27 August 2021 - NW1290
Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of Public Service and Administration
(1)With reference to his reply to question 219 on 10 March 2021, what steps has and/or will his department take to investigate and address the delays in finalising disciplinary cases of Public Service employees who are sitting at home whilst earning a full salary; (2) what (a) total amount has been spent by each (i) national and (ii) provincial departments on (aa) legal and (bb) compensation fees incurred as a result of disciplinary cases involving Public Service employees and (b) is the breakdown of the specified figure for each department; (3) What steps has and/or will his department take against executive authorities who fail to ensure that disciplinary cases within their departments are finalised within the stipulated 90-day period?
1. In the third quarter of the previous financial year, the Department of Public Service and Administration launched a project to address the delays in finalising disciplinary cases where the Minister for the Public Service and Administration addressed executive authorities (Ministers and Premiers) whose departments were identified to have long outstanding precautionary suspensions. This was followed by one-on-one sessions between these identified provinces and departments and the Public Administration Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit (PAEIDTAU) to assess the reasons for delays, to provide technical assistance to finalise cases and where a newly developed electronic register was provided to departments to user to record their cases and to provide monthly progress updates to the DPSA. The MPSA furthermore addressed the issue in the Forum of South African Director-Generals (FOSAD) which took place in May 2021. The Director-General: DPSA embarked on provincial visits where top management were engaged, amongst others, on discipline management.
To assist departments with discipline management and to address identified challenges, the PAEIDTAU developed a Guide on managing discipline in the public service. The Guide is available on the DPSA website and training on the guide will commence this year.
In 2020, the DPSA trained 204 presiding officers to preside over disciplinary hearings.
As an interim measure, the MPSA launched (on 16 April 2021) a Discipline Management Complaints Hotline to enable public servants to report incidents of bullying and victimizations by their supervisors, pending finalisation of their disciplinary cases.
2. Tag A, herewith attached, addresses question 2, and reflects the information provided by national and provincial departments who responded to the request of the DPSA to provide the necessary information.
3. As indicated in the response of question 1, the MPSA addressed the issue with executive authorities in one-on-one meetings. The MPSA will continue to issue non-compliance letters to non-compliant executive authorities as mandated in terms of section 16 A of the Public Service Act and will also report those executive authorities to Cabinet and the Presidential Co-ordinating Council.