Committee Report on Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Strategic Plan 2013

Standing Committee on Appropriations

07 May 2013
Chairperson: Mr E Sogoni (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee considered the first draft of its report on the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) Annual Performance Plan (APP) 2013. The debate on the DPME budget vote would be on 28 May 2013. The Committee Content Adviser read the draft report word for word, and Members made technical corrections, some rearrangements, and suggested additional recommendations.

There was some discussion on whether there were actually 12 delivery agreements emanating from the 12 outcomes. The Chairperson was puzzled that the DPME could promise to do 15 evaluations when it had not even finished the first eight. A COPE Member said that the Committee's report must reflect the APP, the DPME's own document, rather than the National Treasury's Estimates of National Expenditure. A DA Member proposed that the DPME's quarterly reports and briefing notes to Cabinet should be sent also to the Committee, which was the DPME's Portfolio Committee. It was not enough for the DPME merely to refer the Committee to the DPME's website. A COPE Member pointed out that the DPME was an executive body and an early warning system for Cabinet. The Committee had not yet had a discussion on the kind of oversight that it should perform over the DPME. An ANC Member said that the DPME must know that it should report not only to the Cabinet but to the Committee, as the Committee had a responsibility to oversee the DPME. A DA Member suggested that the Committee could perhaps assist Cabinet by receiving the reports and reviewing them.

An ANC Member asked what the Committee's recommendations were on the payment for business and advisory consultants. She noted that the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) had commented on this matter. The Chairperson asked for the matter to be flagged. A DA Member observed that evaluations were normally always done by outside consultants, not by the DPME itself. An ANC Member asked if the consultants were replacing opportunities for appointing permanent members of staff. Another ANC Member observed that there might be certain situations in which it would be difficult to appoint a permanent person with the necessary expertise to carry out certain evaluations. The Chairperson observed that the Committee had had a problem with the DPME's using consultants in internal auditing, and had therefore recommended that the DPME use shared services. An ANC Member affirmed that it was important to develop skills and requested a workshop. It was the Committee's responsibility to see if the DPME had achieved all its APP targets. Money spent must make a difference to the life of the people on the ground.

The Chairperson noted that the Committee's five-year term was almost over and that the Committee would have to compile a legacy report for its successors from May 2014 onwards.

An ANC Member said that there were a number of items under 'Deliberations' that were virtually findings. Some of the findings were conflated with suggestions or recommendations. A DA Member said that the report should reflect that the DPME had assured the Committee that it would have sufficient capacity to achieve all its targets for the 2013 financial year, provided it achieved its intention of filling all vacant funded positions. He suggested the following wording to begin 8.2. 'The DPME expressed the opinion that government wide Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E) systems should be allowed to settle and develop before embedding them in legislation. The Committee, however, remained concerned at the lack of enforcement mechanisms for the critical work undertaken by the Department and it welcomed the cooperation received thus far by departments in the three spheres of government.'

The researcher explained that the DPME indicated that it used percentages where there would be changes to targets and where it was not certain of the exact numbers. However, the DPME should use numbers wherever possible to indicate a specific level of performance.

A DA Member suggested that the findings should reflect that the DPME was busy developing M & E systems for municipalities. The researcher preferred to refer to 'municipalities' rather than 'local authorities'.

A COPE Member said that what the Committee was proposing for approval was actually the Committee's report (Section 9.1). There was a difference between the report and the ensuing debate on the vote in the Chamber.

A DA Member said that the Committee's observation that the DPME should provide numbers instead of percentages should be included in the recommendations. Secondly he proposed that the results of performance outcomes and evaluations should be submitted to the Committee for information and consideration. An ANC Member proposed that as a whole range of departments would be covered by the results of performance outcomes and evaluations, the results should be submitted to the Committee for information but to Parliament for consideration to enable referral to the correct Portfolio Committee.

The Committee did not adopt but would continue its consideration of the report in due course.
 

Meeting report

Introduction
The Chairperson noted that the Committee should pay special attention to the Department of Public Works and the Department of Cooperative Governance while keeping abreast of developments in the governance and economic clusters. The Committee would, however, need to prioritise, but in the economic cluster, it should give attention obviously to finance, rural development, and communications.

National Treasury was to brief on the Committee on the Appropriations Bill on 14 May 2013 but the Director-General would not be available and National Treasury had asked if it would be acceptable for one of the Deputy Directors-General to give the briefing. The Chairperson mentioned the name of Mr Matthew Simmonds, National Treasury Deputy Director-General: Budget Office. The Committee agreed to this arrangement.

Before Members was the first draft of its report on the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) Annual Performance Plan 2013. The debate on the DPME budget vote, which included the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), would be on 28 May 2013. He hoped that there would be no need to work on the report after hours.

DPME Annual Performance Plan 2013 Committee’s draft report: consideration
Mr Tshepo Masoeu, Committee Content Adviser, read the draft report, word for word, and Members commented

1. Introduction
Ms R Mashigo (ANC) asked why, in the third paragraph, the Strategic Plan was not mentioned together with the Annual Performance Plan (APP).

The Chairperson pointed out that the Strategic Plan itself had not changed.

Mr Musa Zamisa, Committee Researcher, suggested including a paragraph to say that the APP was prepared in the context of the Strategic Plan, even though the latter had not been updated.

Ms Zandile Gobhozi, Committee Secretary, said that the Strategic Plan was covered in the first paragraph of section 4 of the draft report.

2. Mandate of the DPME
The Committee was satisfied.

3. Outcomes based approach
Mr G Snell (ANC) queried the factual correctness of 'monitoring progress against outputs data and targets contained in the 12 delivery agreements emanating from the 12 outcomes' in the second paragraph. Were there really 12 delivery agreements? Alternatively, would it not be more correct simply to refer to 'delivery agreements' based on the 12 outcomes?

Mr Masoeu replied that he would double check.

Mr Snell, however, still doubted that there were 12 delivery agreements, and affirmed that there were delivery agreements for all the governmental departments based on the 12 outcomes.

The Chairperson acknowledged Mr Snell's concern.

Mr Phelelani Dlomo, Committee Researcher, explained the difference between delivery agreements and performance agreements. There would be a performance agreement in respect of each of the budget votes. However, the delivery agreement for eduction, for example, would be signed by the Minister of Basic Education as well as other Ministers who contributed to the outcome of education. Hence the 12 delivery agreements emanating from the 12 outcomes. However, he would also double-check.

The Chairperson expected the Content Adviser to work together with the researchers.

Mr Dlomo, said that, according to the APP, the DPME of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) was responsible for monitoring the performance of the 12 prioritised outcomes. There could be more than 12 outcomes but only 12 outcomes were prioritised.

The Chairperson now confirmed, with reference to the APP, that there were 12 delivery agreements related to the 12 outcomes.

4. Policy shifts and priorities
The Chairperson asked if, in the third paragraph, on 'the main focus areas for the 2013/14 financial year' which would be on streamlining the National Development Plan (NDP) into the work of Government, the year should not be 2014/15.

Mr Masoeu replied that the year was as the DPME had stated.

The Chairperson referred to the DPME's presentation in which it had talked about the translation of the NDP into the 2014/19 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and delivery agreements and wanted to flag the matter for checking.

5. Overview of Budget Vote 6 for the 2013/14 financial year
The Committee was satisfied.

6. Programme allocations
6.1 Administration: Programme 1
6.1.1. Budget Allocation

The Committee was satisfied.

6.1.2 Strategic objectives of this programme [Programme 1]
The Chairperson reworded 'to the Director-General and DPME' as 'to the Director-General and the DPME'.

Mr M Swart (DA) confirmed that 2013/14 was correct (see above discussion on section 4).

The Chairperson thanked Mr Swart for this clarification.

6.2. Outcome Monitoring and Evaluation: Programme 2
6.2.1 Budget allocation

The Chairperson had asked the DPME how many evaluations it had concluded and the DPME had replied that it had completed eight, but that it would do 15 'this year'. The Chairperson was puzzled how the DPME could promise to do 15 when it had not even finished the first eight.

Mr Dlomo, referring to the DPME's APP presentation, said that some of the information in the presentation should have been included in the report to give a full picture. It was apparent that from the National Treasury document, the Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) that the evaluations for 2012/13 were to be completed by the end of the financial year 2012/13. As this was planning information it should all be included in the APP which was a planning document.

Mr L Ramatlakane (COPE) said that the Committee's report must reflect the APP, the DPME's own document, rather than the National Treasury's ENE.

6.2.2 Strategic objectives of the programme
Mr Swart proposed that the DPME's quarterly reports and briefing notes to Cabinet, mentioned in the second paragraph, first bullet point, should be sent also to the Committee, which, he pointed out, was the Portfolio Committee for the DPME. He was concerned that the DPME sent nothing on its results to the Committee and the Committee did not know what was going on. The DPME merely told the Committee to refer to the DPME's website.

Mr Ramatlakane accepted the thrust of Mr Swart's proposed intervention, but suggested that it should be put in the findings.

The Chairperson agreed with Mr Swart but wondered if it was necessary to put it in writing. It was part of the Committee's oversight.

Mr Swart, however, agreed with Mr Ramatlakane that this should be put into the findings. As a Portfolio Committee the Committee had not yet received one such report. He emphasised the need for oversight.

Mr Ramatlakane pointed out that the reality was that the DPME was an executive body. It was an early warning system for Cabinet. The Committee had not yet had a discussion on the kind of oversight that it should perform over the DPME.

The Chairperson was inclined to agree with the sentiment that the Committee should have access to these reports. However, the DPME had pointed out that they were public documents (after tabling to Cabinet). The Committee already had a heavy workload of documents to process. At the same time the Committee had never demanded the reports in question only to be told that the documents were the preserve of Cabinet.

Mr J Gelderblom (ANC) confirmed that the reports were on the DPME's website. The Committee needed a list to assist it in prioritising the reports. He suggested putting this as a recommendation in section 9.

Ms A Mfulo (ANC) said that even if the Committee had not asked for the reports, the matter should be reflected in the recommendations. The DPME must know that it should report not only to the Cabinet but to the Committee, as the Committee had a responsibility to oversee the DPME.

Mr Swart suggested that the Committee could perhaps assist Cabinet by receiving the reports and reviewing them.

Ms L Yengeni (ANC) recalled the Committee's discussions on DPME in a workshop, in which the DPME had raised the issue of its reports that it sent to the Cabinet. In this workshop, the Committee had asserted that the DPME should first submit reports to the Committee before submitting to the Cabinet, since this Committee was not just a Standing Committee but also a Portfolio Committee. The Committee needed to know where it stood in relation to the DPME. It was not sufficient just to be referred to the DPME's website. Information must come to the Committee. The researchers must prepare well so that they could assist more effectively.

The Chairperson thought that Members were all in agreement that the Committee must receive its information officially not just indirectly through the DPME website.

Mr J Gelderblom said that the DPME must distribute every document to this Committee. The Committee must sensitise the DPME to this requirement.

The Chairperson said that he was not blaming Members but blaming the DPME for saying to the Committee merely that the information was available on its website and not sending it through official channels.

The Chairperson pointed out to Ms Yengeni that when the DPME sent documents to the Cabinet it was still confidential information but when it came to the Committee it was public. The Committee had said to the DPME that it would need another round of workshops with the DPME.

Mr Ramatlakane said that a simple suggestion from Mr Swart was turning into a full-blown discussion. The Committee had decided that it needed to discuss its modus operandi with the DPME including where the DPME should submit its reports first. There must be agenda item to discuss the modus operandi with the DPME and tell the DPME that the Committee did not want to depend on the website or Google rather have a presentation from the DPME. He agreed with Ms Yengeni that we must do some research work as a Committee and have a workshop informed by the Committee's perspective.

Ms Yengeni said that as the Appropriations Standing Committee the Committee had a role of looking over all the departments. She emphasised the importance of a workshop.

Mr Swart agreed that the performance agreements must go to Cabinet but thereafter should be submitted to the Committee.

The Chairperson said that before going to the workshop the Committee must have a clear idea of what it wanted from the DPME.

Mr Swart suggested replacing 'would' by 'will' in the second paragraph.

6.3. Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Co-ordination and Support: Programme 3
6.3.1 Budget Allocations

Ms Mfulo asked what the Committee's recommendations were on the payment for business and advisory consultants. (See second paragraph) She noted that the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) had commented on this matter.

The Chairperson said that the Committee should keep this matter at the back of its mind for further discussion when it considered its findings and recommendations. The Committee had already raised this matter with the DPME. He asked for the matter to be flagged.

Mr Swart observed that evaluations were normally always done by outside consultants not by the DPME itself.

Ms Yengeni said that it was important to know which particular consultants were referred to. Were these consultations that the DPME could not do by itself but for which it had to seek outside help? Moreover, were the consultants replacing opportunities for appointing permanent members of staff?

Mr Swart agreed, and this was why he had flagged evaluations (see 6.2.1, second paragraph). There was no reason not to examine the use of consultants in other areas.

Mr Ramatlakane said that the Committee should check to see if the DPME had sent any written responses, as it had asked the DPME about the cost factors.

Ms Mfulo was not raising the issue of consultants based on the AGSA's observations, but she was raising it generally in the content of Ms Yengeni's request to differentiate the various usages of consultants.

Ms Mashigo observed that there might be certain situations in which it would be difficult to appoint a permanent person with the necessary expertise to carry out certain evaluations.

Ms Gobhozi said that, according to what the Committee staff had captured on that day, the DPME had explained that it needed external evaluators when it required specialised skill sets in a certain sector. The DPME had also indicated that it used consultants in internal auditing. It was there that the Committee had recommended that the DPME must use shared services by using internal auditors from other departments.

The Chairperson observed that the Committee had had a problem with the DPME's using consultants in internal auditing, and had therefore recommended that the DPME use shared services.]

Ms Gobhozi confirmed that the recommendation was for using services shared with other departments.

Mr Swart observed that legislation provided for the use of shared services.

Ms Mfulo said that it was important to develop skills.

The Chairperson said that there was a general agreements on this. At the same time, it was difficult to stop the use of consultants in government. The first report that the Committee had seen on evaluations was on self-evaluations. It was necessary to understand when self-evaluation could be allowed.

Mr Masoeu agreed with Ms Mfulo. It was necessary to examine what happened when the evaluation was completed. For example, the DPME had just completed the evaluation of Early Childhood Development (ECD). Was there someone in the DPME who could speak authoritatively on that evaluation? Or would the DPME have to call again the outside consultant who did the evaluation? So the DPME should think about having someone in house who could review that evaluation.

The Chairperson said that the point raised about the workshop was very important. He agreed that when using consultants there must be transfer of skills. It was necessary to ask first if the job could be done internally in order to take an informed decision as to whether or not it was necessary to seek outside skills.

6.3.2 Strategic objectives of the programme
The Committee was satisfied.

6.4 Public Sector Oversight: Programme 4
6.4.1 Budget allocations

Mr Ramatlakane objected to beginning the first sentence with 'For the 2013/14 financial year,' as one was talking about 'this financial year'.

The Chairperson asked if the reports submitted to the Forum of South African Directors-General (FOSAD) were internal. Was the Committee's role to monitor what the DPME sent to Cabinet?

Mr Ramatlakane asked if Members should discuss that question now.

The Chairperson thought that it was a matter that might be flagged for a workshop.

Mr Ramatlakane's understanding was that FOSAD was a body that was occupied with service delivery. It was an internal forum of directors-general. One was not talking about classified documents in the sense that one could not have access to them. The Committee could request them but he did not think that the Committee would have the capacity to process all the reports to FOSAD from all the departments.

The Chairperson wanted to take into account the targets for the following year.

Ms Mfulo said that the Committee really needed to clarify its role. Did it monitor from above, or from on-the-ground?

Mr Swart said that the Committee had become aware that money was spent but the outputs were not achieved. From the reports of the DPME the Committee must examine if the various departments had achieved their stated outputs in order to ensure that service delivery took place. The Committee should flag only those instances where the departments had not achieved their stated outputs so that it could take up these failures with the DPME.

Ms Yengeni affirmed her request for a workshop as the Committee's responsibility was to see if the DPME had achieved all its APP targets. However, the DPME targets were dependent on other departments' targets. At the same time the Committee did not want to see money being used for the sake of being used. The money must make a difference to the life of the people on the ground. However, the Committee must have its own workshop just for the Members before having a workshop with the DPME otherwise Members would be confused.

The Chairperson acknowledged Ms Yengeni's request. He noted that the Committee's term was almost over and that the Committee would have to compile a legacy report for its successors from May 2014 onwards.

Mr Zamisa said that the sentence in the first paragraph, the sentence that began with 'The budget', was too long.

6.4.2 Strategic objectives of the programme
The Committee was satisfied.

7. Deliberations

Mr Ramatlakane said that the first paragraph of section 7 should begin 'With our concern as a Committee'. There were two other paragraphs in the section which, because of an unfortunate arrangement of words, gave the impression that the Committee's concerns were only of secondary importance.

The Chairperson thought that this first paragraph of section 7, was crafted very carefully so as not to offend anyone.

Mr Ramatlakane was concerned that this was a set paragraph that overrode the Committee's concerns. What was the value of this paragraph? The title of the section, 'Deliberations', must not erase the Committee's concerns that should be addressed by the DPME.

Mr Snell said that there were a number of items under 'deliberations' that were virtually findings. Some of the findings were conflated with suggestions or recommendations. He suggested separating them.

Ms Gobhozi read the redrafted sentence to reflect Mr Ramatlakane's suggestion that the report reflect that the Committee was concerned about the delays in the legislation to regulate monitoring and evaluation in South Africa.

Mr Masoeu referred to section 8.2, in which the Committee emphasised its concern at the lack of legislation on monitoring and evaluation.

Mr Swart said that the report should read that the Committee 'is' concerned, not 'was' concerned (first paragraph of section 7)

The Chairperson asked Mr Swart if he wanted to enter a debate on the use of tenses.

Dr S van Dyk (DA) said that the Committee had argued over the current levels of capacity and the readiness of the DPME to meet its predetermined objectives given that all funded vacancies were not filled. The DPME had considered not filling funded vacancies as savings. He stated that the DPME knew what it had budgeted for over the MTEF and should not bargain on positions that it not filled to redirect allocated personnel funds to other programmes. The DPME had also said that it was a new department and was building capacity. Yet here it was reported that the DPME had assured the Committee that it had sufficient capacity. However, this was, in reality, not the case. It was important that the research staff could assist in including this discrepancy in the fourth paragraph.

The Chairperson thought that the Committee had raised Dr Van Dyk's concern in its response to the DPME third quarter report. He thought that the DPME had conceded that it would fill the vacancies.

Mr Swart suggested a change of wording to say that the Department would fill its positions and then it would have sufficiency capacity.

Dr Van Dyk agreed, but it was not to say that the DPME would fill those positions. The Committee had requested that the DPME avoid budgeting for the filling of positions as a possible saving. This needed to be put on paper. If there was money for positions those positions should be filled and funds should not reallocated at a later stage.

The Chairperson noted that the DPME had underspent as well. The Committee felt strongly about this issue.

Mr Swart said that the report should reflect that the DPME had assured the Committee that it would have sufficient capacity to achieve all its targets for 2013 financial year provided it achieved its intention of filling all vacant funded positions.

Ms Gobhozi read the redrafted sentence 'The DPME assured that Committee that it should have sufficient capacity to achieve all its targets for the 2013 financial year provided that it filled all its funded vacant positions as per its approved organisational structure'.
 
8. Observations and findings
Mr Ramatlakane said that the first paragraph of section 8 should begin with 'The Standing Committee on Appropriations having considered ...'

8.1
Mr Ramatlakane suggested the use of the word 'insource' instead of 'source' in the first sentence of observations and finding 8.1. This was suggest the meaning of obtaining help from existing capacity from within the state sector rather from outside it.

Ms Mfulo observed that Members had learned a new word, which helped make the meaning clear in this context.

The Chairperson suggested adjourning to enable Members to examine the observations and findings very carefully and thereafter think about the recommendations.

Members did not want to adjourn.

8.2
Mr Ramatlakane said, with reference to section 8.2, that one did not note findings.

Mr Masoeu said that 8.2 was crafted so as to state what had been detected in the Committee's interaction with the DPME as a complete sentence.

The Chairperson wanted to state, in observations and findings, the Committee's observations throughout. The verbs used should be 'established' or 'observed'.

Mr Swart suggested the following wording to begin 8.2. 'The DPME expressed the opinion that government wide Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E) systems should be allowed to settle and develop before embedding them in legislation. The Committee, however, remained concerned at the lack of enforcement mechanisms for the critical work undertaken by the Department and it welcomed the cooperation received thus far by departments in the three spheres of government. '

There was good humoured discussion.

The Chairperson said that if there was reason for any further detailed change of wording it could be done later.

The Chairperson noted that the Committee was not adopting the report today.

8.3
Mr Swart commented on that the sentence 'The DPME should seek to provide numbers …' should be a recommendation.

Ms Mfulo said that there was a lack of compliance as pointed out by the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) and this should be mentioned.

Ms Mashigo said that the DPME had told the Committee that it was engaging with the AGSA.

Mr Swart said that without real figures, the Committee could not approve the APP.

Mr Dlomo said that Ms Mashigo was correct when she had said that there had been a discussion on percentages and the DPME indicated that it used percentages where there would be changes of targets and where it was not certain of the exact numbers. However, the DPME should use numbers wherever possible to indicate a specific level of performance. On the other hand, the Short-Measurable-Attainable-Relevant-Timebound (SMART) principle would nullify the whole process .

Ms Mashigo said that the DPME had said that it was in consultation with the AGSA on the SMART issue so that it should not make the same mistake again.

The Chairperson asked Mr Gelderblom to take over as Acting Chairperson.

The Acting Chairperson asked if Members had anything further to say about 8.3.

Mr Ramatlakane said that the Committee should agree to recast 8.3.

Mr Zamisa agreed with Mr Ramatlakane. The issue was the use of percentages, but the issue affected only measurability, not the other aspects of the SMART principles.

8.4
Mr Swart suggested that the abbreviation AGSA be written out in full.

Mr Swart also suggested that it should be mentioned under findings that the DPME was busy developing M & E systems for municipalities.

The Acting Chairperson asked Mr Swart to assist the Committee staff with the wording.

The Committee noted that DPME was in the process of developing performance monitoring and evaluation systems for local authorities as well.

Mr Ramatlakane was not happy with the word 'noted'.

The Acting Chairperson said that the Committee Secretary had already changed 'noted' to 'observed'.

Mr Ramatlakane was now happy.

Mr Dlomo preferred to refer to 'municipalities' rather than 'local authorities'.

9. Recommendations
Dr Van Dyk proposed new wording for the introductory paragraph: 'Having considered the Annual Performance Plan and the Budget of the DPME of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation for 1013/14, the Standing Committee on Appropriations recommends as follows:'

9.1
Mr Ramatlakane said that what the Committee was proposing for approval was actually the Committee's report. (Section 9.1) The normal approach was to table this Committee's report on the APP and Budget.

Mr Darrin Arends, Committee Secretary, replied that this was how it was phrased the previous year.

Mr Ramatlakane argued his point. There was a difference between the report and the ensuing debate on the vote in the Chamber. It must be the report of the Committee.

Additional recommendations
Mr Swart said that the Committee's observation that the DPME should provide numbers instead of percentages should be included in the recommendations.

Mr Swart secondly proposed that the results of performance outcomes and evaluations should be submitted to the Appropriations Standing Committee for information and consideration.

Mr Ramatlakane agreed.

Mr Snell proposed that, as a whole range of departments would be covered by the results of performance outcomes and evaluations, the results should be submitted to the Committee for information but to Parliament for consideration to enable referral to the correct Portfolio Committee.

The Acting Chairperson reminded Members that this report was still a draft and they could therefore still make changes.

The Acting Chairperson asked if the Committee staff were ready to finalise the recommendation.

Ms Mfulo asked again about consultants.

Mr Swart said that the Committee was here dealing with DPME alone. The issue of consultants affected other departments as well and might necessitate another report from the Committee. The issue should be flagged.

Ms Mfulo said that consultants were in the DPME's budget allocation. So the Committee was talking about the DPME itself.

The Acting Chairperson asked if this could be accommodated in this report.

Mr Dlomo's understanding was that the Committee was suggesting that the DPME should use shared capacity for the internal audit function, because the Department's view was that, the DPME being small, it was more efficient to use consultants for internal audit rather than to appoint people on a permanent basis. The Committee had therefore suggested shared capacity. As to the DPME's dealing with evaluations, for those evaluations to be legitimate, it was necessary to use external auditors to do evaluations, as the DPME was part of the executive. Therefore the views of the DPME might not necessarily be independent. Hence the function of the consultants.

Mr Swart said that there had been agreement in the Committee's workshop in Hermanus that for evaluations, which were separate from performance monitoring, it was necessary to use external consultants. Consultants were needed to ensure independence.

Ms Mfulo acknowledged that when talking about evaluation consultants, it was agreed on the need for external consultants. However, when one spoke about skills development it was necessary to build internal capacity as much as possible. Otherwise one would not be following the prescripts of the Skills Development Act (No. 97 of 1998).

Ms Yengeni said that the Committee needed to know which skills should be outsourced and which skills should be developed inside the DPME. It would not be out of order for the Committee to recommend that the DPME use consultants only when necessary. She believed that the AGSA knew which skills could be outsourced and which done internally.

The Acting Chairperson asked the researchers to report back on this point.

Mr Ramatlakane proposed saying that the Committee should engage further with the DPME on the issue of skills requirements internal and external.

The Acting Chairperson said that this was a finding.

Mr Ramatlakane agreed.

Members agreed that it should be put under findings.

The Acting Chairperson hastened to adjourn the meeting on the understanding that the Committee would continue its consideration of the report in due course.
 

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