The South African Police Service reported an irregular expenditure of R968 million for the audit outcome of the 2017/18 financial period. The South African Police Service (SAPS) received a qualified audit opinion. The annual financial statements were qualified on irregular expenditure and immovable tangible capital assets. SAPS did not include certain of the required information on irregular expenditure in the annual financial statements as required by the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Payments made in contravention of the supply chain management requirements were not adequately and completely disclosed. This resulted in irregular expenditure being understated by R968 million. In addition, SAPS did not evaluate the audit population for similar instances of non-compliance. Consequently, the AGSA was unable to determine the full extent of the irregular expenditure as it was impractical to do so due to management not re-visiting the population to quantify the extent of the irregular expenditure.
SAPS also indicated that the AGSA was unable to obtain sufficient and appropriate audit evidence to substantiate that some fixed structures within immovable tangible capital assets were completely disclosed in the annual financial statements. The processes that produced the Asset Register were not reliable. The Department admitted its system of internal controls in respect of its procurement processes, though adequately designed, was not effective to prevent and detect instances of non-compliance with supply chain management prescripts. This resulted in significant irregular and fruitless expenditure being identified by the internal and the external audit. Findings raised by the auditors indicated that ineffective contract management posed a significant risk to the Department.
SAPS further pointed out that it experienced a continued change in top management over the past two years. This was especially the case with the position of the National Commissioner who was also the accounting officer. This situation also led to the restructuring of other top management positions. The absence of the Chief Financial Officer due to internal processes had a definite impact on the preparation for the year-end financial statements and the finalisation of the audit process. This led to ineffective monitoring of the implementation of action plans to address identified internal control deficiencies. These constant changes resulted in consequence management not being fully implemented.
The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) reported that the status of the audit action plans has remained unchanged. There were slight improvements on the usefulness of performance indicators and targets. The AGSA reported slight improvements on basic financial and performance management controls and overall controls. There has been a slight regress on compliance with consequence management while investigations into SCM (Supply Chain Management) findings reported in the previous years have remained unchanged.
The AGSA indicated the lack of accountability by personnel resulted in slow response to the findings and actions were not taken against transgressors. The instability in key positions also posed a significant challenge in the operations of the DoP (Department of Police). The Department did not ensure that proper controls were in place to monitor progress made on investigations to ensure they were completed in a timely manner and to effect action where it was required. The AG pointed out the national roadshows presented by management to present action plans and implementation of action plans did not yield the desired outcome.
The SAPS Audit Committee briefed the Committee about its way forward plans in response to the AG's report which indicated the level of success in preventing repeat findings was not achieved. The AG attributed this to the fact that the Department did not perform a proper analysis of the underlying cause that led to the internal and external finding, and that there were no follow-ups to monitor adherence to the action plans.
Members asked AGSA if there were any movements in the action plans seeing that the Department was seven months into the financial year; asked if the AG has seen the organogram of SAPS; wanted to know if the AG has taken any proactive steps against SAPS for not taking action against committed wrongs; wanted to find out if the listed buildings were part of SAPS because the Department of Public Works has got a history of losing buildings; asked if there were recovery plans in place to ensure transgressions were punished on contracts extended without Treasury approval; and wanted to know if the R968m irregular expenditure was an extrapolation.
The SAPS Audit Committee was asked how management was going to ensure the turnaround time was going to change from 19 days; members remarked they have not heard of people implicated in corruption being charged and jailed when an audit has been done; wanted to establish what could be done to ensure when recommendations were done, actions were taken; and asked if the audit committee has got powers to ensure recommendations were implemented to solve the problems.
Members further wanted to know from SAPS Management what the Section Commanders were doing with police involved in corruption; what the status was regarding investigations on SCM corrupt activities and grants for the families of police persons who died while on duty; what interventions were in place to ensure accuracy in performance management because it remained a big concern; what actions were taken against SAPS members who lost their firearms due to negligence; the areas in which the interns were placed and the amount of money spent on them seeing that the number of internships was increasing; and if the increase in the number of reported cases was a bad or good thing.
Briefing by the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA)
Ms Mmule Thipe, Senior Manager, AGSA, took the Committee through the 2017/18 audit outcomes. She reported that the status of the audit action plans has remained unchanged. There were slight improvements on the usefulness of performance indicators and targets. She reported slight improvements in basic financial and performance management controls and overall controls. There has been a slight regress on compliance with consequence management while investigations into SCM (Supply Change Management) findings reported in the previous years have remained unchanged.
Ms Thipe stated that there has been a regression in the audit outcomes for the year under review. The preparation of financial statements has remained a concern as material adjustments were affected to annual financial statements submitted for audit at the Percentage of Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and material uncorrected misstatements for the DoP. There was inadequate monitoring and interpretation of compliance with SCM prescripts and this has resulted in some fruitless, wasteful and irregular expenditure. Although internal controls detected irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, the internal controls had not matured yet to prevent it. The management implemented some recommendations made by the DPME (Department of Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation) and AGSA interim audits on the APPs by crafting clearer and unambiguous indicators and targets that conformed to the smart principles.
She also identified key matters for attention. She reported that the status of the audit action plans has remained unchanged. There were slight improvements in the usefulness of performance indicators and targets. She reported slight improvements in basic financial and performance management controls and overall controls. There has been a slight regression in regard to compliance with consequence management while investigations into SCM findings reported in the previous years have remained unchanged. Poor performance information has not changed with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSiRA), IPID and DoP and they were still having material misstatements. This was due to non-adherence to formalised policies and procedures, inadequate monitoring or review of use access profiles on the key financial systems. The control environment for detection and prevention of fraud was weak. Investigations have been on-going for too long without finalisation. This indicated a lack of consequence management.
Regarding the financial health of the Department, she indicated that material uncertainty existed as to whether 25% of the auditees could continue to operate in future. It was indicated that the management should enhance timely remedial action to improve the revenue management at the PSiRA and focus, particularly, on the debt collection period and austerity measures. The entity had a high debt collection period of 120 days before impairment.
The Department achieved an accrual adjusted surplus of R184m during the year ended 31 March 2018 and, as of that date, the Department's accruals adjusted net current liability was R397 million. These unfavourable financial health indicators might cast doubt on the Department's ability to undertake its objectives where the vote has been depleted and required proper management of its budgetary controls.
Ms Thipe further reported that there were potential fruitless and wasteful expenditures which were not identified and disclosed in the annual financial statements. Expenditure was related to interest payments and incorrect payments. Contract extensions were not justifiable and exceeded 15% of original contracts without approval by National Treasury at SAPS. There were irregularities on contracts awarded to suppliers. Awards were made to suppliers which did not meet the requirements. Competitive bidding processes were not followed for the procurement of goods and services above R500 000. The audit report could not quantify the full extent of the irregular expenditure amount.
She indicated that the lack of accountability by personnel resulted in slow responses to the findings and actions were not taken against transgressors. The instability in key positions also posed a significant challenge in the operations of the DoP. The Department did not ensure that proper controls were in place to monitor progress made on investigations to ensure they were completed in a timely manner and to effect action where it was required. She pointed out that the national roadshows presented by management to present action plans and implementation of action plans did not yield the desired outcome.
It was recommended that the Committee should request management to provide quarterly feedback on the progress of implementation of the action plans to address poor audit outcomes. It was also recommended that the Committee must request quarterly feedbacks on improvement plans related to financial health; status of the investigations and actions taken against transgressors for non-compliance; and progress on the network assets verification project.
Briefing by South African Police Services (SAPS) Audit Committee
Mr Wally van Heerden, Chairperson of SAPS Audit Committee, briefed the Committee about the way forward plans in response to the Auditor General’s (AG's) report which indicated the level of success not achieved in preventing repeat findings. The AG attributed this to the fact that the Department did not perform a proper analysis of the underlying cause that led to the internal and external finding; and that there were no follow-ups to monitor adherence to the action plans.
Mr van Heerden pointed out that there was a need for the appointment of full time members for the Audit Steering Committees at an appropriate executive level and to finalise the appointment of their contracts. The Department would request the National Treasury to allocate a representative to the Audit Committee. The disciplinary hearing of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) would be finalised as soon as possible in order to bring about stability as far as financial internal control was concerned. He said the Audit committee was awaiting final internal audit reports on contract management and procurement. The Department would finalise the orientation workshop as agreed to between the AGSA and the Accounting Officer. This was scheduled to take place before the start of the 2018/2019 financial year audit, and the Department would arrange a follow up meeting with National Treasury in order to agree on the way forward on current term contracts based on special operational needs of SAPS.
The Department would also table a status report on the Network Assets project which was supposed to have been completed by 30 September 2018. This should include feedback on the countrywide physical verification and update of the Action Request Service by the Sizwe IT Group.
The Annual Financial Statements and appropriate schedules would be tabled regularly with the audit committee in addition to current management reports, and it would monitor the implementation of the Performance Management and Development System (consequence management) as required by the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA Circular 15 of 2017) implementation date of 1 April 2018. The leadership of risk management would be capacitated with adequate resources; and an independent review of high level contracts prior to approval would be recommended.
Briefing on SAPS Annual Financial Statements
Major-General S Nelson, SAPS Acting Divisional Commissioner for Financial and Administration Services, reported that the SAPS' 2017/2018 Annual Financial Statements were qualified on irregular expenditure and immovable tangible capital assets (network and hosting assets). SAPS did not include certain of the required information on irregular expenditure in the annual financial statements as required by Section 40(3)(i) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Payments made in contravention of the supply chain management requirements were not adequately and completely disclosed. This resulted in irregular expenditure being understated by R968 million (2016-17: R284 million). In addition, the SAPS did not evaluate the audit population for similar instances of non-compliance. Consequently, the AGSA was unable to determine the full extent of the irregular expenditure as it was impractical to do so due to management not re-visiting the population to quantify the extent of the irregular expenditure.R968m was reported by the AGSA as irregular expenditure, having been understated in Note 24 in the 2017/2018 annual financial statements. The AGSA finding stated that the information contained in the primary note on irregular expenditure was understated by the full R968m, hence the qualification. SAPS treated these expenditures as possible irregular expenditure. Due to the fact that SAPS and the AGSA could not reach an agreement on the interpretation of Treasury Guidelines pertaining to irregular expenditure, a meeting took place between the National Treasury, SAPS, SAPS Audit Committee and AGSA on 6 September 2018 to obtain clarity on the National Treasury Instruction Note on Enhancing Compliance Monitoring and Improving Transparency and Accountability in Supply Chain Management, and National Treasury practice Note 4 of 2008/2009 on Relevant Authority that was empowered to condone irregular expenditure.
The AGSA was unable to obtain sufficient and appropriate audit evidence to substantiate the other fixed structures within immovable tangible capital assets that were completely disclosed to the annual financial statements. The processes that produced the Asset Register were not reliable. Furthermore, the process of compiling the Asset Register with items which related to the current year was still ongoing at the date of the AGSA’s report. Hence, the AGSA was unable to confirm the completeness of these assets by alternative means. Consequently, the AGSA was unable to determine whether any adjustments were necessary to the immovable tangible assets, stated at R3,232 billion (2017/2016: R3,116 billion) in Note 31 to the annual financial statement.
SAPS disclosed Immovable Tangible Capital Assets (other fixed structures) as detailed in the Asset Register: Hosting and Network Assets on 31 May 2018 to the value of R1,7 billion. An Asset Register, Asset Verification Project Plan, Asset Verification Process document and Framework for Disclosure of Tangible Assets were submitted to the AGSA for audit. Irrespective of the efforts and progress made by the SAPS and the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) since the 2017 Audit, the AGSA was of the view that the register reflecting network and hosting assets transferred to the SITA on inception in 2001 were assets procured by the SITA directly but were not completely disclosed.
Major-General Nelson also reported that the performance management system in its current form did not provide sufficient assurance as to the accuracy and completeness of performance information and has remained a concern. Furthermore, consequence management needed to be taken to the next level in order to ensure accountability. The management has embarked on an extensive exercise to install a culture of ownership at all levels, and the Audit Committee would follow the progress through regular interaction with the division responsible for oversight and monitoring.
More work has been done on the development of the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Strategy, approval of the risk management policy, implementation of the annual ERM plan in order to get risk management processes within SAPS to be at a level that would set risk management at the right standing within the organisation. However, there were still a number of critical issues that still required the attention and concerted effort from management, particularly the capacity building in terms of human resource and infrastructure within ERM environment and Enterprise Risk Management Committee members at national and provincial level; and the attendance of risk management committee meetings by the senior management and Composition of the Enterprise Risk Management Committee to ensure compliance with requirements of King IV and other best practices.
Major-General Nelson admitted that the Department’s system of internal controls in respect of its procurement processes, though adequately designed, was not effective to prevent and detect instances of non-compliance with supply chain management prescripts. This resulted in significant irregular and fruitless expenditure being identified by internal and external audit. Findings raised by the auditors indicated that ineffective contract management posed a significant risk to the Department.
The Audit Committee was concerned that, despite the efforts of the management issues reported by the external audit and the internal audit in prior years, nothing has been fully and satisfactorily addressed. This resulted in assets being one of the items that were qualified by the external auditor. The management has, however, provided assurance that effective corrective action would be implemented in respect of all internal control weaknesses, and the Audit Committee would continue to monitor these going forward.
The Department also experienced a continued change in top management over the past two years. This was especially the case with the position of the National Commissioner who was also the accounting officer. This situation also led to the restructuring of other top management positions. The absence of the Chief Financial Officer due to internal processes had a definite impact on the preparation for the year-end financial statements and finalisation of the audit process. The management was the key component of internal control and governance. The accounting officer position has changed thrice in SAPS during the period under review. The change of accounting officers also had an effect on top management as this would change as well. This would also impact on the institutional memory. This led to ineffective monitoring of the implementation of action plans to address identified internal control deficiencies. These constant changes resulted in consequence management not being fully implemented.
Major-General Nelson further took the Committee through the performance of the administration and visible policing programmes of the Department.
Programme 1: Administration
The underspending of 0,73% was due to decreased spending on the implementation of the Criminal Justice System 7 Point Plan; Capital Works building projects could not utilise available funding; and the shifting of funding from perceived under-performing projects to compensation of employees. The budget reductions on compensation of employees, higher than planned cost of living increases and the housing rental allowance extended to members occupying official state accommodation contributed to the compensation pressures.
All entry-level trainees and Public Service Act posts were filled as planned. A total number of 348 members were re-enlisted. A total of 77 843 learners attended training and 76 962 were declared competent upon completion of their training. 1 761 out of 1 937 disciplinary cases were finalised within 60 days. A total of 134 cases were still pending. Workshops were conducted with disciplinary officials.A turnaround strategy has been introduced to fast-track project implementation. There has been an improvement in requisite resources. Sufficient vehicles were available for the number of personnel in the SAPS. 88% of identified ICT infrastructure sites were modernised, implemented, and maintained. 83% of prioritised IS Solutions were developed, implemented, and maintained within the SAPS. There was a continuous performance monitoring and evaluation mechanism. 1 539 271 from a total of 1 543 569 invoices were paid within 30 days. 100% vacant funded posts were filled within 6 months. A total of 141 posts were pending within six months from the date of advertisement. A total number of 114 389 from a total of 119 424 operational personnel were declared competent. 1 009 internships were undertaken.
The management has agreed to sensitise all relevant senior managers of the imperatives of the IPID Act, 2011 (Act No1 of 2011). Expectations and performance shortcomings would be communicated. Provincial and divisional human resources management practitioners would be visited to conduct inspections. A portion of the posts allocated for new appointments were dedicated to people with disabilities. SAPS senior management service personnel were being sensitised and made aware of the disability challenge on an ongoing basis during visits to business units and at top management meetings, forums, and performance review sessions.
Programme 2: Visible Policing
The net underspending was a result of lower spending on goods and services.
National Treasury’s approval was obtained to shift funding from under-performing projects to compensation of employees. Budget reductions in the compensation of employees, higher than planned cost of living increases and housing rental allowances were extended to members occupying official state accommodation. Underspending was marginal i.e. 0,35%.Reported serious crime decreased by 4,3% during 2017/18 period. Operation Fiela Reclaim II was launched to address problematic crimes and to enhance and intensify crime prevention operations. Reported contact crime decreased by 1,1% during 2017/18. Reported crimes against women increased by 2,7% during 2017/18. Increased targeted awareness campaigns and other interventions resulted in an increase in reported crime.
Reported crimes for unlawful possession and dealing in drugs increased by 10,5% during 2017/18. Despite the fact that the target was not achieved, there was an increase in the number of crimes detected as a result of police actions in drug hotspot areas. 27 747 vehicles were recovered including 22 093 identified vehicles, 5 499 unidentified vehicles and 155 vehicles were recovered during cross-border operations. The repatriation of stolen/robbed vehicles recovered from other countries was complicated by inadequate international cooperation and coordination, and different legislative prescripts.
A total of 88 community outreach campaigns were conducted (24 national and 64 provincial). The School Safety Programme was implemented at 1 249 identified schools.
Deliberations with AGSA
The Chairperson wanted to understand if there were any movements in the action plans seeing that the Department was seven months into the financial year. He also asked if the AG has seen the organogram of the SAPS.
Ms Thipe stated that the AG has not had enough time to go through the organogram, but has pointed out that there were senior positions that have not been filled by SAPS. She further indicated that from the financial point of view, there would be progress especially if the management was committed to consequence management and implementation of internal control recommendations.
Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) asked what the final amount was on irregular expenditure that has been condoned. She wanted to know if the AG has taken any proactive steps against SAPS for not taking action against committed wrongs. She further wanted to find out if the listed buildings were part of SAPS because the Department of Public Works had a history of losing buildings.
Ms Thipe explained they were not in a position to disclose the full irregular expenditure because they had disagreements with the Department, and National Treasury had to intervene. She stated they were auditing on a sample basis, not on everything. That was why they could not give the full amount of irregular expenditure. She pointed out further that they did not take any proactive steps against SAPS for wrongs committed because when they did their audit they looked at compliance with regulations with regard to supply chain management, audited the contract against the National Treasury prescripts, and reported on that. So, it was the duty of the management to investigate any finding that the AG had indicated and identified who was accountable for that. She also stated that the audit report was referring to the movable financial assets, not buildings because they had not been reported on in the past financial years.
Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) indicated that the most common finding was on contracts extended without Treasury approval. He asked if there were recovery plans in place to ensure transgressions were punished. He further remarked that roadshows were becoming talkshows that were not going to come up with fast turnarounds, and the state was failing to discharge its utmost best.
Ms Thipe stated that the AG has noted that the Department was not interpreting the Treasury regulations correctly.Mr P Groenewald (FF+) commented that differences in the interpretation of certain definitions should be left for the Business Responsibility Report (BRR) Report so that the Committee could have an input from the AG and SAPS on agreed correct definitions.
Mr J Maake (ANC) asked if there were mechanisms in place when the Department disputed the findings of the AG. He also wanted to understand why the AG report had green-flagged the Committee. He further stated that he did not understand why the Internal Audit Committee was green-flagged while there were findings which should be blamed for it.
Ms Thipe stated that parties do not disagree for the sake of disagreeing. She said if the Department was disagreeing with the AG, it would need to submit information to prove the AG wrong. The AG would then agree with the Department if there was satisfactory evidence. For example, if three quotations were requested, the AG would look at the suppliers' submissions. If two quotes were received, the AG would try to find out the reasons why the third quote was not obtained. She further indicated that the Portfolio Committee on Transport was evaluated on how it held the management accountable quarterly. She also explained that the internal audit committee was looking at findings internally in the Department and then made recommendations to the management. She stated that there was a great improvement compared to previous years. The recommendations were there but were not implemented. The AG obtained the project plan for the assets, and it discovered the Department was behind schedule by a month. The internal audit committee did not have enough time to look at the asset registers before the AG got information statements. The management needed only to implement recommendations from the internal audit committee.
The Chairperson asked the AG about its experience in the number of days it took to get information from the Department because findings on supply chain were worrying. She asked if there was any person responsible for the Integrated Criminal Justice Strategy (ICJS).
Ms Thipe indicated the normal agreed upon the time for obtaining information was two days, but with SAPS it averaged 19 days. She also said the AG was not able to give a full answer about the person responsible for ICJS. It was SAPS management that could provide an explanation.
Ms Kohler-Barnard wanted to know if the R968m irregular expenditure was an extrapolation.
Ms Thipe stated that they did not extrapolate irregular expenditure. A sum of that amount had to do with suppliers.
Mr Mhlongo commented that the Portfolio Committee on Police was the only Committee that was meeting more regularly than most Committees. The AG was supposed to raise have raised the red flags and state what the problem was. The Committee needed to get information from the state organ about the information so that the Committee could hold the management to account.
The Chairperson remarked that a lot of irregular expenditure was historical and dated back to previous financial years.
Ms Thipe informed the Committee that 102 contracts were tested out of 500 000 on quotes that were under R500 000. 20 contracts out of 62 were identified as problematic.
Ms Kohler-Barnard asked if the AG was expecting the Department's management to investigate these 20 problematic suppliers.
Ms Thipe indicated that there were various issues that have been identified. The AG discovered that some quotations were not justifiable in many cases, and the Department had gotten one quotation instead of the required three in many instances.
Mr Maake asked if the suppliers were vetted.
Ms Thipe said the vetting of suppliers was the scope of the Department's supply chain management, not of the AG.
The Chairperson asked the AG to comment on the current efficiencies and performance management, and he indicated that the presentation has pointed out that management was not monitoring the lower levels. The blame has to go to management, and he asked how serious this problem was.
Ms Thipe explained that performance had to ensure that everyone was held accountable in what they were supposed to be doing to ensure there were improvements. Monitoring at lower levels would ensure that consequence management was playing a role in ensuring that people were doing their work.
Mr Mhlongo wanted to understand how the Committee was going to know if the new structure was going to be able to close the leaks identified by the AG if the AG was not called to see the new structure.
Ms Thipe said the AG would not be able to prescribe how things should be done, but could only advise in terms of prescripts.
Mr Maake asked if there were internal mechanisms in place to deal with these problems, or if this was within the scope of the AG.
Ms Thipe stated that the internal audit committee and management had roles to play to ensure the recommendations of the internal audit committee were implemented by management. She further noted that management should hold the ones at lower level accountable. They needed to know the internal controls. The system needed a thorough review. Action plans needed to be escalated downwards to those responsible at lower level. She indicated that the reports should have gone through all the required levels, including the Portfolio Committee to ensure that the documents produced by the AG were accurate.
Deliberations with SAPS Audit Committee
The Chairperson asked who was going to head the steering audit committees seeing that SAPS was in constant communication with the AG. He wanted to know how management was going to ensure the turnaround time was going to change from 19 days.
Mr van Heerden stated that they had four steering audit committees that met yearly. Three committees were tracking to see if things were in order. The audit committees were headed by exco members and their meetings were also attended by the exco members. These committees were headed by high level people and management, and sectional commanders were always called to account. Two committees for accounting and performance would be appointed soon. He further indicated that findings were followed up in time, and he noted that there were situations where it was impossible to send information within three days to the AG, especially information that was going to be gotten from provinces. He asked the AG to be lenient and to grant enough time for providing information. The workshop was going to be held with the AG who would then provide some information on why it took time to send documentation to the AG. He stated they usually made follow-ups on action plans and that some findings needed a root cause analysis.
Ms Kohler-Barnard commented that the audit committees did not seem to talk to each other. The clarification of roles was not there in terms of actual mandates. She also remarked she has not heard of people implicated in corruption being charged and jailed when an audit has been done.
Mr van Heerden stated they try to track the cases, but the labour laws sometimes do not make it easier to follow up on these cases.
Mr Maake asked who the recommendations were recommended to.
Mr van Heerden said the recommendations were always given to the management and it was the duty of the audit committee to follow up with management after consulting with the AG.Mr Groenewald commented that recommendations to improve internal controls were not something new and real improvements were not seen. He wanted to establish what could be done to ensure that when recommendations were made, actions were taken.
Mr van Heerden explained that it was the accounting authority that was responsible for ensuring recommendations were implemented. He noted they usually accept the findings of the AG and was always in constant communication with it to ensure the findings were corrected.
Mr Groenewald asked if the audit committee has got powers to ensure recommendations were implemented to solve the problems.
Mr van Heerden elaborated that the audit committee was established in terms of the PFMA and had direct access to the accounting authority. He, however, noted that they have observed that there was a tendency to undermine it even though it did make follow-ups on what it recommended.
Deliberations on SAPS Annual Financial Statements
The Chairperson remarked that if one could evaluate the progress in terms of the audit outcome, there were calls that SAPS should move to an unqualified opinion. What was needed was a commitment between the Department and the AG about the rules of the game. He asked who the programme manager of the ICJS was. He also asked the Department to assure the Committee that the SCM would be allocating enough resources to do its work. He further wanted to know what the Section Commanders were doing with police who were involved in corruption.
General K Sitole, National Police Commissioner, explained that from the point of view of an accounting officer the report involved all the accounting structures attached to the accounting function. The process of closing gaps has begun. He stated they have started interactions with Treasury on their operations and exemptions, but when it came to the AG, they have availed the exempted undertaking discussed with National Treasury. Regarding the ICJS, he reported that SAPS was supposed to have a project registrar and project manager. Currently, there was a major general appointed to the project registrar position and who was assigned to the ICJS. He further indicated that they had challenges with regard to procurement. There was no central control unit. With the new structure, the SCM and finance would be under the CFO portfolio.
Ms Molebatsi asked what the status was regarding investigations on SCM corrupt activities and grants for families of people who worked for the police service who died while on duty. She remarked that there had been an increase in the number of SAPS members defeating the ends of justice, and asked what steps would be taken to fight corruption in most police stations.
General Sitole stated that all the structures of SAPS are involved in the investigations to ensure progress. He also indicated that they had engaged with the Minister on the death grant for a review to take place and to include education bursary assistance. He pointed out that criminal conducts become departmental conducts. Internal investigations would not stop until the matter was resolved. The report was about the number of charges.
Ms P Mmola (ANC) wanted to understand what interventions were in place to ensure accuracy in performance management because it remained a big concern. She wanted to know what actions were taken against SAPS members who lost their firearms due to negligence; and she asked about the methodology employed in classifying police stations.
General Sitole reported that there have been discussions between the management team and performance management team on performance management. The matter was currently receiving attention. He stated that information on firearms lost and stolen and categorisation of police stations would be forwarded in writing.
Major-General Leon Rabie, SAPS Head of Strategic Management, added that when they consulted with Stats SA on the classification of police stations, Stats SA indicated that this was a complex exercise. After the exercise was concluded there was no clear cut.
Mr Maake wanted to establish the areas in which the interns were placed and the amount of money spent on them seeing that the number of internships was increasing. He wanted to know if the increase in the number of reported cases was a bad or good thing. He asked, for example, if it meant rape was decreasing or reporting of cases was just increasing.
Lt General Lineo Ntshiea, Divisional Commissioner for Personnel Management, SAPS, stated they did not have enough interns, but finances dictated the terms. Those with Diploma certificates were getting R3000, those with degrees got R4000, while those with Master's were paid R6000.General Sitole stated that an increase in reported cases was not a good thing if women and children continued to be affected by crime. Reported cases were assisting with relevant information and in coming up with solution-driven programmes and this would ensure reduction in national crime.
Mr Maake maintained that the increased reporting of cases was not telling the Committee that crime has decreased.
General Sitole said that they had a system that told them of crimes committed, whether they were new or old, but the reporting column could either go up or down.
Mr Maake indicated that the increase in reported cases did not give a reflection of the status of the crime committed like whether it was on the rise or decreasing.
Ms Kohler-Barnard remarked that she was not happy with the AG report because it stated that the number of findings has increased but did not indicate that crime intelligence has been included in the audit. She asked if there has been money recovered on money lost due to civil claims. She asked how many SAPS members had been convicted or jailed for corrupt activities. She commented that a few years ago 18 000 reservists were trained and utilised in a good way. A decade later no one knows what was happening, and she asked if they were given the respect they deserved. She wanted to know if the underspending of R13 million was because the DPW was not doing its work or was it because the Department was not giving the DPW work.
General Sitole explained that a member of SAPS was removed from the system when an internal investigation has been completed. The first investigation was done provincially and then nationally.
An official from the Department stated that there has been a decrease in the number of civil claims instituted year by year as a result of the instructions started during the period 2015/16 to 2017/18. There was a draft national instruction which has not been signed yet. It provided guidelines for members who have been found to be wanting. The initiative was to fight collusions that were in place.
General Sitole reported that SAPS' attitude towards the reservists has been extremely positive. They have interacted with them and the reservists have shown a proactive attitude. SAPS wanted them as a force multiplier. SAPS has engaged with traditional leaders in the Eastern Cape and have expressed interest in them.
Major-General Rabie indicated that the underspending was related to DPW on Programme 2 regarding the lease invoices sent by DPW to the Department.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) remarked that the AG indicated that simple things have not been adhered to in terms of National Treasury prescripts. He stated that he believes that SAPS was primarily responsible for violations detected regarding SCM matters. He wanted to know if the crime register was under the crime intelligence. He asked for clarity on the target performance for the filling of posts and what the percentage was that has been allocated to national and provincial. He also wanted to understand what tool was used to verify the police action time to respond to a crime scene.
General Rabie said the crime register was not under the CIA. He also stated that all posts at police stations would be filled according to the instructions given to them. He further indicated that the pocket book was part of the system for complaints management, but it was not there to measure the time the police took to reach the crime scene. There are guidelines on how the pocket book should assist the station commanders.
Mr Groenewald wanted to know what the vehicle ration per police station was because there have been complaints that there were not enough vehicles in police stations. He then enquired about the number of police reservists the country had because there seemed to be contradictions in terms of numbers. The Minister told Parliament about categories that were existing and indicated there were 7089 reservists while the annual report stated 12 128. He further wanted to understand the variance in the numbers of IPID disciplinary cases finalised, from a total of 181 only 154 were finalised or said to be finalised.
Lt General Bonang Mgwenya, Deputy National Commissioner for Human Resources Management: SAPS, said they were going to look at the vehicle ratio operationally according to the stations.
Lt General Ntshiea reported that 16 IPID cases were missing and were finalised beyond the timeframes. She also stated they were in the process of finalising the categorisation of the reservists. The annual report was talking about current active reservists of which some of them were going to be converted to either category A or D.
Lt General Mgwenya added that there was a D and A class when it came to the reservists. There has been a change in terms of prescripts. A new national instruction revisited the categorisation of reservists though there has been no clarity on what constituted category A and D. Category D was abolished. The annual report was talking about what happened last year. The reservists were treated as members of SAPS and got death grant and stipends.
Mr Groenewald maintained that the explanation was not making any sense because the annual report as of 31 March 2018 referred to 12000 reservists while the Minister on 1 May 2018 talked about 7000 reservists. He said the answers were not convincing and hoped the answers the Committee would receive would be spot on and not contradict the Minister.
Mr Mhlongo commented that the lower spending to leases in buildings was open to serious manipulation. There were no substantive reasons given. Regarding civil claims, he stated something appears to be fishy. There seemed to be collusions between the claimants and police handling the cases. He further remarked that the AG's report said the pocket book ought to talk to the police systems, but it now appears the criminals were allowed to take SAPS to the dust bin and spoil the good work of SAPS just because people could not make decisions. He wanted to know what steps have been taken to remedy low performance achievements. He also commented that during the Committee's oversight visit to Durban, the civil society pointed fingers at the cluster head who has been promoted to be the head of detectives for committing wrongs. Now the Minister has got to appoint a new task team to look into this matter. Lastly, he asked for clarity on the AG report on investigations because the AG has found that investigations were taking longer than three months while the Department's report indicated 60 days. He wanted to know if this was an improvement after the AG report.
Lt General Ntshiea, on low performance targets, explained that they interrogate their targets and do root-cause analysis so that they did not come up with unrealistic targets. She further reported that they have instructed the Department to start working on the action plans. Progress action plans would be included in the next quarter report.
General Sitole assured the Committee that he would look into the Durban matter urgently and report back to the Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.
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