PSC Board Vacancy; DPSA Portfolio Audit Outcomes; DPSA, PSC, NSG & CPSI 2020/21 Annual Report; with Minister & Deputy Minister

Public Service and Administration

10 November 2021
Chairperson: Mr T James (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Annual Reports 2020/21

The Portfolio Committee was briefed in a virtual meeting by the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) on the audit findings for 2020/21 of the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and its entities. This was followed by presentations on their annual performance reports by the Department and its entities -- the Public Service Commission, the National School of Government, and the Centre for Public Service Innovation.

In her overview, the Minister said the country's labour relations regime needed to be seriously reflected on by the Department and its entities in order to ensure a cohesive approach throughout government. The Department needed to apply its mind to integrity, ethics and the fight against corruption to start building the capacity within departments to find the loopholes that made corruption and financial mismanagement possible. It should also look at information management and electronic government in the Public Service Act to ensure a fully functional and professional public sector.

AGSA said there had been a slight regression in the overall audit outcomes in the portfolio when compared to the previous year. It recommended that there should be timely reviews of all the quarterly and annual performance reports, as well as financial statements, in order to develop and implement effective action plans to address internal control deficiencies, to improve audit outcomes, and that they monitor compliance with laws and regulations. Members asked whether those responsible for irregular expenditure were being brought to book, and wanted to know how future irregular expenditure would be prevented.

The PSC achieved a clean audit for the financial year under review as did the NSG and CPSI. DPSA received an unqualified audit outcome with findings from the Auditor-General (AG). This was a regression from the previous financial year, when the Department had obtained a clean audit

During discussion, Members were critical of the lengthy delays in the finalisation of disciplinary cases in the public service, asserting that this was costing the country billions. Their comments were supported by the Minister, who suggested that long suspensions meted out to individuals who did not pose a threat to the investigative process were being used as a punitive instrument, and also placed a burden on the state.

The Committee's main focus was on the entities' efforts to improve the performance of the public service, stressing that they would have to lead by example in order to root out corruption and enhance service delivery.

A draft timetable to handle the filling of vacancies on the Public Service Commission board was adopted, and a sub-committee would be established to finalise the process by February next year.

Meeting report

DPSA and entities: 2020/21 audit findings

Ms Modiehi Skosana, Acting Deputy Business Leader, Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) presented the audit findings on the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and its entities.

She said there had been a slight regression in terms of the overall outcomes in the portfolio when compared to the previous year, but the Public Service Commission (PSC), the National School of Government's Voting Account (NSG-VOTE) and the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) had received clean audits. The DPSA and NSG's Trading Training Account (NSG-TTA) had received financially unqualified audit opinions with findings on compliance with legislation. The DPSA had regressed from clean to an unqualified audit with findings on compliance due to inadequate controls to prevent irregular expenditure and the submission of financial statements that contained material misstatements.

On the quality of financial and performance reporting, she said the CPSI, NSG – TTA, NSG – VOTE and PSC had submitted financial statements that did not contain material misstatements, and were commended. The DPSA had submitted financial statements that contained material misstatements, mainly affecting disclosure notes. Material misstatements on lease disclosures were identified, which management had subsequently adjusted. There were recurring challenges identified with the performance reports of NSG, where indicators needed to be revised or adjusted because of the lack of implementation of preventative controls on performance reporting.

The DPSA had received an unqualified audit opinion, with findings on compliance. There were material misstatements identified in financial statements submitted for auditing and there were ineffective steps to prevent irregular expenditure; and effective and appropriate steps were not taken to collect all revenue due.

Turning to irregular expenditure over the past two years, she said the DPSA had incurred irregular expenditure of R1.9m in the current year which had been incurred on a multi -year information technology (IT) contract not procured through the State Information technology Agency (SITA) during 2018-19 for the PSC. This was a failure to comply with Public Service and Treasury regulations. In the previous year, R687 000 in irregular expenditure was incurred on the IT contract.

There was also fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred relating to a salary overpayment made to an employee of the DPSA. The total fruitless and wasteful expenditure was R99 000, whereas it had been R8 000 in the previous year.

She summarised the three root causes as being the lack of monitoring and control over the supply chain and the review of the financial statements, and not preparing regular and accurate reports.

AGSA recommended that there be timely reviews of quarterly and annual performance reports as well as financial statements by the DPSA, NSG and PSC; that the DPSA and NSG - TTA develop and implement effective action plans to address internal control deficiencies to improve audit outcomes and prevent future findings, and that they monitor compliance with laws and regulations. The NSG-TTA should implement adequate systems for the collection and recording of revenue received from training services provided.

The Chairperson apologised to the Minister for not allowing her to make opening remarks prior to the AGSA presentation. He invited the Minister to make her opening remarks.

Minister Dlodlo’s opening remarks

Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, said the Department and its entities dealt with a number of issues designed to make the public service and, to some extent, the public sector perform better through the development of norms and standards for various executables. She said the labour relations regime needed to be reflected on seriously by the Department and its entities in order to have a cohesive approach throughout government. A person needed to be appointed at the deputy director general (DDG) level to oversee labour relations, whose work would be on more than just wage negotiations and include the general wellbeing and health of employees and their conditions of service. The Department also needed to look at its training and development regime which should be informed, inter alia, by the AG’s report, and the performance evaluation outcomes of individuals should inform the development, training and mentoring of individuals so that planning could begin in earnest at the National School of Government (NSG) -- and so that it could do its planning better. Performance monitoring and reporting also needed to be improved, while feedback must also be given to the individual concerned.

The DPSA needed to apply its mind to integrity, ethics and the fight against corruption so as to start building capacity within departments to find the loopholes that made corruption and financial mismanagement possible. The Department also needed to look at information management and electronic government in the Public Service Act, to ensure a fully functional and professional public sector.

She said that as much as the audit outcomes looked better, they did not translate into better quality service delivery, so she would like to embark on a diagnostic audit throughout the portfolio to determine where the gaps, weaknesses and shortcomings in intellectual capacity were; the general competency and ability of the Department through its staffing systems to effect institutional reforms and transformation and improve efficiency, effectiveness and also ensure sound labour relations and an environment conducive to service excellence.

The Department needed to look at the introduction of frameworks that would contribute positively to the reduction of the wage bill, which was the second largest expenditure item on the budget. This would contribute towards the fiscal health of government and the credit rating of the country. It would mean adhering to all Cabinet decisions, and this would be looked at by the team doing the diagnostic audit. A wage bill needed to developed expeditiously, because some work was being done on the wage setting mechanism. The wage bill needed to be developed, as well as the adoption of a unigrade system which would replace the occupational specific dispensation. This discussion had occurred with the unions, and they had agreed to that, but had said that the wage negotiations had to be finalised after which the wage setting mechanism and unigrade system could be brought back to the table. The Department could assist in reducing the wage bill by being in line and in sync with the Cabinet decisions of 2018 that addressed some of these issues.

Overall, the audit outcomes were not embarrassing to the Department, with it having done fairly well on the compliance front, but she wanted to have a situation where AGSA, the Department, the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) and the Presidency not only looked at what the AG looks at, but looked at a system that evaluated the performance of government in a more holistic framework. This would help the Department to report back to Parliament in a more cohesive and convincing way on how it had performed against Cabinet decisions, the implementation of legislation and the Department’s mandate. and also against what the people of South Africa would want to see as quality services, rather than what the Department thought they wanted. She requested the PSC to assist with such an all-encompassing system.


Ms C Motsepe (EFF) asked when the Department would guard against the irregular expenditure of funds. Was expenditure not monitored? This meant the DPME was not doing its job, and the Department should be scrapped. Were those responsible for irregular expenditure brought to book, and how would future irregular expenditure be prevented?

Ms S Kibi (ANC) asked which levels in the public service would be subjected to job evaluation, and why. Were the guidelines for implementation of proposals for the reduction of costs in public administration related to the reduction in the wage bill? Had this project been ‘sold ‘ to organised labour, and what had labour’s response been?

Ms Ntuli asked if AGSA could elaborate on the salary overpayment at the DPSA. How did the overpayment come about? Did the Department make payments to non-existing employees? Had AGSA devised any means to assist the Department on its performance review and improve on its compliance monitoring? She asked if the Department was winning in terms of combating wasteful and irregular expenditure.

The Chairperson said the relevant departments could respond to the questions, rather than AGSA.

Ms T Mgweba (ANC) said there had been recommendations in the BRRR report of 2020. She asked AGSA how one ensured that these observations and recommendations were implemented and aligned with government priorities.

Ms Skosana responded that AGSA had recommended to the Department it should monitor the implementation of the action plans that management put in place. This would improve outcomes as they would address the root causes that had been spoken about. Management could use an audit committee or internal auditing functions. The Parliamentary Committee’s main function was to monitor the implementation of action plans.       
Public Service Commission Annual Report 2020/21

Adv Dinkie Dube, Director-General, gave an overview of the PSC’s performance. She said the total budget of the entity was R 272m. It had one national and nine provincial offices employing 11 Commissioners and 261 staff. The PSC had received a clean audit outcome. 230 out of 334 complaints had been concluded (69%), and 511 out of 677 grievances were concluded (75%). She said the PSC had done inspections at 60 schools.

On key achievements, she said that in order to strengthen accountability in the public service, the PSC had issued a circular on the implementation of unlawful instructions to executive authorities (EAs) and Heads of National and Provincial Departments, to stem the tide of irregular conduct in the public service.

The PSC had attained all except one of its annual performance plan (APP) targets in the 2020/21 financial year. The one target in the APP that was not met, was the 100% payment of valid invoices within 30 days of receipt. The PSC had improved its controls in this area, and for the 2021/22 financial year had decided to review its own standards to ensure that valid invoices were paid between seven to 14 working days of receipt of a valid invoice, especially because of the dire impact on small businesses.

Mr Zweli Momeka, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), gave a breakdown of under-spending, staff vacancies and vacancies in the Commission and how it impacted on the compensation of employees (CoE). The original budget had been R297.6m, which was adjusted to R273.8m, and 95.4% of this had been spent.

Adv Dube then spoke to the audit outcomes. No fruitless and wasteful expenditure or unauthorised expenditure was incurred. Irregular expenditure of R686 556 had been incurred. The PSC had received an unqualified audit opinion. The PSC had paid 99.97% of valid invoices within 30 days of receipt. One invoice payment was submitted late and a verbal warning was issued to the employee concerned.

Mr Momeka spoke to the three-year open tender for a telephone system for the PSC which did not go via the State Information Technology Agency (SITA).

Adv Dube then referred to the PSC’s programmes. In Programme 1, the vacancy rate was 8%, with 51% female employees in senior management service (SMS) positions. The disabled staff complement comprised 1.9% of the total staff. In Programmes 2, 3 and 4, all the targets were achieved.


Ms Motsepe said the PSC had decided to review its own standards to ensure that valid invoices were paid within 7- 14 working days of receipt of invoice. However, the PSC had not only failed to meet its own standards, it had also failed to pay some businesses within the regulatory 30-day period. How could the PSC monitor other departments when it itself failed to meet the same requirement? The PSC had conducted inspections in eight provinces to assess compliance on education. Which province was not inspected, and why?

Dr M Gondwe (DA) said the PSC, in its presentation, had referred to the issue of a circular on unlawful instructions as an achievement. She said the issuing of a circular could not be regarded as an achievement. It was the outcome or impact of a circular that could be an achievement. She asked when the circular had been issued. The PSC had noted its inputs to the NSG related to the framework of the professionalisation of the public service. Could they provide a brief synopsis to see what their contribution was? The PSC had incurred irregular expenditure, and she was concerned that there had been flouting of legislative requirements, and that it had become acceptable to flout legislation. The matter should not just be brushed aside, no matter how minimal the impact of the flouting of legislation might be. It was a matter of principle.

On delays in the finalisation of cases in the public service, she asked what the PSC did when the DPSA did not implement the PSC’s recommendations. She was concerned about their hands-off approach. She said the non-finalisation of cases was costing the country billions.

Adv Richard Sizani, PSC Chairperson, said that on the disciplinary matters raised by Dr Gondwe, the PSC had worked on research and discussed it with the DPSA at both the ministerial and public service levels, and had made recommendations related to it. The DPSA had established a unit to monitor these matters. The PSC had agreed with the DPSA that the PSC should further review the regulations around disciplinary issues because the code was not clear with regard to legislation in a number of areas. There was no standoff with the DPSA. The PSC was working with the DPSA and collaborating with them. He acknowledged that the salary payments to suspended staff had been a waste of money.

Turning to the issue of compliance, he said government had bodies that were monopolies, like Eskom and SITA for example. SITA did not meet any agreed requirements, yet departments had to use it. The PSC could then not perform or spend money and did not have anti-corruption phone lines. If the PSC had complied, then it would not have done any work for a year. He said Dr Gondwe was right to say that there should be compliance, but some of the problems the PSC had with SITA was the same for other departments working with SITA.

On the issue of professionalisation, the PSC and the DPSA all subscribed to this government principle. One of the fundamental principles that government had taken was the issue of building an ethical and capable state. The PSC had worked with the DPSA and other bodies to find the requirements for a capable, professional public service. One issue was the implementation of entry exams and of promotion exams. The PSC had done well on issues of race and now had to look at issues such as meritocracy and getting candidates who were fit for purpose. Ability and demographics would also be taken into account in the issue of professionalisation. He said the PSC had met with the Planning Commission, and together with them and the DPSA, it was implementing a pilot study on identifying the skills in policy analysis, policy implementation, policy costing and the impact analysis of policies, which were in short supply.    

In response to the issue of suspensions, Minister Dlodlo said that suspensions were a serious problem. She herself was peeved at the long suspensions meted out to individuals where individuals did not pose a threat to the investigation process and the suspensions were used as a punitive instrument. The issue was not about how much was paid to an individual sitting at home, but it was also the burden on the state, the Department and on other individuals who had to take over responsibilities and do the work of the suspended person. It was in most cases the Department that was the reason that disciplinary cases took forever. She said the respondents did not have the resources to pay for legal fees, but the Department brought in the best lawyers and even ex- judges, and this was wrong. The workplace disciplinary case was never intended to be like a court of law. This was happening because the DGs had the money, because it came from the Department, to delay a case as much as possible and in so doing, dispossessed the respondent who did not have similar financial resources for legal fees. Individuals then ended up resigning or agreeing to things because of a lack of resources. She proposed that all the costs of suspensions must be for the account of the DG or Minister’s account, and that the AG needed to play a role in these matters and ensure that this appeared in the performance management agreement of DGs and Ministers. This would have an impact, because currently it was not impacting on the pocket of the DGs as the money was coming from the state and hence ultimately, from the taxpayer. A holistic approach was needed to evaluate and not just to look at the outcomes the AG looks at. What the AG looked at was only a fraction of what should be looked at.

Dr Somadoda Fikeni, PSC Commissioner, referred to the professionalisation framework, and said that one of the things that came up in building a capable state through these reforms was the analysis of the AG’s reports. The AG had indicated that some of the weaknesses in human resource (HR) issues which landed up at the PSC as grievances and complaints, lay in the capacity and outlook of HR units of departments and on the issues of the political administrative interface. Some of the indications did indicate that people were suspended, and then the processes were slowed down to make sure that they were out of the system or certain things that they had been resisting could now be done. The executive and all relevant departments and entities like the PSC and Parliament needed to work together because when some the legislative reforms came, even the framework for professionalisation, the frustrations would largely be resolved. So, on the issue of the PSC merely recommending issues, he said it was a frustration that the chairperson of the PSC had always been raising, and there had been many suggestions that its powers should be more than just recommending. The PSC had tried to report to the Portfolio Committee when there were challenges. The PSC had tried to engage with the ministers concerned.

National School of Government Annual Report 2020/21

Mr Busani Ngcaweni, NSG Principal, gave an overview of the school’s performance. He said it had been a difficult year because of Covid-19 which had impacted on the revenue generation of the school. He noted that this annual performance under review represented the first year of implementation of the 2020/25 five-year strategy.

Mr Dino Poonsamy, Chief Director, said the five-year strategy had five strategic outcomes:
A functional integrated institution (NSG) supporting the delivery of education, training and development (ETD) interventions.
Competent public servants who were empowered to do their jobs.
Sustainable partnerships and collaboration to support ETD interventions.
Quality ETD practitioners.
Responsive ETD Interventions.

Key interventions were:
Leadership development.
Senior and executive leadership in the three spheres of government, the legislative sector and state-owned entities, and a focus on the institution of traditional leadership.
Thought leadership seminars/ webinars, master classes, Spring School on Economic Governance.

He spoke to the implementation capabilities of public servants, which required a focus on an entry-to-exit approach to public service career management, and, to having compulsory programmes which addressed systemic challenges, and to have demand-led programmes and opportunities for online and virtual learning. On professionalisation, he said the NSG had partnerships with professional bodies to professionalise certain categories of employees and partnerships with Schools of Public Administration to endorse programmes. On empowerment, he said there were cadet programmes for interns and higher education students, and programmes to facilitate engagement in communities and to foster gender mainstreaming.

He also spoke about quality management, the curriculum and Institutional matters, notably an organisational structure aligned to the new strategy; digital transformation and efficient operations management; and addressing the funding options for the NSG- TTA to be more sustainable. He also spoke to the NSG faculties, its target market, its product and service offerings, its international partnerships; its partnerships with higher education institutions and the impact of Covid- 19 related challenges and cyber-attacks. The NSG had received a clean audit, while the trading account had received an unqualified audit.

In Programme 1: Administration, the programme had a total of 14 planned targets for the financial year, and eight targets were achieved (57% achievement). In Programme 2: Public Sector Organisational and Staff Development, the programme had a total of 21 planned targets for the financial year, and 11 targets were achieved, ( 52% achievement). The NSG had a total of 230 posts in the organisational structure and 209 posts were filled, with a vacancy rate of 9.1%. Of the 21 vacant posts, seven were at the SMS level, while 14 were non-SMS posts. The vacant posts were due to the repositioning of the NSG and the budget ceiling on the compensation of employees (COE).

Ms Phindile Mkwanazi, Chief Financial Officer, spoke to the main expenditure, the COE and the expenditure on goods and services. The budget was R237.5m, and R227.4m expenditure had been incurred.

The NSG achieved a clean audit for the financial year under review

Centre for Public Service Innovation Annual Report 2020/21

Ms Lydia Sebokedi, Acting Executive Director, CPSI, said it was hard to keep a clean audit because for four years there had been a moratorium on the filling of posts. The Covid-19 pandemic had had a significant impact on internal processes and work arrangements, both negative and positive. As part of the re-organisation of the state, the Ministry for Public Service and Administration (MPSA) had requested a review of the CPSI's role, its functions and positioning, with the aim of strengthening its capacity. Following several engagements with relevant stakeholders, including innovation experts, the MPSA had decided: 
To retain the government component corporate form; 
That CPSI develop a new proposed structure;
To engage with National Treasury on funding for the proposed structure;

The Wits School of Governance had conducted a comprehensive, objective assessment of the CPSI to inform better positioning of the organisation for the future.

She then spoke to the achievement of institutional impacts and outcomes. She said three out of four targets were achieved. In the one target that was not achieved, an electronic leave management system that was developed and implemented in the Eastern Cape was identified as a replication project for 2020/21, but only one instead of two solutions had been replicated. The replication of the E-leave project would be earmarked for implementation in the fourth quarter of the 2021/22 financial year. The CPSI also intended increasing its internal capacity by employing system developers through contract posts and internships.

All vacant funded positions in the CPSI had been advertised in the DPSA vacancy circulars in the 2019/20 financial year. These posts were, however, not filled when the moratorium on the filling of positions was introduced during the second half of the 2019/20 reporting period. The Executive Director’s post had been vacant since 1 October 2018. The responsibilities of the post were assigned to internal capacity during the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. R3 000 of the total budget had remained unspent at year-end.

CPSI achieved an unqualified audit opinion on financial and non-financial information for 2020/21 financial year


Ms Kibi said that as part of the re-organisation of the state, the Minister had approved the retention of CPSI’s operating form. What did this mean in practical terms? Did developing the proposed new structure mean a scaling down or up of the organogram? How would this be in line with government's intention to reduce the wage bill? The electronic leave management system that was developed and implemented in the Eastern Cape had been identified as a replication project, but was not replicated due to Covid -19. What steps had been taken to ensure that this system was replicated in 2021/22? The NSG had had a review shortfall of R21.3m due to Covid -19. Would the school be able to recover this shortfall in the 2021/22 financial year and if not, what was the plan going forward? The school had a senior management vacancy rate of 14.6%. How soon would this issue be given attention in the current financial year? On the total quality management system, was the school dependent on the European Union for funding or the development of the system, or both? 
Ms Mgweba said the NSG’s presentation indicated it had undertaken awareness campaigns, and asked how many students or public servants had been enrolled. The NSC had reported that it was the victim of two cybercrime attacks and that they had new advanced cyber software. What was the level of IT security? On business development interventions, she asked whether the NSG would be able to improve in the present financial year, and how would this be achieved? The CPSI had referred to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that had not been signed between them and the DPSA. Could the DPSA give a detailed explanation why this MOU was not signed so that the CPSI’s mandate could be achieved?

Dr Gondwe noted that the NSG had said that their systems and processes were not geared for remote working, but she thought they had secured licences for virtual platforms such MS Teams and Zoom, and had consciously prioritised digital and online platforms. Remote working appeared to be the norm nowadays. On the enrolment for some of the online courses, she noted that the enrolment to some courses was very low -- for example, the ethics course. Why was the enrolment level low for such important courses? On the framework towards the professionalisation of the public service, she observed that the NSG was doing the development of the framework. Why was the DPSA not part and parcel of this development of the framework? She also wanted an update of where the development of the framework was, and when it would be gazetted. On the Committee’s BRRR recommendations, she said the Committee had requested that the NSG, in consultation with Treasury, develop its own sustainable funding model. This seemed not to be happening, and the response of the NSG to that recommendation was that they had secured R44m from the Department of Public Works in order to assist their trading account. This, in her opinion, did not resolve the future funding of the NSG, and the AGSA had reported that NSG -TTA had not taken appropriate steps to collect revenue. The NSG needed to get on top of the issue and come up with a sustainable funding model.

Ms Motsepe asked the CPSI if digital literacy included rural areas, and which reports could they give that would convince that there were no challenges in these rural areas. Which support was given to ensure that they were cooperating? On targets to reduce irregular expenditure at the NSG, she said the school targeted a 50% reduction in irregular expenditure, but did not meet its target due to non-compliance with SCM prescripts. What was the actual cost of non -compliance? How would this challenge be addressed moving forward?
Ms Ntuli referred to the entry level courses, and asked if they were able to instil the Batho Pele values, as when visiting government sites there was still a lot that was lacking -- that is, the public servants still needed more training on serving the nation. She asked if there were courses offered to executives during their term of office which could be concluded in time, and what happened if someone started a course but then later landed up being out of the executive? Who would foot this bill? She also wanted to check on the vacant posts at the CPSI. She said that the pace of filling posts was very slow, and the Acting Chief Executive was forever in an acting position. On the course they were developing together with the NSG, she asked if this was a basic course in government, and who would foot the bill for the course?

The Chairperson said written responses to these questions needed to be sent to the Committee Secretary.

DPSA Annual Performance Report
Ms Yoliswa Makhasi, DG, DPSA, said 83% of the 28 targets were achieved and the Department had received an unqualified audit outcome with findings from the Auditor-General (AG). This was a regression from the previous financial year, when the Department had obtained a clean audit. The two significant findings raised by AG that affected the audit opinion were material misstatements in the disclosure of the lease commitment pertaining to Maponya Mall in the annual financial statements (AFS), and effective and appropriate steps were not taken to prevent irregular expenditure amounting to R315 000.

In Programme 3, three targets were not achieved. The first was that the personnel expenditure review had not commenced due to budget cuts to departments because of Covid-19. Funding had been made available by National Treasury for 2021/22 and 2022/23 budgets for the personnel expenditure review. Secondly, the job evaluation system for the public service had not commenced. No work was undertaken due to a ack of funding for the current financial year due to budget cuts to departments as a result of Covid-19. Funding would be provided in the 2021/22 financial year, and the process to appoint a service provider had commenced. The third target not achieved was that the guideline for the implementation of proposals on the reduction of costs in public administration was not issued. Due to the scope and complexity of the work, the target could not be concluded in 12 months. The work on cost drivers would be done as part of the personnel expenditure review which would commence in 2021/22.
In Programme 4, the public service information security standard was not issued to national and provincial departments. There was consultation with national and provincial departments, but the information security standard was not issued. The document was referred back to the branch for amendment and thus could not be forwarded to the Minister by the end of the quarter. Upon approval by the Minister, the information security standard would be issued before the end of the first quarter of 2021/2022.

In Programme 5, the directive on further categories of employees in the public service to disclose their financial interests was not issued. The directive was still undergoing intensive consultations internally within the DPSA, and would be issued before the end of the first quarter of 2021/2022.

Mr Masilo Makhura, CFO, said the total budget was R468.9m, and 91.8% of it was spent. On the progress on the Public Administration Management regulations, he said two sets of regulations had been developed. The first was Conducting Business with the State, the disclosure of Financial Interests, and the Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit (TAU), while the second was the Office of Standards and Compliance Regulations. To date, concurrence had been received from the Ministers of Finance and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA). The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) had not yet provided concurrence, and various engagements had been held to facilitate their approval. The Department had 433 approved posts, with 365 posts filled, giving a vacancy rate of 15.7%.

On the lease issue raised by the AG, he said the organisation had a lease agreement with Department of Public Works (DPW) at the Maponya Mall buildings and participating departments using Maponya Mall. The DPSA paid the DPW and then the DPSA recovered rental money from the participating departments for their use of the building. The AG had raised the issue that because the Department was recovering the monies through rentals, it should not have disclosed the lease amount paid to the DPW. The Department’s view was that they were responsible for the lease amount to the DPW, irrespective of whether they recovered rental money from other departments. The AG felt this was a material misstatement, and this had been rectified.

On the other matter of two cases of irregular expenditure that were incurred, those cases were being investigated and once the investigations were complete, consequence management would be applied. To prevent irregular expenditure, the Department had policies and procedures and training on how to go about transaction issues, whether it involved SCM or HR matters. The other preventative measure was the application of consequence management.

On the salary overpayment, he said an official was appointed to the Department but had worked for only one month and resigned. There had been a delay in the termination process so that the salary had gone through when it was not supposed to be disbursed. A debt was raised against the person, but the AG felt that it should be disclosed as fruitless and wasteful expenditure. There was no investigation, as the case was very clear and the person had accepted that the debt should be repaid. To date, R70 000 of the R99 000 in total had been recovered. There was an agreement in place to repay the outstanding R29 000 in instalments.


On the issue of the finalisation of outstanding disciplinary cases, Dr Gondwe said she agreed with what Minister Dlodlo had indicated -- that people had to be held personally to account on this issue. She said the PSC had indicated there was a 2006 study and a 2017 report on this issue, and the recommendations were contained in it. Why were these recommendations not implemented, as it was four years later? On Programme 4, she said the Department had not reached the target relating to the issuing of public service information standards to national and provincial departments because the document had been referred back for amendments and would be issued in the first quarter of the 2021/22 financial year. Would it take that long for the Minister to approve the amended document? On Programme 6 (governance of public administration), she was not clear of when these lifestyle audits would be implemented by individual government departments. Was organised labour consulted in the development of the guidelines? On Programme 6, the directive of requiring further categories of public service employees to disclose their financial interests was not achieved because the directive was still undergoing intensive consultations within DPSA. Who was the Department consulting on the matter, and were these consultations not factored into the equation when the target was set? When would the Department receive SALGA’s concurrence on the public administration management regulations, and how long had the Department been waiting for SALGA’s concurrence?

On Programme 3, dealing with public employees’ conditions of service, Ms Mgweba said this had not been achieved, and she wanted to raise concern that the programme was service delivery related, and she wished that the Department could improve. Which grades or levels in the public service would be subjected to job evaluation in the coming financial year?

The Chairperson said written answers had to be supplied to the Committee Secretary.

Draft Committee programme for filling PSC board vacancies

Mr Masixole Zibeko. Committee Secretary, said the Committee could proceed with the process for filling the PSC board vacancies.

He requested Committee Members to submit names of candidates for a sub-committee to be formed, comprising four ANC Members and three opposition Members

Advertisements would run for two weeks from 19 November to 3 December. On 25 January, a shortlist would be drawn up and on 26 January the verification and security checking procedure would start. On 16 to 17 February, candidates would be interviewed and the process would be finalised on 23 February. He said the advertisement would be in line with the one that had run the previous year.

Ms Mgweba moved adoption of the Committee's draft agenda, and was seconded by Ms Ntuli. The draft agenda was adopted.  

The meeting was adjourned.


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