Budget Vote Reports considered

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Meeting Summary

Tabled Committee Reports

In a virtual meeting, the Committee met to consider and amend its reports on the 2021/22 Annual Performance Plans and Strategic Plans of the departments and entities as part of the budget vote process. The discussion focused on the observations and recommendations.

On StatsSA, the Committee emphasised the need for the employment of people with disabilities to senior management positions and for the Committee to assist with the funding constraints of the entity considering the immense work it does. It was also the Committee’s responsibility to assist with recommending this in the report.

On BrandSA, the Committee discussed the amalgamation with Tourism SA and the need for further engagement between the Ministers, Committees and departments to discuss this. it was said the amalgamation must be done with speed because the pending amalgamation does have an impact and vacancies cannot be filled due to the instability.

Regarding Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), it was emphasised there must be harsh disciplinary measures for employees doing business with government. The Committee also noted the lack of tangible outcomes on the lifestyle audits.

On the National School of Government (NSG), Members made suggestions regarding training and separating the Nyukela programme from the compulsory training and partnerships between NSG and abroad bodies. 

Meeting report

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on the Strategic Plan 2019/20—2023/24, Annual Performance Plan (APP) 2021/22 and the Budget Vote 14 of Statistics South Africa
The Committee Content Advisor took Members through the report.

Ms B Maluleke (ANC) suggested that point 8.6 in the report was not an observation, but a recommendation.

The Chairperson agreed.

Ms M Lesoma (ANC) agreed with Ms Maluleke and stated that the recommendation should be in line with the observations.

The Chairperson invited Ms Maluleke to raise her point again to the Committee Content Advisor. 

Ms Maluleke suggested that the wording used in 8.6 suggests that it is a recommendation. The use of the word “encouraged” indicates that it is not an observation. If there is no recommendation for this observation, one should be drafted.

The Committee Content Advisor agreed to check whether it was adequately raised in the recommendations.

The Chairperson agreed with Ms Maluleke

The Committee Content Advisor agreed and if it was not adequately addressed in the recommendation, a further recommendation would be drafted.  

The Chairperson agreed.

Ms Maluleke agreed.

Ms Maluleke stated that the use of the word “urged” in point 8.9 of the observations suggested that it is a recommendation. An observation must be drafted and then the Committee can urge StatsSA.

The Chairperson agreed.

Ms Ntuli (ANC) agreed with Ms Maluleke and suggested that a part of point 8.8 under observations could also be considered a recommendation, although subject to correction.

The Committee Content Advisor appealed to the Committee that they should remember not to become repetitive with the recommendations and that perhaps points should be emphasised as observations. The promotion of people with disabilities was a recommendation to StatsSA.

Ms Maluleke agreed that it should remain an observation and under the recommendations, it can be emphasised StatsSA must continue to move people with disabilities into senior management positions. The Committee should encourage the entity to continue its good work.

The Committee Content Advisor stated that point 9.3 addresses the issues raised by Ms Maluleke under point 8.6 which talks about skilling and re-skilling. There is an observation speaking to the particular recommendation.

Ms Maluleke agreed but suggested point 8.6 of the observations still be rephrased so that it does not sound like it is a part of the Committee’s recommendations.

The Committee Content Advisor agreed to rephrase the observation.

Ms Ntuli suggested that the report make reference to the uncertainty of the covid environment and having to implement recommendations during this time of uncertainty.

The Chairperson assured Ms Ntuli that the Committee Content Advisor will address her concerns in the amendments.

Ms Maluleke reiterated that observation 8.9 was to go down into recommendations.

The Chairperson assured her that the Committee Content Advisor has noted it.

The Committee Content Advisor agreed to rework the observation.

Ms Ntuli suggested that the Committee emphasise the recommendation on funding considering that the increase of R49 million was still a drop in the ocean for StatsSA considering the immense work it does.

The Chairperson noted Ms Ntuli’s concern and stated that the Committee Content Advisor will phrase it accordingly.

Points 8.6 under the observations and 9.4 under the recommendations were amended during the meeting.  

Ms Ntuli emphasised that the issue of the budget should be put on top. This will ensure that the Committee has done its part and made its recommendations. It is important that there are continuous engagements with National Treasury.

Ms Lesoma stated that the Committee pledged itself to ensure engagement with the Minister and the Appropriation Committee. The recommendation must emphasise that the Committee will take responsibility in assisting StatsSA. The importance of StatsSA could never be overemphasised, and it is the Committee’s responsibility to ensure that.

Ms C Motsepe (EFF) agreed with Ms Lesoma. The shortfall of StatsSA has been dragged out for too long and it is the department’s duty to intervene.

The Committee Content Advisor questioned whether this should be a recommendation in the report or a resolution as reflected in the Committee minutes.

Ms Lesoma suggested that it gets noted in the minutes and the Committee must ensure it gets implemented. This was part of the Committee’s oversight role. The Committee was reminded to not lose sight of this point and that, as Ms Motsepe stated, it is a matter of urgency.

The Chairperson stated that the Committee Content Advisor will add in the necessary amendments.

The Committee Content Advisor said that he will ensure that point 9.9 is rephrased accordingly.

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on the Strategic Plan 2019/20—2023/24, Annual Performance Plans (APPs) 2021/22 and the Budget Vote 9 of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
Ms Ntuli asked about the structuring of BrandSA and the whether the observations regarding the National School of Government (NSG) were recommendations. Did the report make mention of the accreditation with institutions of higher learning?

The Committee Content Advisor said the recommendations cover the majority of Ms Ntuli’s concerns. It refers to job losses and the measuring of majors.

The Chairperson asked Ms Ntuli if her question had been addressed.

Ms Ntuli said that she is not referring to the amalgamation only. There was an acting CEO and issues of fast tracking the integration of BrandSA with SA Tourism.

Ms Lesoma suggested that it must be captured that amalgamation must be done with speed because the pending amalgamation does have an impact and vacancies cannot be filled due to the instability. Once the amalgamation is finalised, everything will fall into place.

It was suggested that this be placed in the Committee minutes for tracking purposes. A meeting should be placed on the programme to ensure there was engagement with the Department of Tourism, Ministers and Portfolio Committees to ensure clarity on how the amalgamation would take place. Once the amalgamation is complete, other issues will fall into place.

The Committee Content Advisor agreed with Ms Lesoma. The joint meeting between the Committees will be reflected in the minutes and placed on the programme.
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on the Strategic Plan 2019/20—2023/24, Annual Performance Plans (APPs) 2021/22 and the Budget Vote 11 of the Department of Public Service and Administration
The Committee Content Advisor suggested that point 10.6 under observations could also be a recommendation, but the Members can decide.

Ms M Kibi (ANC) agreed that point 10.6 should go to recommendations and asked whether the budget figures were correct.
The Committee Content Advisor assured Members that the figures were correct and agreed to move point 10.6.

The Committee Content Advisor amended the points accordingly and stated that part of point 10.4 should also be a recommendation.

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on the Strategic Plan 2019/20— 2023/24, Annual Performance Plans (APPs) 2020/21 and the Budget Vote 12 of the Public Service Commission

The Committee Content Advisor assured Members that the figures in the report were accurate

Ms Ntuli asked if there were any mention of structure regarding the Centre for Innovation in the observations.

Ms Lesoma suggested the Committee flag Ms Ntuli’s concerns and complete the report on the PSC.

Ms Lesoma suggested that if the Committee had no further comments, they could go back to the DPSA report before dealing with the NSG report.

The Committee Content Advisor agreed.

DPSA report

Ms Ntuli asked about the structure again and whether there was an emphasis on disciplinary measures for employees doing business with government. A need for hasher disciplinary measures is important in this regard. The Committee also needs to mention the lifestyle audit and say it is an ongoing matter with no tangible outcomes.

The Committee Content Advisor stated that the structure was spoken about in point 10.10: “The Committee further notes that an organisational structure has been completed for the Centre for Public Service Innovation, so that the moratorium on all funded vacant posts at the CPSI will be lifted. However, the Committee cautions the Department and the CPSI to ensure that the filling of posts happens within the approved allocated budget on compensation of employees”.

Ms Ntuli stated that doing business with the state and lifestyle audits are two different points.

The Committee Content Advisor stated that doing business with the state was mentioned in point 11.6 in under the PSC recommendation and that the lifestyle audit is referred to in point 11.5.

Ms Ntuli thanked the Committee Content Advisor.

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on the Strategic Plan 2019/20— 2023/24, Annual Performance Plans (APPs) 2021/22 and the Budget Vote 07 of the National School of Government
The Committee Content Advisor assured Members that the budget figures in the report were correct.

He suggested that point 8.4 under the observations should be put into the recommendations.

Ms Ntuli suggested the report separates the Nyukela programme from the compulsory training.

The Content Advisor agreed although the Nyukela programme is still compulsory if one wanted to go into senior management. It is not the only programme that is compulsory.

Ms Ntuli said the Nyukela is internally compulsory, but the compulsory training was emphasised to the NSG by the Committee so that it could establish a compulsory programme. However the funds were rolled over due to people not attending the compulsory training. She suggested the report separates the Nyukela training for senior management from compulsory training from everyone.

The Content Advisor amended point 8.8 and asked if Ms Ntuli agreed with the amending of point 9.2.

Ms Ntuli agreed to the amendment.

The Content Advisor stated that what the Committee is suggesting in point 9.5 is that there is a lack of skills in conflict management. The School should venture into this avenue and design a course on it. However, there is a need for the PSC be included to help solve a lot of the backlog issues

Ms Ntuli questioned whether there was a recommendation regarding partnerships between NSG and abroad bodies that also contributes to government employees. 

The Content Advisor stated that he will include the recommendation.

Ms Ntuli suggested that it should be an observation. If noted, it is positioning government employees to be on par with world-class modernisation.

The Content Advisor rephrased point 8.12: “the Committee welcomes the School partnering with relevant international training bodies to strengthen its role in providing training within the public service”

Ms Ntuli agreed with the amendment.

The Chairperson asked if Members had any other additional amendments.

Ms Lesoma congratulated the Committee on its good work. The Committee will adopt the amendments on the 13 May. It was suggested that the reports reach Committee Members before midnight so that there is no time wasted. It was suggested that in future, the recommendations made should be fewer in order to better monitor and track them. The Committee was reminded to be mindful about not repeating recommendations.

Committee minutes

The Committee Secretary took Members through the minutes of 10 March 2021.

The minutes were adopted.

The Committee Secretary took Members through the minutes of 17 March 2021.

The minutes were adopted.

The Committee Secretary took Members through the minutes of 28 April 2021.

Ms Lesoma asked to check the conclusion in full. As Acting Chairperson in those meetings, it is important to state that the Committee looks forward to the formal engagement on the bills brought to Parliament.

The minutes were adopted.

The Committee Secretary took Members through the minutes of 4 May 2021.

The minutes were adopted.

The Committee Secretary took Members through the minutes of 5 May 2021.

The minutes were adopted.

The Committee would meet the next day in order to adopt the amendments.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

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