The Committee met with the Department of Public Works (DPW) to discuss the portfolio of the SA Police Service (SAPS) leases/infrastructure. The presentation covered the dispensations by National Treasury and the conditions of the renewal of leases under these dispensations, backlogs leases and outstanding leases, action plans and better management of the leasehold portfolio. The second half of the presentation focused on DPW infrastructure for SAPS in terms of capital works and maintenance by looking at the implementation stage of each project, the budget structure for 2015/16 and key projects holding major allocations (above R3 million for 2015/16). DPW then provided a progress report on the SAPS Criminal Justice System (CJS) modernisation projects and infrastructure for the following projects and requests by SAPS:
▪ Installation of the RI Lane at the Plattekloof and Arcadia Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL)
▪ Revamping of the case reception area at the KZN provincial head forensic lab
▪ Installation of Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) at 13 police stations
▪ Refurbishment of the Tshwane lab into offices at the Silverton FSL, Gauteng
▪ Renovations and installations according to specifications for the lab at the LP Neethling Building, Gauteng
▪ Upgrade and maintenance of four Local Criminal Record Centres in Limpopo and Mpumalanga
The Committee questioned the workings and progress made by the task team and its major stumbling blocks; where e-police stations fitted into the conceptual long term plan; citizens renting multiple buildings to SAPS for astronomical sums of money; and the backlog of leases. The Committee felt that DPW should not be looking into renewing leases but looking to permanently owned buildings. Other questions included the open tender process and National Treasury dispensations and if there was strong enough monitoring of the deviation processes to ensure they were not manipulated. Members discussed problems in the data capturing system and how far DPW was in cleaning its house. The Committee agreed that the matter would be followed up in the following parliamentary term with a scheduled oversight visit. A key concern of the Committee was the Central Firearm Registry (CFR) facility which needed urgent attention and should be a priority on the DPW list.
SAPS gave a briefing on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda lists, sanctions and proclamations in respect of entities/individuals in terrorist and related activities identified by the United Nations Security Council. The presentation covered the Constitution and the UN Security Council Charter and provisions, the distinction between the Al-Qaeda and Taliban lists and information on the listings. Members were informed on how the lists were updated, amended, the effects of listing and the process of delisting. The presentation was not tabled in a timely manner and the Committee would engage on it later but it was made clear that no South Africans were on the listed proclamations.
The State Security Agency (SSA) gave the Committee an exact detailed vetting update of senior officials in the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP) and the timelines involved. IPID informed Members of the current vetting status of its 33 senior managers, action plan going forward and timelines. The CSP discussed the interventions on the process of vetting, current status of senior managers, action plans going forward and target dates.
The Committee questioned why some officials had still not handed in their documentation and the consequences for this from the side of management, communication gaps and if this had any relation to the CJS and reasons for the outstanding results of some officials in IPID. The Committee wanted the assurance that deadlines would be met and that issues were being resolved and sorted out once and for all. The Committee was pleased with the progress made but would continue to monitor this environment.
Document awaited: SSA Status Report on the vetting of top management at the CSP and IPID [email firstname.lastname@example.org]
SAPS Portfolio: Leases/Infrastructure
Mr Dhaya Govender, Head of the Business Improvement Unit, Department of Public Works, noted that 2013 was the launch of the first National Treasury dispensation where a joint task team was created between SAPS and DPW. All expired and month to month leases were covered by the National Treasury dispensation plus all facilities management issues, leases requiring cancellation and outstanding rentals, rates and taxes and utility bills. The acting head of the Property Management and Trading Entity (PMTE) was nominated as the direct contact between DPW and SAPS. Numerous matters were resolved including lockouts, power and water cuts by municipalities, urgent renovations and refurbishments and account reconciliation and payments.
In reply to the Chairperson asked if the joint task team was national or also at regional level, Mr Govender said that the work was done at national level but there was incorporation of provincial officials in some cases.
Mr Govender stated that on 5 September 2013, National Treasury issued a dispensation on the renewal of leases under the following conditions: that the negotiated, rental increases did not exceed the inflation rate of 5.5%, that the Department report on progress on a quarterly basis to Treasury including progress on the turnaround strategy; that this approval was only for the renewal of the expired leases indicated on the Department’s application and for the procurement of new leases or any other purpose; that the duration of the renewed leases should not exceed three years and that the approval was not retrospective.
Of the 1576 backlog leases which expired before or by 31 March 2014 and thus covered by the Treasury dispensation, 739 were from the SAPS portfolio. 700 leases were renewed successfully. Four of the 11 regions had cleared all expired SAPS leases (Nelspruit, Polokwane, Kimberly and PE). The main reasons for non-finalisation of all SAPS backlog leases were because of disgruntled landlords, non-compliance from landlords on building conditions, space discrepancies, ownership disputes, outstanding cost confirmations, awaiting municipal and council approvals for renewals, ongoing processes of land disposals and deceased estates where the landlords were untraceable.
After briefly looking at the 23 outstanding leases, it was noted that on 13 March 2015, Treasury issued a dispensation on the renewal of leases under the following conditions; negotiated escalation not to exceed headline inflation, should headline inflation exceed 6%, that escalation would be capped at 6%, DPW reported progress on a quarterly basis to Treasury including progress on the turnaround strategy, approval applicable to 1608 expired leases as indicated in DPW’s new application and not for the procurement of new leases or any other purpose, the duration of the renewed leases not to exceed three years and for the exemption to include certain provisions of the Act and regulations.
Mr Govender informed the Committee that for this second Treasury dispensation, the total leases for the SAPS portfolio was 1191, 1144 up to date leases as at 1 April 2014, 749 leases covered in the second dispensation and 442 leases not covered in the second Treasury dispensation. The 442 leases not covered in the second Treasury dispensation were due to the Property Management Information System (PMIS) data not being cleansed/updated but the Department was currently in the process of data migration to the Archibus system where all information would be extracted from PMIS, cleansed and recaptured.
There was an action plan for the 442 excluded leases – the current norm for completion of open tender processes was six to 12 months but due to generic Supply Chain Management (SCM) processes it was not suitable for immovable asset procurement. The 442 leases will be prioritised where those expiring on or before the end of December 2015 would be treated as urgent and the DPW Director General would motivate for a special procurement process while those leases expiring on or after 1 January 2016 would go to an open tender process using revised, approved SCM and business processes together with SAPS.
The leasehold portfolio would be better managed via revised real estate and facilities management business processes through specialised SCM processes and regionalised property and facilities management empowerment. An internal SCM circular for application of the second Treasury dispensation on leases was issued to regions for leases expiring between 2014/15 and 2016/17. The SCM Immovable Asset Procurement Process was also under review and the ICT systems were being reengineered through the Archibus lease management system for finances, reports, data capturing etc. The Government Lease Expenditure was also under review (together with Treasury and the Department of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation), there was a standardised DPW lease agreement, establishment of a small towns unit for government precincts or service stations in small towns and rural areas.
Mr Mandla Mabuza, DPW Deputy Director General: Key Accounts Management, then took the Committee through DPW infrastructure for SAPS noting the total allocation for SAPS capital works was R687 884 000 and maintenance, R421 362 683. The class of works included police stations, shooting ranges, dog units, training facilities and other works.
After looking at the implementation stages per project, Mr Mabuza outlined the key projects holding major allocations i.e. above R3 million for 2015/16. In conclusion on the SAPS capital programme for 2015/16, DPW and SAPS established a working forum called a joint team led by himself and Lt. Gen. Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi (SAPS Divisional Commissioner: Facility Management). The objectives of the forum were to improve the infrastructure planning and infrastructure finance etc. In the long term, both SAPS and DPW were looking at rolling out a police station branding programme in line with standard operating procedures at the front desk (or charge office) and both Departments were actively involved in procuring suitable sites for police stations in new townships and rural areas where SAPS had no presence.
The planned maintenance programme, as implemented currently, did not cover the entire SAPS portfolio because of limited financial resources. The priority for maintenance was influenced by complaints received and healthy and safety reports generated by DPW Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) officers. The Department therefore ranked the properties in terms of condition after conditional surveys to determine those with urgent needs for maintenance. At the same time, where User Management Plans Strategies and Programmes were fully implemented, it was hoped that responsive maintenance funding will be secured to cover more than the current scope.
Criminal Justice System Modernisation Projects: DPW Infrastructure Projects progress report
Mr Morris Mabinja, DPW Director: Property Management: Prestige, said DPW aimed to provide and manage accommodation, land and infrastructure needs for user departments. The same role was critical in ensuring that the Criminal Justice System’s (CJS) Modernization Project achieved its objectives. SAPS had identified Forensic Science Laboratories (FSLs) and Local Criminal Record Centres (LCRCs) as key facilities which the SAPS Technological Management Services (TMS) had earmarked for the CJS Modernization project. The involvement of DPW in delivery of infrastructure requirements was important and specific projects had been identified.
Mr Morris Mabinja gave a progress update of all these infrastructure projects at FSLs and LCRCs and the action plan on projects that were still in progress.
CJS modernisation programme infrastructure projects included the installation of the RI Lane at Plattekloof and Arcadia FLSs – SAPS requested the approval to execute the project at Plattekloof and Arcadia FSLs. DPW granted approval to SAPS on 4 March 2014 to install the RI Lanes. Approval was granted after mechanical and electrical engineers assessed and confirmed SAPS can be allowed to do the installations.
With the project to install Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CTV) at 13 police stations, DPW granted approval to SAPS to execute the project on 2 December 2014 but only at seven state owned police stations. The rest were leased police stations and approval was required from the landlords. DPW regional offices were finalising engagements with landlords which will result in addendums to existing leases contracts being affected. DPW envisaged to have addenda concluded with landlords for six leased FSLs by the end of August 2015 to allow the required CCTV installations to take place, namely, Amanzimtoti, 415 King Rest, Nedbank Building Pretoria, General Piet Joubert, Pretoria, Sanlam Plaza, Springs, Alpha Romeo Building and Witbank, Jelicoe Place.
On revamping the case reception area of the KZN provincial head forensic laboratory – DPW regional offices were finalising engagements with the landlord which will result in an addendum to the existing lease contract being concluded. The envisaged date for finalisation of an addendum with the landlord was the end of August 2015 to allow the required project on revamping of the case reception area to be carried out.
In terms of the refurbishment of the Tshwane lab into offices, the process of determining the actual scope and costs of the project was currently being finalised by the Pretoria Regional Office for execution by DPW. As soon as the scope and costs for the project were determined, the SCM process would commence. The action plan was to finalise the project scope by the end of July 2015, to provide the Project Execution Plan (PEP) for subsequent project activities by 10 August 2015 and ensure adherence to the timeframes as per the submitted PEP.
The next project was for renovations and installations according to specification for the LP Neethling FSL in Gauteng. DPW declined the request by SAPS to execute the project because it was of a capital works nature. The project had to be prioritised for inclusion into the Capital Works Implementation Programme for execution by DPW. Currently there were 191 capital works projects that were funded for execution by DPW in this financial year (2015/16) and this project was not included amongst these. The action plan was to have the Pretoria regional office finalise the scope of the project for which the target was 15 July 2015. PEP for subsequent project activities will be ready by 31 July 2015. DPW will monitor and ensure adherence to the agreed timelines.
For the Repair And Maintenance Programme (RAMP) to upgrade and maintain four LCRCs, SAPS requested DPW to incorporate the upgrading and maintenance of four LCRCs in Polokwane to the existing RAMP project: KwaMhlanga in Mpumalanga, Secunda in Mpumalanga, Giyani in Limpopo and Makhado in Limpopo. DPW discontinued RAMP projects hence the four LCRCs could not be incorporated into the existing project. All four projects were then registered as separate projects for execution by DPW regional offices in Mpumalanga and Limpopo. The action plan was to finalise the project scope and cost estimate by the end of July 2015 and DPW will monitor and ensure adherence to the agreed deadline.
DPW was in communication with SAPS Facilities Management Division to determine the list of infrastructure projects on FSLs and LCRCs, other than the ones listed above, that were linked to the CJS Modernization project. This process will assist in ensuring DPW made serious improvements in planning and managing infrastructure projects linked to the CJS modernisation programme. DPW was aware of how critical these projects were in the entire value chain of the IJS (from the reporting of a crime until it was fully dispensed of by the courts and then by the Department of Correctional Services), and will ensure that its resources were mobilized to ensure efficiency in delivering them. It will also leverage on services of the Joint Task Teams that had been established between DPW and user departments.
The Chairperson asked SAPS if the task team was working, making progress or what the major stumbling blocks were. A lot of noise was made about e-police stations – going forward, Were these stations part of the conceptual planning or where did this fit in terms of the long-term?
Lt. Gen. Mkhwanazi said some of the stumbling blocks related to contract management and the enforcement of the contracts DPW had with the landlords. For example, the turnaround time to get issues fixed could go up to three months and these were the type of frustrations experienced. It was raised and he hoped there would be an improvement on it. With the e-police stations, this was largely a system related matter and not infrastructure related. SAPS systems would have to be changed to accommodate this but it was mainly something for the Technology Management Services (TMS) division to work on.
Ms D Kohler Barnard (DA) noted that SAPS was a major stakeholder of DPW which in itself was a problem – she did not think SAPS should be looking into new leases at all and permanent buildings should be the aim. She did not hear anything about the bungles by DPW such as SAPS being locked out of buildings, monthly leases not being paid, 200 police officers were locked out of a police station in Newcastle for DPW not paying rent since 2009. The idea of monthly leases was ridiculous and she could imagine it was an administrative nightmare. She asked if these situations had been dealt with or if things were still where it was two years ago – she hoped there had been an improvement. She asked if there were citizens in SA who were leasing multiple buildings to SAPS. She thought of the contract with Roux Shabangu and the Durban building for the SAPS head office at 477 Smith Street, Durban being rented to SAPS for R6 million a month for a R42 million building. The building could have been bought in a few months but it was just a cash cow.
Lt. Gen. Makhwanazi replied that SAPS had not experienced any lock-outs of late and hoped none would be experienced in the future by DPW finalising all the contracts.
Mr Govender added that with the case of Newcastle, this was not simply because of non payment but because there was a contractual dispute about space occupied and what was paid for. It was true that there were lockouts and that the lights were cut out because DPW did not pay its dues but better management was needed.
Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) asked DPW at what stage they realised there were backlogs on leases - was it during the lock outs or during the process? She sought more information on the Sanlam building in Pretoria and what the situation was there.
Lt. Gen. Mkhwanazi explained that SAPS had an early warning mechanism in place where it would activate a process 18 months prior to the expiration of that lease and then DPW took the process from there. He was not saying there were no challenges but this was the concept in place.
Ms Kohler Barnard understood why SAPS informed DPW of when leases were expiring because of the catastrophic situation in Public Works but was this standard procedure with all leases? Was SAPS doing the homework of DPW to remind them of expiring leases?
Lt. Gen. Mkhwanazi replied that the needs indication had to come from the end-user as part of a legal process before DPW procured anything. The Department could be occupying the building but when the lease ended it might be that that building was not needed anymore then DPW would be warned before the time.
Mr Govender added that it was the duty of Public Works to do contract management and timeously work towards renewing leases. The difficulty was going out on tender but the Department was working with Treasury to develop a new way of dealing with police stations because the cost of moving head office, for example, every five years was astronomical.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) understood that a key aspect of the Treasury dispensation was to allow DPW to buy property and buildings without going to an open tender process. Assuming this understanding was correct, he asked if there was strong enough monitoring of these deviation processes to ensure they were not manipulated and that there would not be another Roux Shabangu-esque fiasco. If so, what were these monitoring mechanisms and steps? It was quite shocking to hear the PMIS was not being kept up to date when this was the core business of Public Works and was the equivalent of the Deeds Office not being kept up to date. Why was this system not being kept up to date? Was there not enough staff for data capturing or was the actual system itself just inappropriate and unworkable? How would the same problems be prevented from emerging in the Archibus system? Was there a proper analysis of the fundamental issues in the current regime to ensure they did not come up again?
Mr Govender answered that in 2012 an analysis of the PMIS was initiated with the Auditor-General where many challenges were picked up. As a consequence, some controls had been built in and there was a migration to the Archibus system. In the migration process there would no longer be incorrect information and capturing would now only occur at Head Office and nowhere else.
Mr L Twala (EFF) presumed the officials present had worked for DPW for many years. This was raised against the backdrop that there did not seem to be a management tool with projects and the information being too generic. He wanted to know the details of where the projects were located and money was spent because it helped Members. The Department of Police came before Parliament asking for huge sums of money for capital projects which got trapped in the system and were not being utilised because of the long processes of documentation and design. This deprived needy departments of projects which were critical to the nation. Perhaps a clear breakdown from start to finish should be recommended in future so that the Committee was clear about projects and on what basis the Department was demanding money. He was aware of the challenges DPW faced but he asked how far DPW had gone in cleaning its house.
Lt. Gen. Mkhwanazi said that of the total R4.3 billion budget, which was allocated to infrastructure, only a portion of this was reflected on the SAPS Annual Performance Plans and other documents tabled in Parliament. The rest of the budget was largely managed by Public Works and did not appear on any of the documentation. This raised challenges of accountability.
Mr Govender said that when Public Works Minister Nxesi was appointed, he was given the mandate to turnaround Public Works. After a diagnostic analysis was conducted by a unit of National Treasury, the Minister made a declaration that Public Works had hit rock bottom and had failed to deliver key services. Immediate prioritisation then took place to fix finances, fix leases and stop fraud and corruption. The previous head of Public Works in North West was then appointed for the turnaround of infrastructure delivery and there was a turnaround time in place of which the task teams were part of parcel. The benefits of the process would be seen in the next 12 to 24 months. A police station should not be leased but owned. Police stations had been leased in the Western Cape since 1917 and since 1956 in PE – at some point that police station should have been owned. Part of the turnaround was to reduce leases and have more ownership. The Department was obliged by law to go out on open tender but part of the turnaround was to extend leases and work with SAPS to see which of the facilities leased could be converted to permanent status so as to avoid leasing stations and forensic labs. All lease agreements were now signed off by DDGs to ensure oversight. The price per square metre had now been reduced and renegotiated so this would save SAPS quite a bit of money.
Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) asked why it looked like DPW was shifting goalposts constantly for targets which could not be reached. He asked about the involvement of Lt. Gen. Mkhwanazi in the task team and if this was a permanent structure going forward.
Lt. Gen. Mkhwanazi stated that his involvement was in terms of the 2006 devolution. The task team dealt with this devolution to assess if the service level agreements between the two departments were working or not.
Mr Mabuza added that by the law, there was an open tender advert for 30 days. 20 days were located for full evaluation and adjudication of that specific tender while five days were allocated for the client to approve the tender. After the 30 days, the winning contract was appointed prior to which the documentation of the winning bidder was taken to the State Security Agency (SSA) for purposes of screening by law. With all these procurement stages, if any of the stages did not yield favourable results, DPW would have to restart the entire evaluation and start afresh. This was a principle problem.
The Chairperson said it would be important for the Committee to look into the R3.9 billion in the next parliamentary term and what was happening in terms of those projects. There would also be an oversight visit in July. The Central Firearms Registry (CFR) was a priority for the Committee. The Committee visited the facility last year and it was “a big risk” and it needed urgent attention from the joint task team.
Ms Kohler Barnard found the CFR issue to be critical and should be on the priority list of DPW. She noted that reference was made to corruption and asked that the Committee be informed if there were arrests in relation to the corruption referred to – she would hate for people to be fired and then rehired in other departments only to do the same thing again.
Listings by Taliban and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee
Maj. Gen. Phillip Jacobs, SAPS Legal Services, noted that this was the first briefing of its kind in the Fifth Parliament and so was more comprehensive than would otherwise be the case. It had become imperative to ensure that Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and related terrorist groups were denied the most important facilities required in order to commit terrorist acts, namely funding, access to weapons and the ability to travel freely. The United Nations Security Council had set up a sanctions committee which must list individuals and entities who were part of or linked to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. UN Member States were obliged in terms of Chapter VII of the UN Charter to enforce the following in respect of individuals and entities so listed:
▪ Assets freeze
▪ Arms embargo
▪ Travel ban
The Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act, 2004, provided for the enforcement of these sanctions, publication in the Gazette of the Proclamations made by the President as well as parliamentary oversight while the Security Council had appointed an Ombudsperson to investigate submission for delisting.
Maj. Gen. Jacobs said Article 25 of the UN Charter stated that UN members agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter. The Constitution of RSA, section 231(3), made provision for an international agreement of a technical, administrative or executive nature, or an agreement which did not require either ratification or accession, entered into by the national executive, binds the Republic without approval by the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, but must be tabled in the Assembly and the Council within a reasonable time. Chapter 5 of the Resolution of the UN Security Council provided for notification by the President in respect of entities identified by the UN Security Council. The President must, by Proclamation in the Gazette, and other appropriate means of publication, give notice that the UN Security Council, under Chapter VII of the Charter of the UN, had identified a specific entity as being –
(a) an entity who committed, or attempted to commit, any terrorist and related activity or participated in or facilitated the commission of any terrorist and related activity; or
(b) an entity against whom Member States of the UN must take the actions specified in Resolutions of the said Security Council, in order to combat or prevent terrorist and related activities.
In terms of parliamentary supervision, section 26 stipulated that every proclamation issued under section 25 shall be tabled in Parliament for its consideration and decision and Parliament may thereupon take such steps it may consider necessary. There was a distinction between Al Qaida and Taliban lists. The Al Qaida list established and maintained by the 1267/1989 committee for individuals and entities, was available at http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/1267.pdf. The Taliban list established and maintained by the 1988 (2011) committee for individuals and entities, was available at http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1988/list.
Member states were encouraged to submit names for listing as soon as supporting evidence was obtained. Before proposing names, member states were encouraged to approach state(s) of residence / or citizenship of the individual/entity to obtain additional information and member states were also encouraged to propose names of individuals responsible or concerned with listing. Member states needed to provide detailed statements of cases in support of the proposed listing which should include specific findings demonstrating the association or activities alleged. The nature of supporting evidence was intelligence, law enforcement, judicial, media and admissions, supporting evidence/documents and details of any connection with currently listed individual or entity. Statement of the case must be releasable except for parts the member state identified as confidential and the committee may use it for a narrative summary. Member states must provide the committee with as much relevant information in order to have accurate and positive identification of individuals, groups, undertakings and entities. A standard form was made available by the committee, there were different forms for individuals and entities and if the listing was approved, the committee would update the consolidated list. The secretariat notified the permanent mission of a country of which individual/entity was a national and included a narrative summary for reasons for the listing. There was also a description of the effect of the listing and the procedure for delisting. Member states, in accordance with domestic and international law, must notify the individual / entity of the listing and relevant information while the Office of the Ombudsman also notified individuals / entities if the address was known after the permanent missions was notified. Information was also forwarded to INTERPOL on the UN Special Notice.
Maj. Gen. Jacobs noted that amendments and updates of information was provided by the member states, regional or international organisations while a monitoring team was to advise and assist to convey information to the requesting states. Being listed meant frozen assets, arms embargo and a travel ban. For delisting, the petitioner was to submit a request for delisting to the Office of Ombudsperson or the member state was to approach the committee after bilaterally with the designating state(s), state(s) of nationality, residence or incorporation to make an application for delisting. The chairperson was to circulate a request including appropriate additional information provided by the monitoring team – the request of the committee would then be agenda and states were invited to submit views. The committee gave due consideration to opinions of the designating state(s), state(s) of residence, nationality or incorporation. If an objective was received, the committee would reject the delisting request. If the individual was deceased, with the necessary documentation confirming death, a decision would be made about frozen assets. The Ombudsperson gathered confidential information by any means in dialogue with the monitoring team. The Ombudsperson described her role as follows: “I will provide the Committee with an analysis of the underlying information and my independent assessment as to the sufficiency of the Case.” (Judge Kimberley Prost).
The Chairperson said for the Committee to deal with and process the proclamation, the document must be properly tabled in the House. Once properly tabled, the proclamations could be engaged on by the Committee.
Maj. Gen. Jacobs, SAPS Legal Services confirmed the tabling had not been finalised.
State Security Agency (SSA) Status Report on Vetting of Top Management of the CSP and IPID
Mr Victor Dlodlo, SSA General Manager: Vetting, provided a progress made since the SSA last briefed the Committee. He met with the CSP on 11 May 2015 where he detailed the process of vetting to the Acting Secretary especially in regard to the completion and submission of relevant documents. A total of 11 officials were identified as requiring immediate security clearance. Another meeting was held 11 June 2015 where the speedy completion and submission of relevant documents was agreed on. The vetting would be completed for these members by end of July 2015 if all forms and supporting documents were submitted. The Committee was told of the progress of vetting for each official in terms of the detailed action taken and dates - it was noted the Acting Secretary of the CSP had not yet submitted her Z204 form.
Mr Dlodlo then went through the detailed vetting status of top officials at IPID.
The Chairperson was pleased with the detailed and straightforward presentation which allowed Members to know exactly where vetting matters currently stood.
IPID Status on Vetting of Senior Employees
Mr Israel Kgamanyane, IPID Acting Executive Director, took the Committee through the current vetting status of IPID senior management where two applications were not submitted, 20 applications were in process, there was one re-application and 10 senior management officials with valid clearance. With the applications in-process or re-applied, an agreement was reached with SSA to fast track these applications as they were currently with SSA. For those not submitted, the respective managers were issued with the Z204 forms and were instructed to submit on 22 June 2015. An arrangement was made with SSA to receive the applications on the stipulated dates and in the interim, the identified managers had signed the secrecy clause. With regards to the not-submitted applications, the managers were pre-screened by SSA prior to their appointment.
IPID senior management currently consisted of 33 managers and the Committee was informed of the vetting status of each manager. Members were also taken through the security clearance history of specific senior management staff (SMS) members including Mr Kgamanyane, Mr Matthews Sesoko (Head of Investigations), Mr Moses Dlamini (national spokesperson) and Ms Nomkhosi Netsianda (Chief Director: Corporate Services). Members were also informed of the action plan in terms of definite actions to be taken and timeframes involved.
Vetting Status in the Civilian Secretariat for Police
Ms Reneva Fourie, Acting CSP Secretary, took the Committee through the vetting status for CSP noting that all public servants were expected to undergo pre-employment screening (criminal record, financial stability, academic qualifications verification and reference checks). Post employment vetting was categorised into classifications depending on the job description. This vetting was conducted in order to establish the individual’s loyalty, reliability and integrity to SA and its Constitution.
Failure to obtain security clearance, resulted in risks arising from the powers conferred on the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Act, 2011 (Act No. 2 of 2011), section 9:
▪ Access to any building or premises under the control of the police service
▪ Access to information and documents relating to any matter under the control of the police service
▪ Access to reasonable assistance by members of the police service
▪ Access to assistance by and information from any state department, functionary or institution, to perform any specific act or function within the competency of the Civilian Secretariat.
In terms of interventions, from September 2014 to December 2014, CSP enforced pre-employment screening and staff was required to fill in the Z 204 forms. From May 2015 to date, CSP met with SSA on 11 May 2015 and the process was agreed to and the CSP was informed, via a committee meeting, that only two forms were fully complaint. Senior management were then required to resubmit forms with supporting documents and therefore the initial deadlines were changed. She was happy to report that the vetting process was underway and an integrity officer was appointed.
Ms Fourie then explained the current status of senior managers in terms of the forms not submitted, applications in process and which applications were upgraded. The action plan was then outlined in terms of which officials would be processed and the deadline for that. The Civilian Secretariat for Police had prioritised vetting and diaries had been structured in a manner to ensure that staff were available to participate in SSA interviews. CSP and SSA had both assigned a dedicated official, who liaised with each other at least once a week. The CSP appreciated the efforts of SSA to ensure the expeditious conclusion of the backlog.
Ms Molebatsi asked the CSP who, of its senior management, was actually completely vetted on all three levels. Why had some officials still not submitted the supporting documentation?
Ms Fourie answered that out of the whole establishment, only two people were vetted in the CSP and these two people were vetted before they joined the Secretariat. Without these two people, no one in the CSP would be vetted. Furthermore, these two people only had confidentiality clearance.
Ms Kohler Barnard heard a number of rather bizarre claims on either side such as the CSP not being available for vetting while the other argument was that the entity was doing all it could – had the issues been resolved? The Committee wanted the challenges sorted out so one could move on. It seemed there were some breakthroughs but she was looking for assurance that everyone was on the same page, walking the same path to the same tune and the Committee would not have to call everyone back again to discuss the issue for the umpteenth time.
Ms Fourie answered that there was email proof which showed the efforts of the CSP to secure an appointment with SSA but it could be that there was a misunderstanding between the two personal assistants. The appointment was then only confirmed for 11 May 2015.
Ms M Mmola (ANC) asked why the CSP said the issue of vetting was being prioritised but the forms were not handed in. She asked IPID if certain late forms were submitted because the Directorate knew it would be coming before the Committee on the matter.
Ms Fourie confirmed that when she heard that SSA reported to the Committee that only two forms submitted from CSP were correct, she immediately issued a directive saying that by 30 May, employees needed to resubmit. There were recorded dates of when documentation was submitted but SSA found the documents were not adequate and that is why she issued the directive for officials to immediately resubmit.
Mr Ramatlakane noted there were some communication gaps between the entities and he asked if this was sorted out. There seemed to be outstanding issues with IPID, some which appeared to be critical – why was this so? Was the SSA sure it would meet the deadlines? He did not understand what was meant by “interview conducted” – did it mean the whole process was completed or was this part of the process? If it was completed, what was SSA’s deadline for issuing clearance?
Mr Dlodlo explained that the process of vetting started with the collection of data in terms of documentary evidence, filling in of Z204 forms and the collection of data from other databases. Once an analysis was done, fieldwork interviews started with the applicant, together with references and other people. In other words, “interview conducted” meant the subject/applicant had been spoken to. Thereafter, depending on the level of vetting, there might be a need to do a polygraph. Then there would be a final evaluation of all information collected and from there the clearance would be issued or not. SSA would have security managers to deal with and communicate with the departments and entities. In short, communication challenges were not something which he thought could have an impact on completing the task. He confirmed that SSA would be able to complete the vetting process by the end of July. It should be kept in mind that sometimes capacity, resources and priorities would change to look at other urgent matters but he would be able to complete the project by the end of July.
Ms Fourie said that CSP did not have an internal vetting unit so it was dependent on SSA for the vetting.
Mr J Maake (ANC) was satisfied that progress was being made, thought all parties involved took note that the Committee was serious and he felt there was no need to “flog a dead horse”.
Mr Mbhele asked if any of the challenges experienced on these issues in any way linked to delays for the CJS modernisation process or was that not a relevant factor. He wanted to get an idea of what the big picture was or if there were broader contextual issues in this area.
The Chairperson heard that some of the IPID officials who had not submitted had then submitted inadequate documents and the process had to be repeated since the Directorate last met with the Committee. He wanted to know what was being done by management to ensure there were consequences. He asked if there would be plans from the side of SSA to ensure there was constant monitoring of this environment. The Committee was not happy with the CSP presentation in that the Acting Secretary was the accounting officer and needed to walk the talk. The Committee had the assurance that the SAPS National Commissioner and Acting Executive Director of IPID were vetted but there was no such assurance from the Acting Secretary of the CSP today.
Mr Kgamanyane said that IPID was engaging SSA on any outstanding matters or those still in process. With the vetting unit established, this engagement with SSA would continue. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was also drafted between IPID and SSA – it was in the final stages of checking in the legal unit of IPID after which he would sign it with the Director General of SSA.
Ms Fourie added that she took the vetting process very seriously. The vetting form was very comprehensive – she had completed the forms five times in her lifetime and each time the vetting was never completed. She and Mr Phillip Mahlangu were waiting on copies of their divorce certificates from Home Affairs. She was also waiting on copies of her academic certificates. She hoped she would receive the copies today.
Mr Ramatlakane asked SSA why there were outstanding results for some IPID officials and it was not because their documents were not submitted. SSA did not even communicate anything on these outstanding results. He asked if SSA was evading the answer. This was a problem in SSA and he wanted the question answered.
Mr Dlodlo indicated that it was not his intention to evade the question – he might have forgotten to respond to it. With outstanding clearances, he did not have specific reasons for each of the officials but he would ensure all information would be forwarded to the client as soon as possible.
Ms Molebatsi felt that political statements should come from Members while officials should give answers which had time frames and specifics – this was what was expected by the Committee.
Mr Twala agreed with Mr Maake that the meetings were helping a great deal in getting the entities to interface with each other. The job of Members was to facilitate this interface to resolve problems.
Mr Mncwango (IFP) was concerned that he did not hear any specific, realistic timeframes for each of the undertakings by the entities. He was specifically concerned with the timeframe given by SSA for the end of July. He heard such undertakings before only to find they were not met. He wanted to assist SSA in providing a realistic timeframe for when the task would be finished. He asked how much time was spent vetting each case noting that no two cases were the same. The Committee would hold the SSA to the 31 July timeframe.
Mr Dlodlo said the issue of vetting did not depend entirely on the timeframe. He always raised the issue of capacity where SSA had more requests than its capacity could carry. He committed himself to completing the IPID and CSP project by the end of July – he had taken and put resources aside to look at this. While busy, it might be that SSA received instructions to look at other projects. Because of capacity constraints, not all projects could be looked at the same time. With everything equal and no other requests, the IPID and CSP project would be completed by the end of July.
The Chairperson emphasised the difference between policy and bureaucratic issues. The Committee would monitor timelines. Any additional information should be submitted to the Committee but he was pleased with the progress made in this term. He called on the accounting officers to give the necessary attention to this to ensure there was a full vetting complement and there was an assurance officials could deal with the matters. It was a great risk for the country for officials not to be vetted and the Committee would be monitoring this.
The meeting was adjourned.
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