The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and Civil Secretariat for Police (CSP) briefed the Committee on their performance during the second quarter of the 2017-18 financial year.
The CSP reported it had filled 143 of its 150 vacant posts by the end of the quarter, resulting in a vacancy rate of 4.67% for the organisation. In terms of employment equity, 77 (54%) of the employees were females, while 66 (46%) were males. An anti-crime campaign on gender-based violence and the protection of vulnerable groups had been held with public servants, business and civil society to discuss the gaps in policing that led to the abuse of women and children. The Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill had been submitted to the Office of the Chief State Law Adviser, which had certified that it was constitutional. The technical drafting of the Firearms Control Amendment Bill was complete. 24 national monitoring tool (NMT) oversight visits had been conducted at police stations, which had culminated in the compilation of the police station oversight report. The police station service delivery trend analysis and school safety protocol reports had been compiled and approved.
Members asked about the effectiveness and capacity issues of institutions like the DNA Board and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI). Had there been any consequences for the provincial officials on their failure to adhere to Community Policing Forum (CPF) guidelines? Why had funds been shifted to transfers? Was there any specific reason why capacity building had been undertaken in only two provinces? Why was Limpopo the only province able to pay stipends to the CPFs? It was worrisome to have provinces implementing policies, as there were cases in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) where police were being used to fight narrow political battles. Was the SAPS providing any support on the implementation of policies, and particularly transformation?
IPID reported that its case intake had increased by 45% -- from 1 620 to 2 969 – between the first and second quarters, with same number of personnel, limited resources and dilapidated information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure. Due to limited capacity on statutory requirements, management had established a task team to strengthen internal controls and compliance at provincial offices. It had failed to achieve the target of 60% of decision-ready cases completed from total cases received, and this performance would be closely monitored to ensure attainment of the annual target. IPID still had challenges with the case management system due to the dilapidated ICT infrastructure, delays in obtaining technical reports, and the reprioritisation of cases due to the distances which had to be travelled. There had been 117 departmental convictions in the second quarter.
Members welcomed the efforts by IPID to engage with Treasury to request additional funding, but questioned the level at which the engagements were taking place. Was IPID using other jurisdictions or other entities in the field for assistance in forensic investigations? Referring to the study trip to the United Kingdom, they asked if there had been any engagement with the Northern Ireland police regarding their operational framework. What was IPID’s opinion on the 1 149 convicted criminals within the SAPS, as this issue had not been resolved? The transfer of funds from employee compensation to expenditure on good and services would certainly give the Auditor General (AG) an immediate heart attack. How was the backlog of cases affecting the work and mandate of IPID? How did it feel about the decision of the National Prosecuting Agency (NPA) not to prosecute the former action national police commissioner, Lt Gen Phahlane?
Civil Secretariat for Police (CSP): Second quarter performance
Mr Alvin Rapea, Secretariat: CSP; said the “100 Days Programme” of the Minister of Police was concluded at the beginning of this quarter, which covered the period from July to September 2017. The external audit was finalised by the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA), and the Department received an unqualified audit finding. An implementation strategy had been developed to address the issues raised by the Auditor-General (AG) with regard to the financial and performance information. The Secretariat had filled 143 of its 150 vacant posts by the end of the quarter, resulting in a vacancy rate of 4.67% for the organisation. Regarding employment equity, 77 (53.8%) of the 143 employees currently employed at the Secretariat were females, while 66 (46.2%) were males. The Secretariat had achieved 16 of its 22 targets for the quarter.
Mr Willem Basson, Director: Strategic Planning, CSP, referred to highlights of the Secretariat’s second quarter achievements.
In Programme 1 (Administration), it had submitted its first quarter performance report against predetermined objectives within 30 days after the end of the quarter. It had been able to set up one joint consultative IPID / Secretariat forum meeting held per year in compliance with the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Act. The vacancy rate had been reduced from the targeted 15% to 4.67% following one of AGSA’s findings that there was a lack of capacity in the finance department. Due to the need to address this gap, all vacant posts in finance had been prioritised and filled. The CSP had been able to pay service providers within 30 days. Additional capacity had been allocated to resolving disputed invoices and making regular follow-ups with line managers to certify invoices. It had failed implement 80% of the internal audit recommendations. The priority and major focus had been given to resolving the latest AGSA findings for the period under review.
In Programme 2 (Intersectoral Coordination and Strategic Partnerships), an anti-crime campaign on gender-based violence and the protection of vulnerable groups was held with public servants, business and civil society – non-governmental organisations (NGOs), faith-based organisations, traditional healers, traditional leaders and higher education institutions -- to discuss the gaps in policing that led to the abuse of women and children. There were also izimbizos with the community of Hanover Park in the Western Cape to promote community safety. The CSP had achieved three of the seven targets in Programme 2.
In Programme 3 (Policy Development and Research), the key focus areas for implementation of the White Paper on Policing had been identified, and an environmental scan report was being compiled. The process to develop an implementation framework in order to support and complement the White Paper on Safety and Security was currently under way. The Single Police Service Joint Task Team had held a special sitting in order to develop an action plan for the priority phases of implementation. The Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill had been submitted to the Office of the Chief State Law Adviser and they had certified that it was constitutional and could be further processed to Parliament. The technical drafting of the Firearms Control Amendment Bill was complete. The Bill had been submitted to the Office of the Chief State Law Adviser for preliminary certification. The CSP had achieved both its targets for Programme 3.
In Programme 4 (Civilian Oversight, Monitoring and Evaluation), 24 national monitoring tool (NMT) oversight visits were conducted at police stations, which culminated in the compilation of the police station oversight report. The police station service delivery trend analysis and school safety protocol reports were compiled and approved. All four targets for Programme 4 were achieved.
Mr Hendrik Robbertze, Acting Chief Financial Officer (CFO): CSP, said that at the end of the Second Quarter CSP had spent 41,2% of its allocated budget against the projected spending of 48,2% which was 6% lower than planned. This under-spending of 6% represented an amount of R8.726 million which could mainly be attributed to outstanding invoices for services delivered by SITA to the CSP, as well as the fact that the performance and notch increments for staff had not been paid. A further contributing factor was that although the department had filled 29 posts since April 2017, most of these had been filled only since the second quarter, and the CSP still had seven vacant posts which should be filled by the end of the third quarter. There was a direct link between filled positions and spending on goods and services, and the vacancies had therefore contributed to the under-spending in this area.
The Chairperson asked about the effectiveness and capacity issues of institutions like the DNA Board and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI). The Committee should also be briefed on the three year planning of the CSP, especially on the Protection of Critical Infrastructure Bill.
Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) wanted to know if there were any consequences for the provincial officials on their failure to adhere to Community Policing Forum (CPF) guidelines. What other bills had been submitted by the CSP? It would be important for the Committee to get information as to why funds had been shifted to transfers.
Ms M Mmola (ANC) saida that there seemed to be lack of provincial support for the CPFs that had been established. It was unclear if the CSP would be collaborating with Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on improving the reliability of the community survey. Was there any specific reason why capacity building was undertaken only in two provinces? When could one expect this capacity building to be spread to all the provinces?
Ms L Mabija (ANC) asked as to why there had been no assessment of the functionality of CPFs established nationwide. How many CPFs had been established nationwide? She wanted to know if there was any specific reason why Limpopo had cancelled the provincial capacity building sessions held on crime prevention programmes.
Ms D Kohler Barnard (DA) said that the CSP had spent the whole budget on information technology (IT), but was still blaming SITA. There had been low expenditure on goods and services, and this had been mainly attributed to SITA. What was being done about this issue? How was the CSP aiming to prevent accruals? The Committee was concerned about the lack of implementation of the recommendations by the internal audit committee.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) indicated that in building the capacity of CPFs, there were cases where provincial community safety departments would be paying stipends to CPFs, as this was the case in Limpopo. It would be important to know how Limpopo was the only province able to pay stipends to the CPFs. Had any analysis been done on the payment of stipends? It was noted that there was zero achievement on CPFs, and this was a real concern, as this was a main pillar of safety. Was this failure as a result of a lack of capacity or insufficient willingness to implement CPFs and the involvement of the community?
Mr P Mhlongo (EF) expressed concern that capacity building was taking place in only two provinces instead of being provided to all the provinces. It was worrisome to have provinces implementing their own policies, as there were cases in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) where police were being used to fight narrow political battles. The federal outlook of the provincial secretariat should be brought under the CSP, as one could not allow provinces to operate autonomously. Was there any support that the South African Police Service (SAPS) was providing to the CSP on the implementation of policies, and particularly transformation? There was an indication that SAPS was reluctant to cooperate with the CSP, mainly on transformation. Was there any form of cooperation now?
The Chairperson asked about the evaluation and review of the CSP Act in relation to the allocated budget. Was the CSP giving any advice to the SAPS on budget allocation?
Mr Rapea responded that CSP was ensuring that everything that was being done was in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). The DNA Board did not have administrative capacity in place, but there was now a director working on the administrative side. There was a system that had been put in place, as the DPCI had a new judge, and theCSP was now engaging with the new judge and was going through the orientation phase. There would be clear targets as to how the new judge would be reporting to the CSP as from next year.
The CSP would need additional funding, but there was still uncertainty at the moment about the exact additional budget required. The budget requirement would be announced in the next budgetary cycle. There was a structure in place to deal with national key points from a funding perspective.
There were no provinces that were not adhering to the CPF guidelines, and therefore there were no consequences that had been undertaken. The issue of funding for CPFs was not being addressed in the regulations, and therefore the CSP was still battling to deal with the issue of operational funding.
He said that the training programmes for CPFs were to be centralised and rolled out to all CPFs nationwide. The training programme was supposed to have been completed in this quarter. The training was to be done at the national level then move to the station level. There were 137 Community Service Forums (CSFs), and 17 had been disbanded in Mpumalanga. Limpopo was the only province with a CSF in every municipality. There was lack of political will for the establishment of CSFs, while other municipalities complained about lack of funding. The Limpopo model had been shared with Heads of the Department, but the establishment was dependent on the Members of Executive Committees (MECs) responsible for community safety. Capacity building in CPFs had taken place in both the Free State and Northern Cape. Limpopo had cancelled the provincial capacity building sessions in the crime prevention programme because there had been an insufficient number of people attending the workshop. The new date for the workshop in Limpopo would be announced soon.
Mr Rapea said that CSP did not have the power to amend the Constitution, as it was working under the intergovernmental framework to ensure that there was collaboration between the national and provincial branch.
The Firearms Control Amendment Act had been approved by Cabinet.
There was generally support provided by SAPS, but there were cases where there was a lack of cooperation.
There should be proper implementation of the recommendations by the internal audit committee. There was no capacity in place to do budgetary analysis and look at the priorities of the Minister. The CSP had approached the Development Bank to provide assistance in building capacity. It would need to have this skill in-house.
The CFO responded to the question of funds that were shifted to the transfers. The CSP had had a contingent liability reported in the previous financial year, and this amount was related to a travel agency. The state law advisers had been involved in the whole process. The CSP had had to transfer the funds in anticipation that this matter would be finalised in this financial year. It needed every effort to plan the activities during the second and the third quarters so as to deal with any unforeseen circumstances.
There were cases where some of the activities had not been able to take place during the planned period. This had resulted in the situation where there was an escalation of cost in other quarters. The SITA invoices had damaged the spending of the CSP. It had spent R400 000 for SITA services. A follow up had been done in regard to the issue involving SITA.
The accumulation of accruals could not be avoided, as the payment of invoices was sometimes delayed. The CSP was doing an analysis of the accruals in order to make comparisons with the previous financial years. Most of the accruals were coming from the travelling agencies, and weekly meeting with the travelling agencies were taking place to address this issue.
Mr Rapea said that there was no collaboration with Stats SA on the community survey, but there would be an involvement of Stats SA in the census on the Domestic Violence Act (DVA), as the CSP had never undertaken a similar project before.
Mr Mbhele pointed out that the power of the CSP to get cooperation from the SAPS was not dependent on it being granted by the Minister. The power of the Secretariat was derived from Section 32 of the CSP Act, which compels cooperation from SAPS members with both the national and provincial secretariats. The Secretariat should have the confidence to compel the SAPS to cooperate, as there was no “leeway” in this regard.
Mr Rapae agreed it needed to be emphasised that SAPS was compelled by the Act to collaborate with the CSP. There was a focus on transformation within the SAPS and there was a police committee that had been established to focus specifically on transformation within SAPS.
Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID): Second quarter performance
Mr Robert McBride, Executive Director: IPID, said that the case intake had increased by 45% -- from 1 620 to 2 969 – between the first and second quarters, with same number of personnel, limited resources and dilapidated information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure. The analysis and review of Programme 2 performance targets for 2018/19 was in line with the allocation of resources. Due to limited capacity on statutory requirements -- internal audit, corporate governance, monitoring and evaluation, and integrity strengthening -- management had established a task team to strengthen internal controls and compliance at provincial offices.
Mr Patrick Setshedi, Acting CFO, IPID, reported that that 61% of the budget was allocated for investigations and information management and 34% for administration, while 4% was for compliance monitoring and stakeholder management. IPID had spent 54.1% of the allocated budget in the second quarter. The main cost drivers in Programme 1 included ICT (including annual software licences); travel and accommodation; overhead costs (office accommodation, photocopiers, security and cleaning). The main cost drivers in Programme 2 included travelling and accommodation for investigators, legal costs and the maintenance of crime scene vehicles.
The Department had continued to engage with various relevant stakeholders for intervention and support on the efforts to secure additional funding, and the last information note had been forwarded to the Minister on 26 October 2017. The last trilateral meeting (IPID, SAPS and National Treasury) had been held on 26 October on the progress made regarding the sharing of resources between IPID and SAPS. A commitment had been made by SAPS to continue the engagements with a view to specifics. Reprioritisation of funds had been considered during the current Adjusted Estimates of National Expenditure (AENE) process for the reallocation of funds from the funded vacancies in order to relieve some of the reported pressure areas. Management was having regular bi-weekly Budget Control Committee (BCC) meetings for the monitoring of spending trends, reprioritisations and making recommendations to the Executive Director.
Mr McBride said that IPID had achieved the target of providing strategic training areas undertaken as per IPID’s training plan. There had also been achievement with the training of investigators on specialised services, as per the training plan. IPID had failed to achieve the target of 60% of decision-ready cases completed from the total cases received. The performance in regard to cases completed was to be closely monitored to ensure attainment of the annual target. 23% (690 of 2 969) of cases were completed in the second quarter. IPID had achieved its target of providing legal advice to investigators from the total requests received. There was also achievement of the target on the implementation of the integrated Ccommunication and stakeholder engagement strategy.
Mr Matthew Sesoko, Head: National Investigations, IPID, said that IPID still had challenges with the case management system due to the dilapidated ICT infrastructure, delays with obtaining technical reports and the reprioritisation of cases due to distances to be travelled. These challenges were linked to investigations of deaths in police custody that were decision-ready and investigations of deaths as a result of police action that were decision-ready. There were 117 departmental convictions received in the second quarter. There were 15 dismissals from SAPS, 12 suspensions, five corrective counselling, five fines and one reprimand. There were also 23 verbal warnings, seven final written warnings and 49 written warnings.
Mr McBride concluded that IPID had prioritised enhancements of the Flowcentric case management system and the reprioritisation of resources to ensure that available resources were efficiently utilised. There were continuous trilateral engagements with IPID, National Treasury and SAPS in an effort to source additional funding from SAPS. There would be monitoring of progress of the draft IPID Bill. There would be a comparative analysis for a true assessment of performance targets.
The Chairperson welcomed the efforts by IPID to engage with Treasury in regard to additional funding, but it would be important to understand the level of engagement with the Treasury. In relation to forensic investigations, it was unclear if IPID was using other jurisdictions or other entities in the field for assistance. The Committee should be briefed on the low output of cases in KZN.
Mr Mbhele asked about the difference between positive and negative recommendations. In terms of the study trip in United Kingdom (UK), had there been any engagement with the Northern Ireland police in terms of their operational framework? IPID should share the study trip with the Committee. The Committee should hear the opinion of IPID on the decision by the National Prosecuting Agency (NPA) not to prosecute Lt Gen Phahlane. Was this a rational decision by the NPA? Regarding the dilapidated ICT infrastructure, had IPID sought any private infrastructure sponsorship?
Ms Kohler Barnard said that some of the staff were reportedly not present at various meetings and there were cases where the offices of the IPID investigators and lawyers were being invaded. What were these invasions all about? Who was being investigated by the SAPS? There was a situation where the Minister seemed to be stepping into the operational environment of SAPS. When was IPID expecting to hear back from the Integrity Strengthening Component about the fraudulent closure of cases of people on suspension? The Committee should hear the opinion of IPID on the 1 149 convicted criminals within the SAPS, as this issue had not been resolved. The transfer of funds from employee compensation to expenditure on goods would certainly give the AG an immediate heart attack. In what form was IPID expecting this proposal to be granted?
Ms Mmola asked when IPID was expecting the post of CFO to be filled permanently, as this was a critical post. How was the backlog of cases affecting the work and mandate of IPID? It was unclear as to why a request under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) was not processed within the stipulated timeframe due to the late submission of information. Why was the request late? What steps had been taken to address this issue?
Ms Molebatsi wanted to know about the progress that had been made on the request for funding from Treasury. The Committee should hear about the learnership programme in place.
Mr McBride responded that the International Police Coordinating Centre (IPCC) covered only England and Wales, and therefore Northern Ireland was covered differently. Northern Ireland would indeed be suitable for astudy trip by IPID, as there were similarities in the history of the two countries. However, Northern Ireland was actually looking at South Africa as a model because of level of independence granted to IPID. This meant that IPID had no exceptional model to look up to.
IPID felt that there was a strong case against Lt Gen Phahlane and would therefore be appealing the decision by the NPA.
There were IPID offices that were getting raided in Gauteng, and this had increased after IPID went after the Phahlane case. Phahlane was employing delaying tactics, but IPID was close to finalising the case. It was the SAPS which had raided the IPID offices.
Mr Setshedi said that the engagements with Treasury were at the highest level and good progress was being made, as IPID was also meeting with the Head of Finance. The Executive Director was always present at these meetings. IPID had received a preliminary allocation letter where it was confirmed that additional funds had been allocated. There was a R50 million additional budget allocation for 2018/19 financial year, R53 million for 2019/20 and then R56 million for 2020/2021. IPID was using investigators from the community outreach programmes. The shift of budget had been done in line with Section 75 of the PFMA.
Mr Sesoko said that the training had been provided with the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA). IPID had been engaging with the American Embassy under the mutual assistance programme in respect of the training programme. There had also been an agreement with the United States that IPID would be assisted with crime scene equipment, but the then management -- specifically the acting head of investigations of IPID – had decided that it did not want that equipment from the USA. The new IPID management had tried to negotiate to get the equipment back. However, the new administration under President Trump had pulled the plug on the payment for the equipment.
The meeting was adjourned.
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.