Preparatory Workshop for Department’s Budget hearings

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14 March 2007
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

14 March 2007

Chairperson: Ms M Sotyu (ANC)

Documents handed out

CSVR Assessment of South African Police Service
Overview of Department of Safety and Security Budget Vote 23 2006/07
Overview of Budget Vote 21: Independent Complaints Directorate 2006/07
Department of Safety and Security Budget Vote Workshop by National Treasury
Overview of the ICD 7/08 Budget and Expenditure Analysis by Parliamentary Researcher


The Committee was addressed by the Committee Researchers and National Treasury, who gave an overview of the budgets for the Department of Safety and Security, including the amounts allocated, the key priorities, and the trends over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework. The South African Police Service budget was contexualised within the broader framework of the budget as a whole. The relationship between the priorities in the President’s State of the nation address and the budgets for both the Independent Complaints Directorate and the Police Service for 2007/08 was identified. Emphasis was put on border security in light of the impending 2010 World Cup, increased capacitation, enhancement of crime investigation and retention of staff, as well as on improving management issues identified in the Auditor General’s reports. The main concerns raised by Members related to the under spending in the previous year, the non-performance of certain functions, and the difficulties in attracting and retaining investigative staff. Further concerns were expressed over the necessity to open satellite offices, the need to improve access to provincial offices, and the backlogs at the Independent Complaints Directorate. These issues would be raised with the Department in due course. .

Overview of South African Police Service (SAPS) Budget 06/07: Briefing by Committee Researcher
Ms Nadia Dollie, Committee Researcher, gave an overview of the budget. The key issues that were raised in the presentation were increasing the number of police, capacitating forensic laboratories, improving crime analysis and intensifying intelligence work. The briefing further covered the causes of crime, implementation of policies, improving management of the police and collaboration with communities. Ms Dollie reported that the Department of Safety and Security (DSS) allocation for 2007 was R35.9 billion. The four main strategic objectives of SAPS and of the Justice and Protection Services Cluster were detailed. The key MTEF priorities were to implement a revised reservist system, the functioning of policing forums, improve sector policing and service delivery. Border controls and capacity would also improve in anticipation of the 2010 World Cup. The additional funding in the 2007 MTEF would cover capital infrastructure, and enhancement of capacity and crime intelligence. The key infrastructure projects were identified, and the planned personnel numbers were detailed. The Crime Intelligence budget had increased by 12% in line with the “State of the Nation” address. It was noted that the South African Police Service (SAPS) had addressed many of the issues raised by the Committee in the previous year.

Discussions by members raised the low spending on capital assets, the need to specify completion dates for projects, the cost of the separate restructuring projects, the response to the increased crime prevention budget, and the performance of the forensic laboratories. Further issues related to the strengthening of the secretariat’s management, how the improvement to service delivery would ensue, the way in which the crime statistics would be drawn, and the need for the Committee to receive details on various police stations.

Overview of Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) Budget 06/07
Ms Dollie gave an overview of the legislative mandate of the ICD, which remained the same as in previous years. It would investigate matters referred by the Minister, and had responsibilities under the Domestic Violence Act. It would be investigating complaints of misconduct, criminality and corruption committed by the Scorpions. Some of the Committee concerns from 2006, including under spending, accessibility of services, backlogs, staff vacancies and loss of investigators, remained issues for this year. The budget had been drawn taking into account the cooperative arrangements with the provincial secretariat, the need to increase investigative capacity, and the responsibilities under the Domestic Violence Act. The budget had increased by 31%, to R80.8million. Specific priorities included setting up two satellite offices, increasing remuneration of investigators, providing better administrative support and breaking the backlogs. R6 million had been given by the Department of Public Works to deal with accommodation and leases.

Matters of concern for Members included whether the ICD was fulfilling its responsibility to the Domestic Violence Act, the delays in the restructuring process, the failure to conclude Memorandums of Understanding in three provinces, the reasons for the under spending, issues of supply chain management raised by the Auditor General, retention of investigators, and non delivery of reports.

National Treasury: Overview of the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) Budget and Expenditure Analysis -
Ms Stephanie Peterson, Senior Budget Analyst, National Treasury (NT), presented an analysis of the expenditure trends of the ICD, and reported that it had under spent R4 million to date, largely identified as due to vacancies. Despite intervention by National Treasury to augment the vote of the ICD in order to address capacity constraints, this line item consistently reflected under spending. Funding was moved from compensation of employees to capital expenditure in the last year, and it was likely to recur in the current year. ICD had said it was difficult to retain staff due to limited career development, and had been urged to develop a retention strategy. The recruitment criteria for investigators had been relaxed, and it was no longer necessary for investigators to have a legal qualification. Additional funds were approved over the 2006 to 2010 MTEF to upgrade the salary levels of investigators and administrative staff. There had been some improvement in the vacancy rates. National Treasury had also assisted ICD with the development of a case flow management and monitoring tool, but there was a substantial backlog and this was not reflected in the ICD expenditure reports. The full amount requested had not been approved, since ICD had to prove that it could spend the money and capacitate the satellite offices. The budget had already increased by more than the annual inflation rate. National Treasury believed that the budget priorities should be the filling of vacancies, appointment of suitably qualified investigators, finalizing the backlogs, strengthening the provincial offices, appointing legally qualified people to key administrative posts and improving the audit report.

Members raised the issue of the unauthorized funds reported upon by the Auditor General, the writing off of staff debts, whether the ICD should have a Director General, whether it was wise to open satellite offices since access to provincial offices was limited, the under spend of R5 million the upgrading of the HR plan, the status of the staff retention policy, and the need for an action plan to address backlogs.

National Treasury: Overview of the Department of Safety and Security 2007/08 Budget and Expenditure Analysis
Ms Euody Mahlatzi, Senior Budget Analyst, National Treasury, gave an overview of the Department’s Budget and Expenditure analysis. It covered staff strategic priorities, growth in budget over the seven-year period, 2007 budget allocation, and projected expenditure for the following year. NT monitored the budget of the Department on a monthly basis, and would notify it of issues of concern. It was noted that spending was low on infrastructure owing to delays in the delivery of invoices from the Department of Public Works. There was a challenge in terms of spending of capital assets in provinces. The budget showed an annual average increase of 11.12%. Salary adjustment amounts were given to every unit. A substantial amount was allocated for property leases to accommodate additional personnel, and there was special funding for maintenance for SAPS facilities. Expenditure was projected to grow over the next twelve months, with Protection and Security services (PSS) being the fastest growing project.

Issues identified by members for discussion included the source of funding for building of the new SAPS head office, the projects of the PSS, whether the targets for detective services of SAPS were realistic, and the lack of sufficient vehicles.

The workshop was adjourned.



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