National Commissioners for Public Service Commission: Short Listing

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

21 October 2008
Chairperson: Minister M Baloyi (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met to discuss the short listing for interviews from the applicants for the position of four National Commissioners for the Public Service Commission. Public Service and Administration Minister Baloyi explained that as his position as Chairperson of the Committee was vacant due to his appointment as Minister, he would be ‘unofficially’ chair the meeting. Due to the workload, the Committee decided to divide the five files of candidates between the political parties. The Committee discussed the criteria required when assessing the applications. The Committee would meet on 23 October to commence the process of short-listing candidates.

 

Meeting report

Minister Baloyi who had until recently been the chairperson of this Committee, indicated that he could not preside over the meeting due to the conflict of interest which existed between the two roles. He reminded the Committee that numerous Commissioners of the Public Service Commission had come to the end of their term of office. He indicated that the interviewing should be complete by the 17 November 2008.

Mr K Julies (DA) suggested that each political party take a file away with them and review the candidates. Each political party should forward five names from their specific file because it was not possible for each party to go through all the files, as logistically there were too many applications to go through in too short a time frame.

Mr Minister Baloyi (ANC) explained that all the applications were arranged alphabetically and then suggested that the Portfolio Committee meet again on 23 October for the short-listing.

The Committee then discussed what criteria should be considered when assessing potential candidates.

Ms P Tshwete (ANC) suggested that the Committee should use the criteria mentioned in the advert that the Committee issued in the newspapers and other relevant media. She pointed out that the appointment of these new Commissioners would have to abide by certain regulations, specifically that a 50/50 male to female gender ratio should be enforced, that candidates should show relevant experience and that empirical management skills were essential. Ms Tshwete concluded by suggesting that a guiding document of principles was required to assess the candidates.

Minister Baloyi indicated that the criteria should be Public Service specific, job specific and that the candidates should closely adhere to the principles stated in the advertisement. He further mentioned that the focus should not be on the interview questions but rather on the criteria discussed above.

Mr Julies suggested that the Director-General draft a questionnaire to be submitted to the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration. He explained that issues like gender, race and provincial backgrounds should be addressed.

Minister Baloyi recommended that the current Provincial Commissioners be excluded from the short list as their provincial contracts were still active, thus sustainability and continuity was essential. Mr Baloyi suggested that the Committee consider other applicants, especially those from the private sector or previously disadvantaged sectors.

 Mr N Gwabaza (ANC) reminded the Committee that disability should also be a criterion to be considered.

Minister Baloyi suggested that the Director-General should not write the questionnaire but rather that the Portfolio Committee should draft the questionnaire because the Committee was more knowledgeable about the relevant issues than the Director-General was.

When questioned whether age was part of the criteria to be considered, Mr Baloyi replied that there should be a fair mix of youth and elders, but the key was that all candidates should be ‘energetic’ and keen on work. He mentioned that, unlike Botswana, candidates would not be retirees from the Public Service.

 

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