DPSA, Public Service Commission, Centre for Public Innovation Service, National School of Government 2018 quarterly performance; with Minister

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

12 September 2018
Chairperson: Mr J Maswanganyi
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Meeting Summary

The Public Service Commission (PSC), the National School of Government (NSG), the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) and the Department of Public Service and Administration presented their quarterly performance reports to the Portfolio Committee.

The PSC said it had achieved 93.8% of its fourth quarter targets, bringing the full year achievement to 93%. Highlights included maintaining a vacancy rate of 6%, an 85% finalisation of grievance cases, 69% finalisation of public administration investigations, 99.5% referral of National Anti-Corruption Hotline (NACH) cases to government departments, and 100% scrutiny of financial disclosures. There had been no irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred. The Committee asked what measures were being taken to retain people with disabilities, and what was being done about the slow progress in dealing with anti-corruption cases.

The NSG reported it had trained 11 505 learners against a quarterly target of 11 342 in the fourth quarter, and 12 614 learners against a target of 9 212 in the first quarter of 2018/19. Of its total of 229 posts on the approved establishment for Programmes One and Two, 208 posts were filled. It had achieved 21 of its 24 targets (88%). The quarterly revenue generated from training activities between April to June 2018 had amounted to R30.4 million. The Committee asked whether there was a course that focused on ethics and morals, and whether the target on youth training had been met.

The CPSI said 13 of its 15 performance targets had been achieved, and expenditure in Programme 1 had been R300 000 below the budgeted figure of R18.6 million. This had been due to savings in the compensation of employees, with the later than forecast filling of two posts. In Programme 2: Public Sector Innovation, only R14 million of the allocated R15.3 million had been spent. This had mainly been because the projected payment of R600 000 to the Innovation Hub for projects had been stopped. All payments had been made within 4.42 days of receipt of an invoice.

The DPSA focused on its timeous submission of reports to a wide range of recipients, including National Treasury, the Executive Authority, the Department of Performance Management and Evaluation, the Audit and Risk Management Committee, and the Ministry of Public Service and Administration. The Department had engaged with the Public Service Commission in preparation for the consultations on the refined draft strategic framework for the Public Administration Norms and Standards. No payment of invoices had exceeded the 30-day period, no unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure had been incurred, and no irregular expenditure had been identified during the first quarter of the 2018/19 financial year. The Committee asked how many interns had been absorbed after training, and what was done about people who conducted business with the state.

Meeting report

Public Service Commission: Quarterly reports

Dr Dovhani Mamphiswana, Director General (DG): PSC, said the fourth quarter programme performance results reflected a 93.8% achievement of targets. The consolidated unaudited annual performance results for 2017/18 reflected a 93% achievement of planned targets.  The key performance highlights included maintaining a vacancy rate of 6%, an 85% finalisation of grievance cases, 69% finalisation of public administration investigations, 99.5% referral of National Anti-Corruption Hotline (NACH) cases to government departments, and 100% scrutiny of financial disclosures.

Targets not achieved included people with disabilities remaining at 1.8%, and women in senior management service (SMS) positions at 48.9% due to employees exiting the PSC, and slow progress in the closure of NACH cases by departments at 71%.

On expenditure, the final appropriated budget was R248 059, and the expenditure at 31 March 2018 had been R247 385. Additional funding of R4.995 million had been received from the DPSA, thereby increasing the PSC’s baseline transfers. The additional funding had been used to pay all invoices received by the office. The additional funding and cost saving measures that were implemented in the 2017/18 financial year had reduced the budget shortfall of R9.085 million that had been reported against the operational plan.

In the first quarter of the current financial year, the PSC had a total of 19 annual performance plan (APP) targets of which eight were quarterly targets and 11 were annual targets. Of the eight quarterly targets, only four were due in the first quarter and all had been achieved. Quarter one performance showed positive work in progress against all quarterly and annual targets. The remaining two annual targets would be reported in the fourth quarter.

There was no irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred for the fourth quarter of 2017/18 and first quarter of 2018/19.

Discussion

Mr M Ntombela (ANC) asked Dr Mamphiswana to share the creative and sustainable measures that he had taken with regard to the retention of people with disabilities.

Mr S Motau (DA) referred to the 71% of closure of NACH cases by the departments, and asked if the other cases had been finalised.

Ms W Newhoudt-Druchen (ANC) asked what the reason for the slow progress in settling NACH anti-corruption cases was.

PSC’s response

Dr Mamphiswana responded that the PSC ensured that those with disabilities would be absorbed into the Department after a year of training.

On the slow progress with the NACH cases, the Department lacked investigative capacity.

Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, Minister of Public Service and Administration, said that the PSC had to determine the extent of the lack of capacity across the country and had to look into retraining the employees to keep them up to speed with the required skills.

 

National School of Governance (NSG): Quarterly reports

Mr Botshabelo Maja, Acting Principal: NSG, said that in the fourth quarter of the 2017/18 financial year, the NSG had trained 11 505 learners against a quarterly target of 11 342. On APP targets, programme one had achieved six of the seven quarterly targets, and programme two had achieved 11 of the 15 quarterly targets, which represented an overall achievement of 77%. The cumulative revenue generated from training activities to date amounted to R11.6 million.

In the first quarter of the 2018/19, the NSG had trained a total of 12 614 learners against a target of 9 212, which was 37% above target.  21 quarterly APP targets had been achieved from programmes one and two, against a total of 24 (88%). The quarterly revenue generated from training activities between April to June 2018 amounted to R30.4 million.

Quarterly performance non-achievements for programme two included:

  • One training needs analysis was achieved in this quarter, against a target of two;
  • No leadership platforms were held during this quarter, against a target of one;
  • One colloquium event was hosted this quarter, against a target of three; and
  • Training of 592 unemployed youth graduates and interns through the Breaking Barriers to Entry (BB2E) programme against, a target of 700.

The NSG had a total of 229 posts on the approved establishment for programmes one and two, with 208 posts filled and 21 vacant. This represented a vacancy of rate of 9.2% by the end of June 2018.

The NSG continued to strengthen its role continentally and internationally through partnerships, as well as its committed support to the African Management Development Institutes network to ensure continental capacity building. Further, the NSG remained positive and committed towards the achievement of its performance targets, in particular to train more than 48 000 learners this financial year.

Discussion

Mr D Khosa (ANC) said he was worried about the audit report because it was an unqualified report, and this had been because of minor issues that could have been easily dealt with.

Mr Ntombela asked if there was any course that was tailor-made to address moral issues in the public service.

Ms D van der Walt (DA) if the NSG focused on wrongful expenditure, or if it focused on the basics. One should worry about money being wasted first, before anything else.

Ms Newhoudt-Druchen commented that the NSG had not met its target on youth training. Why was that so, and what relationship was there in the Department to ensure that induction occurred?

Ms Z Dubazana (ANC) asked if it was possible for the NSG to make it a priority for any individual who had gone through orientation to get a module on ethics and etiquette before getting admitted.

NSG’s response

Mr Maja responded that the school intended getting a qualified audit report.

On training for morals and ethics, as well as safeguarding money, there were courses that focused on those areas. The school had presented a funding model to the Committee, and Cabinet had approved a list of mandatory courses, including one on ethics which would be introduced in the next financial year. The school would be working with the PSA to move ethics from a level three module to a level one module.

On youth training, the target had been missed because annually the targets had already been achieved. The vacancy rate would keep on reducing.

Minister Dlodlo added that on local government training, the Department had been approached by the Minister of Public Enterprises to train in that sector.

Centre for Public Service Innovation: Qaurterly reports

Ms Thuli Radebe, DG: Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) said during the fourth quarter the organisation had had 15 targets, 13 (87%) of which had been achieved.

On targets not achieved, at least one new pilot project was supposed to be initiated to address service delivery challenges over a multi- year period, but this was not achieved because the CPSI’s partner on the Pharmacy Automation Project, Right to Care, had suspended the project as they were implementing and preparing to launch another project in Alexandra to demonstrate to funders the solution in order to mobilise more funding for the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital project. Another target had been to identify, facilitate and support two CPSI-award winning projects for replication, but this was not achieved. The Mpumalanga tele-radiology link between Mpumalanga and the Gauteng Department of Health had been identified as a project to be replicated, and a project, Charter and Plan, had been developed but could not be initiated due to leadership changes at the Gauteng Department of Health. The project had been handed over to a new person in February 2018, which had affected the implementation plan. Gauteng further intended to merge the project with a larger initiative, contributing to the delay into the new financial year.

The amount received in Programme 1 had been R18.6 million for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, and spending had amounted to R18.3 million.  The variance of R300 000 was due to compensation of employees (CoE), as two posts were filled in only July 2017, and not in April, as original anticipated, resulting in a saving of R294 000.

The amount received in Programme 2: Public Sector Innovation, had amounted to R15.3 million for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.  The spending for the same period had been R14 million. The variance of R1.3 million was due to the projected payment of R600 000 to the Innovation Hub for projects was stopped, information communication technology (ICT) procurement had also been stopped, and projected expenses for S & T had been less than anticipated, due to cost containments.

All payments had been made within 4.42 days of receipt of invoices. 100 payments had been processed from 1 April 2018 to 30 June 2018.

Discussion

Ms Newhoudt-Druchen commented that the model that allowed the CPSI to make payments within five days should be given to other departments.

Department of Public Service and Administration: Quarterly reports

Ms Colette Clark, Deputy DG: Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) said that on programme one for 2017/18, the third quarter interim financial statement had been submitted to National Treasury by 31 January 2018. The third quarter report on the implementation of the 2017/18 APP had been submitted to the Executive Authority, the National Treasury and the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) in January 2018. The third quarter Internal Audit and fourth quarter Risk Management performance reports had been submitted to the Audit and Risk Management Committee in February 2018. The third quarter report on the DPSA’s compliance to internal and external human resources and labour relations policy prescripts and procedures had been submitted to the Executive Committee in January 2018.

For programme three, a report on the average percentage of funded vacant posts on the Personnel Administration System (PERSAL) had been submitted to the MPSA in February 2018. Support and guidance on the implementation of the revised SMS Performance Management and Development System (PMDS) had been provided by conducting capacity building workshops with the selected national and provincial departments in the North West, Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape between February and March 2018. The third quarter report for 2017/18 on the average number of days taken to resolve disciplinary cases by all national and provincial departments had been submitted to the Ministry of Public Service and Administration (MPSA) in March 2018.

For programme six, the report on the implementation of the guideline on mentoring and peer support mechanisms by departments that were supported, had been compiled in March 2018. The report on the departments supported to strengthen their human resources (HR) capacity had been submitted to the Director-General in March 2018. The request to designate further categories of employees to disclose their financial interests was submitted to the MPSA in March 2018.

For the year 2018/19, on targets not achieved on the first quarter for programme two, the Department had engaged with the Public Service Commission in preparation for the consultations on the refined draft of the strategic framework for public administration norms and standards. The purpose of the consultations was to strengthen the refined draft framework.  

For programme five, no consultations had been held, as the institutional structures were not established. However, the Inter-Ministerial Committee had been approved by Cabinet. The Committee would therefore enable the establishment of the National Governing Council that would oversee the implementation of the second-generation review process.

No payment had exceeded the 30-day period, no unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure had been incurred, and no irregular expenditure was identified during the first quarter of the 2018/19 financial year.

Discussion

Ms Newhoudt-Druchen referred to internships and learnerships, and asked how many interns could be absorbed into the departments after training? Was there any way to assist public servants to own houses? What was being done about people who conducted business with the state?

Mr Motau asked if there was a lack of capacity on the part of the DPSA, or on the part of the departments. What was the solution to that?

DPSA’s response

Ms Clark responded that there were instances where legislation indicated that certain Deputy Generals must sit on boards, but generally it was a violation of a particular prescript, and disciplinary measures should be taken.

On the lack of capacity, assistance was needed with capturing.

On assistance for housing, the Department would look at the state’s guarantee provision as collateral.

On internships and learnerships, data would be given later in writing.

The meeting was adjourned.

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