The Committee received a briefing from the Committee Researcher and Content Adviser before meeting with the Department of Women. They highlighted concerns about the Department performance report especially that DoW met 48.7% of its goals for 2016/17 but they spent 99% of their allocated budget.
In the presentation, the Department reported that they achieved 45% of their planned targets in Quarter 4 and 52% in Quarter 3. With the decrease in performance, the Department held a retreat to address the areas of improvement. The Department spent 98.7% of the allocated budget and underspent by R2.49 million. An explanation was given for the unachieved targets and what corrective action has been undertaken. Of the1725 invoices received during the Fourth Quarter, 308 were outstanding for payment and consequence management has been implemented as a corrective action. The report on interventions made to ensure the economic empowerment of women would be executed in the next quarter. This was based on a Department of Women workshop facilitated by the Economic Development Department (EDD). Achievements included a discussion paper on financial inclusion that was submitted to the Office of the Director General and Executive Authority; the International Women’s Day outreach was initiated; the Monitoring and Evaluation team (M&E) appointed an expert to finalise the M&E framework.
Members expressed their concern at the weak progress of the Department. Members requested that it produce a report within two weeks to address the concerns. Members were concerned with the execution of the dialogues DoW has been holding for women. Do these women come from all over the country? Members asked for clarification on what DoW did about the International Women’s Day Expo. How does DoW plan on following up with the women to ensure they are being helped? Members raised concern about why the M&E framework has not been finalized yet. There was concern with the performance accountability of DoW . They asked what the process is to ensure it is being held accountable for its duties and to clarify about the outstanding invoices.
Key Issues in Preparation for Briefing by Women in the Presidency on Quarter performance
Ms Kashiefa Abrahams, Content Adviser, and Ms Christine Levendale, Parliamentary Researcher, briefed the Committee on their main concerns about the Quarter 4 performance report.
Ms Levendale covered the 2016/17 budget allocation and the expenditure overview. Overall, R196.9 million was allocated to DoW, of which R69.9 million went to the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) and R127 million went to its Operational Budget. As of 31 March 2017, DoW has spent R196.8 million, or 98% of its budget. Excluding the transfer to the CGE and focusing on the operation budget, DoW underspent by R2.4 million. DoW planned for 29 targets to be met over Quarter 4, however DoW only met 13 of these goals, or 44.8%. She emphasized that overall, DoW met 48.7% of its goals from all four quarters, but they spent 99% of their allocated budget. DoW needs to caution their spending in relation to their performance for the upcoming financial year.
Ms Abrahams highlighted some gaps in the Quarter 4 Report:
DoW did improve from its last Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT) score, but the Committee wants to know where DoW can further improve upon.
Of the 13 targets met, 10 of them related to Administration and only three related to DoW ’s core programmes.
The targets achieved were: a paper about financial inclusion, international women’s day, and a dialogue.
The Committee wants to know what the total cost of the 308 outstanding invoices from the fourth quarter, and how the invoices will be dealt with in the upcoming financial year. Why have they so many outstanding invoices.
DoW indicated that the under-spending on goods and services was due to consultations between departments that did not occur and were therefore not paid for. How much is DoW is allocating for consultations since there is such a significant amount of the budget left and what are the consultations being used for?
Internal Control and Risk Management
The Committee invited the chairperson of the Audit and Risk Committee but he was unavailable during the meeting. The Committee will meet with him at a later date.
DoW reported insufficient details on disciplinary cases. Did all officials sign their performance agreements for 2016/17? Which programmes were affected by staff vacancies affect?
How is the irregular expenditure incurred by officials being dealt with?
The 2016/17 Annual Performance Plan (APP) targets were declared SMART by DoW. Why did DoW achieve so few targets if they were all considered SMART?
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)
DoW states they brought in a consultant to M&E to enhance the framework and toolkit. When will the M&E framework be finished? Why did it take 11 months for the M&E to hire a consultant? What is the cost of the consultant? How long will the consultant be there? What are the differences between the M&E system and the framework? DoW notes that the draft report on integrated services for Gender Based Violence (GBV) survivors is a part of monitoring the impact of the Sexual Offences Act. How will this be assessed?
Events and Campaigns
DoW has reported progress in that it has held national dialogues. How is DoW following up on the matters brought up in these dialogues? Slide 34 references an outreach event at the International Women’s Day expo. It was said that 4 000 women were expected to benefit and be empowered at this expo. What was the outcome of this outreach?
Treaty Compliance and Work
The Solemn Declaration Report target was not achieved. Why does one need a framework and indicators? All departments need to be clear on what they need to collect on an annual basis.
Law and Policy Reform
DoW indicated they will be refining the National Gender Policy Framework (NGPF). She commends DoW for this progression. When will the Committee expect an updated policy on the NGPF?
Nine Point Plan
DoW notes that it has aimed to monitor the following: a broader economic plan of government, department operational and spending plans, Operation Phakisa Initiatives, and the status of Women in the Economy Report. On slide 40, DoW notes that an analytical report on socio-economic empowerment of women in the area of the Nine Point Plan was not achieved because of an absence of a data collection matrix. Why did DoW not prepare their research and data collection beforehand?
Financial Inclusion Paper
DoW took a whole year to write a paper that has yet to be published. DoW needs to publish it on their website so that society can see what the department is being funded for.
Discussion Document on Prevention Strategy on IPOA and VWAC
The Department wanted to incorporate the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPOA) and Violence Against Women and Children (VWAC) programmes into the national dialogues programme and it is unclear if this has happened. What are their legs to monitor their prevention strategies?
Ms Abrahams reiterated that only 13 targets were met during the year, but nearly the entire budget was spent. The Department should explain what they had learned from the dialogues that have been held so far.
A committee member asked what the aims of the dialogues were? Did the dialogues take place provincially or nationally? What was presented that the women were empowered by? DoW needs to be more explicit with its report. Is DoW following up with these women to see if they have improved from DoW programmes?
Ms Abrahams replied that International Women’s Day was the only specific programme that was mentioned by DoW . Upon further research she found that the only programmes at NASREC were reported on by Department of Public Works. She wants more details about how DoW helped with the Women’s Day events and how DoW spent their money at these events.
Ms Levendale added that before the Committee looks at finances, they usually have the National Treasury reports to compare with what DoW presents. However, the Treasury reports are not available yet and the current financial information is based solely on what DoW has presented.
[Next MP question inaudible]
Ms P Bhengu (ANC) said that DoW is not moving forward, it is moving backward. If the dialogues are not effective, the Committee needs to come up with a better idea to reach out to women so that they are not wasting money. When they go out into the community, they need to ensure its programmes let the people know they are coming from Department of Women.
Ms M Khawula (EFF) said she had a problem because the members are talking about the women in the dialogues as if the dialogues were the Committee’s programme.
Ms Bhengu said the failure of the Department is the failure of the Committee. The Committee needs to have a strategic workshop so they can deal with the issues they have been discussing. If DoW is not performing well, it is the responsibility of the members of the Committee to do justice for the women of South Africa.
Ms T Standers (DA) asked that since the Committee has just been briefed on what DoW was going to present, could they skip the DoW presentation and use the time to interrogate DoW based on the information they already have.
Ms Khawula said the Department needs to change the way they do things because things are not going well. The Minister is failing the Department and they need to strategize a turnaround strategy.
Ms Bhengu said that instead of inviting the Standing Committee of Public Accounts (SCOPA), the Committee needs to invite the Standing Committee on Appropriations first [inaudible]
The Chairperson said DoW should be given a chance to come in and explain their report. The Committee is now aware of what the report will entail, so they will be able to ask the Department questions.
Briefing by DoW of Women in the Presidency on the Quarter 4 Report
Ms Jenny Schreiner, Director General, opened the presentation which was given by the following officials: Ms Val Mathobela Chief Director: Strategic Management, Ms Mmabatho Ramagoshi, Deputy Director-General: Policy Stakeholder and Knowledge Management, Mr Prince Booi, Acting DDG: Social Transformation and Economic Empowerment. The Minister, Susan Shabangu, had tendered her apologies.
In the presentation, the Department reported that they achieved 45% of their planned targets in Quarter 4 and 52% in Quarter 3. With the decrease in performance, the Department held a retreat to address the areas of improvement. The Department spent 98.7% of the allocated budget and underspent by R2.49 million. An explanation was given for the unachieved targets and what corrective action has been undertaken.
Programme 1: Administration
10/12 targets were achieved in the Quarter 4. An explanation was given for the unachieved targets and what corrective action has been undertaken. Of the1725 invoices received during the Fourth Quarter, 308 were outstanding for payment and consequence management has been implemented as a corrective action.
Programme 2: Social, Political, and Economic participation and Empowerment
1/7 target were achieved. The report on interventions made to ensure the economic empowerment of women would be executed in the next quarter. This was based on a Department of Women workshop facilitated by the Economic Development Department (EDD). Achievements included a discussion paper on financial inclusion that was submitted to the Office of the Director General and Executive Authority.
Programme 3: Policy, Stakeholder and Knowledge Management
2/10 targets were achieved. The report on economic empowerment of women was submitted for approval. The International Women’s Day outreach was initiated. The Monitoring and Evaluation team (M&E) appointed an expert to finalise the M&E framework.
The Chairperson asked for clarification on the size of the delegation on slide 62, which reads 7, but is different in other reports. She asked for a total figure of all issues that have not been dealt with and targets not met.
Ms T Stander (DA) said that it is unacceptable that DoW only met 49% of their projected targets for the year, and that they have taken credit for the outreach to 4 000 women when it should have been credited to Public Works. In a previous report, DoW said that there were challenges to be carried over in the next financial cycle and the reasons behind these challenges were not sufficient. She requested that the current report be consolidated and that it address the Committee’s concerns. The report should be presented to the Committee within the next two weeks for review. She asked what plan is in place to address immediate and non-immediate issues women may raise at the dialogues? DoW ’s report should consist of a plan for a prevention strategy for violence against women, as well as a plan for the future dialogues. She had two financial questions. How was the unspent R2.4 million reallocated? Specifically, where was the money not spent on consultants reallocated?
Ms D Robinson (DA) asked what DoW achieves in their dialogues? How does it choose the women for the dialogues and are they choosing people from all areas of the country? What is the follow up with these women? She asked for clarification on why DoW said they had changed their direction because of executive intervention. What was the intervention? She is concerned DoW is not making any progress since it takes so long to achieve its targets.
Ms M Khawula (EFF) asked why the Committee was not invited to the National Sanitary Dignity Project. She said that communities need to be taught about their rights, and their questions need to be answered, especially in the townships where people do not know about DoW programmes. She asked who the Deputy Minister was. The Committee needs to ask her to communicate that their requests are implemented by the Minister.
Ms Bhengu reminded the Committee that the Ministry does not have a deputy, only a minister. The Committee has raised the issue with the minister several times about the availability of the Department and the minister’s response was not convincing. Ms Bhengu asked for clarification on why programme 2 was not achieved, especially targets 6 and 7. She asked for more specification on why the quarter 4 targets were not met. How long will it take to finalize the M&E framework? What does DoW plan on doing with the rising number of killings of women and children? There is fear all over the country and people are being invaded in their homes at night. She asked what DoW plans to do about this.
Ms M Chueu (ANC) asked why a consultant was hired to complete the M&E framework instead of the M&E Unit in the Department? Government needs to stop hiring consultants and DoW needs to outline what the consultant does and achieve those skills in the following year.
Ms Tseke said that the Quarter 4 report is the reflection of the annual report. She praised DoW for writing the financial inclusion paper but was concerned that it has not been presented to the Committee yet. DoW needs to take another direction do get things accomplished.
Ms Stander asked who takes responsibility for holding people in DoW accountable and how do they go about doing so? Were all the performance plans signed and did they have a review? Will there be performance plans for 2018? Does every person who has decision-making authority have access to these plans? No one can run DoW on their own but it is their responsibility to hold the people in DoW accountable. This needs to be included in the report requested in the next two weeks.
A committee member asked for clarification on what economic workshops DoW provided to women during the Quarter 4 . What measures are in place to ensure that the programmes will achieve their targets?
Ms Chueu asked for an outline on what happened at their International Women’s day expo. What was achieved with the 4 000 women at the expo? How were economic issues outlined for the women at the expo?
Ms Khawula expressed her worry about the unpaid invoices from 2011. She asked how the funds needed to pay these invoices are being allocated? The number of unresolved audit findings should state 21 since there were 21 findings left ‘in progress’. The number of findings resolved should state 14, not 15.
A committee member asked if DoW is going to run the dialogues differently from the CGE and if DoW is going to report on follow up with the women in the dialogues. As a Department, their main focus is profiling the issues raised by the women at the dialogues; therefore they should plan to visit all the provinces. DoW needs to have a plan to assist the women at the dialogues.
Ms Tseke noted that on slide 17, one disciplinary case was finalised and she asked what the outcome was. Was the case on slide 17 different from the case in slide 20? Slide 20 references two disciplinary cases, what was the nature of those cases? In 2015/16, DoW mentioned that there was a pending case; what was the outcome? Slide 48 indicates there were staff who left DoW, which programmes did these staff members leave? She asked who the Special Adviser is and why has the suspension not been resolved yet?
Ms Schreiner responded that DoW appreciates the feedback and they will consolidate their reporting to provide a more integrated report. DoW is not a research department and therefore does not have the capacity to perform research. DoW ensures a research database to serve as a baseline reference for research on women in the economy. She apologized that DoW has not produced a report that specifies the current employment allocation of all current department staff. DoW will produce a plan that includes the organizational and financial structure of DoW . On accountability, every staff member is required to sign a performance agreement. DoW has made improvements to get the agreement signed on time and they have made progress in using the performance management system to hold staff accountable. There is a hierarchical process of how the performance agreements are signed and DoW takes the system very seriously.
Mr Prince Booi, Acting DDG: Social Transformation and Economic Empowerment, replied that the reason the M&E framework is not completed is that DoW must work with a national task team which includes the Departments of Basic Education, Higher Education, Social Development, SSA, and DTI. The process to produce policy takes time, and by the end of June a road map will be presented. On why DoW did not reach its targets even though they were deemed SMART, he explained that DoW had an info session and retreat in which they analyzed the past financial year in order to improve in the current financial year. DoW decided they would give a report, which they have not yet presented, on how they are making progress to meet their targets. They have reflected that they need to plan their resources in their programmes more effectively as well as address capacity constraints. The target for financial inclusion was to develop a draft discussion paper and it was achieved. In the context of developing a framework, the process is to say that the policy on financial inclusion of women has been achieved. The objective of the EDD workshop was to have the EDD assist with monitoring and evaluating how government programmes are engendered in the Nine Point Plan since EDD is the lead department on the Nine Point Plan. They identified four main take aways from the workshop: access by women to incentives, management control- ownership of women empowerment, access by women to property and agrarian, and access to skills by women. DoW took the Nine Point Plan and decided what areas they could emphasize and report on. DoW realizes it cannot do robust monitoring without assistance so that is a way to get the right form of data collected.
Mr Mbazima Shiviti, Acting Chief Financial Officer, agreed that the unresolved total for audit findings should be 21 although the 'in progress' total should still be 21 as the findings are currently being attended to. He agreed that the total resolved findings should be 14 not 15. He said the outstanding invoices from 2011 were from engaging with Public Works. The invoices were received in December when some of the Department took leave. The invoices were paid, but they used the 2016/17 budget.
Ms Stander asked if DoW closed over December and January, if so how was it possible to ensure that people were available to finance and manage DoW ?
Ms Schreiner replied that a skeleton staff remains in place when the majority of DoW takes leave. Over this time, the 2011 invoices were received. DoW had to go through a complex process with Public Works to ensure that the bills were paid.
Ms Chueu asked what prompted Public Works to give the invoices so late? Did DoW investigate to make sure they received all the invoices and there are no more outstanding invoices?
Mr Shiviti replied that they went deeper with Public Works into the accounts. Public Works owed them apologies. There was a pressure and they have hired some consultants to do finance work to assist the CFO.
Ms Khawula asked why they needed a person to come in and assist the CFO with his job.
Ms Schreiner replied that the challenges of the Public Works invoices have been raised with the Committee before. The CFO said the financial consultant was needed to help to do a turnaround strategy. This strategy was necessary to solve the legacy issues. DoW is in a better financial standing now and the CFO has reported that a number of procedures and systems have now been put in place to better the DoW financial situation . The Audit and Risk chairperson will be meeting with the Committee. Therefore she asked the Committee to engage with the chairperson for any further questions on the CFO consultant.
Ms Chueu asked what the internal auditors were doing if DoW hired a consultant to help the CFO. With the little money DoW has, they are spending it on unnecessary skills.
Ms Schreiner said that the Minister explained in their last meeting that they brought the consultant on board to help change DoW’s financial situation. It had to bring in the internal audit capacity because there previously was none, and the current capacity is adding value to its financial work. She clarified that once the CFO left for a new department, they appointed an acting CFO, then hired a consultant to support him in order to ensure that when they appoint a new CFO, the financial situation at DoW would already be improving.
Ms Tseke said that the Committee has a problem with DoW spending its money recklessly. Can DoW get someone from the National Treasury to assist them instead of hiring a consultant?
Ms Schreiner said that since September, DoW has not had a CFO and the money that is allocated to the CFO is going towards the consultant. Therefore, DoW is not taking on any extra costs. She reiterated that the consultant is a great approach to turning around the financial standing of DoW .
Ms Bhengu asked why it was taking so long to get the CFO position filled? Why were there so many internal audit fees?
Ms Schreiner replied that she has explained the CFO position in previous meetings, but continued to reiterate that Mr Shaviti was appointed as the acting CFO and when his contract is over, the new CFO will be appointed. The reason for the audit fees being high was due to internal deficiencies in DoW . They have progressed to reduce these deficiencies, so in return, will reduce these audit fees.
Ms Bhengu said that the members need to be present at the meeting so the members do not repeat and ask the same questions asked at previous meetings. She asked for the behavior to stop. She asked if Ms Schreiner could tell the Minister to finalize the appointment of the CFO in the structure of the DoW plan.
Ms Schreiner replied that she would inform the Minister of the requests; however appointing the new CFO is not a part of the restructuring process.
Mr Shiviti replied that one person had been found not guilty. One person was appointed on contract and a one person had a mutual agreement to resign. The outstanding case was suspended for trial on the 15 June. The pending case has now been resolved. He named the special advisor and said he has resigned (2:43:55).
Ms Mmabatho Ramagoshi, Deputy Director-General: Policy Stakeholder and Knowledge Management, said that Limpopo was the pilot dialogue project. The dialogues were cabinet approved, and a part of IMCB. The meetings to structure the dialogues were held with all of the provincial departments. The dialogues were held in the five districts, but all of the Department was not in attendance at every dialogue. DoW partnered with three other non-governmental groups during the dialogues. The Police Department was there recording problems that women had that could be brought to legal aid. They had health services at the dialogues as well. The DSD were at the dialogues taking reports about cases where the police could not assist the participants. They found an issue of high unemployment at the dialogues so they linked the women with tools such as skill development courses. This week is the first graduation of 25 people from the skills development programme from the dialogues. The business plan presented to the Committee showed that the dialogues are going to happen in all provinces and DoW will share the plans for all of the provinces with the Committee. The planning of International Woman's Day was the collaboration of Public Works. DoW focused on issues of content and showcasing empowerment. Most of the finances came from the province.
She replied in the M&E Unit, there is only one new person in the chief directorate. The difference between the framework and the system of the M&E is that the framework is the monitoring and evaluation and the system is the tools to use the framework. The plan around gender based violence (GBV) is linked to the dialogue. Through their partnerships in the dialogues, those are the providers to help in GBV. Unfortunately, it is outside the scope to help people who are invaded in their houses, which is criminality.
Ms Schreiner added that they need to have a strong communication strategy to profile what services are available for GBV. From the police side, DoW needs to look at its strategy to prevent violent crime. Any money that is not spent at the end of the year is reverted to Treasury unless DoW requests a roll over. DoW will ensure all of the documentation requested will be provided.
The Chair asked the DG if she has managed to work with other Directors General on women’s issues.
Ms Schreiner replied that they do communicate with the other DGs. The communication stretches the Department to raise women’s issues with other Departments. Specifically, they communicate with the Department of Higher Education about sexual violence from their dialogues to incorporate solutions to the problems at higher education institutions. The issues of women are not the responsibility of a single department, but the responsibly of everybody. Cabinet is ensuring that every DG has money and programmes to specifically promote the Department of Woman.
The Chair thanked the Department.
The meeting was adjourned.