DWYPD on all outstanding human resource matters and previous meeting follow-up

Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

19 August 2021
Chairperson: Ms C Ndaba (ANC)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

Documents handed out: Presentation on the Work of the M&E Unit in the DWYP & Report on the Work Activities by the Rpakm Unit [confidential]

17 Aug 2021

Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities 2020/21 Quarter 4 & 2021/22 Quarter 1 performance

In a virtual meeting, the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities briefed the Committee on outstanding human resource matters. Responses were provided particularly on matters related to appointments made during the Covid-19 pandemic, matters pertaining to the appointment process of the Chief Director: Disabilities, feedback on matters referred to the Department of Public Service and Administration and the Public Service Commission for investigation, and the unresolved matter relating to a Deputy Director-General of Corporate Services.

The Committee asked if proper procedures were followed in filling vacancies during the Covid-19 pandemic. Members also raised concerns about issues of nepotism in the appointments made, and appointments of family members. They asked the Department to submit a comprehensive report regarding this. The Committee expressed displeasure about the Department’s failure to submit its reports, and agreed to schedule a follow-up meeting for the report to be adequately considered.

The Department raised concerns about complainants jumping internal processes and addressing their grievances to the Portfolio Committee. The Committee said that, while grievance procedures must be followed, it may require clarity from the Department about where complaints are received in the course of carrying out its oversight responsibilities.

The Committee asked about the case of the Chief Director and the effect of the withdrawal of the matter from the bargaining council. The Committee was particularly concerned about how long the matter remains unaddressed, and the fact that the official refuses to work, does not take instructions, but stills earn from the public purse. The Committee expressed further concern on the matter being sub judice, but were reassured by the Committees’ legal team that the Parliament is not bound by the sub judice rule when conducting its constitutional and oversight functions and obligations.

The Committee asked why positions have been left vacant for a long time, and the effect of lack of personnel and reduced funds, on the Department’s activities. The Committee also asked questions on the Department’s inability to access desegregated data on women related matters.

The Committee also raised the issue of underspending reported in the financial report of the Department. The Chairperson said that it has been agree that the Department will give the Committee a comprehensive report and will inform the Committee on the outcome of the court case and the disciplinary actions that the Department has taken.

Meeting report

Chairperson’s Opening Remark

The Chairperson opened the virtual meeting, welcoming the Members, Committee support staff and the delegation from the Department of Youth, Women and Persons with Disabilities. She said that the meeting will deal specifically with outstanding matters from the meeting of 17 August 2021. She hoped that an agenda was sent to the Department, and that the Department is ready to brief the Committee. The Chairperson also welcomed the legal team from Parliament.

Three apologies received from Mr L Mphithi (DA), Ms N Shariff (DA), who will join the virtual meeting late, and Ms C Phiri (ANC).

Response from Department on Outstanding Matters

Adv. Mikateko Maluleke, Director-General (DG), Department of Women, Youths and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD), said that, in respect of Human Resource (HR) matters, the Department sent a report to the Portfolio Committee, on the appointments that were made during the pandemic, and the report will be presented together with a report on the matter regarding the chief director.

Mr Mbhazima Shiviti, Chief Director: Resource Management, DWPD, recounted that the Portfolio Committee had requested a report on the filing of vacancies within the Department, during the lockdown period, and the report was sent to the Chairperson sometime in November 2020. The positions filled include:

  • Director-General (DG), 01 August 2020.
  • Chief Director MME, 01 July 2020.
  • Chief Director: National Youth Development Programme, 01 August 2020.
  • Chief Director: Advocacy and Mainstreaming Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 01 November 2020.
  • Director: Outreach, 01 November 2020.
  • Director: Governance, Transformation, Justice and Security, 01 November 2020.
  • Director of SCM was a lateral transfer from the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) to DWYPD.
  • Director Evaluation, 2020.
  • Director of Governance and Compliance, Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2020.
  • Assistant Director: International Relations, 2020.
  • Assistant Director: Advocacy and Mainstreaming, 2020.
  • Director: ICT, 15 July 2021.
  • Four positions filled in the secretariat at gender-based violence:
    • Administrative Officer, 01 March 2021
    • 2 Deputy Directors, June 2021
    • and Director, 01 July 2021.
  • Positions of secretaries, 01 May 2021, Executive Personal Assistant to the DG, 01 June 2021, Secretary to Director Stakeholder and Outreach, 01 June 2021.
  • Contract employment positions, linked to the term of office of the Minister and Deputy Minister, were also filled in the Ministries.

The Chairperson said that the concern of the Committee was if procedures were followed in respect of the posts filled during the Covid-19 pandemic. She requested a report to that effect.

The DG responded that the report on the process followed was submitted to the Portfolio Committee late 2020 or sometime in January 2021. On the question of internal audit, such as advertisement made, and people appointed according to the prescriptions, due process was followed. However, there were other issues that the Public Service Commission (PSC) was supposed to investigate, which was beyond the DG’s mandate.

On the appointment of the Chief Director and Advocacy and mainstreaming in the rights of persons with disabilities, the DG indicated that the Department is waiting for the findings of the PSC to enable it act accordingly. In August 2021, the Department received a letter from the bargaining council, stating that the complainant had withdrawn the complaint. However, this does not stop the proceedings of the public service since he did not withdraw from the Commission. On the part of the government, investigation will continue until he withdraws, and if the government finds irregular appointments, then the Commission is authorised to make a ruling to that effect. The DG cannot make a decision on the matter.

The Chairperson said that two issues for investigation are whether the Department followed proper procedures in making its appointments (instead of nepotism), based on the allegation that the person appointed is married to the head of human resources. The Committee awaits reports on these two issues. There were also allegations that the head of human resources appointed other family members in other positions. She observed that all outstanding issues ought to have been sent to the DG to enable her to respond appropriately. She asked the secretariat to send all outstanding matters to the DG.

The DG responded that there was a hearing about the appointment of relatives for the first time, but she may not be able to respond on certain issues. She asked if the issue of appointment of relatives was reported, apart from that of the wife of the director, which is already being investigated.

The Chairperson said that the research team of the Committee will collate all correspondences received and forwarded to the DG, and she will thereafter provide responses to the Committee. The meeting will nonetheless focus on the correspondences related to the Chief Director, which have already been received by the DG. The Committee Secretariat is ailing, and the acting personnel may not have all the documents. However, the research team will send all correspondences to the Department.

The DG explained that public servants are appointed through the Public Service Act and Regulations that outline the processes that should be followed, including exhausting all internal processes. Nothing in the regulations says that complainants can go to Parliament, but to the court, which will have the final say. She wondered if the people sending the communications were not abusing the system.

The Chairperson responded that the Committee will provide the Department with assistance in this regard. The Committee does not want people to jump internal processes and come to the Portfolio Committee to report issues before registering their grievances. Grievance procedures must be followed. She explained that, when anonymous correspondences are received, it could be difficult to handle. When there is a complaint and the Committee is carrying out its oversight functions, the Committee may require the Department to provide clarity on how matters are addressed. The Committee does not deal with administrative matters, but when complaints are received from dissatisfied complainants, it will intervene to know how the matter was handled by the Department, towards reaching a resolution.

Mr Vusumuzi Shongwe confirmed that the process followed in the appointment of the Chief Director and other posts was correct, and a report was forwarded to the Committee early 2021. He however apologised that he was not prepared to provide a report.

The Chairperson cautioned Mr Shongwe that he was under oath and any report given must be one that he can account for. She advised that he request for a new date to enable him prepare adequately to present his report.

Mr Shongwe requested for more time to prepare thoroughly and present an accurate report.

The Committee agreed to grant the Department more time to prepare and present a clear and understandable report.

Ms F Masiko (ANC) said that, for future meetings, both the research team and the secretariat should endeavour to forward a clear outline of the Committee’s meeting so everyone can be better prepared.

Mr S Ngcobo (DA) agreed that the Department should be given the opportunity to produce a comprehensive report because everything said in Parliament is under oath.

Ms P Sonti (EFF) also said that the Department must go back and prepare a full and understandable report.

Ms N Ntlangwini (EFF) expressed her disappointment about the Department’s unpreparedness to present the required reports. If a report was prepared earlier this year and sent to the Committee, it should be easy to refer to it. A comprehensive report must be submitted on why people are hired without following proper procedures.

The Chairperson had poor network, and Ms Masiko took over as acting Chairperson for the meeting.

Ms Masiko said that the Committee Members did not receive the report sent by the Department, and she asked for confirmation on the exact date when the report was sent.

The DG said she will confirm the exact date and report to the parliamentary officer.

On HR matters, the DG recounted that the Chairperson had raised the issues in a previous meeting, and the reports have since been prepared and concluded. She explained that the communication received from the Portfolio Committee did not indicate that the Department would be required to present on its reports. The 82-page report can immediately be emailed to the secretariat.

Ms Masiko requested that Parliament also look into its system to ensure that the facts presented are corrected. However, the report should be resent so that the Committee can review it. As indicated by the Chairperson, a follow-up meeting will be called to deal with the report properly.

The DG said that she had already referred the case of the Chief Director of RPD, and await directives from the PSC. The complainant has withdrawn the matter from the bargaining council. The Commission is not bound by the withdrawal but will still deal with any irregularity it finds. The complainant initiated the matter in court, and it is still pending. On the part of the Department, a disciplinary hearing has already been initiated. The court will decide whether the process is correct or not. The matter is sub judice, hence the Department cannot discuss the evidence.

Ms Masiko said the submission on the issue of the matter currently before the court is noted. She asked if the official in question is currently at work while the matter is before the court.

Ms Ntlangwini said also that the Committee is aware that it cannot consider matters that are before the court. She however restated the question raised by Ms Masiko, on whether the official in question is currently at work while the matter is pending in court.

The DG responded in the affirmative, but added that all she can say is that the official refuses to take instructions.

Ms Masiko asked further if the official is at work but not working, while earning a salary.

The DG confirmed.

Ms Masiko explained that, while the matter could not be discussed at length due to the fact that it was before the court, the Committee was concerned that the official was still earning a salary despite not working.

The DG explained that, when she arrived at the Department in August 2020, the official was not working. The official had been suspended and dismissed, at that point, and was later reinstated – paid till the day when she was dismissed. Since her reinstatement, she has refused to work.

Response from the Committee’s Legal Advisory

Adv Andile Tetyana, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, explained that one of the powers vested in the National Assembly and in extension the Portfolio Committee is found in section 55 (2) (a) and (b) of the Constitution; it directs that the National Assembly must provide for mechanisms to ensure that all executive organs of government are accountable to it. Section 55 (2) (b) also says that the National Assembly must provide mechanisms to maintain oversight of the exercise of National Executive Authority and any organ of State. This is also echoed in the National Assembly rule 9th edition, rule 227(1) (b), which says that the Portfolio Committee must maintain oversight of any organ of State within its portfolio. Rule 227 (1) (c) says further that a Portfolio Committee may monitor, investigate, inquiry into or make recommendations concerning any executive organ of State.

The above sections give jurisdiction to this Committee to look into the issues before it. The biggest issue is the reinstatement of the DDG, in line with the Arbitration Act, on the same terms and conditions of employment that applied prior to her dismissal. The documentation forwarded to the legal team has been reviewed, and these sentiments were also echoed in the first paragraph of the Minsters letter dated 11 November 2019. Two arbitrations awards were made in favour of the DDG. The restructuring process started in 2014, while the issue between the DDG and the Department commenced in 2016. The matter has remained unresolved for over six years at a great cost to the Department, which justifies why the matter is before the Portfolio Committee. In terms of the court proceedings underway, the DG is correct to say that the matter is sub judice. However, Parliament is not bound by that rule when conducting its constitutional and oversight functions and obligations.

According to section 195 of the Constitution, on public administration, there are certain principles and values that the public administration must pay attention to. Section 195(1) particularly addresses the principles of cultivating efficient economic use of resources, good human resources management and maximising human potentials. Section 38(1)(b) states the general responsibilities of accounting officers and directs that accounting officers of the department are responsible for the effective and efficient, economical and transparent use of resources of the department. The fact that the matter is in court does not hinder the Committee from performing its oversight obligations over the Department. Both processes must be respected. Section 195 enables the Committee, and it enjoins the Department to account for money spent; the department is required to report on how it has been handling this matter from 2015 till date.

Ms Masiko said that, based on the advice from the legal team, a follow-up meeting will be called with the DG for the required reports to be presented.

The DG expressed disagreement with the legal advisers’ opinion. She had indicated earlier that the legal Department relied on the information given, without seeking the Department’s position. The legal team referred to section 195 of the Constitution, whereas the Department is a government department governed by legislation; the appointment and how grievances are dealt with are regulated by the Public Administration Act and the Public Administration Regulations. She requested that Parliament seek another opinion or the Department go to the state adviser for an opinion. A chronological report of all processes since 1994 can be presented, but the final decision lies with the court. The Department has nonetheless initiated a disciplinary process.

Ms Masiko explained that the biggest concern of the Committee is that the matter has dragged for a long time, and second is the official who is presenting herself to work, not taking instructions, not working and still earning over R1 million from the public purse.

Adv Tetyana explained that, although the presentation of the legal team was based on the documentation submitted, the report was balanced based on the affidavit from the DG. The legal team acknowledged the fact that the matter is before the court, but noted that it was given the documentation for the purpose of working with both the Committee and the Department in finding available options. The matter was referred to arbitration twice and the Department lost. It not enough for the Department to hide behind the sub judice rule and attempt to hinder the Committee from asking questions on the matter. The Department is enjoined by the Constitution to come disclose, to the parliamentary Committee, its findings on the DDG.

The DG added that the Department would submit a report of what happened.

Ms Shoki Tshabalala, Deputy Director-General (DDG): Social Transformation, DWYPD, said that the Department has a monitoring and evaluation framework drafted to guide systems as well as processes for tracking, assessing and reporting the results of the interventions, as outlined in the national strategic plan towards ending gender-based violence and femicide. The framework outlines the theory of change, technical indicator definitions, data flow processes, the roles and responsibilities and the requisite capacity to implement that framework. The consultation sessions on the draft framework and plans were already held at the national level; the Department is now focusing on the government tiers that relate to the province and local level, so that they can provide further input on the document. Because the Department is in a phase of consultation, Ms Tshabalala proposed that an MME framework is signed together with the plan, while it consults with and solicits input from the Portfolio Committee. Only then can the Department say that all relevant key stakeholders were consulted and a final document can be concluded and presented where all stakeholders can be held accountable.

Presentation on the work of the M&E Unit in the DWYPD

Ms Ranji Reddy, Chief Director: Research and Policy, DWYPD, presented on the unit’s three fundamental components of work to include:

  • The coordination of the implementation of the GRPBMEAF: Guided by the GRPBMEAF Implementation plan,
  • The monitoring of the socio-economic transformation of WYPD: Guided by the Country Gender Indicator Framework.
  • The evaluation of the interventions/programmes on the socio-economic transformation WYPD: Guided by the Departmental Evaluation Plan and the National Evaluation Plan.

The Chairperson asked why the Department did not ask the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) to carry out its evaluation, since it is difficult for the Department to evaluate itself.

Ms Reddy explained that the Department works regularly with the DPME. However, DPME does not actually do the evaluation itself but outsources all its evaluations across government. DPME is also not a unit in itself and is not big enough to carry out an evaluation on its own. DPME just reports back and informs the Department that it needs to fund a process, and it will thereafter outsource the evaluation.

Report on the work activities by the DPAKM Unit

Ms Reddy presented on the work of the research unit of the Department and on its four focus areas:

  • Research – three research undertakings include SOEs, JSE Top 100 listed and enlisted companies, Infrastructure Projects, and Gender Pay Gap.
  • Knowledge management,
  • Policy analysis, and
  • International reporting.

The Chairperson asked if the report on the work done with UN women is a permanent solution or a temporary one. If it is not a permanent solution, how long has the problem existed and has there been any consultation between the DG, the Minister and the DM on the issues presented towards finding permanent solutions? The report showed that the Department is stagnant and there is no willingness to change the status quo. The Portfolio Committee needs to be assured that the Department has capacity to do all the things that are being presented. Any presentation that casts doubts on the Committee with regard to the work of the Department poses a problem.

The Chairperson asked how long the position of the Chief Director remained vacant, and why the positions have not been filled. The Chairperson also asked why the Department was outsourcing.

The DG clarified that her presentation in May showed that the resources of the Department were low compared to those of DPME, and the biggest challenge is the issues of women and the way women are being treated. Even though the Department was established at the same time as DPME, women issues were not considered important. Staff composition of DPME is three times that of this Department, and DPME has a bigger budget. DPME also has systems to do monitoring, unlike the DWYPD, which has no systems and captures data manually. DPME focuses on the government only, national, provincial and local government. Though the Department is supposed to monitor national, local and provincial, it decided to focus on the public service, particularly in closing the pay gap. The Department has no provincial presence, and efforts have consistently been made to enable the Department to receive half of what was allocated to DPME, but the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and National Treasury refuse.

The Department has, however, decided not to allow lack of personnel and funds to hinder its activities, but decided to enter into partnerships with organisations such as the EU, while the contracts are coordinated by the National Treasury and the developmental partners. The EU will give a budget to the Department for the next three years, to augment its functions. The partners usually have a focus – for example, they focus on gender-based violence, gender budgeting, etc, and that is what enables the Department to function not only at the national, but also at provincial and local government levels. An appeal has been made to the Portfolio Committee for assistance in terms of resources and personnel.

The Chairperson said that the matter will be taken up with the leadership of the Committee and the Department, and a meeting will be scheduled to strategise on the best approach to address the issues.

Ms N Sharif (DA) wanted clarity on why the Department lacked access to desegregated data in terms of women information and gender, age, place of residence, etc. The Department had been in existence for a long time and should have a database where necessary information can be accessed. She wondered how the Department informs its researches or programmes without this information.

Ms Reddy clarified that she did not say that the Department does not have access to desegregated data, but that it is not able to easily obtain these disaggregated data. The department does not generate primary data but generates its data from other departments who act as the implementing agents. But sometimes these data are not collected by these departments. It therefore sometimes becomes difficult to access these disaggregated data.

The Chairperson expressed concern about the departments’ response, particularly in relation to how it will compile country reports.

Ms Reddy explained further that, when the Department compiles country reports, it requests for responses to specific questions from specific departments, and then collates the responses accordingly.

The DG also explained that the issue of disaggregated information is a national problem and the system of the country, and government has failed to provide this disaggregated information within its systems. Usually, departments will provide disaggregated information where available, while in other instances they will be unable to provide the information.

Ms Reddy also said that the Department is able to access data on the DPME system on a quarterly basis, but the data is not always disaggregated. The Department also uses its system for monitoring, and where there are gaps, it relies on statistics of South Africa and scanning of reports of each department to identify required information.

The gender pay gap in the quarter four report was an error, because the gender pay gap research was initiated in the current financial year. The gender pay gap done in quarter four target was in respect of the gender impact of covid-19 restrictions, which was done in-house.

On what the Department is doing to increase its capacity, she responded that the Department is trying to collaborate with other government departments, development partners and research institutions in order to execute research work. Where the Department partners on research with no payment, or sources funding and technical assistance from the development partners such as the EU empowerment programme running through Treasury, the Department would also source for money to execute some of its work. Last year, the Department began partnering with The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) to undertake research on women in the green economy, which was completely funded by UNIDO. The work is completely in the control of government departments, and two weeks ago the Minister launched that report. The Department also partnered with the DPME in terms of the National COVID-19 report and played a big role in the chapter on gender and COVID-19.

On research report that needs to be shared with the Committee, research reports that were sent to the Committee in hard copy include the report on the Incentive Schemes, particularly those in the DTIC – the B+25 report and the 5th periodic CEDAW report. The Department has completed publishing its 25 years review report and can make hard copies available to the Committee. The report on women and green economy was not published in hard copy, but portal details can be sent to the Committee secretariat, and Members can download the report.

On international reporting, the Department is responsible for the development of reports and compliance. Information and data are obtained from departments and research documents that are available. The Department does not engage a consultant for report writing, but report writing in terms of international reporting is done in-house, and if there is an external service provider on a research report, they will produce their finds in the form of a report.

For international reporting, the Department consults with external stakeholders to validate its reports. Challenges are faced when there are large numbers of requests for reports with a short timeframe. Requests are also received from other departments to write a chapter in their reports in response to matters on women, and the workload is quite heavy on the unit.

In the area of policy analysis, the DWYPD does not have the capacity but is able to respond to draft policies or legislations. The Department is currently reviewing the National Policy Framework, in line with the changes that have happened in the last few years, and is considering the development of a gender mainstreaming strategy in-house. These are huge projects that will require an increased budget.

The Department also focuses on knowledge management, and has embarked on the establishment of a knowledge hub. Work can however not progress quickly because of lack of skills, know-how and expertise within the Department. Consequently, the work has to be outsourced, and outsourcing is expensive. The Department tries to carry out its work in stages, and is currently focusing on the technical design of the hub for this year.

On the question on the Department’s progress on MTSF (Medium-Term Strategic Framework) priorities, she said that the Department is responsible for cross cutting priorities one-seven. The Department has developed the mid-term report and submitted to the DPME. Progress was made on many of the indicators, but more work needs to be done towards meeting the targets set out in the MTSF. Progress was recorded in priority one on the institutionalisation of the GRPBMA framework and for priority two on women’s economic and empowerment. In priority four, there is progress in terms of the sanitary dignitary programme; in priority six there is progress on the issue of the NSP on the GBVF. On priority seven, focus is on the international, continental and regional participation and reporting, but there are many gaps that still exist. In the next six months, the progress will be assessed again when the Department is assessing again to evaluate progress and identify the gaps that still exist and the required work that should be done to meet the yearly target and the five-year target.

In terms of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), especially SDG 5 on women equality and empowerment and gender equality, the indicators have been fundamentally incorporated across the MTSF and within the Department’s monitoring gender indicator framework. All the work that is expected is spread across the MTSF and the Department’s monitoring, but gaps still exist within the Department.

The SDG reporting is an aggregated report for the country, and it is done and coordinated by Statistics South Africa and DPME; the Department works with them particularly on reporting on SDG 5. The last report was done in 2019 and the next report will be produced later in the year 2021.

CFO Desree Legwale observed that, according to the DG’s response, all service providers are registered on Central Supplier Database (CSD) through National Treasury, while National Treasury is responsible for the administration of the CSD system. However, internally, when a procurement is conducted, quality assurance is carried out to verify whether there is a supplier, that the prospective supplier is not restricted to do business with government, whether the shareholders or members of the company are not employees of government, and, in terms of tax, whether the service providers are in good standing with the South African Revenue Services (SARS). Where service providers are found to be non-compliant on any criteria, they will not be considered for appointment.

On money spent by the Department in terms of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), the expenditure reflected on the books of the Department, in relation to NYDA, relates to the amounts transferred to the NYDA on a quarterly basis, in line with the projections agreed upon between the Department and the agency. Once this money is transferred to NYDA, the agency will then desegregate it in terms of the salaries, operational cost and implementation of programmes, and beneficiaries participating on the programme.

The DG introduced the Department’s new director, Ms Malebo Kube, who will respond to the issues on the website.

Ms Malebo Kube said that the Department has finalised the specification, which is with supply chain, to advertise on RFQ and appoint a service provider to do the development of the website, the intranet and also the support and maintenance. Upon joining the Department on July 15, she found that the Department was already in engagement with State Information Technology Agency (SITA). A proposal was requested for the development, maintenance and hosting of the website and the intranet. At the said time, SITA had actually given the Department the proposal, but the proposal was only to develop the website and excluded intranet and the voice component feature that the disability branch had requested for. Also, the pricing that SITA provided was quite expensive, and after engaging with the chairperson of the ICT strategic committee, a cost comparison was conducted in the market. The specification has since been done, and supply chain will send to service providers. The Department hopes that, by the end of September, which is the end of quarter two, the website will be up and running.

The Chairperson asked the CFO if the Department has filled the vacancies in her division.

The CFO said that the office of the Director SCM was appointed on 01 October 2020. When the Department was established, the post within the office of the CFO was not aligned to the recommended structure in the office of the CFO National Treasury. The Department is not at liberty to increase the number of posts, given the budget reduction that was introduced by National Treasury during the adjusted budget period in 2020/2021 financial year. It is hoped that when the economic climate changes, Treasury will give the money back to the Department, and with the reorganisation that is currently taking place in the Department, it would be able to obtain additional resources.

Ms Sharif said that the Department, in its response to the Committee on its APP, mentioned the use of consultants, and one of the reasons given was for report writers and the organisational strategic plan. If reports are done in-house, why are report writers used for consultation? Are they required for the research reported, or are they engaged in the actual writing of reports?

The Chairperson said that the Department must not fall to fill critical vacancies on grounds of lack of resources, while money ends up being returned into the Treasury, whereas the Department is expected to use all the funds allocated to it.

The CFO said that, in the Department’s report on quarter four of 2020 and quarter one of the current financial year, the Department reported an underspending in terms of services. The spending of the Department was highly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in the implementation of those activities and engagements with stakeholders that required physical engagements. The Department will strive, in the current financial year, to ensure that there is no material underspending. The DG also monitors spending by ensuring that management of the respective units use the budget allocated to it.

The Chairperson restated that, on the issue of the DDG, a person cannot be earning money that he has not worked for. The official in the Department must do some work while waiting for the outcome of the court. The DG needs to allocate that person to do some work so that taxpayers’ money must not be earned for nothing. The Committee needs to get a report on what will be done about this, while everyone is expected to account for work allocated to them.

The DG acknowledged that the matter was long standing, and when she arrived at the Department, she tried to negotiate and mediate but failed. “So, I am following the processes of misconduct. The court process was initiated to hold the Department ransom, but I understand that the Department can act, and it acting. The DPSA has appointed the relevant persons to handle the matter. We will however provide the Committee with a report on the details of what happened and what we are doing but not on the substantive issues ongoing in court”, she said.

Ms Sharif asked how long has the court proceedings been ongoing.

The DG said that the matter was initiated in 2020, in court. The Department submitted last year; the complainant submitted a reply and left the case pending in court. However, DPSA process must take its course and the official cannot hold the Department ransom.

The Chairperson said that it has been agree that the Department will give the Committee a comprehensive report and will inform the Committee on the outcome of the court case as well as the disciplinary actions taken as a Department.

Consideration and Adoption of Minutes

The Committee considered and adopted meeting minutes from Wednesday, 02 June 2021 and Thursday 15 July 2021.

The meeting was adjourned.


No related documents

Download as PDF

You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.

See detailed instructions for your browser here.

Share this page: