PSC recommendations on Public Service reforms towards professionalisation; Lifestyle audits

NCOP Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure

20 March 2024
Chairperson: Mr M Mmoiemang (ANC, Northern Cape)
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Meeting Summary

2024 report on Public Service Reforms towards Professionalisation: A Public Service Committee Perspective

The Select Committee convened to receive a briefing from the Public Service Commission (PSC) on public service reform through professionalisation. Previously, amendments to the Public Service Amendment Bill and the Public Administration Management Amendment Bill had been tabled before Parliament for consideration.

The focus of the briefing was to address the main tenets of the professionalisation of the public service sector, which were to have a capable and ethical state. The PSC said that its role was to ensure that there was an efficient service delivery system put in place, and to make sure that people were receiving professional service. It emphasised that the public service sector was people-centred and if this remained the driving principle, this would create more empathy and professionalisation in the sector.

The Commission proposed a set of recommendations, among which was the role of the Head of the Public Service, which would be to assist the Chairperson of the PSC with the recruitment processes, career management and performance management, specifically for heads of departments at the national level.

Concern was expressed over public servants treating working in the public sector as just a job rather than a vocation, and not working with the intention to serve people and to deliver services. This was answered with the need to create a workforce of people who adhered to Batho Pele principles.

Another area of contention was the political-administrative interface. The issue here was how the policies generated by the executive branch of government could effectively be implemented by the administration without blurring the roles of the two branches.

During the discussion of the letter on lifestyle audits on members of the executive, a Member raised concern over how the executive branch of government was being held accountable, pointing out that there was no representative of the Presidency who could account for the letter which had been presented to the Committee.

Meeting report

Chairperson's opening remarks

The Chairperson welcomed everyone, including the Public Service Commission (PSC), to the meeting, and apologies were noted. The Commission was in attendance to present its report on professionalisation. He explained that the briefing by the PSC was mainly an update in terms of the report, which was vital given that the Commission had only two months left in office.

The briefing was to get an assessment of the work that the Commission had done towards professionalisation of the public service. This would be an opportunity for the PSC to address the implementation of the professionalisation framework and how it has been working so far.

The briefing would also address specific administrative impacts of the PSC, such as human resources. There would also be a reflection on key focus areas identified, such as the reconfiguration of the public sector, the micro organisation of the state, and the expectation that this briefing would be able to address lessons learnt.

PSC on public service reform towards professionalisation

Prof Somadoda Fikeni, Chairperson, Public Service Commission, said that when the first draft of the professionalisation report was drafted, various stakeholders were involved.

He mentioned that the National Development Plan (NDP) goals could be effective only if the state was capable and ethical in its practices. Without these two principles, all departments would face challenges. This was where service delivery challenges would also arise.

He stressed that this report must be viewed in the context of other developments that have come out, such as initiatives that have had an impact on service delivery. He added that the professionalisation of the public sector was currently underway. Parliament had recently passed the Public Administration Management Act which describes what the public service was and its purpose and objectives.

Mr Lusani Madzivhandila, Chief Director: Leadership and Human Resource Reviews, PSC, began the presentation by giving an overview of the work the Commission does, which was about improving the lives of citizens and service delivery. The focus of the report was on public service.

He gave a brief outline of the mandate of the PSC, which covered the personnel and public administration practices and the organisation of administration. The PSC also tested the prescribed practices against set principles, which was that public servants needed to act ethically and professionally when providing services to people. The Batho Pele principles were the basis on which public servants needed to do their work to ensure that services were delivered.

In terms of public service pre-1994 and post-1994, there were still ideals that cut across both periods, which influenced the way the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) conducted its work.

Mr Madzivhandila said the objectives of the study were to reflect the major practices, ideologies and reforms pre and post-1994, to assess the influence of the National Development Plan, the recently approved professionalisation framework, and other evaluations on the state of the public service on future public administration reforms.

The PSC then came up with its own perspective and focused on human resource management. The reason for this was that the public service was people-centred. If this was kept as the centre, then there was a focus on unlocking human potential.

Within the structure of the report, the ideologies of both pre-and post-1994 were evaluated, especially by looking at past successes. Inputs from experts were also considered, and other professionals within the sector assisted with the PSC’s perspective.

He said that the first wave of reforms occurred between 1994 and 2000. Importantly, the changes that needed to take place were the integration and rationalisation of the public service. This involved a macro-reorganisation to align the public service with the new constitutional structure, and to put basic legislation in place.

Another important reform was to the Public Service Act, which removed the appointment powers of the PSC and assigned them to executive authorities. There was legislation such as the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA), the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), and constitutional provisions on progressively realising socio-economic rights. Court judgments set the direction and became a big source of learning for administrators.

With the second wave of reforms between 2000 and 2011, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and the outcomes framework shifted the emphasis from activities and outputs to policy outcomes, and the sheer number of evaluations had a huge positive impact. The human resource (HR) frameworks published by the DPSA between 2005 and 2009 introduced management by template. The Occupational Specific Dispensations (OSDs) introduced competitive salaries, but put a strain on the wage bill.

With the third wave of reforms from 2012 to date, there has been a need to stabilise the political-administrative interface and create the Head of Public Service. Some NDP recommendations had not been implemented, and others were at the initial stages of implementation.

The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation's (DPME's) revised framework in 2020 for strategic plans and annual performance plans (APPs) sought to address various challenges, but seems to have ignored the recommendations made by the NPC in 2015. The Public Service Amendment Bill, 2023, provided for expanded functions of the Director-General (DG) in the Presidency and the assignment of administrative powers to Heads of Departments (HODs).

Mr Madzivhandila asserted that the professionalisation framework had made some good strides towards the professionalisation of the public service in terms of recruitment and selection, planning, performance management, and continuous learning progression.

Regarding the PSC’s perspective on HR planning, the issue addressed in the report was that HR plans contained very limited analysis of the actual data provided. He highlighted that the problem was not the lack of an HR planning guideline, but rather the lack of analytical skills and good data management.

The PSC recommended that the requirement in the Ministerial Directive, which mandates executive authorities (EAs) to follow a prescribed template, needed to be abandoned. He emphasised that Regulation 26 already laid down the principle, and this was as far as prescription should go.

Secondly, on HR development, the issue addressed was that the 2008 DPSA strategic framework and its 2020 successor were too detailed, with 29 strategic interventions and 147 activities.

 The recommendation put forth was that all departmental support efforts should be placed behind the Skills Development Act and the associated institutional arrangements and frameworks, and there should be a discontinuation of the DPSA HR development strategic framework in its entirety.

On performance management and development systems, the problem addressed was that individual performance appraisal or rating was beset by fundamental problems, particularly the notion that performance could be objectively measured against a standard.

The recommendation provided was to develop norms for organisational/unit performance management. It was proposed that incentives and rewards in the public service should be fundamentally rethought and dealt with through an incentive framework, which should include unit/organisational performance and pay progression.

Regarding professionalisation and the career system, Mr Madzivhandila said that after minimum requirements had been met, selection was not based on rigorously defined objective criteria. He noted that the recruitment system was 'too open,' and staff managed their own careers by applying for posts.

The proposed recommendations defined the specification and prescription of entry, promotion, and continuing professional development requirements tightly. They suggested gradually moving from an open system at all levels, back to a career system at certain levels of employment and reinforcing the directive on development programmes.

Regarding senior management service (SMS) personnel, the issues highlighted included insufficient attention to the training, development and nurturing of a senior executive corps. An emphasis on generic management competencies to the detriment of technical skills, and the idea that a person with management qualifications could manage anything, were also mentioned.

The recommendation was to specify additional education and training in functional fields of the department that prospective candidates for SMS positions must complete, and the extent to which this should substitute for compulsory generic management training in the public service.

Regarding agency, it was noted that the Directive and Guide did not resolve the fundamental problem of the lack of agency, and whether such lack of agency was the result of whether procedures and requirements were too onerous, despite delegations.

The recommendation was to promote agency at the service delivery level, requiring a much deeper analysis of the constraints that face local public servants than simply looking at the delegations framework. It would require a change in the management structure, such as the alignment of responsibility, authority, and accountability.

Regarding values-driven administration, the problem identified was that rules had the unintended effect of increasing complexity and reducing flexibility and responsiveness. The recommendation put forward was that these rules should be complemented by values. It was emphasised that values (and norms) were a much better governing instrument than rules.

Regarding macro organisation, frequent reconfigurations of departments to constitute new departments and ministerial portfolios have destabilised departments and disrupted programme implementation in some instances, which may set back institution-building for many years because building or rebuilding takes time. The recommendation proposed that the President or premiers should exercise their authority to reconfigure government after consultation with an independent expert body.

Concerning the political-administrative interface, the PSC supported the proposed amendments to the Public Service Amendment Bill, 2023, to change and clarify the powers of HODs and EAs, and to expand the functions of the DG in the Presidency. However, it was noted that the amendment bill should be clear on the designation of the administrative Head of the Public Service, which it did not currently address.

Mr Madzivhandila then went through the process of filling a DG post, which takes between 15 to 26 months. The process was a collaboration between the Cabinet and the relevant department.

Moving on to the role of the Head of the Public Service, it was briefly discussed that the role involved participating in all career incidents of HODs, as was expected in their role of support to the President. Furthermore, the PSC had a duty to support the Head of the Public Service.

The PSC also believed that part of the strengthened role of the Public Service Commission deeply involved the support function to the Head of the Public Service and the President. The creation of the Head of the Public Service would therefore complement the strengthening of the PSC insofar as the career incidents of HODs were concerned.

The constitutional role of the PSC was an investigation, monitoring, and evaluation role, with no executive powers concerning personnel and public administration practices, and it was well-established. In its current form, the PSC Bill, did not depart from this model and reinforced, rather than expand, the powers of the PSC.

This proposal to introduce the Head of the Public Service would reduce appointment times to between eight and 12 months.

The changes to be made for the Head of the Public Service entailed establishing this role to support the Presidency in its work. The PSC supported the proposed amendments to the Public Service Act. However, these proposed amendments did not designate the role of Heads of Departments, so the PSC recommends granting HODs more powers.

 Specifically, the PSC suggests that it be given the authority to recommend HODs, and be assigned the authority to fill vacant DG posts. Additionally, the relevant Head of the Public Service must create a selection committee to appoint the DGs.

Regarding safeguards for the political-administrative interface, the panel would recommend candidates to the executive authority. Importantly, the executive authority would not be part of the recruitment panel. This recruitment panel needed to include at least two technical experts and the Head of the Public Service.

Regarding the director-general positions, the DG in the province would head another provincial administration. Additionally, there would be one other DG in a province, with two technical experts. At the national department level, there would be a DG chaired by the Head of the Public Service, and including two technical experts. The approving authority for these appointments was the Minister, and there should be a public process for scrutiny.

In conclusion, Mr Madzivhandila expressed hope that the recommendations would contribute in a concrete way towards implementing the framework on professionalisation of the public service, and equally influence the tone and direction of ongoing and future public administration reforms in the public service.

The belief was that the public service was about people, and addressing the 'people issues and processes' could lead to the maximisation of human potential, as stated in section 195(1)(h) of the Constitution. He emphasised that service delivery would also follow suit.

This would require a whole new approach to the rules governing public service, which would involve a drastic reduction in the number of rules, but also an approach where values, principles, and norms would be used as the main governing instrument.

Further, implementing the changes to the Public Service Act proposed in the Amendment Bill was crucial. Consideration of further amendments to clearly designate the creation of the office of Administrative Head of the Public Service was also recommended.

See the attached documents for details.


Mr M Rayi (ANC, Eastern Cape) welcomed the proposed recommendations. Expressing his concerns about the challenges addressed by the Commission on State Capture, he said that many involved the supply chain units of various departments. He asked whether the PSC would be able to focus on these units and the review of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) to find any weaknesses.

He asked whether the PSC could fall under the Presidency instead of being aligned with the Department of Public Service and Administration, so that when they made recommendations, there would be more power in their recommendations.

He questioned whether public service employees had been involved in generating ideas for improving the public sector. Had workers in the public sector been consulted on any ideas recommended by the PSC on service delivery?

What was the status of the recommendations? Had they been sent to any government structure for consideration? Had they been accepted or implemented?

Regarding the administrative and political interface, Mr Rayi welcomed filling DG positions, but asked how the PSC could strengthen relations between new DGs and Cabinet Ministers. He commented that, at times relations, between a Minister and a Director-General were not good, resulting in a DG getting transferred to another area to complete their contract. What could the PSC do to ensure these transfers were not due to bad relations between a Minister and a DG?

Did the PSC have the power to intervene where there were vacant DG positions in various departments?

Mr T Brauteseth (DA, KZN) lamented that it was a bit difficult to go through the report, given that it was quite a lengthy document. He asked the PSC to comment on the implementation of the Zondo Commission Report in terms of the public service, particularly regarding procurement practices.

He also mentioned a letter from the Presidency about the implementation of lifestyle audits.

Mr M Dangor (ANC, Gauteng) asserted that public servants were not motivated to do their jobs, and this was evident from the lack of application of Batho Pele public sector principles in offices.

Referring to key performance areas (KPAs), he said that at times, public servants would take a certain number of KPAs that were not really relevant and that would be put into their agreements, and these were then signed off. These kinds of attitudes reflected public servants not taking their work seriously, which was service delivery, so not much could be achieved. He suggested that looking at the public sector in a different light could change the attitudes of public servants, and that perhaps the public sector should be separate from the political and the executive spheres.

The public sector would remain in place, irrespective of the political party in power. Whatever policy the executive branch of government came up with, the public sector would implement those policies. The Batho Pele principles must be implemented in every office. Service delivery needed to be delivered to the people. Were they creating a kind of attitude of the public service as a vocation, rather than the public service just being a job?

The Chairperson noted the observations about the tenure of the heads of departments. He was interested in knowing whether a study had been conducted on how other countries dealt with the tenure of HODs. He used the American example of the influence over the appointment of judges during the  Republican term and during the Democratic term, while each was in office. He also shared the study on the influence of a judge’s political party affiliation.

He said there could also be a de-linking of the tenure of the HODs from a political term. This would mean that the current Public Service Administration Act would need to be amended to reflect this de-linking.

Referring to Mr Rayi’s point on the director general in the Presidency as the head of the PSC, he commented that this person must be well-equipped for the position. The Head of the Public Service would be much better equipped for this role if it were to be moved to the Presidency, such as this person needing to have HR skills.

Regarding the interface between the political sphere and the administration, this was a sensitive issue given that people who contested the elections were executive authorities. This meant that when there were problems, it was they who would need to account for these problems and provide an explanation for these problems arising.

The Chairperson said that political office bearers, especially at the local government level, were more often observers and bystanders, and became too powerful. The executive authorities were taken as being less significant. With the proposal to amend section 12 of the Public Service Administration Act, this could be challenging.

However, there could be a better option to exercise control over what an official had delegated. Once a delegation had occurred, one could at least retain some kind of power to identify when there had been an abuse of the delegation of power. The Chairperson asked whether the PSC could give the Committee a sense of this power, especially at the supply chain level.

He said there should be a team of experts doing the reconfiguration of the PSC. He also asked whether the PSC had had an opportunity to look at Treasury’s approach in terms of the reorganisation of the PSC.

PSC's responses

Prof Fikeni reflected on a conference that the PSC had held in 2023 to present this professionalisation report. Certain departments had been invited to attend, and were given specific recommendations, such as National Treasury dealing with the Zondo Commission recommendations.

In terms of the professionalisation framework, all members who were in the procurement value chain should belong to professional bodies so that they could have a valid practising licence. This would ensure that if an individual committed some sort of misconduct, there would be a body that could revoke their practising licence.

He then answered the question of whether the PSC should be formed under the Presidency, and said that this could not be done, given that the PSC was a constitutional body forming part of the Chapter Nine institutions. He explained that this had been done so that these institutions could report directly back to Parliament. The effectiveness of these institutions depended on how and when they tabled their reports to Parliament. Afterwards, these reports would be handed over to the relevant ministry. Portfolio Committee Members were then expected to pose questions to the Ministry, based on the recommendations in the reports.

Further, the limitations the PSC faced were that it was mainly linked to the Department of Public Service and Administration. This occurred even when the PSC was more than capable of dealing with reporting on areas such as the forensic laboratories of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and on issues within the Department of Military Veterans (DMV).

The PSC had had meetings with the Speaker of Parliament on how this could be recalibrated to ensure that reports that belonged to a particular department could be taken directly to that department. This was especially important when law enforcement agencies also needed to be involved.

Prof Fikeni referred to the transfers of DGs, and said that the professionalisation framework states that given that there were elections every five years, it inadvertently meant that the PSC employees would also be there for five years. However, he indicated that this did not happen, and there was a continuation of the administration which was meant to support any new Ministers that were appointed. This also meant that the administration needed to support the mandate of any ruling party at a given time.

On the issue of the DG as the head of the PSC, the professionalisation framework addressed that, and the PSC was working towards making sure this work was done collectively.

Prof Fikeni said the lifestyle audit would be presented in another session, as previously mentioned. However, the PSC had been monitoring progress so that implementation on that would begin. He assured the Committee that at a given time, the PSC would be able to report on work being done on the lifestyle audits.

Regarding the Batho Pele principles, the PSC has been working with the National School of Governance and has partnered with its model regeneration. The PSC was working towards a value-based public service, and employees needed to internalise these values and principles. Employees did not always comply with these values and sometimes would manipulate the system.

The PSC acknowledged that there were some habits in the public service sector which the employees would need to unlearn. This would require implementing intensive and immersive education. It was also proposed that penalties should be introduced for instances where employees were not working in accordance with these principles.

Prof Fikeni explained that the new recruitment paradigm was meant to ensure that the public service attracted people who would see their role as a commitment, rather than just a career.

Ms Lulu Sizani, Public Service Commissioner: Eastern Cape, added to Prof Fikeni’s statement on the PSC reporting to Parliament, and said that at the provincial level there was a difference. The PSC national office reports to the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, but in the provinces, the PSC reports to the portfolio committee responsible for the Office of the Premier. The committee deals with the work of all the other committees in the relevant province.

Regarding the reconfiguration of departments, and whether the PSC had conducted any work around this, she said that no work had been done yet. She explained the constitutional mandate which required the PSC to monitor and evaluate the administration and professional practices in the public service. She added that this meant the PSC needed to make an input on the reconfiguration of departments.

On the issue of linking the term of departments to political offices, she said that the situation was currently different, as there was a lot of movement involving directors and HODs at the national level. There were appointments that were currently being made due to this movement. She explained that the political office and administrative branch were not linked, and this was why the PSC had to manage the challenges around the administrative and political interface.

Referring to the Zondo Commission recommendations, she said section 14 of the Public Service Act dealt with the transfers of HODs, and challenges arose when government officials did not follow the processes prescribed in the Act to address any omissions made. This also included when government officials did not reprimand officials for participating in unlawful activities. The Maseko saga was an example where there was no compliance with certain stipulations in the Public Service Act.

Mr Vusi Mavuso, PSC Commissioner, addressed issues related to the Zondo Commission concerning supply chain management (SCM). He agreed with Mr Dangor that the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) would need to be strengthened with respect to SCM. The SCM issues were beyond the scope of the PSC, and it would be more appropriate for the Treasury and other departments to look into those matters.

He said the PSC needed to have its own focus on the Zondo Commission recommendations so that it could also effectively attend to the matters concerned.

He assured the Chairperson that the professionalisation framework had covered some of the questions Mr Rayi and Mr Brauteseth raised. Not every single aspect of the questions was covered in the professionalisation framework, as there needed to be a more holistic approach. However, all departments had made inputs into the framework. He emphasised that this was a team effort and for the administration to be built for purpose, many hands were needed for it to work. If public servants did not embody the ethical standards required in this sector, that was when problems would arise.

Mr Mavuso said that the kind of public servants the sector had would determine whether service delivery would be heading in the right direction. Improving the public sector was not a once-off activity -- there would constantly be refinements that needed to be made.

He concluded that the public sector required public servants loyal to the Republic and the Constitution, service-orientated, committed to serving, and trustworthy. Their values need to be aligned to the constitutional values.

Further, where reconfiguration was concerned, there needed to be many role players who may be experts in certain fields. This reconfiguration needed to be streamlined and this must not create other problems in the process, and it must be ensured that service delivery was put high up on the agenda.

Further discussion

Mr Rayi asked whether the PSC was permitted to form part of the legislative process, so that if there were issues that came up within the PSC, they would perhaps be able to address them during the legislative process.

The Chairperson alerted the Committee that the public would be invited to make comments on the proposed amendments which needed to be made to the Public Service Act and the Public Administration Management Act (PAMA), and said the PSC must also be part of this legislative process.

The Chairperson asked why the PSC paid less attention to the competency aspect when it came to SMS personnel, as there could be an assumption that it was not attaching value to this aspect. He added that the competency aspect indicated the overall work being done within the Commission. This competency aspect would characterise a sector as being either basic or competent. How was this area governed? He asked this question, given that in the past, competency tests had been used to contest the positions of HODs or senior managers.

PSC's response

Prof Fikeni answered the question on the PSC being involved in the consultation process of the PAMA and the Public Service Act to reform the public sector and the professionalisation framework, and affirmed that the PSC had always been involved in each stage of the legislative process.

He said that with any matter concerning the public sector, the PSC had always been involved in the process, just like with the professionalisation report. The DPSA and any other relevant department, such as the DPME, were invited to share their input. Other entities included the National School of Governance, the Chapter Nine institutions and academic institutions. He asserted that the PSC did not want to compete, but rather complete and complement other departments. Even civil society was involved in these processes so that no entity was left behind.

Ms Singh [unidentified] spoke on the competency aspect, which the Chairperson enquired about. She explained that the competency test was testing only managerial competencies. Other departments, like the Department of Labour, allowed for psychometric tests. These psychometric tests needed to be within the bounds of the relevant legislation, which requires that the test be fair and valid. She added that at no point was the competency test testing technical competency -- it only gave one an idea of the capability of the individual for the purpose of managerial competency and general competency in terms of the assessment. The directive issued by the DPSA was that the competency assessment could not be used as a final decision-making tool. It was simply used as part of the holistic process as to whether a person was suitable for appointment.

Ms Singh said that competency testing must be used in the context of all the other processes involved. She explained that the competency testing was a two-day process. There were two types of tools -- one for the chief director, and the other was for the Director-General and Deputy Director-General assessment. Further, psychometric-based testing was also conducted, such as the cognitive process profile. This tested one’s ability in terms of cognition concerning analytical capacity. This was still quite generic in nature.

Within the report, the PSC asked how the results of the competency-based report would be used. The question further posed was whether the results of the competency test could be used in isolation, or whether they would be used in conjunction with other tests.

Prof Fikeni thanked the Select Committee for giving the PSC the opportunity to present their report to the Committee. Compiling the report had been a team effort. He acknowledged all the questions that had been asked and assured the Committee that these issues would also be raised with the relevant role players. The measure of success of all this work would be when the PSC would be working with Parliament, conducting oversight and holding those in office accountable. He added that these people in office should be guided in their work.

The Chairperson thanked the PSC for their report, as it had been a comprehensive and enlightening document.

Presidency letter of lifestyle audits

Dr Anneke Clark, Committee Content Advisor, introduced the letter from the Presidency, and said that President Ramaphosa had issued a statement on how the Zondo Commission recommendations would be implemented. Thereafter, Parliament put a plan in place for how these recommendations would be implemented.

In this plan, oversight in terms of lifestyle audits of members of the executive was referred to the Select Committees of Transport, Public Service and Administration, and Public Works and Infrastructure. Thereafter, the Presidency issued a progress report on implementing the State Capture Report in November.

The recommendations set out in the lifestyle audit were that the implementation of the audits was to be undertaken by an independent, external service provider, but would be managed by the office of the director general in the Presidency.

Progress had been delayed due to challenges in procuring service providers, and a new project plan would be communicated in due course. As oversight had been handed to the Select Committee, correspondence had been directed to the Presidency to provide the latest progress report.

In terms of this letter from the Presidency, the first issue was what measures had been put in place to address the challenges of the service providers, and what the current progress update was. The response of the Presidency was that there were two options at hand for conducting lifestyle audits of members of the executive.

The first was to use internal capacity within government, and external expertise in areas such as data analysis. Regarding this, bodies such as the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) were among those assigned with this assignment. The second option was to fully outsource the work to an external audit firm or a team of experts to conduct the audit. After assessing both options, consideration had been made to execute the work internally within the Presidency.

Given that this was the first time government was conducting these lifestyle audits on members of the executive, the process took some time and this had an impact on the envisioned timeline for the whole process. However, some members of the executive had given additional information for the audits. Once there had been progress, the director general would communicate this.

The second issue on which details of progress was needed was whether the project plan for the implementation of lifestyle audits had been revised and, if so, what the milestones were that were contained in the project.

In this respect, the Presidency responded by stating that the project plan was being revised and that it would be finalised upon receiving all the information requested from members of the executive. Some of the key milestones of the project included an assessment of financial disclosures and registerable interests, and the conducting of verification exercises with various institutions such as the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission and the Deeds Office.

Further, the process involved conducting interviews, requesting the additional information that was required, and submitting a report with findings and recommendations. In closing, the Presidency responded by stating that systems and methodologies had been developed and enhanced for continuity and proper institutionalisation of the process.

The recommendations contained within the project plan had to be worked into the oversight programme for the Select Committee so that there could be continued oversight.


Mr Brauteseth expressed his concern over how the executive was being held accountable by the legislature. He suggested that it would have been best for the author of the letter, or a member of the Presidency, to be the one to read it. He was concerned that the Presidency had 'reinvented the wheel.' He said that there were entities that did the required vetting of departments, but instead, the Presidency had set up their own department inside the Presidency. This had caused the matter to be prolonged, and only some members of the executive had provided information which, according to Mr Brauteseth, was vague.

He mentioned that nowhere in the letter was there a timeline for the completion of the project.

He also expressed concern that it was the Director-General who would decide when and how the findings would be disclosed to Parliament and the public. He said that when Parliament asked for such information, it must be forthcoming, so the director general did not have the power to decide when they cooperate with Parliament.

Closing remarks

The Chairperson noted Mr Brauteseth’s concerns. He said that the issues pertaining to the letter remained on the table for review. He also mentioned that the lifestyle audit project plan should be included in terms of oversight. The key milestone would assist the Select Committee in ensuring that the executive was held accountable.

He added that it was important to keep Members informed of all the processes involved in the implementation of the State Capture recommendations. Once there had been progress with the recommendations, the Minister would have an opportunity to report back to the Select Committee on the work done thus far.

The Chairperson added that progress must be made on the two bills before Parliament -- the amendments to the Public Service Act and the PAMA.

The Members adopted the minutes of the meeting held on 13 March.

The meeting was adjourned.

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