The Committee began the process of scrutinising the Annual Report of the Department of Police with a briefing by the Committee researcher who provided an excellent analysis of the 2014/15 annual performance of the SA Police Service (SAPS) by providing an overview of performance in terms of budget and achievement of pre-determined targets. The presentation also provided an overview of financial performance by looking at revenue and liabilities and irregular and wasteful expenditure. A strategic overview was provided along with a programme overview in terms of expenditure, targets achieved and areas of concern (where targets were not met) for the following programmes of the Department:
- Visible Policing (VISPOL)
- Detective Services
- Crime Intelligence
- Protection and Security Services
The Auditor General of SA (AGSA) then presented the audit outcomes for the Department and its entities, namely, the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP), Independent Investigative Police Directorate (IPID) and the Private Security Industry regulatory Authority (PSIRA). The presentation covered the scope of the AGSA audit, overall outcome for the Department and its entities and focus areas of the AGSA and the performance of the Department and entities within each area. The presentation also covered irregular expenditure within the portfolio, combined assurance and an assessment of assurance providers, drivers of key control in the portfolio and root causes and recommendations before concluding with the Minister’s commitment to address the root causes.
The Committee then questioned the regress in leadership, what happened in the case of repeat findings, the issue of TETRA and irregular expenditure and an analysis of the problem of record keeping and reporting. Members were particularly concerned about pocketbooks and the fact that serious attention needed to be paid to the CSP.
The National Commissioner of Police then provided an overview to the 2014/15 Annual Report speaking to issues of crime prevention operations, frontline service delivery plans, monitoring and evaluation in relation to issues of governance and matters relating to recruitment. Remarks were also made about issues of police criminality and the killing of members, recruitment, partnering with academic institutions, general observations in office and the Free State as a model of policing.
The Committee were concerned about these comments because most of the references to actions, developments and initiatives were not trickling down to station level where real service delivery took place – this raised questions around models of leadership. Other questions were raised around the level of reliability of pocketbooks ad their inspection, the effectiveness of the structure of cluster commanders, and training of cadets particularly to ensure they were placed in stations which did not undermine their field training. Members were concerned about consequence management to ensure accountability and ensure those who were non-complaint were held responsible as well as the increase of civil claims against the SAPS which was indicative of problems.
The Department then presented its annual financial statements where Members were taken through the income statements in terms of revenue, expenditure and net surplus/deficit (financial performance), an overview of spending performance, departmental receipts (revenue), voted funds and departmental payments per programme of the SAPS before concluding with an overview of spending variance per programme.
The Committee wanted to know why there was an increase of claims against the Department when contingency liability should decrease, why there was a significant increase in the expense of legal services especially when this money could be used for other priorities. Other questions related to attrition rates and the nature of resignations, the status of section 35 terminations and promotions and appointments. Further discussion was held on what was being done to address the top heavy structure of the Department, sufficient provision for the 2016 local government elections, an update on the TETRA radio communication matter and the ratio of compensation of employees to operational expenses.
The Department then presented programme one: administration beginning with a financial performance overview and programme performance summary where 27 of the 37 targets were met. The presentation also covered the first sub-programme, human resource management, highlighting where targets were not met.
The Committee wanted to know the status of the pension scheme matter, low morale as a reason for resignation, the backlog of service terminations and current deployment at stations. On the approved establishment, the Committee felt the “rosy” picture painted nationally did not truly reflect resourcing on the ground – there was a need for a differentiated picture so that Members knew where there was under-resourcing and over-resourcing because it was important to have a national station plan and for numbers of resources to be linked to demographic growth. Other questions were asked about unscheduled leave being monitored and the rank, skill set and cost implications of the post of deputy station commander.
All targets for employee health and wellness were met while the Committee was informed of the targets not met for legal and policy services. On these sub-programmes, Members discussed debriefing and the criteria for electing the universities to partner with. Other questions were raised around the causal/contributory factors leading to civil claims against the Department and whether there were problematic clusters or provinces and remedial action taken in this regard and inadequacy of implementation controls and correction action in place.
All targets were achieved in human resource development while the Committee was informed of targets not achieved in the supply chain management and facilities management sub-programme. Members wanted an update on the Waymark contract, steps taken to ensure the evidence kits did not expire, corrective steps taken against members who lost firearms and the turnaround time for vehicle fleet management. Discussion was also held on the RT46 contract, armoured vehicles and the unacceptable state of the accommodation building of VIP protection services in the Free State.
Chairperson’s Introductory Comments
The Chairperson outlined the busy programme for the Committee for the rest of the week. Next week Tuesday, the Committee would adopt its Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR) and continue with deliberations into the Rule 201 Inquiry. The following week, the Committee would consider a Private Member’s Bill.
2014/15 SAPS Annual Performance Analysis
Ms Nicolette Van Zyl-Gous, Committee Researcher, took the Committee through an analysis of the 2014/15 SAPS annual performance noting that it was important that the hearings on the Annual Report ensure the following:
-That the SAPS provided high quality services, economical in nature, efficiently and effectively;
-Services rendered were in line with the SAPS’ constitutional mandate, strategic plans and budgets;
-That services contributed meaningfully to the realisation of government’s overall objectives; and
-That the Portfolio Committee assessed how the Department might improve on its performance.
By way of an overview of performance for the 2014/15 financial year, R72.5 billion was the main appropriation which remained unchanged during the adjustments. The Department spent R72.5 billion of the total budget (100%) with an insignificant variance of R18 000. There were 97 targets for the Department for 2014/15 where 72 were achieved, 25 targets were not achieved and two targets were deferred. This resulted in 72.4% successful achievement. Within the programmes of SAPS, the achievement of predetermined targets was as follows:
-Visible Policing: 84.00%
-Detective Services: 60.00%
-Crime Intelligence: 100.00%
-Protection and Security Services: 83.00%
Ms Van Zyl-Gous then moved onto financial performance for the 2014/15 financial year in terms of revenue and liabilities noting that the Departmental revenue received increased slightly from R386m in 2013/14 to R389m in 2014/15:
-Sale of goods and services increased with R42, 5m to R212m;
-Decrease in Fines, penalties and forfeits from R50, 5m to R18.9m;
-Sales of Capital Assets increased with R10.9m from R3, 7m in 2013/14 to R15, 5m
A worrying trend was the continuous increase in the contingent liabilities of the Department:
-R26, 958 billion in 2014/15 compared to R20, 580 billion in 2013/14
-Of the total, R26, 918 billion (99.8%) was set aside for claims against the Department
Actual liabilities incurred in 2014/15 on claims against the Department were R9, 534 billion of which R251, 192 million was paid out. Of which:
-Police Action: R174, 4 million;
-Shooting incidents: R44, 3 million; and
-Vehicle Accidents: R19 million.
-The total expenses incurred by the SAPS on legal services increased from R291 million in 2013/14 to R340 million in 2014/15.
Ms Van Zyl-Gous then went through the strategic overview of the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) targets highlighting priorities to implement the National Development Plan (NDP). Moving on to an analysis per performance, with administration, there was 100% expenditure (R15.3 billion), achievement of 27 out of 39 targets resulting in 69% of targets successfully achieved. Poor performance was seen in the building environment and IJS/CJS/TMS environment. Targets that were not achieved and were of a concern included:
-The target to finalise 90% of service terminations within 60 working days – achieved 39.1%, which was a negative variation of 50.9%
-Average time of three months to fill vacancies (took 4.8 months on average)
-Planned to reduce new incidents leading to civil claims against the Department by 3.4%, instead civil claims increased by 21%
With capital works and capacity in the programme, targets achieved for capital works projects were as follows:
- Victim Friendly Facilities: 65/93 (69%)
- Upgrading of services: 9/40 (22.5%)
- Generators: 15 out of 24 provided (32.5%)
Building environment 21/65 (32.3%)
- Execution: 0/6
- Planning and design: 12/35 (34.2%)
- Site clearance: 9/24 (37.5%)
Information Systems/Information Communication technology (IS/ICT)
- Key area of concern – spending against delivery
- IJS: 3 out of 12 targets achieved
- CJS: 7 out of 21 targets achieved
- SAPS TMS: 1 out of 4 targets achieved
- A total of R1.14 billion was spent on at the end of 2014/15 (100%)
- Quarterly monitoring targets seemingly differ
In terms of human resource management in the programme, R54.3 billion of R72.5 billion was spent on compensation of employees, of which:
- Salaries: R34 billion (64.4%)
- Overtime: R678 million (1.2%), of which Protection and Security Services (PSS) comprised R165 million (8.6%)
- Home Owners Allowances: R1.7 billion (3.3%)
- Medical Assistance: R6.2 billion (11.2%)
- Year end establishment: 198 010
- Vacancy rate: 2.2% (significantly low)
- 5 610 left the Service, of which majority was resignations (3 477)
- Section 35 Termination:1 Lt General
- Regulation 45 Appointments: 10
- Lt General x 2
- Maj General x 4
- Lieutenant x 1
- Warrant Officer x 1
- Sergeant x 2
- Various foreign deployments
- 68 Members to AU/UN Peacekeeping Missions to Darfur, Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia
- 170 Members to Lesotho as part of SADC Troika Intervention
- 85 Members in SADC Electoral Observation Missions
Moving to programme two, visible policing, the programme spent 100% of its budget (R36.7 billion) and achieved 21 of 25 targets which resulted in 84% of targets successfully achieved. Most notably, the following targets were not achieved:
- Reduce the number of reported serious crimes by 2%
- Reduce number of reported crimes against women by 2%
- Recover 84.3% of stolen/robbed firearms (only 73.1%)
- Response time for Charlie complaints
The AGSA also made serious material findings regarding the lack of reliability of information on targets in the Visible Policing Programme, which casted doubt on the reliability of the achievements reported for the Programme in the 2012/13 FY:
- Reaction times to Alpha, Bravo and Charlie complaints could not be verified
- 24% of illicit drug seizure successes and 34% confiscated liquor successes could not be verified
- Areas of interest (achieved but some concerns):
- Firearm applications: 268 436 applications finalised
- Escapes from custody
- Victim friendly services
- Rural safety
- Border security
- Sector policing
- Community Policing Forums (CPFs)
With programme three, detective services, 100% of the budget was spent (R15.15 billion) and 12 of the 20 targets were achieved which resulted in a 60%s success rate however this was the weakest performing programme.
- Targets not achieved included:
- Detection rates for serious crimes not achieved (41% vs 37.4%)
- Trial ready case dockets for serious crimes (68.5% vs 63.63%)
- Detection and Conviction rates for serious crimes not achieved.
- Trial ready case dockets for crimes dependent on police action (55.8% vs 65.5%)
- Detection and trial ready case docket rates for crimes against women (18 years and older) as well as that for children (18 years and younger) – serious concern as this was also a MTSF Impact Indicator.
- The target for the processing of case exhibits by the Forensic Science Laboratories was not successfully achieved and was particularly worrying in light of the implementation of the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act, 2014.
- 69% of entries were within the stipulated timeframe (deviation of 24%)
- Blamed load shedding and water interruptions
With the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI), the subprogramme spent 100% of its budget (R1.3 billion or 8% of the programme’s budget) and achieved 100% of targets – six out of six.
Ms Van Zyl-Gous then discussed programme four, crime intelligence, where 100% of the budget was spent (R2.884 billion) and all seven targets were achieved- the programme successfully achieved 100% of its predetermined targets in 2014/15. In terms of capacity building, 16 posts at Brigadier level were advertised, of which 15 posts were filled. Concerns included:
- Were service delivery performance accurately measured by the targets set?
- Lacking capacity in CI environment raised continuously
- Use of informants and amount paid in 2014/15
- Crime Intelligence Policy and Standing Operating Procedure for Collection approved in 2014/15: How will this impact?
The final programme was Protection and Security Services where 100% of the budget was spent (R2.202 billion) and five of six targets were achieved resulting in an 83% success rate. With the percentage of security provided in relation to security breaches – one security breach occurred - of the 94 352 protection operations conducted in 2014/15, one breach occurred due to insufficient infrastructure provisioning resulting in perimeter vulnerability. One concern was a Sunday Times article published on 20 August 2015 titled ‘VIP Bodyguards expose abusive ministers’ where there were allegations of working long hours and being forced to drive at high speeds which posed a security threat. The President of SA Policing Union (SAPU) confirmed receiving several grievances.
Overall, the Department performed reasonably well in the 2014/15 FY in terms of both service delivery and financial performance, with a success rate of 74%.
The key areas where the Department underperformed were:
- Performance vs expenditure (74% vs 100%) – did the targets accurately measure service delivery?
- MTSF target alignment and achievement;
- Building environment;
- ICT (IJS/CJS/TMS);
- Repeat AG Audit findings on the reliability of performance;
- Policies did not trickle down to station level; and
- Internal Control (especially middle management).
Mr Irvin Kinnes, Committee Content Advisor, added further issues which Members should be aware of including that the original Annual Report was labelled as 2015/16 instead of 2014/15 – this was subsequently corrected by SAPS but it had cost implications and perhaps it needed to explain this error. The Free State model of policing did not go with what the Committee found during an oversight visit to the province. The issue of demilitarisation was dealt with in the Annual Report but it was not a clear programme in terms of what would be done regarding organisational ethos of policing and how it would be dealt with in the command structures. The Department did have a colloquium on demilitarisation which would be useful for the Committee to see what came out of there. There was also the issue of the criminal asset recovery account and how much money was in there. Contingent liability was also a problem. Another concern was around the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) reports and how it was dealt with by the police.
The Chairperson said the question of middle management came up sharply during the Committee’s oversight visit to the Free State – this was something Members needed to focus on in detail as it was very problematic.
AGSA Presentation: Audit Outcomes of the Police Portfolio for the 2014/15 Financial Year
Ms Surette Taljaard, Senior Manager, Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA), began the presentation by noting that annually, oversight committees set aside time to focus on assessing the performance of Departments. On completion of the process, Portfolio Committees were required to develop Department-specific reports, namely the BRRRs, which expressed the Committee`s view on the Department’s budget for recommendation to the National Treasury ahead of the following year`s budget period. The role of the AGSA was to reflect on the audit work performed to assist the Committee in its oversight role in assessing the performance of the Departments taking into consideration the objective of the committee to produce a BRRR.
In terms of scope then, the AGSA provided assurance that the Annual Financial Statements (AFS) were free from misstatements that will affect users, report on the usefulness and reliability of the information in the annual performance report, report on material non-compliance with relevant key legislations and identify the key internal control deficiencies to be addressed. The AGSA did not provide assurance on the appropriateness of the departmental budgets, provide commentary on service delivery, report on all legislations – only key selected requirements from relevant legislations audited- and, although it did assess the risk of fraud, the AGSA was not responsible for fraud identification and fraud prevention.
Ms Taljaard then took the Committee through the 2014/15 overall outcomes for the Department of Police and its entities, namely, the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA), the Civilian Secretariat of Police (CPS) and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID):
-Department of Police: Unqualified with findings
-IPID: Unqualified with findings
-PSIRA: Unqualified with findings
-CSP: Qualified with findings
The key focus areas of the AGSA included:
1. Quality of submitted financial statements
2. Quality of submitted performance reports
3. Compliance with legislation
4. Financial health
5. Human resources management
6. Information technology
The status of the Department and its entities in terms of the above focus areas for the 2014/15 year was then discussed.
In terms of irregular expenditure, this was defined as expenditure incurred in contravention of key legislation. For the 2014/15 audited year, irregular expenditure for the Department and its entities as identified by the auditors were as follows:
-Department of Police: R279 991
For the Department of Police, irregular expenditure was possibly linked to the firearm registration system identified in 2011/12. It should be noted the TETRA contract was not deemed to be irregular expenditure.
Irregular expenditure as identified by the auditees was as follows:
-Department of Police: R2 806
-CSP: R6 799
-PSIRA: R5 540
Ms Taljaard then went through the combined assurance and assessment of assurance providers – the first level of assurance was provided by management and included senior management, accounting officer/authority and executive authority, where:
-Senior management: take immediate to address specific recommendations and adhere to financial management and internal control systems
-Accounting officer/authority – hold officials accountable on implementation of internal controls and report progress quarterly and annually
-Executive authority – monitor the progress of performance and enforce accountability and consequences
The second level of assurance was oversight assurance and included coordinating/monitoring institutions, internal audit and audit committees, where:
-National Treasury/DPSA – monitor compliance with laws and regulations and enforce appropriate action
-Internal audit – follow up on management’s actions to address specific recommendations, conduct own audits on the key focus areas in the internal control environment, and report on quarterly progress
-Audit committee – monitor risks and the implementation of commitments on corrective action made by management as well as quarterly progress on the action plans
The third level of assurance was independent and included oversight provided by the Portfolio Committee, public accounts committee and National Assembly where:
-Oversight (portfolio committee) - review and monitor quarterly progress on the implementation of action plans to address deficiencies
-Public accounts committee – exercise specific oversight on a regular basis on any report which it may deem necessary
-National Assembly – provide independent oversight on the reliability, accuracy and credibility of national and provincial government
Ms Taljaard then took the Committee through an assessment of the assurance provided to the Department and its entities before moving onto drivers of key controls for the Department and its entities.
Root causes identified and recommendations included:
-lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions: Management should hold staff responsible for information included in the AFS and performance reports accountable
-slow response by management: Management should ensure that recommendations from auditors (external and internal) were implemented and action plans should be monitored and tracked by the relevant parties
-instability or vacancies in key positions: The key positions at manager level should be filled with skilled staff
The Minister’s commitments to address root causes in progress included:
-appoint key officials within PSIRA
-investigation within PSIRA to be conducted with regards to procurement, governance and finance
-task team appointed but awaiting report on the review of the salaries of PSIRA
-recommendations to enhance performance agreements to be aligned in terms of the clarified roles to ensure that staff were held accountable for reporting inaccurate performance information
-PSIRA in consultation with National treasury to determine the way forward with regards to old premises
-the joint effort between SAPS and the AGSA to conduct provincial visits in clarifying the roles and responsibilities with regards to the reporting of predetermined objectives was still an ongoing effort
Commitments by the Minister to address root causes which were implemented included:
-appointment of key official in PSIRA
Mr P Groenewald (FF+) questioned the regress in leadership alluded to in one of the slides and whether it was in reference to all entities. On the microdotting of SAPS firearms, did the AGSA pick up anything on the Waymark issue?
Ms Taljaard responded that AGSA did not specifically audit the Waymark issue but just looked at the contract in terms of procurement. With the regression in leadership, the AGSA looked at the whole portfolio and the CSP was bringing it down.
Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) wanted to know what happened if the same findings were found year in and year out – was the specific component made aware of this and what happened thereafter? She also asked the opinion of the AGSA on the TETRA issue and it being linked to possible irregular expenditure.
Ms Taljaard said she would report on it and make it known to management that there were these repeat findings. It also depended on how big the component was – the AGSA would allow corrections to be made but then they would need to correct the population as well and not just the sample the AGSA audited. The AGSA would then go back to the environment to do a re-audit but if even just one problem was found it meant that technically the population was not correct and the original finding would then stand. If the repeat findings were serious and material it would be included in the audit report and this then becomes known to the executive authority and then the Committee would play its role to keep the component accountable to resolve the finding. Nothing more than this could be done from an audit perspective. With TETRA, the AGSA originally found it to be irregular expenditure while the Department of Police did not. There were then robust discussions and it was decided that due to the fact that National Treasury were the custodians of irregular expenditure, the AGSA would provide its opinions to Treasury and then Treasury was to rule on the matter and whatever decision occurred, the AGSA would abide by it as it could not go against Treasury as the custodians.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) found that the most problematic areas seemed like the record keeping function and reporting and the two were linked because there would not be accurate reporting if the record keeping was not compliant – was there anything in the AGSA analysis which showed what the problem was in this regard? He assumed it had something to do with skills but it might also be capacity.
Ms Taljaard explained one needed to look at each auditee separately as she could not provide an overall answer. For example with the Department of Police, the issue was with the cluster and station commander not adhering to internal controls. For example, a police officer knows if he/she was on a scene, they needed to write it in their pocketbook. There was a debate between the AGSA and police asking if the pocketbooks could be used to verify reaction time. After much discussion, SAPS said it could be. Either the AGSA could not find the pocketbooks or it did not correlate with what was on the system or there were differences in time frames. However a policeman was operational and once on a scene the primary priority was not the administration of writing in the pocketbook. With IPID, they were moving in the right direction with the vacancies filled. With the CSP, she did not know if the entity was relaxed or did not know what auditing was all about but there was no sense of urgency to ensure all matters were in order even though the entity knew for a while it would become a designated department. Furthermore there was no stability with the CFO and accounting officer, there were no proper internal controls to ensure information was transferred from the Department to them and then how to take that information forward. She thought the Secretariat should get a skilled CFO to ensure there were proper internal controls. With PSIRA, after auditing them for six years, she could say the entity was moving in the right direction - the biggest issue was governance but with the new accounting authority and chairperson she could already see a change. PSIRA also had the attitude that they really wanted to get things right.
The Chairperson was concerned about the stagnation in the portfolio and that serious and urgent attention needed to be paid to the CSP. With the Department, it was important for the provincial commissioners to ensure the cluster commanders did their jobs so in this sense the provincial commissioners were not doing their jobs – was this correct?
Ms Taljaard agreed the provincial commissioners were then not doing their jobs of monitoring and oversight to ensure the cluster commanders were reporting correctly if it was linked this way.
The Chairperson asked if this monitoring was part of their performance contracts.
Ms Taljaard said she would have to come back to the Committee on this issue.
Mr Groenewald found the chaos with the pocketbooks concerning and that the police would have to answer to that.
Department of Police Vote Number 25 Annual Report 2014/2015
National Commissioner of Police, Ms Riah Phiyega, provided an overview of the operations of the Department noting that the Free State was selected to become a policing model for the country. A number of measures were implemented including:
-people must be held accountable meaning that each employee must perform in accordance with their employment contract while simultaneously creating a conductive environment
-resources must be used efficiently and effectively in pursuance of our core business of fighting crime
-SAPS must continually develop and maintain partnerships with communities
-there must be focused and structural leadership dialogue and accountability regarding performance management in the organisation
The National Commissioner highlighted that there was an emphasis on leadership training and the Department embarked on several initiatives to equip members with the necessary knowledge to thrive in their respective fields of work. This included the introduction of:
-Bachelor’s Degree in Police Science (University of SA)
-Practical Project Management Development Programme
-Safety and Security Executive Development Programme targeting Lieutenant Generals
-Revising the SAPS Training Curriculum to enhance relevance in order to produce the type of police officials SA needed
-Leadership training conducted with Old Mutual for Cluster Commanders, Station Commanders, Detective Commanders, Visible Policing Commanders and Support Commanders under the Frontline Service Delivery (FSD) Programme
-Numerous global leadership programmes that were based on bilateral agreements which included a Detective Training Programme, Cluster Commanders training community policing, human resource management in the Policing Environment Training Programme with China and public order training in France
All this was done bearing in mind that only about 50 000 of the nearly 200 000 employees in the SAPS had post-matric qualifications. Furthermore, to improve command and control, a Crime Intelligence Commanders Learning Programme will be developed. It will be a six-week training programme. We were also arranging national and international training programmes to ensure that commanders received the necessary information and relevant skills that will contribute to enhancing service delivery.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega said police criminality was a serious problem which management had tackled head-on. Over the past three financial years, SAPS had dismissed some 1 357 officials for various offences.
Direct community involvement was a cornerstone of SAPS new recruitment strategy. To further this strategy, we have introduced a new leg (a two-week grooming camp) of the recruitment process where we test the passion, commitment, loyalty and integrity of new recruits, among other attributes. Provincial police and community recruitment boards had been established and were functioning. Training had been extended to two years (10 months at the academy, 12 months in the field and two months at the academy again). Included in the two-year training was the public order training course to prepare recruits as first respondents to community protests.
As a drive to improve women empowerment initiatives, Nat. Comm. Phiyega had since appointed four female divisional commissioners at Lt. Gen. level.
SAPS were investing in human capital as this was a core element that ensured the delivery of the SAPS mandate. As a means of recognising exceptional performance towards enhancing service delivery, special achievements and selfless acts of bravery, SAPS held a second and successful Annual National Service Excellence Awards Ceremony in March 2015. Reflecting on performance as assessed in the Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT) that was administered by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), we were improving continually and annually. For example, we improved from position 27 among government departments to position 12 in just over a year. Significant progress had been made with embedding good governance in SAPS.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega noted the:
-the revamp of the audit committee under vigilant and expert leadership which had improved the SAPS accounting and management of internal controls
-the acceleration of the combined assurance approach to organisational assurance provisioning
-establishment of a provincial enterprise risk management committee to ensure localised results-driven initiatives in addressing organisational risk
The introduction of the FSD programme being aimed at institutionalising service delivery in SAPS, under the theme: delivering on the service promise, was a noble idea in support of government policy. SAPS were currently piloting this programme in phases targeting nine police stations. SAPS was also working hard to ensure that it addressed the serious trust deficit between the police and the communities and it had embarked on numerous community outreach programmes. SAPS signed a memorandum of understanding with the SA Human Rights Commission in a collaborative effort to ensure that police officials, among others, observed the correct rules and procures when performing their duties.
During the period under review, approximately 17 130 crime prevention operations were conducted to enhance visibility in all police station areas. A total of 1 707 654 arrests were made in all crime categories. The police continued efforts to rid communities of crime by addressing contributory factors such as the illegal supply of alcohol and drugs – to this end, a lot of drugs and alcohol were confiscated.
As an initiative to bolster the offerings in the detective environment and to deal a heavy blow to identified priority crimes, SAPS established the National Investigation Unit where some achievements included that related to the Radovan Krejcir case.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega outlined that in the year under review, SAPS successfully hosted the 35th Annual Crime Stoppers International conference on African soil for the first time. Best practices and knowledge were shared. We also hosted the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation 20th Annual General Meeting. The SAPS research colloquium, the first of its kind on SAPS, took place from the 20th to the 21st November 2014. The colloquium was held under the theme: demilitarisation of the SAPS and policing in a violent society: a case of SA.
The worrying trend of police killings was a cause for serious concern. A total of 86 police members were murdered on and off duty during 2014/15 – an increase of 11.7% compared to the same period in 2013/14.
The journey towards the safety and security of SA continued. The Nat. Comm. was pleased to be part of the mighty and dynamic team of about 200 00 dignified men and women in blue who gave their best to keep us all safe and she graciously thanked them.
Moving to the presentation itself, Nat. Comm. Phiyega noted it would cover the organisational performance for the 2014/15 Financial Year (year end closure – March 2015) in line with the five programmes of the Department and the reasons for achieving and not achieving the set-targets. The report was in line with Section 40 and 65 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and was tabled by the Minister of Police on 29 September 2015.
In terms of an overview of performance, there were 95 indicators where 72 annual targets were achieved and 28 were not. In terms of each programme:
- Administration: 27/37 targets
- VISPOL: 21/25 targets
- Detectives 12/20 targets
- Crime Intelligence: 7/7 targets
- Protection and Security Services: 5/6 targets
The Chairperson acknowledged the performance and excellent work but looking back at last year and the undertakings made as well as those comments made by the AGSA, he questioned the leadership model. There was a lot of activity noted but there was question around whether this cascaded down to provinces and clusters – this was the material issue because in the end it affected the policing model and what was addressed in the NDP. There could be a lot of activity but if the cluster commander did not check pocketbooks, this raised issues of assurance. The Committee’s assessment showed a mixed picture. What should be done additionally with the leadership model because there was a lot of activity but the output remained the same. How would this be addressed in the long term to ensure that stations and clusters adhered to the relevant prescripts? The problem was with cascading activities down from national level and ensuring that there was monitoring.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega noted that the report was a bottom up one – if the provinces and regions were not performing, what was reported could not be said. There was a lot being done to cascade work through various forums to enhance the leadership dialogue. Dialogue by leaders around objectives and performance was held very high. It was important to ensure that programmes were further embedded on the local delivery level and the frontline service delivery model was meant to achieve this – embedded local leadership management in the station as the face and platform of service delivery in SAPS was the way to the future. A lot was being done and progressively the results would be seen. There was combined assurance with the inspectorate, internal audit and the AGSA to ensure programmes and actions were yielding results – she did not believe there was a department as big as Police which had the combined assurance it had. No station would be left untouched although there were still challenges and where this was, and where input and feedback was given like with the briefing by the Committee researcher, there would be enhancement of what was being done. It was not a destination but a journey and with the Committee’s feedback, she was sure the Department would get somewhere. The challenge was to achieve the controls which the AGSA flagged as not being achieved and maintain those which were achieved. There were other independent tools to also assess whether planned actions were attaining results – feedback from those tools would continue to be tracked and correct where there were weaknesses.
Ms Molebatsi asked how reliable the pocketbooks were. On the structure of the cluster commanders, did this structure have teeth? When the Committee visited police stations, in most areas it did not see these teeth – was this structure effective?
Nat. Comm. Phiyega replied that ordinarily pocketbooks were supervised – where there were negative findings in terms of the pocketbooks, more needed to be done and this was where frontline service delivery was key. Pocketbooks were crucial for many things such as a backup for cases in court and accounting and reporting. Somehow the value of pocketbooks got weakened and the aim now was to pick it up and ensure it did what it was supposed to be doing for accountability and as an operational tool for policing.
The Chairperson provided a practical example – he visited a station in the Drakenstein municipality, which was part of his constituency - currently the station had four vehicles which were not working and, for a year and a half, the telephone system was faulty. He was concerned with the management model which at the end affected service delivery because the community was not effectively serviced but who was checking on this? What was the consequence management? The station reported its issues to supply management but nothing came out of it – who was taking the leadership role? There were many innovative developments, as mentioned in the National Commissioners introduction, but at the end of the day, the question was the kind of policing the ordinary person received.
Maj. Gen. T Patekile, Acting Provincial Commissioner: Western Cape, indicated the station was supposed to have 32 vehicles but it had 37- the fleet was aging so some of the vehicles were in the garage. The telephones were now working – the station commander was moved to Bellville so there was a new station commander but it was one of the stations being monitored in terms of compliance because there were some complaints in terms of service delivery.
The Chairperson noted the telephone was working but there was only one line when it was supposed to divert calls to various offices and only one incoming call could be received at a time –this was the problem.
Maj. Gen. Patekile replied that TMS was looking at the issue and working on it with Telkom. Stations were one of the prioritised areas so even if a telephone became faulty during the night Telkom would assist.
The Chairperson requested a written report before the General provided information which might not be correct.
Ms Molebatsi asked if the Nat. Comm. was saying the information in the pocketbooks could be verified and that members could not just thumb suck information to put into the book.
Mr Groenewald noted that the AGSA found the auditing of the pocketbooks chaotic and he agreed that they were a crucial tool. The Nat. Comm. had one perspective of the pocketbooks but when it came to their auditing it was chaotic and he did not understand this.
Lt. Gen. Mark Dumisa Magadlela, Provincial Commissioner: Mpumalanga, said training was a continuous process and sometimes there were challenges with the pocketbooks but the training was there to ensure people wrote properly, communicated properly and kept proper record.
Maj. Gen. Patekile added that there was inspection when reporting for duty and then coming off duty through first level inspection by the shift commander. The pocketbooks should be reliable and there must be follow up to ensure things came back into order if there was a problem.
Mr Groenewald asked if the inspectors looked at what was in the pocketbook because that was where the problem lied. A member might have the pocketbook but the inspector might be surprised to find there was nothing written in it for the day.
Lt. Gen. K Sitole, Deputy National Commissioner: Policing, said the pocketbook was the most reliable document but every member had a role to play in fulfilling his or her responsibility. The books were inspected on duty when members reported – the officer who inspected the member coming off duty, was responsible for reading the pocketbook to check all the entries. Some of the entries would also be linked to the occurrence book at the station. Pocketbooks of members could also be inspected on duty, for example at a roadblock. There were areas in the Service where pocketbooks were properly kept and records were done but there were areas where they were not and this was where consequence management came in. Pocketbooks had been prioritised by the inspectorate.
Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) said the good work the Department was putting in, as attested to by the AGSA, did not go unnoticed. The Committee understood the problems but Members had to put themselves in the shoes of ordinary citizens. When the Committee visited the Free State, simple things such as members being deployed to dangerous situations and using vehicles with no spare wheels (because they were sold to taxi bosses), were seen. Knowing the challenges and where the gaps were, the Committee needed to see how best it could help the Department – the Department should also take the Committee into confidence and highlight where there were further gaps and who was responsible. He felt some of the responses provided were too diplomatic. Who was held responsible, for example, with all the issues the Committee found in the Free State? He did not want to hear good stories about the Free State because what he saw was a hell on earth and corruption was rampant.
The Chairperson reminded the Member that the Committee would still deal with the report of the oversight visit to the Free State – he asked that the issue be parked until then.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega said that risk management competence had been placed in all the provinces as part of governance because previously risk was only at head office. This structure would be used to look at prioritised risks such as pocketbooks.
Lt. Gen. Sitole added that when members were inspected on parade, the vehicle was also inspected – if the vehicle did not have a spare wheel, this was to be noted in the pocketbook of the member driving the vehicle. There were problems with the pocketbooks but there would be heightening of compliance and consequential management to take action. If all entries were correct, the pocketbook was most reliable and it could be used as evidence in court.
Ms Molebatsi asked, if there were for instance 20 members on parade before beginning duty, would the pocketbooks of all 20 be checked and how this impacted time.
Lt. Gen. Sitole indicated that operational stations were bigger than community service stations so there would be more than one officer deployed and this ensured checking of pocketbooks did not take too much time.
Lt. Gen. Sharon Jephta, Divisional Commissioner: Inspectorate, responding to the authenticity of the entries of the pocketbooks, noted that there were various cross checks. If a member indicated he/she made an arrest, there must be a SAP14 number. All checks could not be done on parade such as verification checks. If there was any confiscation, this would also be checked against a SAP13 to verify the entry – this was similar with patrols where one could check the AVL to ensure the vehicle was in a specific area and time as the member claimed in the pocketbook. A member could not just write anything in the pocketbook because it could be verified through inspections. The inspectorate had now put in place an inspection system where management was informed of which programmes were lowest in compliance. Recommendations for the establishment of a compliance board were recently handed to the National Commissioner for a new inspection regime to ensure there was compliance – the compliance board would specifically look at low compliance and repeat findings.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega noted that after about 60 days into her post, she went to Rustenburg on an impromptu visit. As she was sitting in the office of the station commander, she heard singing and thought it was a strike but the station commander informed her that it was a parade – the members were neatly dressed, they each had their pocketbooks before them and the commander was checking them. This was the protocol and a sign of a properly managed station. This related to issues of compliance and leadership discipline and the Department was working hard to re-inculcate this.
Mr Groenewald noted the key question was around consequential management for non-compliance.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega noted that SAPS was no different from the other service departments in government – the DPSA had a framework within which service departments, like Police, functioned. Above the stations structurally there was the cluster to take responsibility for a number of stations. The station commander was also the CEO of the station – they were held accountable for the station. There was not always a uniform approach and silos were seen in stations where perhaps detectives would see themselves as independent and not really accountable to the station commander – the FSD made it clear there was one head of command in the station. The cluster commander was in charge of a number of stations in a particular district/region (cluster) – this commander provided oversight, moderation, monitoring, evaluation, support and supervision to ensure there was standardisation of service delivery in the area. The cluster commander must be able to provide analysis if a cluster was performing badly and so was held accountable for the region. Provincial Commissioners were CEOs responsible for a province. The process was a work in progress and the Committee would be kept up to date. The Department was working towards non-performance being a dismissible offence but there was a lot of work to go into this.
Ms Mmola wanted to know who was checking the pocketbooks of the cluster commanders – she was disturbed to see that on the Committee’s oversight visit to the Free State, the cluster commander did not have a pocketbook.
Lt. Gen. Sitole indicated the cluster commanders did not necessarily have a pocketbook but a diary – the deputy provincial commissioner for operations was responsible for inspecting this diary and its entries.
Ms L Mabija (ANC) noted that what was seen on the ground did not match what the National Commissioner highlighted in her introduction about operations. She wanted to understand how it was ensured that the basic units gave genuine reports and not fabricated information or even not wanting to open cases to contribute to already negative statistics. She also wanted to know how the policies trickled down to the basic units and police stations.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega said it was part of community engagement and outreach to address issues such as the trust deficit between the police and the community. Some programmes also spoke to this and improving local service delivery such as the front line service delivery model and the empowerment of leaders to be able to manage policing better. Things were happening – the jails were full and this started with successful arrests. The Victims of Crime survey, conducted by StatsSA, reported 59% satisfactory levels by the communities – these levels of satisfaction needed to be heightened towards the 70s and 80s and SAPS worked hard toward this. Feedback, advice and criticism from various platforms such as the Committee were helpful and were embraced by the Department for continuous improvement. Trust equity was permanently on the radar screen of members and the Department would ensure it was continuously dealt with. There were many surveys and tools used to determine the satisfaction levels of the community which were kept in focus.
Mr Groenewald completely agreed that there were men and women in SAPS who gave their utmost best but he was afraid the picture the National Commissioner just sketched was not the case. For example, civil claims against SAPS increased by 21% where the key performance target was to decease this. This told him that there was a huge problem. The crime stats released two weeks also showed a different picture and that the people of SA did not have the same experience of the SAPS as what the Nat. Comm. did. He wanted to know what the Nat. Comm. would do to improve this.
Mr Mbhele questioned the training of cadets – he noticed the increase of six months for the field training. Although he understood the rationale, he was concerned that this operational experience actually undermined investment made in the academy based training phase. Some stations were not suitable to field development sites. He asked if the Nat. Comm. would initiate a review of the whole set up of the field development phase to identify the best police stations which were suited to carry out that function to at least improve the quality of the cadets and that they were not placed in stations which undermined the work done at the academy.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega answered that there was 12 months academic training and 12 months practical training and there was assessment to ensure the two were balancing. She agreed that platforms should be chosen which enhanced rather than took away from the students.
Lt. Gen. C Mbekela, Deputy National Commissioner: Corporate Services Management, added criteria were worked out based mainly on the resources of the stations. However, the field training aspect was now revamped where some of the loopholes were identified such as the issues raised by Mr Mbhele. Issues were also heard from the trainees themselves and these were being factored in. Some countries had even moved away from field training as such to go onto field police development in order to achieve a holistic approach and this could be a useful benchmark.
Mr Mbhele asked if the criteria were based on resources at stations, did this mean the cadets were placed at stations which were most under-resourced to help plug the gap.
Lt. Gen. Mbekela said one would have to look at the presence of the field training officers and their availability – cadets would be placed in the stations where there were enough resources for them to be taken through the programme. This was also be revised to not just look at resources but the kind of station in terms of the level of discipline and morale of the members to prevent negative impacts on the trainees.
Annual Financial Statements (General)
Lt. Gen. S Schutte, Deputy National Commissioner: Resource Management, noted the Department spent its R72 billion voted funds and R18 000 remained which was deposited back into the national revenue fund. The Department collected R389 million during 2014/15 and R380 million was paid to the SA Revenue Service (SARS) towards the end of the previous financial year – the rest would be paid in the current financial year. The Department also received R8.5 million donor funds of which R7.7 million was spent.
By way of an overview of spending performance, total spending in the Vote comprised 100% (rounded off) of the allocated budget (an insignificant amount of R18 000 remained unspent at year end.) Current payments (consisting of Compensation of employees and Goods and Services) expended 99, 7% of allocated budget (expenditure ratio of 74.9% for compensation and 25.1% for operational expenditure.) Transfers and subsidies comprised 105, 5% of allocated budget mainly as a result of increased payments in the civil claims environment. Payments for Capital Assets comprised 104, 0% of allocated budget and capacity building (critical items) were procured such as vehicles, clothing, ammunition, information technology, training, etc.
The Chairperson asked what percentage of procurement of clothing was imported.
Lt. Gen. Gary Kruser, Divisional Commissioner: Supply Chain Management, responded that the only thing the Department imported was the material for the bomb suits – the material could not be found in SA but the rest of the clothing was all made in SA.
Lt. Gen. Schutte said he could provide a figure to the Committee later because he did not have it currently on him.
With Departmental receipts, revenue collected for the National Revenue Fund during the year was
R389, 406 million:
– Sale of goods and services produced by the Department (mainly firearm licenses, accident reports, commission on insurance fees collected, etc.) was R179, 121 million
– Sale of scrap and other used goods was R33, 045 million
– Fines, penalties and forfeits were R18, 929 million
– Interest received via corporate banks was R1, 210 million
– Sale of capital assets was R15, 541 million
– Transactions in assets and liabilities were R141, 560 million (mainly recovery of debt)
- Local and foreign aid assistance received for the year was R8, 516 million (in addition to an opening balance of R0, 502 million).
Lt. Gen. Schutte then briefly took the Committee through voted funds and departmental payments (appropriation statement).
The Chairperson asked if the shifting of funds from buildings to the improvement and conditions of salaries was in line with the PFMA.
Lt. Gen. Schutte clarified that the process was initiated by Treasury and it was in line with the PFMA.
Looking at an overview of spending variance per programme:
-Programme 1: Administration: A net overspending realised mainly as a result of increased spending on compensation of employees emanating from tariff increase on overtime and backdated implementation of graded clerks, increased spending on goods and services and more than anticipated legal fees claimed by the State Attorney’s office. The total amount allocated for buildings and other infrastructure (capital works) was not fully expended, although the amount specifically and exclusively appropriated was met.
-Programme 2: Visible Policing: A net underspending realised mainly as a result of more personnel losses than initially anticipated and some underspending on capital.
-Programme 3: Detective Service: With the specific focus on enhancing the forensic services capacity, more funding was used on capital purchases.
-Programme 4: Crime Intelligence: The net variance was mainly for compensation of employees spending including overtime during the election.
-Programme 5: Protection and Security Services: The net variance was mainly for additional investment in capital purchases to support protection functions and increased spending on compensation of employees emanating from tariff increase on overtime and goods and services, especially travel and subsistence.
The Chairperson was concerned that claims against the Department was increasing while the NDP was clear that the goal was to have a police service trusted by the community and acted in line with the Constitution and the law – why then was there an increase in claims against the police? Given all the activity the National Commissioner referred to in her introduction, contingency liability should decrease but the opposite was seen. What was the reason for this?
Nat. Comm. Phiyega indicated the claims being dealt with were old from six or seven years ago so the impact of the work being done now was not yet seen. She could provide a separate analysis of current claims.
The Chairperson asked for this by the end of the week because it needed to be reflected in the Committee’s BRRR.
Mr Groenewald also noted that police actions increased such as shooting and vehicle accidents.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega indicated that a further analysis could be provided to Members along with an age analysis.
The Chairperson added it was critical for the Committee to know – a lot more was spent on training but there was still an increase in claims and contingent liability provision financially and these conduct issues needed to be solved.
Mr Mbhele noted there were just over 5 500 service members who left the SAPS from programme one with the majority stemming from resignations – was this attrition rate within normal parameters? What was the nature of the resignations as coming from the exit interviews?
Lt. Gen. Mbekela said the average norm in terms of government was approx. 4%. With the SAPS, the attrition rate was 3.5%. During exit interviews, the reasons provided for leaving included better salaries, pursuing business interests, tiredness, health issues and wanting to spend more time with families.
Ms Molebatsi questioned the status of section 35 terminations.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega replied that the law gave the National Commissioner the opportunity to effect section 35 terminations – the only one was actioned from DPCI as requested by the Minister.
The Chairperson questioned the promotion/appointment of four Major Generals.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega asked if she could provide the Committee with a report because each one of the Maj. Generals had different motivating reasons.
The Chairperson was also surprised by the promotions at the lower ranks.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega answered that there were very extenuating circumstances where members performed excellently and were thus recognised for this work through extraordinary promotions and advancements.
The Chairperson asked how this number compared with promotions in previous years.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega indicated that she could provide this comparison.
The Chairperson noted that exceptions were always an issue and it needed to be looked at closely.
Ms Molebatsi noted that for years, the Committee spoke about the top heavy structure of SAPS which also meant heavy salaries –was this being addressed?
Nat. Comm. Phiyega said she had been before the Committee previously detailing how the structure was trimmed – there were now three deputy national commissioners instead of six as there was previously and the structure was well shaped. More could be done going forward but the initial trimming worked well.
Mr Groenewald asked if the demographics could also be included in the appointment/promotion information to be sent to the Committee.
The Chairperson asked if there was sufficient provision for the local government elections next year.
Lt Gen. Schutte responded that SAPS gained significant experience with big events such as sporting world cups and elections and operational planning put in a lot of work. Currently SAPS did not know how many polling stations there would be – there were elections where the number jumped from 18 000 to 22 000. To put down a norm of perhaps three members per shift the day before, the day of the election and even the day after at a hotspot and two members at a non-hotspot, there were no figures as yet from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on the number of polling stations. Based on experience, SAPS will be ready with planning and funds and it had been registered in the current ENE. All the stops will be pulled out because elections were a big event.
Mr Groenewald did not agree because the IEC could provide a fairly accurate number of polling stations and the matter would also fall in the 2016/17 budget.
Lt. Gen. Schutte highlighted that the IEC usually briefed the Department to get confirmation on final figures.
Mr Groenewald noted that at some time, the Committee took a decision to lower the ratio between compensation of employees and operational expenses. What was meant by “capital assets”? Could it be assumed that the ratio between compensation and operational expenses was the same in each programme of the Department? If it differed, in what way did it differ?
Lt. Gen. Schutte could not remember the Committee asking for the ratio to be changed – he noted the ratios changed year on year and it was a norm more than a fixed rule. It was important to keep this ratio in mind to prevent a runaway scenario. Capital assets included sale of transport equipment such as old vehicles, sale of other old machinery on auction and the sale of dogs as a biological asset. The ratios were not common across the programmes as this would not be viable. For example, programme four: crime intelligence, had a very high compensation element because it was so labour intensive.
Mr Groenewald requested a breakdown of this ratio for each programme of the Department.
Lt. Gen. Schutte said this could be done.
The Chairperson noted the significant increase in the expense of legal services in one year – what was the reason for this huge increase? Now that National Treasury deemed TETRA to not be irregular expenditure, what would happened with the issue?
Nat. Comm. Phiyega said this was one of the programmes the Council for Scientific ad Industrial; Research (CSIR) was looking into as to how to move forward but the contract had been terminated. There was also a strategy from TMS which spoke to broad radio communication in SAPS.
The Chairperson requested a copy of the strategy within the next two weeks for the Committee to look at.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega clarified the strategy was evolving and the Department would need time to put it before the Committee.
The Chairperson was concerned the longstanding issue of TETRA was not receiving urgent attention.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega said it was receiving necessary attention but the crucial issue was the radio communication strategy.
Lt. Gen. Schutte, responding to the legal costs, affirmed it had increased from 2013/14 to 2014/15.
The Chairperson wanted to know the reason for the significant increase.
Lt. Gen. Schutte did not have the information currently with him but it could be more legal practitioners for more cases/incidents, it could be a price issue or a combination of the two. He did not want to speculate and would provide the correct answer to the Committee at a later stage.
The Chairperson was concerned because the money could be used for frontline policing or satellite stations where there was current growth in population to provide services to communities i.e. core business. This was why he asked the question.
Lt. Gen. Schutte noted the nature of the business dictated there would be legal cases and civil claims but the key question was at what level of intensity.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega added decisions needed to be made about whether to defend or to leave the claims to flow through. Discussion needed to be had on at which point one settled – these were issues to grapple with.
Mr Mhlongo noted there were syndicates abusing the police and with such cases it was better to investigate as opposed to just settling to be able to get to the bottom of the matter. There were even lawyers preying on the Department of Health and such instances were a reality of nasty political work.
Lt. Gen. J Molefe, Divisional Commissioner: Legal and Policy Services, thought it was best to present the Committee with a more analysed response. Ordinarily, when claims increased or litigation increased, one would see an increase in costs but costs had to be managed and in the main this spoke to quality litigation. For example, with state litigation, there were issues of dependency. The Department was alert to lawyers and employees trying certain things in terms of opportunistic litigation.
Mr Groenewald asked if legal costs incurred by the Minister or Ministry were part of the budget.
Lt. Gen. Schutte answered that the expenditure of the Minister was currently part of that of SAPS in most instances. The Department paid the Minister’s salary and travel for instance as well.
Mr Groenewald was referring specifically to the court case of the Minister relating to the suspension of Anwa Dramat and if those costs were part of the budget.
Lt. Gen. Schutte would have to check on this specific expenditure – his prior response was in general.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega noted there was issues of collusion, corruption, opportunistic claims and negligence issues to be mindful of which needed to be tackled as challenges.
Programme One: Administration
Nat. Comm. Phiyega introduced the programme noting its purpose was to develop policy and manage the Department including administrative support while its strategic objective was to regulate the overall management of the Department and provide centralised support services. The programme was comprised of the following sub-programmes:
1. The Ministry
3. Corporate Services
4. Civilian Secretariat for Police
Lt. Gen. Schutte took the Committee through adjusted estimates and percentage of expenditure per sub-programme noting that Corporate Services included:
• Human Resource Management including:
-Human Resource Development – R1, 7 billion
-Personnel Management R1, 2 billion
• Technology Management Services – R2, 8 billion
• Supply Chain Management – R3, 6 billion of which capital works were R881 million
• Financial Services – R 826, 7 million
• Medical Support – R198, 6 million (Injury on Duty treatment, Health Risk Manager)
• Full amount transferred to Civilian Secretariat (R99 million)
Nat. Comm. Phiyega informed the Committee that the programme achieved 27 of its 37 targets i.e. ten targets were not achieved.
Lt. Gen. Mbekela took the Committee through the particular targets highlighting where targets were not achieved. With human resource management, the following targets were not achieved:
-percentage of service terminations finalised within 60 working days: backlog of applications that dated back to 1995 which required an implementation of turnaround strategy in the environment.
-average time taken to fill vacant funded posts: standards had to be implemented to correct certain practices to stabilise the environment.
The Chairperson asked if the issue of the pension scheme of members leaving the Service had stabilised.
Lt. Gen. Mbekela said it had stabilised – road shows were taken across the country and there was radio communication to further inform members.
Mr Mbhele noted a rosy picture of 98% personnel in the approved establishment was painted at national level while the Committee’s experience on the ground showed the opposite where stations were understaffed. There was something about the management of these figures and response to it at different levels of management which was not working. He requested the percentage of personnel be broken down per level to enable a differentiated picture to truly get an idea of understaffing and overstaffing – the figure as a national one did not mean very much because the experience on the ground was always the opposite. He did not think that initiation of the process to implement IPID recommendations could be counted as a viable indicator – to achieve implementation meant the process was finalised and a sanction had been put into place. He thus strongly disagreed with this indicator and the target and he requested the Committee’s BRRR made a recommendation on how this could be a more meaningful indicator.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega noted the Committee did send the Department back previously to workshop a common understanding on how to deal with the indicator relating to IPID. Perhaps the indicator required sub-indicators to speak to the different points in the process.
Lt. Gen. Mbekela indicated the 98% fixed establishment spoke to the Department in totality in terms of all employees of the organisation. There was detailed information on the numbers per station and where there were gaps. Allocation of recruitment also needed to mindful of this to address gaps in particular stations. Some stations were hit hard by resignations and this also created gaps. There was also a time lag because it took two years to train a policeman. On the IPID indicator, this was discussed in a workshop and the way the indicator was differentiated as per the provisions in the IPID Act.
Mr Mhlongo agreed that it took time to produce people to replace those who resigned but then it should be reported as such to provide hope. The conditions the Committee experienced at the firearms unit was dire.
Ms Molebatsi asked if low morale was part of the reasons for resignation.
Lt. Gen. Mbekela said those who resigned did not indicate low morale but illness or tiredness as a reason for leaving.
Ms Molebatsi said a person would never say they were resigning because of low morale – this would come out of an analysis.
Lt. Gen. Mbekela replied such correlations were not made when the exit interviews were analysed but it was a valid point to look at correlations between high performance and then suddenly exiting the Service.
The Chairperson noted there were many stations which had more members than required while the firearms unit dwindled in terms of staff numbers – was there a national plan for each station in the country for the actual numbers needed and then what surplus there was?
Nat. Comm. Phiyega said the Department needed to look at the StatsSA data and for this to inform planning, how resources were allocated and adjust from there. This was a generic weakness of not only the Department of Police but other departments too. There was work in progress which could be shared with the Committee.
The Chairperson added this was a very important aspect for resources to be linked to growth of demographics and trends.
Lt. Gen. Mbekela indicated work was going into updated station profiles and the communities they served.
Mr Groenewald asked why there was a backlog dating back to 1995 for the percentage of service terminations finalised within 60 working days. He also sought an explanation for the possible discrepancy between the annual report and the presentation on the rate of unscheduled leave (sick leave).
Lt. Gen. Mbekela responded that the backlog related to service terminations which had not been dealt with and some dated back to 1995 – the number was quite voluminous so it could not be left out but had to be dealt with. Some outstanding payments even went back to 1989. In the analysis, some of the people were dismissed and then they did not want to sign the forms. There was now a way to mitigate this and keep the money in a suspense account. Without this, the system would become clogged.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega added that this was one environments requiring turnaround for unpaid service benefits. The environment was being investigated where some members were even fired and arrested – a lot of work was done in this environment and the team was working hard to bring order.
Lt. Gen. Schutte said there could also be a member on incapacity leave where when the leave ceased, the member did not return to work and that person then actually owed the state. There were also these sorts of cases.
Lt. Gen. Mbekela, replying to the question on sick leave, explained this was the average acceptable rate and not the number of employees as such. There was a difference between sick leave and incapacity leave – it was acceptable to take two days without a medical certificate.
Mr Groenewald felt the indicator should then be formulated differently. It also proved the effective monitoring of sick leave and leave taken on Mondays and Fridays did not have any effect. The sick leave also increased from last year and this was a huge problem on cost and personnel numbers – it showed the Police was a sick Department and there was something wrong with this.
Lt. Gen. Mbekela moved on to look at organisational development as a sub-programme.
The Chairperson asked if the Department was satisfied with the current deployment of people at the 123 clusters – had they also gone through management courses? What would the rank be of the deputy station commanders and the skill set?
Nat. Comm. Phiyega answered that at some point the clusters were dumping sites and this would have to be looked into because it was an important monitoring and evaluation structure so the cluster commanders needed to be strong. Those people placed at clusters were an important functional extension of provincial offices.
Lt. Gen. Mbekela added the commanders did go through management training in addition to the station management programme. Some of the commanders went through other programmes such as the public management programme offered by the University of Pretoria (UP). With the deputy station commanders, there were specific competencies to look at hence it took some time to come up with a model. It was also important not to take an umbrella approach when it came to the stations. The Brigadier level was being discussed to give the station commander the leeway to do other functions. The model needed to be ratified and approved before it was implemented but she was sure it would aid in addressing some of the ills at the station.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega said the Belgian government confirmed sponsorship of the training programme offered by UP. It was also important to look at active succession.
The Chairperson asked if there were funds for the deputy station commanders.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega explained it was a phased process to accommodate this role.
Lt. Gen. Schutte added it would not be a separate post per se but only at a marginal cost so it would be more economical. It was a work in progress and the post would not have been introduced if there was no money so it could be foreseen in the macro-sphere while the details still needed to be clarified.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega said the Department could work within its means without compromising the objectives of the organisation.
Lt. Gen. Mbekela then took the Committee through Employee Health and Wellness (EHW) as a sub-programme of administration where all targets were met.
Mr Groenewald did not understand how 5156 employees were debriefed because it meant there were only 5156 crime scenes after which debriefing occurred. The indicator would make more sense if the type of crime scene was defined. He did not think the debriefing was a very good programme especially when it came to psychological services because members had clear problems. He received complaints were members wanted to see psychologists but SAPS would not approve the payment therefore.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega responded that it was in the annual report that the debriefing related to defined incidents of a traumatic nature. Perhaps a guideline was needed to institutionalise the process and ensure everyone was clear on traumatic crime scenes. This could then be used as a ruler to measure optimal implementation.
Mr Groenewald agreed this needed to be defined.
Ms Molebatsi asked who decided which members went for debriefing. She asked this because the Committee would see only one referral for debriefing for some very big stations.
Lt. Gen. Mbekela said it was the responsibility of the commanders to ensure members went for debriefing sessions after every crime scene however members were also resistant to attend debriefing sessions but they were compulsory. It was easier when there was group counselling as opposed to a one-on-one basis.
Ms Molebatsi asked if the debriefing was indeed compulsory, what happened when members did not attend.
Lt. Gen. Mbekela responded that this was part of consequence management.
The Chairperson asked if there was a panel or procurement instruction on deciding which universities were collaborated with. What criteria were used to determine this liaison?
Lt. Gen. Mbekela said there was a tertiary forum for interacting with universities. The matter was one of mutual interest and there was no payment involved.
She then returned to the presentation to discuss legal and policy services as a sub-programme where targets not met included:
- Percentage reduction in new incidents leading to civil claims lodged against the SAPS: inadequate implementation of internal controls of compliance with SAPS SOP’s members contributed to the increase.
Mr Mbhele wanted to know whether an analysis had been done to get to what the causal or contributory factors were to new incidents leading to civil claims lodged against SAPS. He assumed this would occur mainly with VISPOL because this was the programme with the most public interface. Was there a particular province or cluster in a province which was problematic? Were there certain ranks which were particularly problematic? What remedial action was in place to address this?
Nat. Comm. Phiyega said she would be able to share the analysis with the Committee – three years ago, a decision was taken to produce a monthly litigation report to track litigation and analyse the areas and the nature of cases in question. A number of interventions were taken by the provincial commissioners to deal with the issues and there was a lot of awareness and training. Issues also related to collusion, corruption, negligence and behaviour which were analysed to determine how best to intervene and remedy the challenges. It was a work in progress. Reputation and image were also traced as a result of cases which were contained in a PR report.
Lt. Gen. Molefe added the analysis was being done. VISPOL as an environment did play a role and there was a geographical element – more cases were seen in the bigger provinces and Gauteng was leading. The biggest risk was unlawful arrest. Those members patrolling the streets were often in the main low-level rank. The first remedial action was simply having this indicator for oversight along with having it a strategic risk and it being contained in the performance agreements of managers down to station level. The litigation reports also provided information on stations and environments. There was also an effort in the Department to address contradictory elements.
Lt. Gen. Schutte emphasised that the environment was embedded in uncertainty around whether claims needed to be settled, the quantum of what such an amount would be and when the outflow would take place. People often took chances claiming from the police and there were often high value claims which were not always correct. It was reflected anyway to ensure cases were not misrepresented.
Mr Groenewald did not accept the explanation that these were not cases which were not necessarily to be paid out. Why was there inadequacy of implementation controls and what corrective steps were in place? What sections of the DNA Act still needed to be put in operation to take compulsory DNA samples?
Lt. Gen. Mbekela noted that she alluded to the fact that work was continuing around inadequate implementation but there was an investigation in place regarding identifying collusion with lawyers.
She then took the Committee through human resource development as a last sub-programme where all targets were achieved.
Lt Gen. Schutte subsequently discussed supply chain management and facilities management where one of the targets not achieved was the percentage of official SAPS firearms dot peen marked - due to the non- functionality of the Firearm Permit System (FPS), dot peen marking had to be done through a manual process. A total of 4 231 firearms (3 002 new firearms (included two new assault rifles received for testing to replace the R5 assault rifle)) and 1 229 refurbished firearms were received in the fourth quarter which were in the process of being marked through a manual process.
Mr Groenewald noted that almost two years later, he still did not receive an update on the Waymark issue and so he requested an update on it.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega replied that the Waymark contract was terminated.
Lt. Gen. Kruser added the Department would go on quotation for the outstanding firearms.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega stated the Department should find a system for which it owned the IP or it sat with the Department of Science and Technology so that it was always there instead of being used intermittently.
Mr Groenewald wanted to know what the status was of investigations which were supposed to take place for example with the price increases of the contract and allegations of corruption.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega replied that a narrative note was included in the Annual Report on how the matter was dealt with.
Mr Groenewald felt the note did not explain what he wanted to know – how long would this investigation still continue when it was already two years down the line?
Nat. Comm. Phiyega highlighted that (1) it was clear the contract was off and no longer alive, (2) experts would be brought in to determine whether the service providers actually provided 70% of services as they claimed, (3) there would be a gap analysis which was still work in process and (4) he Department would go on quotation business to service the firearms outstanding – this was the progress on the matter.
Mr Groenewald questioned the probability for corruption.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega noted this had not been established yet but it was one of the things being looked into.
Mr Groenewald sought the report on the investigation when it was completed.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega said it could be shared with the Committee when it was completed.
The Chairperson said an updated report was needed on this because it was critical to clean up the firearm environment.
Lt. Gen. Schutte added that one way or another the issue would need to be completed and this was the intention. He then continued going through supply chain management and facilities management highlighting that the following targets were not met:
-percentage of budgeted planned police facility projects completed as per Infrastructure and Capital Assets Plan (Capital works, leases and maintenance) was not achieved.
-percentage of the total devolved facilities projects budget spent by end of the financial year: R28 478 072 not spent due to contractors not meeting their obligations, cancellation of contracts by appointed service providers and service providers not responding.
Mr Groenewald wanted to know what corrective steps were taken to ensure the evidence collection kits did not expire. He commended SAPS on steps taken on firearm losses although the current number was still too high- a police member should not be able to lose his or her firearm. What corrective steps were taken against the members who lost their firearms?
Lt. Gen. Kruser, answering the question on evidence kits, noted orders were now centralised which ensured there was no surplus in stations. This process was monitored at a centralised level to avoid the kits expiring.
Mr Mbhele questioned the vehicle fleet management – in terms of the benchmarks, what was the turnaround time that should happen between a SAPS vehicle being repaired, logged and then having the vehicle returned.
Lt. Gen. Kruser indicated there were various turnaround times for services – for services there was one day turnaround, for repairs a 15 day turnaround and accidents which was 30 days. There was 80% availability per province.
Ms Molebatsi noted the SAPS tow truck in Benoni that was used for personal reasons – the last she heard the member was suspended but what was happening with the matter currently?
Lt. Gen. Kruser responded that the member was suspended and criminally charged and a disciplinary process was underway. He could provide progress on the matter tomorrow because he did not have the information with him currently.
The Chairperson asked what was being done with the RT46 contracts not working. What was going to be done to improve the building environment going forward? With the new armoured vehicle, clear guidelines were needed in terms of time as the nyala situation in all provinces was dire. He was concerned about big events where serious problems would be experienced. On its visit to the Free State, the Committee visited the current building of VIP Protection Services which was totally unacceptable – the lifts had not been working for a year and pregnant SAPS members had to walk up five or six flights of stairs. The general state of the building was unacceptable and movement was urgently needed on it to ensure there was proper accommodation.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega said there were good lessons to pick up from defence on the issue of armoured vehicles – because of the lack of money, there was a special project with the Cuban government to reconfigure dilapidated armoured vehicles. Such interim measures should be explored. Old nyalas could not be replaced all at once and this was where interim measures came into play pragmatically because the new generation nylas were very costly.
The Chairperson said some of the nyalas were remodelled but, as heard in the Free State, they were just not able to function because of age. It was a major issue in terms of public order policing and the Committee needed more assurance in terms of force multipliers.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega reiterated that it would be useful to see what Defence was doing to buy time and stretch limited resources. She believed the Department could learn from this.
Lt. Gen. Kruser added the Service needed to keep 250 nyalas moving all the time – there would have to be a remodelling process because the Department did not have the money to buy 250 nyalas overnight. The remodelling process would keep the existing nyalas on the road while new vehicles were slowly phased in. A pilot project would be run before there was full scale refurbishment. There was a plan in place to look at viable options to keep the nyalas on the road.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega agreed this was the reality of the situation.
On the issue of the Free State accommodation building, Lt. Gen. Schutte said DPW was involved with the standard lease contract and the landlord also had some responsibility. In the meantime, alternative accommodation would be sought. The issue might not be isolated absolutely and it could also occur in other provinces. A workshop was arranged to address a number of issues between DPW and SAPS but the Service was doing everything it could.
Mr Mbhele noted the building had already been assessed and declared unfit for human occupation prior to the finalisation of the contract. Did SAPS have a specific dispute resolution mechanism where DPW could be taken to task for this kind of gross negligence and undermining of members in this way? DPW must effect some kind of redress in the short term while the longer term contract related issues were sorted out.
The Chairperson added it was indicative of police management to sort out the issues.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega said there was a renewed approach to the matter – there was more energy to engage DPW and there were a number of meetings along with the planned workshop to hold the Department accountable. SAPS could not secure its own buildings so it relied on DPW.
Lt. Gen. Kruser, answering the issue of the RT46 contracts, noted these applied to services which SAPS could not do in-house. These contracts assisted the Department with the availability of vehicles but there were serious challenges with the contract - it was designed for normal departments and did not take into account the volume of work of SAPS. In some areas there were not enough companies available to do the outsourced work - there were discussions to look at new companies with Treasury and the Department of Transport. There was also the issue of the pricing but SAPS had reached a point where it was doing more internal work than outsourcing which was positive. Many people underestimated the volume of work coming from the SAPS but it was hoped the issues would be resolved and a report back could be provided to the Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.
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