Free State Oversight Report

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

18 October 2017
Chairperson: Ms R Lesoma (ANC) (Acting)
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Meeting Summary

The purpose of this meeting was the adoption of the Free State Oversight report and the consideration of the Public Service Amendment Bill.

Corrections and amendments were made to the oversight report and Members suggested additional amendments. Thereafter, the report was adopted with amendments.

The recommendations on the Bill was adopted, however, the Committee decided to adopt a report on their amendments at a following meeting.

Meeting report

Opening remarks

The Committee started by going through the minutes of the meeting held on 21 June 2017, which was moved for adoption by Ms D van der Walt (DA) and seconded by Ms Z Jongbloed (DA); the minutes of 14 June 2017 which was moved for adoption by Mr M Ntombela  (ANC) and seconded by Ms van der Walt; the minutes of 15 August 2017 which was moved for adoption by Ms Jongbloed and seconded by Mr C Motau (DA) and, finally, the Minutes of 6 September which were moved for adoption by Mr Motau and seconded by Ntombela.

Free State Oversight Report

Chairperson suggested that they go through the document page by page as they were going to adopt the report.

Corrections and Amendments

On page 5, the sentence that read: ‘Despite a professional and capable public service that delivers high quality public service, many of the objectives of the National Development Plan will not be achieved’ was struck out as it had no basis.

Page 6, second paragraph, the phrase which read: ‘Having achieved 92% of the strategic management’, was corrected to read: ‘Having achieved 92% of the pre-determined management outcomes’.

Page 8, third paragraph, the sentence which read: ‘Recruitment and retention feed into the building of a performance culture in organisations’, was replaced with ‘Departments need to ensure that personnel are recruited according to their knowledge, skills and experience. All departments are to have retention strategies.’

Page 9, last paragraph, the sentence which read: ‘This standard covers how Executive Authorities delegate decisions’ was made more specific by specifying the standard as the human resources standards and the executive authority as the Members of the Executive Committee of the Free State.

Page 10, fourth paragraph, sentence which read: ‘Of 12 provincial departments, 58% are performing beyond compliance’ was amended to read: ‘Of the 12 provincial departments, 58% had complied with the requirements’.

Page 12, second paragraph, the sentence which read: ‘However, the Department of Education had not submitted their SDIPs which affect the province in achieving 100 per cent’ was amended to read, ‘However, the Department of Education had not submitted their SDIPs which prevented the province from achieving 100 per cent’.

Page 13, last bullet point, which read: ‘The submission of progress reports against the submitted SDIPs is still a challenge. This attributed to insufficient resources allocations and minimal top management buy-in and support towards SDIP implementation, monitoring and reporting’ was corrected to read, ‘When the office of the Premier organises workshops and conferences on SDIPs junior officer are sent to attend them as senior managers from the departments shun these events’.

Page 14, the sentence which read: ‘The first generation targeted one Thusong Service Centre in each district December 2004’ was corrected to read, ‘The first generation targeted one Thusong Service Centre in each district by December 2004’.

Page 16, paragraph 2, the sentence which read: ‘The Department of Health reported the highest number of grievances with 221 (48%) grievances with 7 (1.5%) grievances’, was judged to be incomplete and the committee secretary was asked to verify the figures and add the missing information.

Page 19, paragraph 1, the sentence which read: ‘Universitas Hospital is the only central hospital provides services to the Free State Community, inclusive of the Northern Cape and Lesotho’ was amended to read, ‘Universitas Hospital is the only central hospital which provides services to the Free State Community, inclusive of the Northern Cape and Lesotho’.

Page 19, paragraph 1, the sentence which read: ‘Patients who arrive and are not referred, they are assessed and then referred to the appropriate level of service within the Department’, was amended to read, ‘Patients who arrive are assessed and then referred to the appropriate level of service within the department’.

Page 19, paragraph 3, in the phrase: ‘There is a high vacancy rate in the hospital’, the word ‘vacancy’ was qualified by the word ‘staff’ so that it read, ‘There is a high staff vacancy rate’ to avoid giving the impression that it was talking about room vacancy.

Page 20, paragraph 2, the phrase which read: ‘On arrival to the Pelonomi Hospital’, was corrected to read, ‘On arrival at the Pelenomi Hospital’.

Page 20, paragraph 2, the sentence which read: ‘The chairperson, Mr Khoza, alluded that the Committee visited the Pelonomi Regional Hospital as per the instruction of the patients at Universitas Hospital’ was corrected to read, ‘The chairperson, Dr Khoza, alluded to the fact that the Committee visited the Pelonomi Regional Hospital upon the request of a patient at the Universitas Hospital’.

Page 20, paragraph 4, the phrase which read: ‘The Committee complaint about the stench smell’ was amended to read, ‘The Committee complained about the stench’.

Page 21, paragraph 4, the sentence that read: ‘The delegate of the Committee was welcomed by the Welkom Local Municipality Head of Department’ was amended to read, ‘The committee was welcomed by the Welkom Local Municipality Head of Department’.

Page 23, paragraph 3, the sentence which read: ‘Appealed to the Committee to intervene in assisting the hospital to provide its core mandate to the citizens’ was amended to read, ‘The ward councillor appealed to the Committee to intervene in assisting the hospital to perform it core mandate to the citizens’.

Page 25, paragraph 2, the sentence which read: ‘Long queues were also contributed by the Lesotho border as they do not use biometric technology to verify passports of travellers who cross the border, was amended to read, ‘Long queues were also contributed by the Lesotho border control as they do not use biometric technology to verify passports of travellers who cross the border’.

Page 28, paragraph 3, the sentence which read: ‘However, the Committee was concerned of certain departments who are partially compliant with the Annual Performance Plans’, was corrected to, ‘However, the Committee was concerned about the departments who are partially compliant with the Annual Performance Plans’.

Page 31, paragraph 6, the phrase that read: ‘Offices of the Premier and the National Public Service Commission’, should have read, ‘Offices of the Premier and the National Public Service Commissioner’.

Page 32, paragraph 1, the sentence, ‘The Department of Health should management should regularly monitor service deliver improvements and develop improvement plans’ was restructured to read, ‘The Department of Health management should regularly monitor service delivery and improve the development plans.

Page 32, paragraph 2, the sentence which read: ‘The Committee proposed establishment an independent Committee comprising of key stakeholders to assess or evaluate performance of the Accounting Officers’ was struck out.

Page 32, Paragraph 3, the sentence that read: ‘Maintenance of hospital buildings and infrastructure development has to be prioritised to avoid dilapidating of buildings’, was struck out as it added no value to the paragraph.

Page 32, Paragraphs 4 and 5 carried similar information and as such one of them was dropped.

Page 33, paragraph 5, the sentence that read: ‘The departments must take disciplinary action against senior managers who failed to submit their financial disclosure’ was corrected to read, ‘The department must take disciplinary action against senior managers who fail to submit their financial disclosure’.

Mr D Ryder (DA) proposed an additional recommendation to those that were already contained in the report on the handling of grievances. He observed that the issue was mentioned in the report but there was no corresponding recommendation. He recalled that only 1.5 % of grievances were handled in a reasonable amount of time according to the report which he said was not acceptable. He advised that handling of grievances should be a focus area in public service and administration. He stated that many grievances were valid and if they were not correctly handled they could affect the output of the staff. He proposed the development of either a policy or process of handling grievances within a reasonable period.

Ms van der Walt building on the point of Mr Ryder called on the committee to look at ways of calling more departments to appear before the Committee as was the case previously. She said the Committee did enough oversight visits during the year and the next step would be to call the departments, particularly the Health Department, as there was a serious lack of frontline line services.

The Chairperson inquired as to whether there was a prescribed time in which HR disciplinary cases should be finalised and the Committee Members said the only provision was that it should be in a reasonable time.

Having completed the task of going through the report, making the necessary adjustments and having proposed further recommendations, the Chairperson proposed for the adoption of the report. The proposal for adoption was moved by Ms Jongbloed who was seconded by Mr Ntombela.

Public Service Commission Amendment Act

The Chairperson reminded Members that the Amendment Bill was earlier tabled before the Committee who decided against adopting it at that time so that they could have more time to study it and it was brought back now for adoption.

She further reminded Members that once the Committee recommended the adoption of the Bill there were other legal processes to follow. The Chairperson moved the motion to recommend the Bill and she was seconded by Mr Khosa. The next step for the Committee was to adopt a report on the amendment which would be on the agenda of their next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned.

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