The Committee was briefed by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service on their 2019/20 Quarterly performance Reports (Q1, 2 and 3). The Deputy Minister of Police was in attendance.
IPID reported that the challenges included increased workload with a declining budget, the increase in irregular expenditure and the overall shortage of resources. In respect of key achievements, the entity highlighted that 1834 cases have been referred to the NPA for decision and it is finally ready to implement section 23 of IPID Act which will boost the morale of investigators
Overall, there were 41 departmental targets (Strategic Plan & Annual Performance Plan):
Programme 1: Administration – 7 targets
Performance: Q1: 86%, Q2: 86%, Q3: 57%
Programme 2: Investigation & Information Management – 18 targets
Performance: Q1: 61%, Q2: 67%, Q3: 61%
Programme 3: Legal and Investigation Advisory services – 8 targets
Performance: Q1: 100%, Q2: 88%, Q3: 88%
Programme 4: Compliance Monitoring and Stakeholder Management – 8 targets
Performance: Q1: 100%, Q2: 100%, Q3: 100%
Members asked how the targets were formed, the impact and implementation of section 23 of the IPID Act, incomplete investigations, the list of stations that had lots of offences, investigators in the Eastern Cape, politicization of IPID, the ICT infrastructure plan, case screening, the delay in respect of technical reports and the prioritization of cases.
The Civilian Secretariat for Police Service reported that the first quarter of 2019/2020 showed an achievement of 40% of the planned targets for Programme 1. The programme did not achieve the desired results in Q1 due to vacant funded posts and the internal audit recommendations that were not fully implemented. The second quarter of 2019/2020 showed an actual achievement of 40% of the planned targets. The programme did not achieve the desired results in Q2 due to vacant funded posts and the internal audit recommendations that were not fully implemented. The third quarter of 2019/2020 showed an achievement of 50% of the overall planned targets for Programme. The programme did not achieve the desired results in Q3 because of the outstanding annual pay-progression and/or performance awards due to senior managers, amount not spent on compensation of employees and office accommodation as a result of delays in relocation and internal audit recommendations that were not fully implemented.
As at the end of Q3, the entity spent 69% or R98.8 million of its proposed adjusted budget of R143.1 million. The underspending was mainly attributed to compensation of employees, particularly 10 vacant funded posts that are in the process of being filled and the outstanding annual pay-progression and/or performance awards due to senior managers.
Members raised concerns about the underspending, outstanding legislation and if the entity contributed to making the police better.
Both entities were asked to respond in writing to unanswered questions.
The Deputy Minister gave an update on the process of hiring a new IPID head. The vacancy needed to be fulfilled within a year of it being vacant. The time period for filling the vacancy had already expired. The process to find a head began in July 2019 and in August the advert was re-issued because of the poor responses. On 24 February 2020, a panel interviewed shortlisted candidates. Initially the panel had shortlisted 4 people and 1 declined on the day of the interviews. From the 3 people interviewed the panel could not find a suitable candidate and the recommendation was made to the Minister that a headhunting process should be entered into within a limited timeframe. By the end of April, that process must be concluded. Once the headhunting process is completed a recommendation would be made and brought to the Committee.
Members asked about the number of candidates that applied, the composition of the panel, and if there were internal applications. A Member stated that the Committee deserved an apology from the Minister and not just a report or explanation on the delay. He argued that the Committee was being compromised by the Minister’s failure to adhere to the law.
The Chairperson indicated that the Committee would seek advice from the Speaker’s office in terms of granting an extension.
The Chairperson said that the Committee needed to relook at its stance on gender-based violence. The Committee extended its condolences to the family of Tazne van Wyk. The Committee would release a press statement on the killing of Tazne van Wyk. This killing was one killing too many. The press statement would call on communities, schools and parents to be more vigilant. She thanked SAPS for the quick arrest of the suspect.
Briefing by Independent Police Investigative Directorate on Quarter 1, 2 and 3 Performance and Financial Information for 2019/2020
Mr Victor Senna, Acting Executive Director, IPID, highlighted some of the key achievements during this period:
-1834 Cases have been referred to the NPA for decision
-615 Matters currently on court rolls
-44 Criminal Convictions Secured
-97 Disciplinary Convictions Secured
-The process to clean up and realign IPID, isolating it from any form of politicization and refocusing it on its core mandate has begun in Ernst.
-After 8 years, IPID is finally ready to implement section 23 of IPID Act which will boost the morale of investigators
-Relocation of the National Office
Mr Senna listed some of the challenges facing the entity:
-Increase in Workload with declining budget - Total workload by end of Q3 was 11 796 which includes 2 557 intake. Implementation of Backlog Turnaround Strategy in progress, 1331 cases
-Increase in Irregular Expenditure – Consequence Management in progress to address root cause
-Overall shortage of resources to allow for maximum impact
Mr Patrick Setshedi, Acting Chief Financial Officer, IPID, stated that as at 31 December 2019, the entity reported a cumulative expenditure of R212 772 000 against the total allocated budget of R336 653 000. The reported actual expenditure translates to 63.20% against the straight line target of 75.00% which resulted in 11.80% or R39 725 000 under the target. The spending target was mainly affected by Compensation of Employees funds that will be paid over to GEPF for full implementation of Section 23 before the end March 2020. IPID, through the Acting Executive Director, is closely monitoring the full implementation of Section 23 of the IPID Act to ensure the spending of funds that were set aside during the 2019 adjustment budget (AENE) for salaries and benefits of Investigators.
Ms Suzan Letlape, Director of Strategy and Performance Monitoring, IPID, gave a quarterly break down of the targets and performance for each programme. Overall, there were 41 departmental targets (Strategic Plan & Annual Performance Plan):
Programme 1: Administration – 7 targets
Performance: Q1: 86%, Q2: 86%, Q3: 57%
Programme 2: Investigation & Information Management – 18 targets
Performance: Q1: 61%, Q2: 67%, Q3: 61%
Programme 3: Legal and Investigation Advisory services – 8 targets
Performance: Q1: 100%, Q2: 88%, Q3: 88%
Programme 4: Compliance Monitoring and Stakeholder Management – 8 targets
Performance: Q1: 100%, Q2: 100%, Q3: 100%
The Chairperson said that in 2019 IPID committed to provide the Committee with the list of stations that had lots of offences. Those stations needed to be flagged. The Committee had still not received that list of stations that committed lots of offences. The Chairperson had a number of concerns with the proposed action plan in how IPID would achieve their targets in the fourth quarter. The main concerns were the incomplete investigations and where they could not trace a suspect. If IPID committed itself to send the Committee written information it needed to be honoured.
Mr A Whitfield (DA) said that the Committee should not celebrate the report prematurely without investigation. The Committee had previously raised concerns about how targets were not directed towards impact. How were the targets designed? Not just for IPID but SAPS as well. The new strategic plan offered IPID an opportunity to reframe the way it operates and to redirect targets to achieving certain impacts. The goals in the current strategic plan were to achieve public confidence in the police and to professionalise the police service. If the targets were not directed towards achieving those two outcomes then the impact, year on year, will not be able to achieve those outcomes. The Committee was aware of what the constraints were and had raised concerns about the budget allocations to IPID. A much more enabling environment needed to be created for the investigators to do their work. He welcomed the resolution on section 23 and had a question on it. Did the delay in sorting out section 23 affect the quality of certain investigations by investigators? The presentation stated that morale had received a boost since the implementation of section 23. This indicates that morale was quite low within the organisation with some investigators. He wanted a direct honest answer on morale and its impact on investigations. Was low morale a contributor to the issues facing IPID over the last decade? He raised a concern about the NPA’s low conviction rate. What were the reasons for the NPA declining to prosecute? The Committee needed reasons why the NPA failed to prosecute. He wanted clarity on the ICT infrastructure target. How many of the infrastructure projects are for the existing premises that IPID will now be moving from? Will the moving to new offices disrupt the ICT infrastructure target? It came to his attention that investigators in the Eastern Cape were office bound due to financial constraints. He wanted to know whether that was correct? Was there an issue of non-payment of investigators that may have hindered investigators from completing their responsibilities? On slide 3 of the presentation he highlighted point 5 which stated that the ‘process to clean up and realign IPID, isolating it from any form of politicization and refocusing it on its core mandate has begun in earnest’. What were the concerns behind this? What politicisation issues have IPID been dealing with? What are the concerns of political influence or interference? If the permanent Head of IPID was appointed by the Minister to what extent is that considered politicisation of IPID? This was a concern that the Committee needed to wrestle with.
The Chairperson said that the Committee would first approve the appointment. She said the staff of IPID would leave while the Deputy Minister briefed the Committee on the appointment of the Head.
Mr O Terblanche (DA) said that looking at the figures deeper there were areas for concern. The main objective of IPID was to investigate police officers who commit crimes. In the overview, the number of cases that still needed to be finalised was a huge number. This created a backlog of cases as more cases are added every year. There was a concern about the lack of resources and the Minister needed to look into that. He then raised a concern about the performance of the different programmes. There was not a lot of time left in the current financial year for IPID to reach all of its intended targets. How was IPID going to reach its targets, of total expenditure, in these last couple of days? The financial year was almost complete. He then moved on to the programmes regarding investigations. The number of cases finalised in court in relation to the number of cases referred to IPID was low. Were there any specific reasons? Were there any false allegations made against the police? He then raised concern about the fact that the Committee was dealing with quite a number of people in acting positions. That was something that needed to be attended to as a matter of urgency by the Department and the Minister. There needed to be greater stability in the organisation.
Mr P Groenewald (FF+) said that the Committee needed to have a discussion on gender violence and the cruelty taking place with regards to farm murders. He raised concern about the politicisation of IPID. The presentation admitted that IPID was politicised. What steps were being taken to prevent future politicisation? What why was it politicised and what steps was IPID taking? He commented on the investigation and information programme. It was stated that the key concern was the delay in outstanding technical reports from other Departments. What specific steps had IPID taken to improve cooperation with other State Departments? These concerns were also raised by the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, specifically the dependency of IPID on other state departments. He wanted clarity on slide 32 on the disciplinary action finalised by SAPS. He wanted clarity on what was meant by ‘no steps taken’ for certain cases. Were people not guilty? Because then it should be part of not guilty. Was the case withdrawn? Because then it should be part of cases withdrawn. It could mean that these people were guilty but that there were just no steps taken. He wanted a definition of ‘no steps taken’.
Ms J Mofokeng (ANC) agreed with the Chairperson that the Committee was still waiting on the list of police stations that it had asked for. She raised an issue on the compliance, monitoring and stakeholder management. On slide 57, it states the number of criminal referrals sent to the NPA. Looking at the different quarters it should show that number changing. How does IPID determine those targets? To perform oversight, the Committee should go to communities and get comments on the things that occurred there.
Ms Mofokeng said that the Department had an archaic way of reporting. Slide 18 states the number of strategic training areas undertaken as IPID’s training plan. In quarter 1 the output was 0. On the comments it should explain why IPID had no outputs in that quarter. IPID needed to provide reasons for everything it did not achieve in a quarter. What were the reasons? What were the challenges? How will IPID improve? She said that IPID was insensitive with regards to the number of deaths as a result of police actions that were decision ready. Those cases needed to be completed. The families needed to tracked down and told what was happening. The Government needed to show that it was a caring Government. The trend in the reporting was that when they reached the end of the financial year the numbers go up. IPID also needed to look into identifying who the police officers were who committed rape and put them on a register. Slide 45 spoke about investigation and information management. There was no information provided after the sentencing. Where were the recommendations? People who go to prison for murder and sometimes when they come out on parole they do worse things. There should be processes followed for convicts after the sentencing. There needed to be a discussion on police officers who went to prison and registering them so that they cannot be police officers again. A list or register needed to be created to identify these former police officers.
Mr A Shaik Emam (NFP) asked how IPID prioritised cases given the budget limitations. Added to that, IPID was now going to implement section 23; did it make the necessary budget proposals to deal with this? Can IPID provide statistics on all the assaults, rapes and murder so that the Committee can quantify and see what percentage of it is gender based violence? What mechanism did IPID have to work with other relevant Departments to try and reduce gender based violence in SAPS? There are on average 5 rapes perpetrated by police officers every month. There have been allegations that their conviction rate was low. There are a lot of matters referred to IPID that are unaccounted for. There has also been an allegation that the standard of investigation is a problem. There was an issue of underspending. These resources are supposed to be used to capacitate the investigators. There was a fear that they would come to the last quarter and then perform fiscal dumping. What was the impact of underspending in a particular quarter?
The Chairperson said that on 4 March the Committee would have an engagement with SAPS on the outstanding matters in their quarterly report. Then on 10 March there would be a JCPS cluster meeting to discuss gender based violence and farm murders.
Mr Senna responded that IPID could not do everything because of its limited resources. Internally it was decided that they prioritise and focus on the high impact cases. The high impact cases were rape and murder cases. That did not mean that IPID was ignoring cases of assault. If there was any money left they would focus on those cases. IPID had put resources in place to ensure the sustained implementation of section 23. It had taken into account how much it would cost to implement section 23. Those resources were accommodated in the budget. There were mechanisms in place to make sure that incidents that were reported to IPID were followed up. IPID had monthly engagements with SAPS. They discussed the incidents that had been reported and the problem areas. Collectively they agreed on certain solutions that SAPS needed to do to make sure similar incidents do not happen again. There had been a decline in incidents of assault and torture in certain police stations. He admitted that IPID was not effectively influencing the policy on policing. The recommendations that they make have to result in policy change. IPID needed to increase its research capacity so that it was able to influence the policy on policing.
Mr Senna responded to the comments of cases that were not accounted for. Those allegations were unfounded because every case that gets reported to IPID gets registered on the system. He did agree with Ms Mofokeng that the feedback needed to improve with regards to updating the public on the progress of the case. Families appreciated it when IPID visits them and listens to their concerns. He encouraged every provincial head of IPID, where possible, to visit families to assure them that they were investigating the case that had been reported. IPID had issued a directive to all offices to say that they need to regularly update the complainants on the status of the cases.
On the politicisation of IPID, he commented that there had been internal cases, which was reported by the Public Protector, of IPID staff trying to settle old scores with SAPS officers. Every case presented to IPID needed to be investigated. Current IPID members who were part of SAPS before should not target SAPS officials. This was reported by the Public Protector and IPID has since agreed to deal with the issue internally. The issue of politicisation therefore refers to IPID staff targeting members in SAPS. IPID took the report from the Public Protector very seriously.
Mr Senna indicated that IPID had issued a tender so that it can get a panel of experts internally. Therefore, if it needed technical expertise they had a pool of technical experts to call from. It wanted to limit the reliance on SAPS when it came to issues of technical expertise. It had begun the process. The tender was out to invite interested parties to provide the technical expertise to IPID. Once the tender process had been finalised they would have a panel of experts to call from.
Mr Sesoko responded to the issue of ‘no steps taken’ by Mr Groenewald. When IPID made recommendations to SAPS, it gets feedback that that they did not take any steps against the member. That was problematic. A workshop had taken place with SAPS to make it clear what section 30 of the Act really means. To have an agreement with them where there cannot be a situation where they give feedback saying they did not take any steps against members. When IPID sends SAPS recommendations and they have an issue with those recommendations then there must be engagements between the two parties. At a provincial level there must be engagements where they communicate what issues they had with the recommendation. After those engagements, there needed to be agreement on the way forward.
Mr Shaik Emam wanted a response to his question about IPID providing the Committee with a report of all the cases, from all provinces, that fell under gender based violence. IPID also still needed to answer the concerns about the low conviction rate.
Mr Senna replied that IPID would provide the breakdown that Mr Emam was requesting in terms of gender based violence per province. He apologised for not providing the report on police stations. He did sign off on it and he would find out what happened internally to the report. He took full responsibility. He would make sure that it was delivered immediately when the delegation got back to the office.
Mr Senna responded to the question of the low conviction rate. IPID accepted that the conviction rate was low. They had discussions with the NPA and asked them to provide reasons as to why they failed to prosecute on certain cases so that IPID could address the issues internally. That process was ongoing. Hopefully when IPID comes back it will be able to provide the Committee with the analysis as to why the conviction rate was low.
He said that IPID did have an opportunity now to review its targets so that it is able to maximise the impact it is making. It was in the process of finalising its strategic plan. IPID saw it as an opportunity to start modifying some of its targets so that they are able to measure successfully the impact that they were making.
On the delay in implementing section 23 and its effect on investigations, he stated that he could not answer the question with certainty as he did not have scientific proof. IPID had been engaging with their investigators regularly on the process and the challenges in terms of implementing section 23. He did not believe that the delay in implementing section 23 affected the quality of investigation. He did agree that the implementation of section 23 did increase the morale of those investigators.
He said that the ICT infrastructure plan would be affected because they decided it was better to procure the infrastructure in the new building. Most of the ICT infrastructure will be installed in the new building therefore the implementation plan is affected because of the move that was being anticipated.
He stated that the allegations that investigations in the Eastern Cape were affected because of lack of resources were not true. IPID made it clear to its provincial offices that no investigation is to be affected as a result of lack of resources. Any provinces that might have challenges are assisted. He then responded to the comments raised by Ms Mofokeng on the strategic plan. There was no consistency in how the targets were met previously. IPID would be revising this as it relooked at its strategic plan.
Mr Cassel Mathale, Deputy Minister of Police, responded to the questions on the delay in implementing section 23. He disagreed with Mr Senna and said that the investigators were only human. There was an increase in morale when section 23 was implemented and this indicated that the delay in implementing did have an impact on the investigating process. The investigators were very happy with the increase in salary and generally a happy mind produces positive results. He was happy with the response to the questions on politicisation because when the word politicisation is used it is assumed that the Minister or Deputy Minister is having an influence over the work of the IPID officials which was not the case.
Mr Whitfield asked if IPID was going to include case screening. What were the reasons for the delays in DNA and forensic labs sending reports to IPID? There were very serious issues happening in the laboratories. The Committee needed to pursue that matter proactively.
Mr Terblanche wanted to know why his questions had not been answered. If IPID could not answer now then it should submit responses in writing. He was also interested in the screening. The Committee needed to receive better clarity. How were they going to screen cases within the prescripts of the law?
Mr H Shembeni (EFF) had a question on delays in investigations. It should not be difficult to trace those police officers and get a statement. The tracing of suspects caused a delay. The obtaining of statements also caused a delay. The statement must be obtained.
Ms Mofokeng asked for a list of the referrals so that the Committee could follow up on that. On investigation and information management, she asked if the Committee could get the names of the police officers who were found guilty of crimes so that those people could be monitored.
Mr W Mafanya (EFF) had a concern on the about the over 11000 backlog of cases. He also raised a concern over screening. Were those police officers still on duty? What was their duty? What was the output of work that they did while still on duty? If police officers who transgressed where still on duty they could continue to still perpetrate the crime. The Committee needed to focus on such issues.
Mr Groenewald wanted clarity on the AFCOF report and investigations. He wanted clarity on the way forward.
Mr Sesoko agreed that the more intake IPID gets the more cases it will not be able to complete. It results in more backlogs. Each of the provincial heads will provide a strategy on how to deal with all of the backlogged cases. Given the resource constraints it was unlikely IPID would reach a stage where it would be able to deal with all of their backlog cases. IPID was compelled by the Constitution to investigate all incidents whether large or small. Even though it does prioritization, it was not a formalised policy. However, those cases that deal with murder, rape or corruption will be prioritised. This did not mean the other cases will not be dealt with.
Mr Sesoko addressed questions about the delay in technical reports. IPID engaged continuously with the stakeholders who provide their technical reports. The reason for delay is that those stakeholders have a high volume of cases to provide technical reports for and that created a backlog. IPID tries to push them to prioritise its cases. There was a tender process in place so that the technical expertise could be provided by private companies. The list of referrals will be made available to the Committee.
In response to the question of tracing of police officers and witnesses, he said the reasons were varied. Sometimes if a person made a complaint it becomes difficult to trace a witness, especially in rural environments. Sometimes people complain they were assaulted by the police but cannot identify who that police officer was. These were some of the challenges of tracing police officers and witnesses.
Mr Senna responded to the concerns of the acting positions of many of the IPID officials. Mr Sesoko was acting in his position but once he (Mr Senna) goes back to his former position there would be no acting.
Mr Senna said IPID was confident that IPID would recover on the rest of the targets.
Mr Whitfield said he asked if IPID was provided with reasons for the delays in DNA and forensic analysis.
Mr Sesoko said responded that those labs were overworked and there was a backlog on those matters.
Appointment of IPID Head
The Deputy Minister was given an opportunity to update the Committee on the process of hiring a new head of IPID.
The Deputy Minister explained that the process to find a head began in July 2019 and in August the advert was re-issued because of the poor responses. On 24 February 2020, a panel interviewed shortlisted candidates. Initially the panel had shortlisted 4 people and 1 declined on the day of the interviews. From the 3 people interviewed the panel could not find a suitable candidate and the recommendation was made to the Minister that a headhunting process should be entered into within a limited timeframe. By the end of April, that process must be concluded. Once the headhunting process is completed a recommendation would be made and brought to the Committee.
Mr Whitfield said that it extremely disappointing that the Committee was still in a situation where it was unable to appoint a permanent head of IPID. The challenges that face IPID are numerous. One of the key issues in resolving almost all of those challenges was leadership stability at the head of IPID. It has been over a year of having an acting head of IPID. Who were the panel members so that the Committee can have some assurance that the process was credible and that the individuals who sat on the panel were experienced? The headhunting process raised concern. What was the total number of applicants at the outset just so that the Committee could get an indication of the interest in such an important position? This Committee had no more important role in this Parliament than fixing IPID.
The Chairperson said that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act indicates that when there is a vacancy the Minister must fill the vacancy within a reasonable time period and that time period must not exceed one year. An extension might be needed to fill the position.
Ms Mofokeng asked about the number of applicants. In addition, how many internal officials applied for the position?
Mr Groenewald said that the head must be approved by the Committee. The Minister of Police and the Department must come up with reasons why they did not comply with legislation. He wanted, in writing, the names of all the applicants, their qualifications and specifically the criteria set by the panel so that as a member of the Committee he could see for himself whether the applicants complied with the requirements and whether it was necessary to continue with the process of headhunting. He was weary of a political appointment being made.
The Deputy Minister said that if they had their way they would have made a recommendation already. It was not possible. The panel could not recommend somebody it was not convinced would be best suited for the position. The panel was comprised of the Minister and Deputy Minister of Police, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, the Minister of Science, the Minister of Communication and Technology and the head of the Civilian Secretariat. The panel was as objective as possible in the process of shortlisting and interviewing. 19 applications were received from the first advert. From the second advert, there were 35 applicants. Four candidates were shortlisted and interviewed. On the day of the interview, one declined so the panel interviewed three people. There were internal candidates that were part of the process but they did not live up to expectation so they could not proceed in that direction. The headhunting process would not be one that looks for a political appointment. A credible candidate will be found and the Committee was allowed to either accept or reject that recommendation.
Mr Whitfield said that the Minister completely failed to meet the deadline. This Committee, since June last year, has reiterated to the Minister and Deputy Minister on this matter. The Committee deserved an apology from the Minister and not just a report or explanation. The Committee was being compromised by the Minister’s failure to adhere to the law.
Mr Groenewald wanted clarity. He asked specifically for the names of the candidates and their CVs. He also asked for the criteria and the reasons why the panel decided there was no suitable candidate. This all needed to be provided in writing because only then could he make an informed decision. The police is supposed to make sure legislation was complied with and they themselves did not comply with the legislation. It was totally unacceptable.
The Chairperson agreed that the Department would provide all that information in writing. The Committee would seek advice from the Speaker’s office. The Committee needed to ask the Speaker’s office if they could be granted an extension. The Committee and the Minister’s office will seek that legal advice. The Committee and Department were now definitely outside the timeframe of the Act.
Briefing by Civilian Secretariat for Police Service on the Quarterly Reports
Mr Alvin Rapea, Secretary, CSPS, reported that the first quarter of 2019/2020 shows an achievement of 40% of the planned targets for Programme 1. The performance score is substantially lower than the 100% required for full achievement. The level of performance has dropped compared with the same quarter of the previous financial year as the programme achieved 100% of its planned target.
The programme did not achieve the desired results in Q1 due to vacant funded posts and the internal audit recommendations that were not fully implemented.
The second quarter of 2019/2020 showed an actual achievement of 40% of the planned targets. The performance score is substantially lower than the 100% required for full achievement. The level of performance dropped compared with the same quarter of the previous financial year as the programme achieved 75% of its planned target. The programme did not achieve the desired results in Q2 due to vacant funded posts and the internal audit recommendations that were not fully implemented.
The third quarter of 2019/2020 shows an achievement of 50% of the overall planned targets for the Programme. The performance score was lower than the 100% required for full achievement. This meant that the level of performance of the programme is 50% lower than the overall planned targets. The level of performance has increased by 7%, compared with last year’s corresponding quarter as the programme achieved 43% of its planned targets. The programme did not achieve the desired results in Q3 because of the outstanding annual pay-progression and/or performance awards due to senior managers, amount not spent on compensation of employees and office accommodation as a result of delays in relocation and internal audit recommendations that were not fully implemented.
As at the end of Q3, the department has spent 69% or R98.8 million of its proposed adjusted budget of R143.1 million. The projected cash flow for the same period was R112.8 million or 76.9% of the original allocated budget of R146.7 million. The spending was 7.9% or R13.9 million lower than anticipated. The underspending was mainly attributed to compensation of employees, particularly 10 vacant funded posts that are in the process of being filled and the outstanding annual pay-progression and/or performance awards due to senior managers.
The spending on goods and services was R7.9 million less than anticipated due to the amount to be paid for office accommodation. The amount was not spent due to delays in relocation. The department requested SAPS to submit a claim for a refund as they are currently paying for our current accommodation. However, SAPS has not yet responded. The spending on payment of capital assets during the first half of the financial year was also below the anticipated spending projections, but the department will be procuring motor vehicles in the fourth quarter to utilize savings. The spending on goods and services is likely to improve even further in the last quarter as projects and plans are well underway.
The Chairperson said that there were still two outstanding Bills. The Firearms Control Amendment Bill was supposed to have been brought to the Committee. It was causing problems among firearm owners. She recalled that the Committee had also set timeframes to deal with the SAPS Amendment Bill. Was this Bill on track? Her second question was on the financials. Based on the projections, the entity was going to underspend and it was underperforming by the end of this financial year. What action plan did they have to prevent this? She raised concerns over the budget and underspending with the budget. What were the reasons for underspending?
Mr Whitfield shared the Chairperson’s concern over under-expenditure. The previous week, when the Minister was questioned about the Forensic Procedures Amendment Bill, indicated that it was not really necessary because Cabinet was exploring a national DNA database for all citizens without concern for the cost implications that might incur and the Constitutional issues it may raise. The Minister said 14 000 remissions had been swabbed and they were not releasing anyone without a swab. Was that being done within the current legal framework? Why on slide 29 under ‘Number of evaluation reports on the implementation of the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act’ it said the target was 1 and then under achievement it states not applicable? Previously that Bill was under legislative progress. Now there was DNA regulations. Was DNA regulations a replacement of the Forensic Procedures Amendment Bill? He also wanted further information on the Movement of Animals and Animal Produce Bill because stock theft was a crime that increased last year.
Mr Terblanche was concerned because very few of the set targets were reached. He did not understand how certain targets were 1 or 2 and they were still not met. Looking at the mandate of the Secretariat, he asked to what extent, based on what it has done, it has contributed to making the police better? He felt that it was not busy with the important things. CSPS needed to come to the Committee with its annual plan and focus on the specific purpose of the Secretariat. To what extent has their crime prevention strategies brought crime down? To what extent has that helped the police become more efficient and more professional? This was not a good performance. He saw very little improvement from previous discussions with the CSPS.
Mr Mafanya raised a question on the service delivery environment. It states that the Department responded to violence in schools and universities. It embarked on campaigns aimed at crime prevention. There was no impact assessment that was being done. As much as CSPS provided information on what was being done and all the money spent, it also needed to be a study on the impact of those programmes.
Ms Mofokeng said it was important to focus on legislation in relation to stock theft. The mandate of the Secretariat was to ensure that SAPS implements its policy. When was the Committee going to receive a presentation of the e-policing policy framework? She had a worry about slide 11 which deals with finance administration. The presentation needed to include the exact figures of the budget and not just include percentages. She was concerned about the one person with a disability that resigned. It was worrying that instead of increasing the number of disabled employees the Secretariat was losing them. She stressed that the Departments continue with an archaic was of presenting information. The reporting was not up to standard.
Ms P Faku (ANC) commented on programme 3 of the presentation. What were there challenges that affected programme 3? Was there any plan in place to deal with the challenges that faced the programme? She further asked about the service delivery environment, specifically capacity building and workshop. Was there a target group when the workshop was conducted? Were there any outputs achieve as a result of the workshop? Or was the workshop conducted randomly without targeting any stakeholder.
The Chairperson acknowledged that the team had improved considerably.
Mr Tumelo Nkojoana, Chief Finance Officer, CSPS, replied that the spending of the entity was very low compared to what they would have liked it to be. There were two reasons for that. One relates to funds transferred to the Secretariat for accommodation. It had not received the alternative accommodation so that money had not been used. The other reason relates to funding for vacant posts. What the Secretariat did in terms of the vacant funded posts after the first half of the year, when it realised it would not fill those vacant positions, was to surrender the money that was not used in the first of the year. The Secretariat had spoken to Treasury about the unspent money on accommodation and asked if it could use the money for other things. It was agreed that they could use it for capital expenditure. The idea was to buy any other equipment that the Department might need. CSPS tried to spend the money more on capital than just goods and services.
Mr Rapea said that the building the Secretariat was using was paid for by SAPS and it still have to refund SAPS. He responded to the concerns of the underspending of the DCPI Judge Complaints Unit. All their posts were now being filled. He believed that the spending will improve as a result of the DCPI trying to market itself in communities again. The DNA board filled their vacancies. That had also contributed to underspending. He then responded to the questions on the Bills. The DNA Amendment Bill was finalised and it was up to Home Affairs to respond to the Department’s request on the evaluation of capturing the DNA of all citizens. The regulations did not replace the Bill. The regulations were in relation to the current legislation. CSPS had not done the impact assessment but with the template of the new APP it forced the Secretariat to look at this. That would be submitted to Parliament in the next month. CSPS could provide the Committee with some preliminary results with regards to impact of their programmes.
Mr Takalani Ramaru, Chief Director for Civilian Oversight Monitoring and Evaluation, CSPS, responded to the question on programme 3. The challenges they had were more administrative than operational. They were able to do all the work other than the DNA board which was outside of their jurisdiction. CSPS visited many police stations. It was working on improving on all the administrative delays. This would not be happening going further.
Mr Terblanche said he was even more confused because CSPS just said that the information they were providing was not the correct information. CSPS visited more police stations but they did not complete the reports. He had serious concerns about that because Parliament cannot be misled.
Mr Ramaru said that one report was provided but in that report it contained information on all the different police stations. The Secretariat visited many police stations but produced only one report.
The Deputy Minister responded to the issue of buccal sampling. Inmates are not taking up remission because they do not want the buccal sampling to be taken. The agreement was that no one gets released without taking their buccal sampling. It was important, when compiling the facts and figures, to present it in a way that was not confusing. Any outstanding matter would be submitted in writing to the Committee.
The Chairperson requested that the outstanding responses to be submitted in writing.
The meeting was adjourned.
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