The meeting opened by considering outstanding issues from Tuesday’s meeting. These issues were related to VIP protection, national key points, the evaluation of security at the Parliamentary complex, transfers and the consistency of static protection.
The Department presented the SAPS Technology Management Services (TMS)-Integrated Case Document Management (ICDM) Project status, concentrating on the timeline and release schedule, and the stations identified for implementation. Members raised many issues in relation to the choice of stations, resistance to implementation, finances and interaction with the courts. They also questioned quality control, contracts, transfer of skills and training.
The Department also presented the Programme Four of their Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan and Budget 2013/14: Crime Intelligence. This focused on sub- programmes, purposes of the programme, strategic objectives and targets. Members raised questioned around the increase in quarterly reports, anomalies and suspended members. There were also concerns about the status of the “slush fund”, the drop in personnel, and the vetting process. The most contentious issue for the Committee was certain targets being categorised as “classified”, as the money was from open funds which needed to be reported to the Committee, and withholding information was described as “an insult.”
Follow-up on issues not covered during the last meeting
The Chairperson returned to issues outstanding from Tuesday’s meeting, like VIP protection.
Lieutenant-General Stefan Schutte, Divisional Commissioner: Finance and Administration, introduced the delegation present.
Major-General Chris Ngcobo said there were two foreign VIPs – one since 2009, the other since 2010 - living in SA with state (static and close) protection. Overtime was paid according to a shift system and was applicable only to those working more than eight hours in in-transit protection and was not office bound. Luxury cars in Programme Five were for VIP transport, protection and escort specifically for the Presidency and Minister’s Office.
Answering the question of who declared national key points, Maj-Gen Ncgobo said that according to the National Key Points Act (1980), it was the Minister.
The Chairperson asked if this was the Minister of Police or State Security.
Maj-Gen Ngcobo said it was the Minister of Police, in terms of the proclamation. The declassification process of national key points was done by the owner or Minister himself.
Answering the question of when last the Parliamentary complex had been evaluated, he said it was on 24 October 2012. The evaluation entailed checking compliance with standards of the relevant Acts. Answering who was responsible for the implementation and security compliance at Parliament, it was the owner -- in this case, the Department of Public Works, in conjunction with the Legislature’s security manager. For VIP protection training, members received training in static protection and national key points. Members had the opportunity to apply for transfers to other fields of their choice.
The Chairperson wanted these answers to be given to the Committee secretary.
Lt-Gen Schutte said one answer was outstanding (relating to vehicles) but it would be provided.
The Chairperson asked Members if there were any follow up questions, remembering that this was not the main point of the meeting.
Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) asked about transfers and the outcry over it not happening.
The Chairperson raised the issue of the unhappiness of close protectors, and said the question of Ms Molebatsi was important. She related the case of a family where the husband was a policeman working in a different city to his wife and family. A cross-transfer had been approved in this case and then suddenly the transfer had been retracted. She noted the criticisms of the way the police did things but they themselves treated police personnel as if they were motor vehicles, and she questioned how people could work effectively under such conditions. She highlighted the change in attitude of static security at Parliament after such hearings lasting for about two weeks, and made the point that this was inconsistent, all depending on the members on duty. For the first time in 15 years she had had to put her bag through the security scanner at Parliament’s static security, which she did not have to as a Member of Parliament.
Ms Molebatsi agreed and said the same thing occurred with the checking of Member’s tags on the buses.
Maj-Gen Ngcobo said they did receive transfer applications, which were then processed. There were challenges in cross-transfers noting that some cases were isolated incidents, but they would intervene and follow-up when it came to their attention. However, the decision was not up to them. There were reasons why transfers were not approved, but in the last financial year alone 300 transfers were approved. The comments on consistency were noted.
Lt-Gen Schutte said the consistent application would be taken up with the security manager of Parliament. The Chairperson should provide Maj-Gen Ngcobo with the details of the transfer case she had discussed.
The Chairperson said she had sent it through over a month ago and had not received an acknowledgment of receipt.
Lt-Gen Schutte asked the Chairperson to provide him with the information.
The Chairperson said she wished to continue with the e-docket discussion.
SAPS Technology Management Services (TMS)-Integrated Case Document Management (ICDM) Project Status
Major General Musa Buthelezi, Technology Management Services, SAPS, began with the integrated case docket management system (ICDMS), or e-docket, looking at the timeline and the release schedule for 2013/14.
He highlighted the list of stations to be implemented during 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14. For these pilot stations, implementation had occurred in 20 stations in 2011/12, beginning in Gauteng. For 2012/13, 59 stations had been implemented in KZN, Northern Cape, North West, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape. He had a list of stations to be implemented in the current financial year (2013/14), making a total of 182, and the list would be provided to the Committee Secretary.
The Chairperson asked what it meant to have the process implemented at the stations and what equipment was utilised in this roll-out.
Maj-Gen Buthelezi said it meant there were scanners and a capability of linking the stations to the courts and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), as the dockets were online. This also meant there was no chance of the docket getting lost, as it was online.
Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) asked who had chosen the stations, as she had found some of the choices very curious. She was taken aback that there was resistance to the implementation of this roll-out. The SAPS members had been given orders and should obey, and she asked if those not implementing the system were facing disciplinary action. She noted it was a plan on a massive scale of money which was being delayed year after year.
Ms Molebatsi asked if people were getting the choice to decide what they did and did not do. She questioned the consequences for not following orders, because at the Caledon police station they were comfortably using the Case Administration (CAS) system.
The Chairperson said there was R36 million for 20 sites in 2011/12, R52 million for 2012/13 and R42 million for this year, for 40 stations. According to SAPS, this financial year was supposed to see a full roll-out, while from next year there would be maintenance. She asked if there was a figure for the number of dockets on the system where they were rolled out. She wanted the amount allocated to e-dockets from the start of this project for each year. She asked if there was an interaction process between the 79 stations where there had been a roll-out and the courts, or had they spent R148 million for three years on what was no more than an electronic scanning system at station level. She pointed out that every Member of Parliament had a scanner which spoke to their computer and ten years was not needed to achieve that. She was pretty sure it did not cost that much money either.
Ms Kohler-Barnard was very interested to see where the scanners were, as she was yet to see the system implemented in person. She said they were probably packed in a backroom somewhere.
Maj-Gen Ngcobo explained it was not resistance to the new system per se nor was it a problem of command and control, but many stations were comfortable with the old system and tended to gravitate toward it. There were others who adopted the new system as it worked better than the old system. He said they were not at the stage to take disciplinary action and they could only provide advice on the working of the system. He said it was not a big issue for now as the CAS was still available.
Maj-Gen Buthelezi spoke about the station choice, saying the first 20 stations were chosen in the Gauteng province as it was closer to the technical team to monitor problems and attend to them, as it was the first implementation. The rest were identified by the provincial commissioners according to priority stations. He said not all of the courts were linked to them.
The Chairperson asked how many stations talked to the courts.
Maj-Gen Buthelezi said he would give the list to the Committee secretary.
The Chairperson wanted the answer told to the Committee.
Lt-Gen Ngubane said the system was not just about scanning. This was just one component, but there were other programmes and resources where most of the costs went to. There was a constraint related to the cabling of police stations - new standards of cabling were needed for the new system and there was no negotiation that this had to happen. The second element was the roll-out of the equipment - a tender had been outstanding at SETA for a year and no new equipment had been rolled out because of this. He also said there was also a critical dependence on service providers.
The Chairperson wanted the technical issues to be left out so they could concentrate on the problems.
Lt-Gen Ngubane said some of the cabling was being rolled-out, but the process needed to be accelerated.
Maj-Gen Buthelezi said there were currently 20 courts ready to receive the dockets and 22 police stations communicating to the courts, of the 79 outlined. The figure for the number of dockets already on the system would be provided to the Committee as he did not have this information at that moment.
The Chairperson could not see how they could not know what the figure was.
Mr D Stubbe (DA) said once the technology was fully rolled-out, the technology would be outdated by that time. In the places where this system was up and running, the old system should be discarded and in this way encourage and force the use of the system by creating a positive hype around it.
Ms Kohler-Barnard felt the Committee must call SETA in as a matter of urgency to deal with the tender matter. She also wanted a date on which the CAS system would be switched off in order to hold them to account.
Ms D Chili (ANC) questioned e-filling and the link between those against the system and the loss of documents. She asked if police officers got to choose what they did and did not do and what kind of authority there was.
The Chairperson said this was would be last round of questions.
Mr Ndlovu questioned the timeframes for implementation.
The Chairperson wanted to hear from Lt-Gen Arno Lamoer if this was what they wanted, and if the system was what it should be like. She wanted a truthful, not political wishy-washy answer. She questioned quality control at the stations where the system was implemented, highlighting the visit to Honeydew Station where policemen wrote in red which the scanner could not pick up, as evidence of no quality control. She wanted to know how many courts were ready to receive. She asked why they were going the route of cables when Wi-Fi was available.
Lt-Gen Buthelezi began with the date to switch off CAS, noting that there was a lot of dependency.
The Chairperson did not want to be rude, but she said there was either a date or no date.
Lt-Gen Buthelezi said they were planning for a full network roll-out in the next two financial years.
The Chairperson asked how many network upgrades there were currently.
Lt-Gen Buthelezi said 800 sites.
The Chairperson asked how many stations this was.
Lt-Gen Buthelezi said he did not have this information off-hand.
The Chairperson felt, based on this, they did not have a date set yet, but she accepted the answer of two years. She said Members should put it in their diaries that full delivery would occur in 2016.
Lt-Gen Buthelezi said CAS could not be switched off in police stations where e-dockets had been rolled out as no releases had been rolled-out. The ninth, and last, programme would be realised in March 2014, at the end of the current financial year, which was when CAS could be switched-off.
He said the intention of e-dockets was to reduce the loss of dockets. He did not believe the resistance to the system and the loss of dockets were linked, but resistance had to do with a lack of comfort.
He explained the need for internal capacity, using the contract services of SETA on their behalf. A tender had been published last year in the supply chain for contractors to take over the project.
The Chairperson was completely astonished by this. She said a new contract would be going out for what, in the first place, should have been a transfer of skills.
Lt-Gen Buthelezi explained internal capacity was being emphasised.
The Chairperson said the transfer of skills involved the transferring of knowledge from one person to another, and not the actual physical transfer of bodies. This was the criticism of the Auditor-General (AG).
Lt-Gen Buthelezi spoke about training for the e-docket system, saying that some tended to go back to the CAS system, as it was available.
The Chairperson asked if detective training was done on the CAS or the e-docket system.
Lt-Gen Vineshkumar Moonoo, Divisional Commissioner, Detective Services, said the new system was of great assistance.
The Chairperson asked if it was working the way they wanted and asked on what system the training was taking place.
Lt-Gen Moonoo said the training of detectives and commanders was done on the CAS system.
The Committee was absolutely outraged at hearing this news.
Lt-Gen Buthelezi turned to the question of wi-fi, noting it was being looked at and they would roll-out a pilot project for it. He mentioned there were security issues with wi-fi, but it was a viable technology.
The Chairperson said the issue of e-dockets was serious, as it formed part of the system of criminal justice. Further questions would not be useful but there would be a special meeting on this subject with all relevant departments in the cluster, and the researchers were working on this. They would not call SETA again as they would simply give a different story to the SAPS, but they would be part of the cluster meeting. The hundreds of millions of Rands spent on this was shocking. A few things had been seen, but integration was seriously lacking. This would be dealt with in September. She felt Treasury should be included in the meeting so that they could hear what happened with the money they had ring-fenced for this project. She wanted the outstanding information to be given to the Committee researcher.
SAPS Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan and Budget for 2013/14
Lt-Gen Schutte said crime intelligence fell under programme four of the Annual Performance Plan (APP). The sub-programmes were crime intelligence operations and intelligence and information management. He briefly outlined the environment of crime intelligence in SAPS.
Maj-Gen Mlungisi Menziwa, of Strategic Management, SAPS, said the purpose of the programme was to manage crime intelligence, analyse crime information, and provide technical and operational support for investigations and crime prevention operations. The strategic objectives were to gather, correlate, coordinate and analyse intelligence, to institute counter-intelligence measures and to supply crime intelligence relating to national strategic intelligence to the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC). The programme comprised the following sub-programmes: Crime Intelligence Operations and Intelligence and Information Management.
Turning to strategic objectives, he said the medium-term target for 2013/14 for the number of network operations conducted was 29 552, the target for the number of covert intelligence projects conducted to address priority crime was classified. This was the same for the percentage of identified foreign/hostile intelligence operations neutralised, percentage of security threat assessments conducted and percentage of information security breaches.
Maj-Gen Menziwa looked at the next subprogramme, intelligence and information management. The target for 2013/14 for the number of intelligence products generated to address priority crime was 258 606, the target for quarterly intelligence reports presented to management was one per quarter for 2013/14, while the target for the percentage of strategic intelligence reports generated per request for 2013/14 was classified.
Ms Molebatsi asked why there was an increase to four quarterly intelligence reports.
Ms Kohler-Barnard wanted to know how far along the hearings were into the suspended members of crime intelligence, as she was concerned about the huge amounts spent on the salaries of suspended members. She questioned the status of Richard Mdluli’s salary and the status of the investigation into the so-called “slush fund”. She asked if there was a date for when this would be completed.
Mr Ndlovu questioned what caused the huge difference in figures between the number of network operations conducted in 2011/12 (49 019) and 2013/14 (29 552). He asked how many of the crime intelligence personnel had been suspended.
The Chairperson asked what the idea was of putting targets in the APP and then stating them as “classified”. She did not care whether they liked it or not, but there was money from open funds which needed to be reported to the Committee and she felt it was an insult. They were told last year that the Committee wanted to see open measurable targets for the open funds. She could not understand how SAPS wanted money but did not want the Committee to know the basic amounts -- and for this they could “jump in a lake.” If Parliament did not know this, they would be failing in their responsibilities and duties. If a target was classified, it should not be put in an open document so since it was there, she asked for an explanation as to how a “classified” target was complying with Treasury’s request for smart targets. She also wanted an explanation for the increase in the budget but a drop in personnel, even though they had said it was labour intensive. She asked if there was enough staff doing the crime fighting intelligence the police service needed.
Brigadier Tanzhela Monemu passed the question to Maj-Gen Menziwa.
The Chairperson said they were just passing the buck now and reiterated the question, saying the Committee wanted to know the purpose of the report.
Maj-Gen Menziwa said it was to update the SAPS management on the status of crime intelligence.
The Chairperson found it very interesting that this was a new target.
Maj-Gen Ngcobo explained the quarterly reports were for senior management to be updated about crime around the country. This was in addition to reports on the environment provided weekly and monthly.
Lt-Gen Schutte said he could not really comment on individual suspensions, per se and the so-called “slush fund” was a secret service account, outside their scope, and was a separate arrangement.
Maj-Gen Ngcobo said it was challenging to respond to suspensions in progress. The status of the other disciplinary processes in place was that there were 21 criminal cases on hand, of which two were theft, two robbery, one murder, one for sexual assault and one for pointing of a firearm. Regarding the salaries of those suspended, the understanding was that the situation itself was not stabilised and those suspended were still getting their salaries. Many cases were not yet finalised. The classified targets were included to indicate the extent of measuring the crime intelligence environment.
The Chairperson said she had read that, but the point was not to include things in a document which were classified and it had never been done in the past. She could not see why certain categories were classified. She said putting things as “classified” raised more questions than answers and should be taken out.
Mr Stubbe said they should either put 100% under the targets, which would not be questioned, or omit it completely. The point was that the targets could not be measured.
The Chairperson agreed with this and asked why the Department would open itself to this as they were creating an issue that should not have been there. She emphasised that the targets were not adhering to the “smart” requirement. The Department needed to be taught that classified targets were not be put into an open document and this must not be seen next year.
Lt-Gen Schutte said this was noted.
Lt-Gen Schutte explained the drop in personnel due to the affordability of certain programmes. He said they had requested more personnel and this would be pursued again with Treasury, with more detail and substantive motivation.
Ms Kohler-Barnard had a follow- up question on suspended members. She was concerned as to how members were suspended for criminal activities when the vetting procedure for this entity should be strict, with immaculate psychometric testing. She asked if these members had been arrested or if the matter was being dealt with internally. She was extremely unhappy to hear about this block of criminality in the suspensions.
The Chairperson wanted an explanation on why the focus on prosecutions was taken away.
Maj-Gen Ngcobo said there were processes in place, with case numbers for suspended members involved in criminal activity, which would lead to arrest.
Brig Monemu said the shift from suspension to prosecution, was in the nature of crime intelligence.
The Chairperson was concerned about the change in the target, and thought prosecution was not a bad idea and emphasised consistency in the targets. She questioned vetting backlogs and how many vettings were outstanding.
Maj-Gen Ngcobo said the vetting itself was in a challenging environment in terms of personnel and human resources.
The Chairperson said the question was whether people first got appointments and positions and then were vetted, or did it happen the other way around?
Maj-Gen Ngcobo said new members were not appointed until getting clearance.
The Chairperson gave the Department an opportunity to make concluding remarks. She emphasised the use of “smart” and weighty targets. She pleaded with the Department to think about these targets better so that the Committee could see the money awarded to the Department was not going to waste. This was not impossible to achieve. It would also be very useful and empowering to management. She wanted targets which were more measurable, as chasing numbers meant nothing. She understood the environment was still unstable, but felt it was urgent that it be stabilised.
Mr Ndlovu requested the Chairperson to refer to the fact that all the acting positions in the Department needed deadlines in her summary of the meeting.
The Chairperson said it would be included in the recommendations report of the Committee.
Lt-Gen Schutte said the classified targets would be taken out and targets would be looked at for improvement. He appreciated the Committee as an oversight body and asked about a target date for when to provide them with the outstanding information. He appreciated the attention, comments and inquisitiveness of the Committee.
The Chairperson summarised, noting the main comments and information wanted by the Committee for each programme of the APP. The full set of recommendations would be in the Committee’s report.
She thanked the Members for their time and felt their commitment to the interest in SAPS was evident in their attendance at meetings. She said all the information from questions would be used for the debate and not simply for criticism. She thanked the Department and said they had until Monday, 29 April, to provide the Committee with the information for the budget vote and debate. She encouraged SAPS to see the week in a constructive light, given the great care the Committee had for the Department. She highlighted the intention of the Committee was to build collaboration. The Members recognised that not all was bad within SAPS.
Ms Kohler-Barnard thanked the Chairperson for her good job done under trying circumstances, even though they did not always see eye to eye.
The meeting was adjourned.
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