the ICD aimed to improve reporting and accountability practices. He requested further detail on the 279 outreach events.

IPID briefing on Independent Complaints Directorate Annual Report 2011/12
The Chairperson welcomed the delegation, recognising that it would be the final report on the ICD and that hitherto IPID would take over altogether.

Ms Lindokuhle Cwele, CFO: Independent Police Investigative Directorate, began by outlining the financial aspects of the previous financial year. The budget of R153 534 000 was a 19% increase from 2010/11. She broke the budget down according to each programme. Programmes One and Two spent 99.9% of its budget and Programme Three spent its entire budget. These were improvements on the two previous years. The anticipated under spending in Programme Two led to the virements of funds. Initiatives to address under expenditure included early capturing of payments at SITA, monthly expenditure reports per responsibility manager, monthly budget control Committee meeting and bi-annual review of budget needs. These measures were expected to aid in the micro-management of budgetary spending. Asset management met its targets for quarterly verification, BAS/LOGIS reconciliation was performed monthly and a bar-coded asset management system fully implemented.

The Auditor-General unqualified audit report had findings in three areas. For Predetermined Objectives the AG expressed concern over the failure to meet 31% of targets due to capacity constraints. There was non-compliance with laws and regulations, specifically the lack of a human resource plan and the failure to settle payments. A flag was also raised over the public prosecutor investigation of the City Forum Building.

In conclusion, there was an overall 16% decrease in all cases, most notably deaths in police custody and deaths due to police action. Backlog cases were substantially reduced. Most targets in relation to the core function were exceeded. Finally, measures were to be put in place to ensure improved performance in all areas.

Mr Lekgetho noted the complaint from the Auditor General that payments were not being made within 30 days. He asked if the Committee could be given details of which payments were outstanding, to whom and in what amount. He also asked for the names of the individuals who were outsourced contractors.

The Chairperson noted the discrepancy between the figures presented and those in the Annual Report. The presentation figures were literally incorrect in respect of every single programme. She asked how much exactly was paid to consultants and in respect of which services. She said that there appeared to have been fiscal dumping. The budget was not on track for each individual quarter, but at the end of the fiscal year there was suddenly a balanced budget. What exactly had happened? She queried how there could be a shortfall in a number of sub-programmes. Often goods and services were benefitting at the expense of compensation, but there were always complaints over lack of capacity and inadequate retention of staff.

She asked how much free reign provincial heads were given with their budget, and why a budget committee was necessary if there was sufficient senior management oversight. The amount spent on domestic travel was exorbitant with an increase of about R5 million. There were other issues around subsidised vehicles and claims for government vehicles. There had been R227 000 in unauthorised expenditure. This was a worrying amount and needed to be properly examined for culpability. The bar-coded asset management system was a major project that had taken many years but it was not clear if had been fully implemented yet.

Mr Stubbe drew attention to expenditure on capital assets, specifically the amount disposed of. He wanted to know what had happened to that equipment. He asked if there was a complete set of statements for 2011/12 and why they had not been made available to the Auditor General.

Ms Cwele explained that the statements had not being made available to the Auditor General due to insufficient capacity during her own maternity leave. At that stage there was one individual performing in a number of senior positions and that is why there had been this failure. In terms of the expenditure on capital assets, some of these computers were donated to organisations or schools. The bar-coding process had been implemented; it was described as functional and operational and had been during the financial period as well. The irregular expenditure figures were found on pages 124 and 125 in the Annual Report. The amounts not yet condoned were still under investigation. The issue of subsidised and government vehicles was problematic and had been analysed by Corporate Services. New policies were being introduced to try to repair the problem in this area.

Ms Nomkhosi Shange, Chief Director: Corporate Services, explained that the analysis on vehicles showed negative results and elicited the drafting of new guidelines. The policy stated clearly that members using subsidised vehicles were not entitled to use Government Garage vehicles. The loophole was that members working overtime were entitled to do so and this resulted in exploitation. Those members who qualified for the subsidised vehicles were choosing rather to use the GG vehicle for free. This meant that they were not responsible in any way for the vehicle’s repair or maintenance and there was a much higher rate of damage to those vehicles than to the subsidised vehicles. The Directorate was aiming to coerce increased usage of the subsidised vehicles in future. It was also found that certain vehicles were over utilised and other vehicles were not – there was not a proper rotation of usage. These challenges had all been identified and were being targeted with new guidelines that were awaiting approval.

Ms Cwele continued by saying that there was a desired emphasis on the sub-vehicle scheme to reduce reliance on the more expensive Government vehicles.

Ms Koekie Mbeki, Acting Executive Director and
Chief Director of Legal Services at IPID, added that part of the problem was over centralisation of control and that provincial heads should be entitled to make changes to the transport systems in place for greater financial efficacy as the current system was hopelessly inefficient and very onerous on resources.

Ms Cwele dealt with concerns over domestic travel that were shared by management. One of the main drivers in this regard was the claims from investigators including accommodation and transport. However the day to day costs were also a large contributing factor and they were being scrutinised to ensure that they become more cost-effective. The true purpose of the budget committee was not to make decisions on behalf of provincial heads. It was to monitor and make transparent decisions made at the various levels. The responsibility managers needed to be empowered in terms of accountability. Complaints about capacity were valid but new policies were being drafted that would hopefully fill all vacancies within a short period of the vacancy being created. With regards to fiscal dumping, this had not been occurring and this would best be illustrated with a detailed overview of under expenditure and over expenditure.

Ms Mbeki admitted that there were many areas of concern but that the majority of IPID’s time had been spent on analysis so as to determine challenges and problems, rather than problem solving itself. The first step in repairing the situation would be to highlight concerns, and this had been done. There were inconsistencies between the organisation structure and the budget structure. The ICD environment had not done proper financial allocations so it was understandable that management had not been ideal. This misallocation of funding had severe implications for many areas of concern. For example, if there had been proper allocation to staffing there would have been quicker training and less of a staff turnover. Fewer vacancies would necessitate less domestic travelling. This could all be traced back to the fact that the budget allocation was being done centrally in Pretoria rather than by making provincial heads accountable.

Ms Kohler-Barnard characterised the previously mentioned flaws as being symptomatic of gross mismanagement and incompetence. It was all well and good to say that there was mismanagement, but the members of the delegation were those responsible for making those decisions that resulted in the status quo. She described herself as appalled.

The Chairperson in contrast welcomed the acknowledgement of the problems in IPID and the ICD and conceded that Ms Mbeki had held the position for a relatively short time. She reiterated that the problems faced were nothing new and that until now there had been denial from management that there were any systemic flaws in the future. With the admissions made, there was no longer any excuse and the focus of the Committee would be on IPID.

Ms Cwele apologised for the incorrect statistics in the report, confirming that those in the Annual Report were the correct ones. With regards to outsourcing, she observed that experts and contractors had been hired in a number of areas, a detailed list of which would be tendered to the Committee in writing.

Mr Stubbe asked a follow-up question on the disposal of assets, referring to the particular cost of more than R80 000 and asked what had been disposed of there. He requested a specific list of equipment that was disposed of.

Ms Cwele committed to providing such a list and admitted that she did not have the specific details of the R80 000 disposal.

Presentation on Programme One
Ms Shange detailed the staff complement per programme, noting that Programme One had filled 93 out of 101 posts, with a vacancy rate of 7.9%. The turnover was put down to insufficient financial incentives for staff retention. Service delivery objectives were discussed. The target relating to evaluation of the effectiveness of internal controls was exceeded, with 32 reviews being done rather than 16. The corporate governance component had not been established until 1 April 2012 under IPID. The target for timely identification and effective mitigation of risks had been met. Nine out of ten ethics and integrity workshops had been held. The target for ensuring effective and efficient financial planning, management and accounting services was met. The target was also met for the implementation of government’s strategy on asset management. In terms of ensuring efficient management of minimum information security standards and compliance with risk management policies, the target for security audits was exceeded, as was the target for numbers of workshops. The target of reducing vacancy rates to below 10% was met, but the targets for increasing employment equity for disabled persons and females at senior levels were not met. Targets in improving service delivery via the Batho Pele programme; developing, managing and implementation of human resource policies and strategies, and managing the training of employees were all either met or exceeded, with the exception of percentage of interns in the total staff complement. The number of HIV/AIDS campaigns conducted were below target, whereas the number of team building sessions was as desired. In terms of promoting discipline, only 29% of disciplinary hearings were finalised within 90 days as opposed to the target of 70%. This was credited to postponements. 0% of grievances were finalised within 60 days, apparently due to capacity constraints in the labour relations component.

Mr Stubbe drew attention to vacancies at the level of provincial heads on slide 33, requesting confirmation on this. He asked if there were no grievances at all or if they just had not been resolved.

Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) asked why senior management experienced such high vacancies and whether these positions were being filled. On training, she asked why so few of the courses identified had actually been offered. Also, she wanted to know why performance rewards were so high.

Mr Lekgetho noted that one of the goals was development of skills, but that the Auditor General had complained about provincial heads being weak. He had also raised concerns over the lack of a backup plan for when the CFO was on extended leave, and Mr Stubbe wanted to know if this had been rectified.

Ms Kohler-Barnard said that property rentals were severely problematic. In a single year the rental value had increased four times. The fact that this had been allowed without administrative oversight was unacceptable.

The Chairperson disagreed that the majority of targets had been reached. Figures were not accurate, and could therefore not be used as a measurement of success. The number of audit reviews done meant nothing if they were not having a proper impact, and according to the AG there had been no impact. The timely identification of risks in the ICD appeared to have been met on paper, yet there were two investigations before the Public Prosecutor. Quantity of success was being preferred to quality. The apparent progress made in a number of areas was artificial. Risk management was clearly not being done properly even though technically it was being done. The workshops on integrity were also not having an effect. It was not sufficient to have workshops; they needed to have an actual impact. She observed that lying to Parliament was a crime punishable with imprisonment and that the misleading statistics provided were bordering on such an offence. Vacancy figures had been met, but there was still a noticeably absent plan for retention of skilled employees. She named numerous cases where so-called performance indicators were woefully inadequate and in many cases contrary to other information provided to the Committee. Finally she requested specific details for performance bonuses: who had received them and what informed the decisions to award them?

Mr Lekgetho agreed wholeheartedly that there was indiscipline within the institution. He asked how many of the individuals charged were allowed to retain their salaries and what criteria were used to determine this.

Ms Shange discussed the issues of vacant provincial heads, saying that there were currently acting heads and that the Minister had the required papers for filling the positions. However, the individuals that were acting were only doing so as a result of the new IPID legislation and in fact had held those positions prior to the new legislation so could not be deemed new to the job. There had been 10 grievances in the first half of the year and 13 in the second. None of these had been finalised in that period and some were still pending. The statistics for training courses would be provided to the Committee in the near future, but examples included management development, administrative courses and many more. Performance rewards details would also be provided the following day. However, performance was assessed between the supervisor and the employee. There was a moderating committee made up of independent individuals to ensure impartiality. Skills development for provincial heads (according to the AG’s complaints) were dealt with by specific capacitating through the Department of Public Service and Administration management training courses. A backup plan for when the CFO was on leave was being developed so as to avoid a similar situation in the future.

Ms Mbeki admitted that the negotiation over the property lease that resulted in exorbitant rental rates was poorly done. The shareholders of the leased building were not known at the time.

Ms Shange said that going forward a needs analysis had been given to Public Works the day before.

The Chairperson challenged the truth of this statement, saying that it had been contradicted by Ms Shange herself in a written response to a question.

The Chairperson said that on 18 September a different story had been told by Ms Shange with regards to the tendering of a needs analysis to Public Works. On that date it was said that the new needs analysis had already been sent to Public Works, but in the current meeting it was revealed that this had only been done on 8 October.

Ms Shange admitted that her written confirmation of submission on 18 September was factually incorrect. There had been a string of delays that prevented her from sending the needs assessment before 8 October. Turning to the targets set, she agreed that the numbers were meaningless if there was inadequate output. She said that the structuring of targets needed to be redone. She noted there was a comprehensive wellness programme that addressed all areas of wellness including HIV/AIDS so as to provide voluntary counselling and testing, amongst other services. With regards to suspensions, only one official was at the time suspended with full salary, there were no suspensions without salary. The leave policy was being examined to see if previous years had similar levels of absenteeism or if exploitation was occurring.

The Chairperson quoted from a previous meeting’s minutes that confirmed that the needs assessment for buildings had been sent to the Department of Public Works already. The meeting was adjourned until the following day when the outstanding figures would be provided and the remaining two programmes would be presented upon.


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