Stats SA, DPME & DPSA Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

13 October 2020
Chairperson: Mr T James (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

In a virtual meeting, the Committee met to consider and adopt its preliminary Budgetary Review and Recommendations Reports (BRRR) on the four quarterly performance for the 2019/20 financial year for the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) (and the Public Service Commission), Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) and Statistics South Africa (StatsSA). The Reports were adopted with amendments. .

The Committee also considered and adopted various sets of minutes of its prior meetings.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed all Members to the meeting which was intended to consider the Committee’s Budgetary Review and Recommendation Reports (BRRR) of the Department of Public Service and Administration, Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation and StatsSA. The Committee would also consider outstanding minutes.

There was an apology from Mr C Sibisi (NFP).

Preliminary Budgetary Review Recommendations Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on the Four Quarters Performance 2019/2020 for the Department of Public Service and Administration and its Entities as well as Public Service Commission

The Committee Content Advisor took Members through the Report

The Chairperson asked Members to make indications as to comments and conclusions they want to make on the Report.

Ms M Ntuli (ANC) said she would love to welcome the Report as it does indeed cover the deliberations of the Committee and it indicates how the Committee concluded on the matters.

Ms R Lesoma (ANC) appreciated the Report compiled by the admin support. She commented on the consistency of the Report by stating that where there are figures, the Committee must cross check that those figures tie in with the reports that have been presented during the four quarters. She asked whether the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) organisational configuration, which was raised by the Minister, had been captured so that the Committee could monitor it. This was a spill over from 2019/20 and should be finalised in 2020/21.

The Chairperson asked if there was a different view.

Dr L Schreiber (DA) requested that the Chairperson note that the Democratic Alliance reserves its rights regarding the Report.

The Chairperson responded that it would be noted.

Ms C Mostepe (EFF) requested that the Chairperson also note the objection of the EFF.

The Chairperson replied that it would be noted and requested that the Committee move to the next report.

Ms Lesoma asked whether the Report would be adopted with the assumption that the question she raised had been covered in the Report.

The Chairperson replied that he assumed so, as minutes were being taken which noted whatever contributions were made by Members. He assumed the admin team took note of what Ms Lesoma raised and so the Report was adopted with these amendments.  

Preliminary budgetary Review and Recommendations Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on the Four Quarters Performance 2019/2020 of Statistics South Africa

 The Content Advisor took Members through the Report.

The Chairperson presented the Report for adoption.

Ms Ntuli wanted to check whether points 8.1 and 9.1 were not referring to the same thing, because in 8.1, the Committee was urging StatsSA to fast track legislative reform and to report to Parliament from time to time. She asked, in terms of the budget constraints, whether the Committee should not add something in this regard. In terms of the budget consensus, the Committee even mandated the Chairperson to meet with the Minister of Finance in that regard. She wanted to know if it would be fine if that was added as it was the mandate of the Committee to assist in that regard. She said the Report reflected the Committee deliberations.

Mr S Malasti (DA) referred the Committee to point 8.5 whereby ‘The Committee commended Stats SA for the sterling work of paying invoices to service providers within 30-days.’He said that he understands the logic behind that point but to say that its ‘sterling work’ seemed extraordinary as the payment of invoices to service providers within 30-days was now a legal requirement. It would be fairer to say that the Committee commends StatsSA for complying with the 30-day payment of service providers.

Ms Lesoma agreed with Mr Malatsi and added that 8.5 should also be included in the ‘recommendations’ under point 9 so that there is consistency. She referred the Committee to 9.4 and 9.5 and said that both points deal with compliance with the regulations of the participants, staff members of StatsSA and the households. She suggested the Committee make those points one recommendation as they deal with Census 2021 in terms of compliance with COVID-19 and includes the PPE, therefore it is one point.

The Content Advisor agreed with Ms Lesoma concerning points 9.4 and 9.5. He agreed with Mr Malasti and said the Report would be amended accordingly. Regarding Ms Ntuli’s comments, he said he would remove 8.1 from the ‘observations and key findings’. Regarding the matter of budget constraints raised by Ms Ntuli, that particular mantra had been exhausted and Members would recall that an additional amount of R42 million had been allocated to fill the vacant positions.  Even though the money may not be enough, there seems to be some progress and he would appeal to Members to leave it as it is and just play their oversight role to ensure that StatsSA is fully banded in terms of filling critical vacancies for the next financial year.

Ms Lesoma wanted to ensure the Committee does not lose sight of what Ms Ntuli had raised, namely that the Committee had committed itself that the Chairperson will meet with the Minister of Finance so that when Members play their oversight roles, they will do so with their predetermined objectives in sight. Those were the targets the Committee set for itself, and when the Committee is dealing with 2021, it must check that it has implemented what it has committed itself to do i.e. “walk the talk”. While she agreed with the summary of the Content Advisor, the Committees’ resolution tracking tool must ensure that meetings still take place as StatsSA has some challenges even in implementing Census 2021.

The Chairperson said he wanted to put the meeting at ease and said he was in the process of arranging a meeting with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of DPSA so that the Committee can address whatever shortcoming exists. The Committee will know once that meeting has been arranged.

Mr Malasti pointed out that before the Committee proceeds with the next Report, he wanted to point out that the DA reserves its rights on the Report, as he was unclear whether the Committee has adopted the Report.

The Chairperson responded that the Report is adopted with amendments proposed.

Mr Malatsi noted the DA reserves its rights on the Report.

The Chairperson noted the reservations of Mr Malasti and Ms Mostepe.

Ms Mostepe interjected and said she supports the StatsSA report.

Preliminary Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on the Four Quarters performance 2019/2020 of the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation

 The Content Advisor took Members through the Report.

The Chairperson presented the Report for adoption.

Ms M Kibi (ANC) appreciated the tabling of the Report and welcomed it. She supported the adoption of the Report.

Ms Ntuli also supported the adoption of the Report. She said she looked forward to the tabling of the Annual Report.

Mr Malatsi indicated that the DA would be reserving its right on the Report.

Ms Motsepe said the EFF also reserved its right.

The Chairperson noted the objections of the DA and the EFF. The Report was adopted.

Ms Lesoma said the words of the DA and EFF reserving their rights should be recorded as such. This was to avoid the Chairperson being accused of misinterpreting other parties.

The Chairperson agreed.

Ms Ntuli agreed and felt the EFF was not clear on whether it was objecting to the Report – they only said the Chairperson to “note”. Parties must be clear when they are reserving their rights and when they are objecting to the Report.

Ms Mostepe said she wanted to make herself clear and stated that the EFF objected to the Report.

The Chairperson concluded that the Report was adopted.

Committee minutes dated 11 June 2020

The minutes were adopted without amendments.  

Committee minutes dated 19 June 2020

The minutes were adopted without amendments. 

Committee minutes dated 26 June 2020.

The minutes were adopted without amendments.

Committee minutes dated 8 July 2020

The minutes were adopted without amendments.

Committee minutes dated 10 July 2020

The minutes were adopted without amendments.

Committee minutes dated 15 July 2020

The minutes were adopted without amendments.

Committee minutes dated 16 July 2020

The minutes were adopted without amendments.

Committee minutes dated 19 August 2020

The minutes were adopted without amendments.

Committee minutes dated 26 August 2020

The minutes were adopted without amendments.

Committee minutes dated 2 September 2020

The minutes were adopted without amendments.

Announcements

Ms Lesoma expressed that she was the one who requested the opportunity for announcements. She said the Chairperson informed the Committee that he received a letter from the National School of Government (NSG) principal indicating that there is an offer for ten Members to take advantage of the opportunity for the financial public service good governance training. If the Chairperson had already spoken about it, she apologised.

 She asked the Chairperson if he would, acting on behalf of Members, send their sincere condolences in writing to Ms V Malomane (ANC) who has lost more than three family members within two weeks. It is quite hectic, and it deserves the Committee’s written condolences.

The Chairperson said he had not spoken on that issue, but Ms Lesoma had already dealt with it.

Ms M Clarke (DA) asked that at the next Committee meeting, Members be informed of the status quo regarding officials being back at work at this stage, as the Committee has no recourse. The Committee has not received any information as to how many officials are back at work and how many are still at home.

The Chairperson replied that it would be done - the Committee will cross check with the administration so that it gets the exact information in this regard.

Ms Mostepe said the EFF would like to align itself with the issue that Ms Lesoma had raised concerning Ms Malomane.

The Chairperson said he would write a letter of condolences to Ms Malomane on behalf of the Committee.

Next week Tuesday, there will be a subcommittee meeting for the shortlisting of positions. There will not be a Committee meeting next week, rather there will be a subcommittee meeting.

The Chairperson asked if that subcommittee meeting would take place on a virtual platform.

This would be communicated to the subcommittee Members.

Ms Lesoma added that moving forward, all interviews are going to be done in Parliament du to level one of the lockdown. The Programming Committee meeting last Thursday agreed on that having been informed by discussions held at the political parties Chief Whips Forum. She thought she would mention it as she sits on the Programming Committee so arrangements made should take note of that. Notwithstanding that there may be Members that would have furnished Parliament with sick notes from their doctors.

The Chairperson responded that it means the Committee will meet in person and if there are those who have medical challenges, they will submit a doctor’s note and link up with the subcommittee on a virtual platform.

Members were sent the breakdown of the CVs via email, and they have also been sent a link to the softcopies of the CVs.

The meeting was adjourned

Documents

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