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SAFETY AND SECURITY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
9 March 2005
INDEPENDENT COMPLAINTS DIRECTORATE AND SECRETARIAT FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY: STRATEGIC PLAN AND BUDGET BRIEFINGS
Documents handed out:
Independent Complaints Directorate Strategic Plan and 2005/2006 Budget: PowerPoint Presentation
National Secretariat for Safety and Security Annual Plan 2005-2006: PowerPoint Presentation
Budget Projections for the National Secretariat for Safety and Security
The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) presented their strategic plan and annual budget for 2005/2006. This included an overview of what the ICD had achieved in 2003/2004. The ICD focused on the strategic plans and objectives for its three programmes: the Administration programme; the Investigation of Complaints programme; and the Information Management and Research programme. The delegation presented an overview of the 2005/2006 budget, highlighting that the entire budget allocation for the ICD would be R42 114 000 for 2005/2006.
In the ensuing discussion, Members raised a number of questions and concerns. Members enquired about the ICD’s capacity in rural areas. They felt that the ICD provincial structures should be strengthened. Concerns were also raised because the ICD had presented an overview of their 2003/2004 performance and not the 2004/2005 performance. There was also a concern about the discrepancies between a Human Rights Watch report on the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the information that the ICD had presented. Members also enquired about the ICD bursary system; the high travel expenses; the Service Delivery Charter; the Supply Chain Management plans; the ICD’s research and the Anti-Corruption Command (ACC).
The Secretariat for Safety and Security then briefed the Committee on their strategic plans and budget for 2005/2006. After approximately 25 minutes the Committee intervened. Members stated that they were confused by the documents that the Secretariat presented, as they felt that the documents did not correlate. They also felt that the documents and presentation had not been properly compiled. The Chairperson took a decision to request the Secretariat to rewrite the report, and to return in April to present this new report to the Committee. This decision was supported by all the Parties.
ICD Strategic Plan and 2005 Budget: briefing
The ICD presentation was divided into two sections. The first section focused on the ICD’s strategic plan, while the second section dealt with the budget. The strategic plan was further subdivided into three programmes, which were Administration; Investigation of Complaints; and Information Management and Research.
Mr E Valoyi (ICD Director: Administration) discussed the Administration programme. He outlined that the objective of this programme was to provide overall management and organisation to the ICD. This included undertaking the following functions: financial management; human resource management, the internal audit; security management; and supply chain management. The administration programme also offered courses to employees to improve their skills. Selected employees were also provided bursaries to further their studies.
Mr Valoyi then discussed some of the challenges that the Administration programme faced in 2005/2006. These included the implementation of Supply Chain Management by October 2005. Similarly, the Human Resources Development Plan (HRDP) would be implemented by November 2005. In 2005/2006, the Administration Department also planned to: implement a review of strategic risks; to formulate a Service Delivery Charter; to commence service delivery inspections at all ICD offices; and to implement the Service Delivery Improvement Plan.
Mr T Tshabalala (ICD Director: Investigation of Complaints) then discussed the Investigation of Complaints programme. He noted that this programme was responsible for investigating deaths in police custody, criminal offences committed by police members, and misconduct committed by police members. He then provided the current programme targets for reducing levels of criminality in the police; for service delivery improvement; and for updating of its data system. In the year 2004/2005, the Anti-Corruption Command (ACC) had also been established.
Mr Tshabalala then outlined the priorities of the Investigation of Complaints programme for 2005/2006: strengthening the integrity of the ICD investigating unit; training ICD investigators and ensuring that the ACC operated efficiently. Some of the challenges facing the programme in 2005/2006 would be a backlog of cases and an increase in workload.
Mr S Mahlangu (ICD Director: Information Management and Research) discussed the Information Management and Research programme. Its main task was processing new complaints that were registered with the ICD. It also conducted research, monitored domestic violence and undertook cell inspections. Mr Mahlangu noted that there had been an increase in the number of registered cases with the ICD in 2002/2003 and 2003/2004. Approximately 80% of these cases were captured and processed on the database within 48 hours. He also noted, however, that the increase in cases reflected an increase in the efficiency of the ICD outreach programme, and not necessarily an increase in misconduct amongst the police force.
Mr Mahlangu then highlighted the Information Management and Research programmes planned for 2005/2006. These plans included: establishing a fully-fledged research unit; conducting station audits, conducting effective cell inspections; upgrading the case management call centre, piloting an Electronic Document Management system and marketing the ICD in the rural areas.
Ms E Verster (ICD Chief Financial Officer) then briefly outlined the ICD 2005/2006 budget. It was planned that the following allocations would be made:
- the Administration programme would receive R15 559 000, which was an increase of 20.3% from the 2004/2005 budget;
- the Investigation of Complaints programme would receive R23 149 000, which was an increase of 15.15% from the 2004/2005 budget; and
- the Information Management and Research programme would receive R10 814 000, which was an increase of 17.59% from the 2004/2005 budget.
The total ICD budget for 2005/2006 would be R 42 114 000, which was an increase of 17.59% from 2004/2005.
Ms Verster then outlined the 2003/2004 expenditure on telephones; data lines; equipment; training; foreign travel; domestic travel; and staff remuneration.
Mr M Booi (ANC) was concerned that the ICD had failed to give the Committee a breakdown of the cases that it had investigated. They had also failed to give details on how they conducted their cases. Ms Van Wyk (ANC) and Adv A Gaum (NNP) aired a similar concern, and noted that the presentation had given details about the ICD achievements in 2003/2004, but not in 2004/2005. It was, therefore, impossible to judge the performance of the ICD in 2004/2005.
Mr Tshabalala responded that the ICD financial year was not yet complete. They could, therefore, not release the investigation and case statistics for 2004/2005, as these were still in the process of being verified.
Mr Booi noted that there had been an increase in the number of cases that ICD handled in 2003/2004. The ICD stated that this increase was due to its outreach programme and not necessarily the police being involved in a greater number of misconduct cases. He noted that Human Rights Watch, on the other hand, had accused sections of the South African Police Services (SAPS) of abusing their power. Human Rights Watch had also claimed that it had obtained its statistics from the ICD. He enquired why there was a discrepancy between what the ICD claimed and what Human Rights Watch claimed. He also asked what ICD statistics, Human Rights Watch had used.
Mr Tshabalala replied that Human Rights Watch had not consulted with the ICD before releasing their report. The ICD was also unaware of where Human Rights Watch had obtained the statistics that they had used. The ICD had also responded to Human Rights Watch report in an editorial. This reply was made available to the Minister. Mr Mahlangu added that Human Rights Watch had used selective data and had only focused on incidents that substantiated their claim regarding SAPS abuses. They never asked the ICD for a detailed report.
Ms Van Wyk stated that the Committee had warned the ICD during its previous presentation that the way it presented the figures on deaths in police custody was irresponsible. The reason for this was that the lack of detail surrounding the figures allowed for a potentially incorrect interpretation to be formulated. Human Rights Watch probably used information from such presentations to compile its reports.
Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) noted that ICD had stated Human Rights Watch had not received information from them. He enquired whether this meant that the ICD thought that Human Rights Watch had lied. If so, this was a serious allegation.
Mr Booi and Mr S Ntuli (ANC) asked for details about the outreach programme. Mr Ntuli specifically enquired whether the ICD outreach programmes had a relationship with the Community Policing Forums (CPF).
Mr Mahlangu replied that the outreach programme visited areas where the ICD had received few complaints about police behaviour; this included remote rural areas. Every time the outreach programme visited such areas there would be a sudden increase in complaints. He also added that the outreach programme liaised with the CPFs.
Rev K Meshoe (ACDP) and the Chairperson commented that the travel expenses of the ICD were high. Rev Meshoe asked for a breakdown between the travel expenses of investigators and the expenses of management.
Ms Verster replied that she could not immediately give a breakdown on the travel expenditure of management as compared to the investigators. She noted that the ICD would compile this information and forward it to the Committee.
Rev Moshoe enquired about the criteria used for selecting staff members to be rewarded for good performance. Were there examples of employees who had complained because they felt that they had been overlooked?
Mr Valoyi replied that a committee selected the employees that should be rewarded for good performance. The committee visited each of the ICD offices in the nine provinces and evaluated the performance of the staff. There was some dissatisfaction amongst staff regarding the time it took the committee to visit all the offices.
Mr R Jankielsohn (DA) noted that there were 70 ICD investigators investigating 5 903 cases in 2003/2004. This translated into each investigator handling 33% more cases than they did in 2002/2003. The budget, however, had only increased by 17%. In the light of this, he commented that there must be a problem with capacity. He then enquired what effect this had on rural areas. Were enough investigators, and funds, available to effectively service the rural areas?
Mr Tshabalala replied that he did not wish to say that the increase was inadequate. However, the case load had increased and the ICD needed a corresponding increase in investigators.
Mr Tshabalala also responded that the ICD had experienced problems reaching crime scenes in rural areas. It sometimes took hours for investigators to travel from the ICD centres to a crime scene in a remote area. When they arrived, sometimes the evidence and the scene had already been disturbed. One possible solution to this would be to implement satellite offices in rural areas.
Mr S Mahote (ANC) asked whether the satellite offices would fall under the 2005/2006 budget. The Chairperson also noted that the satellite offices were an important project to implement.
Mr Tshabalala noted that having satellite offices was not the official position of the ICD. At this point in time, it was merely a suggestion on how the ICD could service rural areas more effectively. Indeed, more staff would also be required if the ICD were to deal with cases in rural areas effectively.
Mr Jankielsohn observed that the ICD depended on support from the SAPS to investigate cases. Was this not a problem?
Mr Tshabalala responded that the ICD was transforming into a fully-fledged investigative unit because it did not want to rely on the SAPS to help investigate cases.
Mr S Ntuli (ANC) noted that the ICD was offering bursaries for courses like Project Management. He enquired how these courses related to the ICD. He then asked why employees were being trained in courses such as report writing. He felt that if ICD hired someone, they should already have the skills to write reports.
Mr Valoyi responded that the bursaries did not relate to courses like Project Management. The Project Management course formed part of the general courses that were offered to ICD employees as part of their continuous training. Similarly, report writing courses also formed part of the continuous training programme. The bursaries that had been awarded were for employees who were undertaking a degree or diploma at a tertiary institution. The criteria used for awarding bursaries were strict. For example, the degree or diploma that the recipient was studying had to be relevant to their work position.
Mr Ntuli enquired how the ICD prevented an employee who had gained an education though the ICD from leaving once they had qualified.
Mr Valoyi responded that one of the conditions for receiving a bursary was that the recipient would be bound to stay at the ICD for as long as they had studied. If an employee’s contract were terminated whilst they were receiving a bursary, then they would be expected to refund the bursary.
Ms A Van Wyk (ANC) remarked that she found the ICD presentation limited in terms of allowing Members to decide whether the budget allocated would allow the ICD to achieve its programmes. It also did not give enough detail on how the money would be spent.
Ms Van Wyk noted that she had found information in the Treasury’s National Budget documentation that stated that the ICD had presented six reports to the Minister. She, and the Chairperson, asked why these reports had never been given to the Committee. They further enquired what topics the reports covered, and asked when the Committee would receive these reports. Ms Van Wyk also noted that this had been an ongoing problem as the Committee had requested reports last year and had never received them.
Mr Mahlangu and Ms Verster noted that the six reports covered various topics such as the deaths of children in police custody and domestic violence. They stated that they would make these reports available to the Committee.
Mr Ndlovu enquired who would investigate a case against an ICD manager if they were involved in misconduct.
Ms Verster noted that if a manager had been charged with misconduct, a more senior person in the ICD would investigate the allegation. The ICD would also make use of the Public Service Commission, outside consultants, and outside departments to help with the investigation.
Mr Ndlovu noted that in the presentation the ICD had discussed the formulation of the Service Delivery Charter. Did this mean that they had nothing before this?
Mr Valoyi noted that the ICD had not had a Service Delivery Charter in the past. It was now compulsory that all government entities have a Service Delivery Charter that outlined its service delivery standards. The ICD was complying with this.
Mr Booi noted that the ICD headquarters was being upgraded. What was this costing? Ms Verster noted that the upgrade would cost approximately R800 000.
Mr Booi enquired why there had been a huge increase for compensation of employees in the budget. He asked whether the increase was for management or low-level employees.
Mr L Diale (ANC) asked how many ICD offices there were in the country.
Ms Verster replied that there were nine provincial offices and the ICD headquarters. However, most of the operations were centralised in the ICD headquarters.
Ms M Sosibo (ANC) enquired about the progress that had been made in establishing the Supply Chain Management unit.
Ms Verster replied that recently more people had been appointed to the Supply Chain Management Unit to ensure it operated effectively. Policies and procedures were now being developed to get the Supply Chain Management unit in place by October 2005.
Ms Sosibo asked whether the ACC was operational. Mr Tshabalala replied that the ACC became operational on 1 December 2004. However, so far only four staff members had been appointed due to financial constraints.
Mr A Maziya (ANC) noted that in 2003/2004 there were nine vacancies in the ICD. He asked why this had increased to seventeen in 2004/2005.
Ms Verster responded that the increase in vacancies from nine to eleven represented new posts that had been created within the ICD.
Mr Maziya enquired about the nature of the research that the ICD undertook.
Adv Gaum felt that the ICD should provide statistics regarding its success rate in investigating cases.
The Chairperson felt that the provincial heads of the ICD should also be summoned so that the Committee could gain an understanding of the situation in the different provinces in terms of investigations. She also felt that the provincial ICD offices should be empowered. She also believed that the Committee needed to look into the functioning and possible restructuring of the ICD, so that it could be more effective.
National Secretariat for Safety and Security briefing
Mr M Rasegatla (Secretary of Safety and Security) presented information on the Secretariat’s annual report and strategic plan for 2005/2006. After approximately 25 minutes, Members intervened. The Chairperson felt that the two documents that the Secretariat was presenting did not correlate properly. Mr Booi, Mr Maziya and Mr Ndlovu felt the documents and presentation were confusing. They believed that the documents had not been properly compiled. Mr Booi, Mr Maziya and Mr Ndlovu then suggested that the Secretariat should end the presentation. They also felt the Secretariat should formulate a new, simple and coherent document, and return to present it to the Committee at a later stage. They requested that the Chairperson consider this option.
The Chairperson considered this, and informed the Secretariat that its report was not acceptable to the Committee. She instructed the Secretariat to compile a new coherent document and return to brief the Committee on it in April. All the parties present, viz. the ANC, the DA and the IFP, supported the Chairperson.
The meeting was adjourned.
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