Civilian Secretariat of Police 2011/12 Annual Report; Auditor-General briefing on SAPS audit outcomes

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10 October 2012
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Meeting Summary

A report was given by the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) on the audit outcomes, and it was noted that each entity or division had to set up sufficient checks and balances that ensured the reliability of information. Risk identification and mitigation had to be done. The statistics on performance and a comparison to the previous year were presented. SAPS had not achieved 32% of its targets for the year, whilst Independent Complaints Directorate achieved 31% and Private Security Industries Regulatory Authority achieved 48% of its targets. There was no improvement in compliance with laws and regulations, and SAPS had been unable to resolve the procurement issues. Although none of the entities showed unauthorised expenditure, there was irregular expenditure, across all three, totalling R5.79 million and R2.4 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure. The problems were due to instability of leadership and inability of the leaders to monitor performance information effectively. There was also insufficient accountability and lack of consequences following poor performance, whilst there was also inadequate discipline and monitoring to ensure credible monthly performance. It was recommended that each body should approve and implement IT governance frameworks, strengthen contracts and improve accounting systems. Members noted their concerns over the failure to renew the tracker contract and the exceeding of budget for the Nyala equipment, wondered if there was anything specific that would account for reduction of irregular expenditure at SAPS, or whether it was likely to recur, and expressed their frustration and budgeting and strategic planning were being done in isolation of each other, leading to mismatches. It was pointed out that although staff were described as “acting” they were in fact experienced, so that lack of capacity was not a good enough excuse.

The Civilian Secretariat of Police presented its Annual Report for 2011/12, starting by detailing the budget, and explaining that although different programme numbers had now been assigned, the content was much the same. Personnel and programme budgeting had been separated in this financial year. There was underspending of R2 million on programmes, and R7.4 million on personnel, because although the approval for phase 1 of the staff structure was given, it was not possible to implement it in this financial year. This also then impacted on purchase of office equipment such as furniture. There had also been underspending on staff training, which had to be postponed, and on the Mnet Database. The total underspend on Programme 1 was 24%. In the Partnerships budget, there was also slight underspending, and the legislation programme, which was incorporated into the  Policy and Legislation programme in this financial year, also had underspending. Monitoring and evaluation had underspent because of the Mnet Database delays. It was noted, under Programme 2, that a working relationship was established with agricultural unions, to address stock theft, and that workshops had been held with provinces, Community Policing Forums (CPFs), that Memoranda of Understanding were signed with Business Against Crime and a Community Safety Forum (CSF) policy was put into implementation. Finally, the Izimbo target was exceeded and small business pilots were finalised. In relation to Programme 3, a number of successes were cited in drafting policy and legislation. Most of the targets were met, except for reports on policy arising from monitoring and evaluation recommendations, and development of legislation in the safety and security environment. The Monitoring and Evaluation projects were briefly described.

Members questioned if there had been fruitless or wasteful expenditure, and commented that there was not always alignment of work. They asked why only two of the four approved plans on stock theft and small business robberies were met. They felt that if CPFs were crucial to the fight against crime, the targets needed to be raised. Members felt that Parliament should be involved in policy discussions as a matter of course, to facilitate oversight, and urged that the Secretariat should more often proactively approach the Committee. They noted the drafting of legislation, but commented that delays were frustrating the Committee, and that the Secretariat was failing to meet its own targets. They were concerned that suspension of SAPS officers who were on trial was not always being implemented. They asked when the database would be fully functional, asked if the failure to meet targets on oversight of SAPS was the fault of SAPS or the Secretariat, how the relationship could be improved, and commented that SAPS and the Secretariat should not cooperate too closely on the IPID recommendations, since an arms-length relationship was needed for proper accountability. It was noted that there needed to be more discussion on the method of implementing recommendations, and the way in which these should be formulated. In summary, the Chairperson noted that the Secretariat had to provide the Committee with further details on vacancy details and targets, training details, the number and standard of bursary recipients, the implementation plans for provincial secretariats, a clear implementation plan for a dedicated department, CPS and CFS details. Details were also required on reservists, the Domestic Violence Act reports and the implementation of IPID’s recommendation reports. In general, she reiterated that the Secretariat needed to approach the Committee proactively where there were issues with oversight over SAPS, and delivery dates needed to be more realistic so that expectations could be tailored appropriately.

The final presentation was a brief outline of the budget allocations for the following three years, which listed a total of a R77.7 million requested, and the division into the programmes.

Meeting report

Auditor-General South Africa presentation on SAPS Audit Outcomes
A representative from the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) office discussed the combined assurance model on risk management. It was noted that each department had responsibilities to ensure that there were sufficient checks and balances so that information was reliable. This principle applied upwards, extending not only to Director-Generals but also to Ministers. Risk identification, in the form of internal and external audits, should be conducted so that there was sufficient management of risks before media attention. In terms of supply chain, there was no change for South African Police Service (SAPS), Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) or Private Security Industries Regulatory Authority (PSIRA). The statistics for 2011/2012 were presented graphically to the Committee, with a comparison also to the previous year.

These showed that SAPS did not achieve 32% of its targets for the year, whilst ICD achieved 31% and PSIRA achieved 48% of their targets. In terms of compliance with laws and regulations there was no improvement. All three bodies had non-compliance findings. SAPS was unable to resolve its findings on procurement. Although none of the entities showed unauthorised expenditure, there was a total of R5.79 million in irregular expenditure and R2.4 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure. In relation to irregular expenditure, SAPS contributed R1.98 million, ICD contributed R247 000 and PSIRA contributed R3.56 million. In terms of Fruitless and Wasteful Expenditure, the three bodies contributed R2.4 million, R1 000 and R17 220 respectively.

AGSA indicated the root causes of the problem in three main categories, of people, accountability and sustainability. In the People category, it was shown that there was instability in key leadership positions and an inability of leaders to effectively monitor performance information. Under Accountability, AGSA commented that there was insufficient accountability for actions and a lack of consequences for poor performance. Sustainability was affected by inadequate discipline and monitoring to ensure credible monthly performance.

Recommendations were made for each body, including the need to approve and implement an IT governance framework, to strengthen the legal department’s involvement in contracts, to hold performance reporting awareness sessions, together with AGSA, and to improve the CAS accounting system functionality to support management in monitoring and reporting on performance information.

The Chairperson noted that there was a serious concern over the tracker contract for vehicles. This had expired before anything was done about it, and was therefore out of commission.

AGSA also noted that there was a problem with the Black Capital contract, in terms of which there had been refurbishment of Nyalas for the FIFA World Cup. It appeared that the contract amount would be exceeded and that there would be late delivery of services.

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked about irregular expenditure, noting that in the previous year this figure had increased at SAPS, but that it had since been reduced. However, given the small sample size of the audit, she queried if there was not a possibility of this figure being misleading.

The Chairperson said that in relation to ICD there had been many relevant findings that were reflective of the unreliability of the statistics. She expressed frustration that budgeting and strategic planning appeared to be being done separately and independently of each other, leading to incongruity, which in turn was causing inefficiencies. This had been acknowledged by the Acting Executive Director, but it remained a problem. Although vacancies were being cited as excuses for inefficiencies, the current Acting Heads were in fact experienced in their positions, and were only described as “Acting” because of the legislative transition.

The AGSA official noted that there had been little in the relevant year that could account for the decrease in irregular expenditure. Therefore, there was a concern that if no specific systems were in place, it could simply increase in the following year.

Civilian Secretariat of Police: Annual Report 2011/12
The Chairperson asked that at the outset, the Civilian Secretariat of Police (the Secretariat) should explain the programme numbers, and the financial report.

Ms R van Huyssteen, Deputy Director: Finances, Civilian Secretariat of Police, explained that when the Annual Performance Plan was presented, it was slightly different because the Chief Director responsible for Legislation had started recently and that programme had moved off under her control. The numbering related to the current structuring of the budget, and the same sub-programmes applied. The numbering could be different but the content remained the same.

The Chairperson said in the Annual Report there was reference to Programme 2, yet the presentation document appeared to indicate that this was Programme 3.

Ms van Huyssteen responded that this could be an error in typing because the sub-programmes were not at that stage assigned programme numbers. The content was, however, the same as in the Annual Report.

The Chairperson asked Ms van Huyssteen to take the Committee through the budget.

Ms van Huyssteen said that the overall spending in the budget had been broken down into different areas because in that financial year the personnel and programme budgeting had been separated. For the current financial year, the personnel budget fell under the Administration programme. For programmes, the Civilian Secretariat of Police had requested R14 million from the South African Police Services (SAPS), under whose budget it still fell, but was allocated R13 million. The actual expenditure was just over R11 million, which represented R2 million underspending, with 83% of budget spent. Underspending had also occurred in the personnel budget, where an amount of R27 million was requested from SAPS, and of this, R20 million was spent, resulting in underspending of R7.4  million. The total budget request to SAPS was around R41 million and the actual expenditure was R31 million, with under expenditure at around R9 million.

She explained the underspending in personnel as linked to the initial plan to implement a certain organisational structure in the Secretariat from November, with assistance from the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA). DPSA finalised that structure and it had been signed off by the Director-General in October, with the intention of being signed off by the Minister at the beginning of November so the Secretariat would then be able to implement it. The implementation process was broken into three phases. Phase one was budgeted for implementation by the end of that financial year, and it was signed off by the Minister of Public Service and Administration in March of that financial year. However costs and the necessity to advertise meant that in fact it could not be implemented within that financial year. That had resulted in the under-spend

Another small amount that remained unspent related to the training by the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA), which was intended to be offered to Chief Directors and Directors. This training had had to be postponed.

Ms van Huyssteen noted that in relation to operations, there was underspending also on furniture for staff; National Treasury required that the staff had to be employed before furniture could be purchased for those staff.

Another area of underspending was related to the Mnet Database.

Programme 1
Ms van Huyssteen asked that the Committee should note the actual breakdown of the Administration Programme, as set out in slide 12 of the presentation. The Secretariat had, as already outlined, underspent on personnel and operations, and the total underspending for Programme 1 was 24% underspending. The reasons for this were fully listed in the Annual Report. In support services, underspending took place because an advertisement had not happened, PALAMA training was postponed and office furniture was not yet procured.

Ms van Huyssteen said that slide 14 of the report showed the breakdown of partnerships budget, which was incorporated into administration programme. Of the budget of R2 million, R1 000 had been under-spent.

Slide 17 showed that policy and legislation was one sub-programme in this financial year. The projected operational costs for that programme were R1.5 million, and the budget was R1.5 million, and here there was slight under-spending by R1 000.

Slide 21 of the report showed the monitoring and evaluation budget, where there was an under-spending on the Mnet Database, which still had to be developed. For this programme, an amount of R2.2 million was budgeted, but the expenditure was R1.7 million.

Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) mentioned that there was a committee to determine the situation around fruitless or wasteful expenditure but there was no mention of this in the report.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane, Secretary, Civilian Secretariat of Police, said that this was because no instances of fruitless and wasteful expenditure were linked to the Secretariat itself. However, something that was missing from the report was the mention of six different workshops with provinces that aimed to restructure provincial secretariats, in terms of staffing capacity and structures. Out of the nine provinces, seven would meet the 18 month deadline prescribed by legislature in which they were to establish provincial secretariats. The two that would not meet the deadline were Free State and the Western Cape. Discussions around Community Safety Bill in the Western Cape were ongoing, and Free State had it as a standing agenda item.

The Chairperson noted that this raised questions over alignment of work.

Programme 2
Mr Dumezweni Zimu, Chief Director: Partnerships, Civilian Secretariat for Police, noted that a working relationship was established with trade unions in the agricultural sector, where intersectoral partnerships culminated were addressing challenges experienced around stock theft close to the Lesotho border. Workshops were held with provinces, Community Policing Forums (CPFs) provincial boards and CPF structures to improve functioning of CPFs. CPF guidelines were also developed,
Memorandums of Understanding signed were between SAPS and Business Against Crime, to facilitate anti-crime interventions and a Community Safety Forum (CSF) policy was put into implementation. Finally, the Izimbo target was exceeded and small business pilots were finalised.

The Chairperson asked about the meeting of targets set out on page 25 of the Annual Report. Only two of four approved intergovernmental plans on stock theft and small business robberies were met, raising the question of which ones were not.

The Chairperson asked if CPFs were still seen as crucial partners in fighting crime. If so, then their targets should be prioritised.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane pointed out that a provincial breakdown of CPFs had been given on page 27 of the Annual Report. She noted that there had been delays in the Eastern Cape and that Mpumalanga was yet to submit its figures.

The Chairperson asked how many more CPFs should be established, and at which locations. The Committee was not made fully aware of their status and targets, and a specific briefing on this would be beneficial.

Mr Zimu said that the working groups dealing with cross border crimes had to be restructured and this had not yet been finalised. For small businesses, there was a model being developed, which would be applied on a national scale. The issue, in short, was that pilots had been completed and a strategy for implementation was being developed.

The Chairperson said that Parliament should be involved in any policy discussions as a matter of course. Although the Executive was entitled to develop its own policy, the Committee should nevertheless be involved in the process so as to increase oversight.

Programme 3
Ms Bilkis Omar, Chief Director: Policy and Research, Civilian Secretariat for Police, said that there had been a number of successes in the field of policy and legislation. The draft Dangerous Weapons Bill was published for comment in December 2011, and the draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill was finalised. The SAPS Amendment Bill first draft was finalised. The draft Civilian for Secretariat for Police Service Regulations were drafted and circulated to provinces. Firearms Control Act regulations were approved and a policy document on establishment of CSFs was developed. A Policy on Police Station Boundaries was being included in the White Paper. The DNA policy was developed. A number of other examples were also listed.

In terms of strategic objectives, she noted that most targets had been met, with the exception of reports on policy arising from M&E recommendations, and relevant legislation within the safety and security environment being developed and processed.

Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) asked for an explanation for the targets not being met.

The Chairperson observed that although targets were being met, only one legislative objective was in fact met within deadline. The delays in this area were described as a source of frustration for the Committee. She said that this was probably due to vacancies in key positions such as legal support. Legislation relating to Dangerous Weapons and DNA were long past their due date, and these would not be able to be dealt with before the end of the year. She also pointed out the shortcoming in reports on policy arising from M&E recommendations, and requested an explanation. She then said that the Committees despaired at the Secretariat’s failure to meet drafting deadlines that the Secretariat itself had set, and required a full justification for the shortcomings.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that there was a need to find a better method for the way in which the Secretariat was developing legislation, and now a Chief Director had been appointed, to concentrate on legislation. In the following year, there would be more efficient prioritising of legislation. Processes after drafting also needed to be more realistically considered. There were three targets. One was to finalise legislation by the end of the calendar year, even if the Committee did not get the chance to review it, whilst the second was to ensure proper appointments of legislative staff, which was being done as she had outlined, and the third was to encourage participation in the Director General’s cluster.

Monitoring and Evaluation report-back

Ms Millicent Kewuti, Chief Director: Monitoring and Evaluation, Civilian Secretariat of Police, said that the National Monitoring and Evaluation Tool (NMET) was reviewed and implemented on a national scale. Customised training was delivered, and M&E partnerships were established to strengthen the unit’s oversight function. There were 155 oversight visits conducted, 55 more than were planned. Key projects undertaken included the SAPS Management of Firearms Project, DVA Compliance Monitoring Project, Implementation of IPID recommendations, a Monitoring Project and numerous others.

The Chairperson asked when the database would be up and running. She also asked if the failure to meet targets regarding oversight over SAPS was the fault of the Secretariat or of SAPS. She wanted to know if there were any guidelines in place to improve this relationship. She said that the Secretariat was expected to be a role player in critically analysing SAPS and that although this was probably already happening, there was no feedback on it in the report.

The Chairperson also asked if there were any indications of the extent to which SAPS was implementing the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) recommendations. She stressed that in the following year, the Secretariat would be involved in the evaluation of the SAPS budget. There needed to be a degree of tension between SAPS and the Secretariat so as to ensure proper accountability through checks and balances.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane addressed the issue of cooperation with SAPS, saying that any cooperation needed to be independent of the heads of the two bodies, in the sense that the forming of relations should go beyond personal interaction of the heads. In future, in order to inform the Committee about what was happening in SAPS, there would be quarterly reports, including a section on administration that dealt with the budget. The bulk of the report would contain more information about policy development and specific strategies. Beyond the operational aspects, the report would include findings and the impacts of the actions.

Ms Kewuti admitted that the Secretariat had found itself playing an operational role in SAPS and that this had been a challenge. Reports compiled with recommendations were often not met with implementation plans from SAPS. The Secretariat would then have to shoulder the responsibility of organising task forces to make sure that the recommendations were carried through, and other Secretariat projects suffered as a result. A workshop was to be held on the following day to discuss how to avoid these problems. With the new appointments, the Secretariat was no longer experiencing the same problem with capacity. She noted that the effectiveness of any M&E system was derived from the use of information. It was planned that the database should be fully implemented and deployed in the final quarter of the current financial year. The CJS revamp project implementation was being monitored through the JCPS cluster. Analysis of performance in terms of the budget, the department’s core function, led to the creation of a draft Annual Performance Plan (APP). The Secretariat had followed up with SAPS what was happening in relation to the IPID’s recommendations. Channels were set up by which the recommendations would also be referred to the Secretariat, and, on a quarterly basis, short reports were drafted on the implementation of those recommendations.

Ms Kohler-Barnard said that IPID had been unable to confirm how many recommendations had been implemented. She asked how much collaboration there was on these issues, and whether IPID was liaising with the Secretariat or tended to act independently. With the change from ICD to IPID, the Secretariat should now be including this information in its annual reports.

Ms Kewuti said that the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) required the tabling of two reports each year. The target was to have a report compiled by the end of October. In a meeting with the Compliance Forum, one of the issues discussed was the reporting template. The data that was submitted from SAPS and the oversight visits was being analysed. A joint report with SAPS would be submitted to Parliament.

The Chairperson warned that if the two reports were too similar they would be rejected. There was evidence of a DVA implementation problem within SAPS, and she cautioned that overly-close proximity of the Secretariat to SAPS might lead to insufficient criticism of the latter’s actions.

Ms Kewuti went on to say that the Secretariat’s component of the report would deal with oversight, but that there would be collaboration on the methods of implementing recommendations. Although the Secretariat did not actually have a mandate in terms of the IPID recommendations, it had recognised that this was an issue that had to be dealt with, because of the past apathy of SAPS in implementing the recommendations. A process was therefore needed to monitor the issue, and a report was compiled as a result. When the recommendations were forwarded to SAPS, it had indicated that there was difficulty in implementing the recommendations because of the way they had been formulated. Clarification on certain recommendations had not been available from IPID. There needed to be greater precision in IPID’s recommendations.

Ms Kohler-Barnard said that there were cases of SAPS officers being on trial for indecent assault or rape, who had not been suspended pending the finalisation of the trial, either with or without pay. This was due to recommendations from IPID being ignored, and this in turn could be explained by incoherent recommendations. However, her concern was that SAPS tended to deal with matters internally and disregard proper channels of justice.

The Chairperson reiterated the importance of collaboration between the Committee and the Secretariat, saying that they were a valuable source of information and insight into the processes surrounding SAPS.

Budget projection presentation
Ms Irish-Qhobosheane explained that this presentation related to budget allocation projections for the next three years, divided by programme. The total for 2013/2014 was R77.7 million, rising to R78.2 million in 2014/2015, and to R83.7 million in 2015/2016. In respect of each of these three years, the Corporate Services programme saw increases from R6.7 million to R7.4 million to R8.1 million. Personnel saw increases from R54 million to R57 million to R60 million, approximately 11% to 12%. Monitoring and Evaluation costs were expected to decrease from R8.7 million to R4.4 million before rising again to R5.2 million. The position of Corporate Head was being advertised.

The Chairperson summarised the requirements of the Committee in relation to the Police Secretariat. Particular documents had been requested, including vacancy details and targets, training details, the number and standard of bursary recipients, the implementation plans for provincial secretariats, a clear implementation plan for a dedicated department, CPS and CFS details. Details were also required around the issue of reservists, the DVA reports and the implementation of IPID recommendation reports. In general, she reiterated that the Secretariat needed to approach the Committee proactively where there were issues with oversight over SAPS. Finally, the delivery dates for APPs needed to be more realistic so that expectations could be tailored appropriately.

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