Hansard: Appropriation Bill : Debate on Vote No 12 - Public Service and Administration
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 25 May 2011
No summary available.
EPC – COMMITTEE ROOM: E249
Thursday, 26 May 2011 Take: 32
START OF DAY
THURSDAY, 26 MAY 2011
PROCEEDINGS OF EXTENDED PUBLIC COMMITTEE – COMMITTEE ROOM E249
Members of the Extended Public Committee met in Committee Room E249 at 16:49.
The House Chairperson, Mr M B Skosana, as Chairperson, took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
Debate on Vote No 12 - Public Service and Administration
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: The House Chairperson, Deputy Minister of the Public Service and Administration, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, hon members of the portfolio committee,
hon Cabinet colleagues and Members of Parliament, the chairperson of the Public Service Commission, chairpersons of boards of institutions associated with the Ministry, senior leadership of our institutions, leaders of the trade union movement present here, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, we present before this august House, a Budget Vote for the Ministry of Public Service and Administration for the 2011-12 financial year. An account is given on the performance of the following: The Ministry itself, Department of Public Service and Administration, DPSA; Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy, PALAMA; State Information Technology Agency, SITA; Public Service Commission, PSC; Centre for Public Service Innovation, CPSI; Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority, PSETA; and Government Employees Medical Scheme, GEMS.
In financial terms, the Budget for the entire Ministry stands at R690, 1 million; with R384, 8 million allocated for the DPSA, R118 million for PALAMA, R151 million for PSC, a share of R14, 8 million of the DPSA allocation to the CPSI, and R21 million for PSETA operational activities.
Both SITA and GEMS are self-sustaining and do not require allocations from the Ministry.
The PSETA's funding, under our control, is limited to operational activities, while they draw assistance from the National Skills Fund, NSF, to cater for skills development programmes.
Our work is focused on the minimum of having to realise one of the twelve outcomes in our outcomes-based performance approach, which is Outcome 12, which instructs us to work under the theme: "An efficient, effective and development-oriented public service, and an empowered, fair and inclusive citizenship".
The maximum focus of this portfolio has to deal with all those issues that will ensure the total consolidation, stabilisation and activation of the state machinery around the sustenance of the values of our administration, as enshrined in our Constitution, and affecting all the three spheres of government as well as the state-owned entities.
To mention, we are talking about the following: The promotion and maintenance of a high standard of professional ethics; promoting efficient, economic and effective use of resources; ensuring a developmental administration and that the needs of the people are responded to; maintaining an accountable public administration, and enforcing a public administration representative of the people of this country. The PSC continues to monitor compliance with these values through annual reports on the state of the public service.
We know that we still have departments that find it optional to respond to findings of the PSC and, as we have indicated through the reports of the PSC, in our debate last year, that our Deputy Minister is representing us in leading compliance in this regard.
These constitute the mandate of the Ministry of Public Service and Administration, lest we forget, and for those who only know us as a Ministry of salaries, hiring and firing.
In order to realise these values, we set ourselves to embark on the following activities: Improve service delivery quality and accessibility; maintain effective systems, structures and processess; leverage information technology as a strategic resource enabler; eliminate barriers of entry into the public service and facilitate effective entry and cadre development; encourage effective human resource management practices through norms and standards; promote a healthy and safe working environment for all public servants; ensure appropriate governance structures, citizen engagements and public participation; fight corruption effectively; and contribute towards improved public service and administration in Africa and in the international arena.
The Ministry continues to deal with issues across the public service in discharging our mandate. Few examples in this regard include the following: We are reviewing the, ministerial handbook. This handbook is an instrument providing guidelines on dealing with matters related to the benefits and privileges. In terms of this handbook, the following categories of public officials and their families are entitled; that is, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Premiers, Members of Executive Councils, Presiding Officers and Deputy Presiding Officers of Parliament, including yourself hon Chairperson.
The main focus of the review is to standardise the interpretation of the handbook, amend sections thereof and give more space to concentrate resources in the delivery of services. It is also to provide for categories of those officials and their families that are not taken care of in the current dispensation, such as those officials with disabilities.
We have a draft amended version of the handbook, after thorough consultation with all interested parties, and benchmarking with several countries in the continent and in the world. We referred the draft amended version to Cabinet for authorisation and further engage in this matter. We want to indicate that we will on board engaged Parliament in as far as dealing with all these issues. If all progresses according to our plans, we will go public on the issues raised in the review document during the Public Service Week next month.
The point we want to stress in this regard is that we are not placing ourselves at the centre of determining tools of trade and financial support for those officials. We are providing for administrative instruments of control, so that there is no room for such to be used out of context, intention and spirit for their development.
It is important for us to say, because we know that, as a country, we created a commission that deals with those issues as determining tools of trade for our public officials to do their work.
We continue to intervene in situations where there are disputes between executive authorities and accounting officers at national and provincial level, so that our resolve on value-laden processess is not compromised at all levels. Through these interventions, we have managed to influence the transfer of some of the officials who, in the interest of the public and effective service delivery, had to be transferred. We also managed to facilitate early exit of some of the officials for the same reasons, although informed by different circumstances.
This is not an easy task, as often times we spend more time dealing with one case, due to the fact that our first call is to find amicable settlements to such matters. It should not be forgotten that ours is a government subscribing to the rule of law and administrative law; in terms of which there is nothing like arbitrary application of sanctions, and that all have a right to be heard and seek recourse from the courts of this country.
We are proud that in these difficult situations, we acquitted ourselves so well that we had more of these cases concluded administratively, and not through the courts of law.
The main point in this regard is that we always strive to have a balance between executive authorities and accounting officers so that the political-administrative interphase between them is always at the interest of accelerating service delivery. Where there is a serious and irretrievable breakdown of relationships, the solution should not be counterproductive and compromise values.
I want to state here that the Ministry is including this aspect in our project of repositioning the public service, so that we manage this effectively. If it will take the amendment of the Public Service Act to do so, we are prepared to champion that course. Our Deputy Minister is leading this project in a mission, informed by the desire to further position the entire public service to deliver in this, our developmental state. We will achieve this by creating a conducive environment for the public service to be what we envisage, as well as managing the human resource processess from recruitment to retirement better.
Still on Ministry responsibilities, we are vigilantly taking the fight forward, to ensure compliance with the values of our administration at the local sphere of government. In this regard, we will work closely with relevant departments to ensure that the provision of the Constitution is realised. We will also ensure that the values of administration find expression in whatever we do at all three spheres of our government and state-owned entities. Soon, our Deputy Minister will lead us in unveiling a programme of action to deal with this matter.
The idea here is to give effect to the commitments we made as the ANC, of building better communities through the delivery of better services to the people at that coal-face, as the classical English saying has it, "you strike while the iron is still hot". We believe that ours is to make a mark to ensure that, what remains in people's minds after the victory celebrations for the local government elections held recently, is smarter and faster, working for accelerated delivery and clean governance.
We are taking serious, the fight against corruption at the public service level. We established the anticorruption unit with a view to fight the scourge through all efforts at our disposal.
As we talk about this issue, we refer to what entomologists would say in characterising an insect called a wasp, and say the following: A wasp has a lifetime stinging capability, unlike a bee, which has one; it has the capacity of transforming itself and evolving to survive; once stung by a wasp, you become very scared of it; a wasp only attacks when confronted or its nest is threatened; and it has the competency of targeting and never misses; wasps come in different shapes and sizes; and hit their targets accordingly. We know of wasp-the-elephant, which stings strongly, no matter how big the target is, wasp-the-donkey, which will put on the run even a stubborn target and wasp-the-juvenile, which attacks at the fastest speed no-one can evade.
Lava va nga risa tihomu ku fana na mina va ta swi tsundzuka leswaku eka ndhawu leyi u nga tshama u lumiwa hi mimpfi, u nga tlhelela eka yona ntsena loko xolwe a ku sindzisa. Swi ta va tano eka mfumo. Lava vo yiva, lava va tirhisaka swiyimo swa vona ku tifumisa swi nga fambi hi ndlela, lava va rhangelaka hi lunya ro tikisela vanhu hi ndlela yo hlota nseketelo eka ntlangu wa vukungundwana, va ta titwela.
Ku hambana exikarhi ka mimpfi ya hina na ya ntumbuluko hi leswaku, mimpfi ya hina eka mfumo yi ta luma na vaxolwe, naswona yi na vuswikoti byo landza na hi risema.
We are going to elaborate on the success stories of this unit during the Public Service Week, next month, to which you will be welcome to participate. We warn all those involved, including corruptors, corruptees and environment-manipulators that they better not find themselves on our list, for it is going to be hot.
Public Service Induction, PSI, is one of the key mandatory programmes that PALAMA is currently rolling out. There is PSI for non-SMS members and Wamkelekile, which is induction for senior management members. PALAMA has converted this into a programme of action. Wamkelekile has been converted to be available on an e–learning platform for those senior managers who cannot attend the classroom phase.
It is critical to note that the induction programme that PALAMA provides for new entrants into our public service, as well as the reinduction programme is meant to ensure the inculcation and sustenance of the values and attributes of a public service cadre. Notable also is the fact that PALAMA will soon become a preparatory school for our public servants. To mention a few, 90 gender mainstreaming training sessions were conducted with 1 866 officials being trained recently. Furthermore, 20 new PALAMA courses were assessed for gender sensitivity and inclusivity.
We created SITA as an agency to achieve cost saving by facilitating bulk buying of information technology, IT, services, co-ordinating partnership between government and industry players, as well as improving IT accessibility by the public.
We will give a targeted record of Sita's performance during the presentation of the same budget at the NCOP in two weeks time, under the theme: Sita today, Sita tomorrow, Sita to the future. We will give an account as to why we embarked on a turnaround strategy, what the strategy entails, what we achieved through the strategy and what we are doing to consolidate the gains arising from the strategy. We are doing these simply because of the constraints of time today.
On 04 June 2010, we launched the Multi-Media Innovation Centre. It provides a learning platform for the public sector on innovation implementation, in support of government's efforts to entrench the culture and practice of innovation to improve service delivery. It is a walk-through centre that, amongst other things, showcases public sector innovation and provides a safe environment to incubate and test solutions that improve or enhance service delivery.
In our budget debate last year, we indicated that the CPSI, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, DBE, and the South African National Council for the Blind, has developed an appropriate assistive device, for visually impaired teachers, which will assist them to function more independently in the education environment.
Today we are reporting that training material was designed and developed, and training conducted in four provinces. And also that from October 2010 to February 2011, twenty assistive devices were piloted and tested by visually impaired teachers throughout the country. The project is now ready to be handed over to the DBE.
For this Financial Year, PSETA has planned four critical projects: The Integrated Rural Youth Project in partnership with DPSA; North West Unemployed Youth Empowerment project; training co-operatives project; and the military veterans project, which focuses on up-skilling military veterans in tour guiding or new venture creations.
As members of Parliament would be aware, government, as employer, established the Government Employees Medical Aid Scheme, GEMS. It was to address the historic imbalances and inequities in respect of the provision of conditions of service to public service employees. These inequities and imbalances were identified in the 1999 personnel expenditure review, public sector trade unions, as well as the majority of public service employees, who were black and female. They did not have the privilege of accessing medical scheme subsidies.
We should not lose sight of Resolution 7 of 2000 of the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council, PSCBC, where the employer and labour agreed to investigate the restructuring of medical assistance for public service employees. The GEMS story is a story of success in partnership with government as employer and organised labour. And I am proud to announce that we continued to work together to deal with such important issues at the restructuring of the scheme's administration.
Allow me Chairperson, as I conclude, to introduce a topic to be considered as food-for-thought for all of us present here. I do so as I confirm that it is true that wage negotiations are on between the government and labour at the PSCBC. As usual, it is not easy. We continue to work hard as government and organised labour to conclude the negotiations without any disruptions to services.
The issue for our homework is that we are starting a campaign called "My public servant, My future", in terms of which we will accelerate the following: Employer-employee contact and information-sharing; reflections on the general issues around the state at which our public servants work and are compensated; services that our public servants are delivering; the role of civil society, academia, traditional institutions, legislative bodies, institutions supporting constitutional democracy; and others, in answering questions related to the state of our public servants, all with a view to find each other, and possibly contribute in finding solutions that conventional wisdom, systems and practices are not providing.
In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, our resolve to deepen good governance, transcends beyond our borders, hence our championing of, among others, the following: The African Peer Review Mechanism; post-conflict reconstruction and development in affected countries in the continent; United Nations Convention against Corruption; and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in dealing with issues of bribery at the manifestation of corruption by officials at international business level.
Mutshami wa Xitulu, lexi nga heriki xa hlola.
Mrs J C MOLOI-MOROPA / ARM/Eng/ NN/Xits / END OF TAKE
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION
Mrs J C MOLOI-MOROPA: Chairperson, Minister for Public Service and Administration, hon Richard Baloyi, Deputy Minister hon Ayanda Dlodlo, hon Members of Parliament, Public Service Commissioners present, the Director – General, Chairpersons of Boards, Chief Executive Officers and Heads of Public Service and Administration Institutions, guests, ladies and gentleman,
Before I start, I just want to indicate that I'm pleased to welcome Prudence Masango and Mahlogonolo Banyatsang from Bona Lesedi secondary school in Mamelodi, who are attending today's Budget Vote, as part of the public sector, PSETA's programme, take a girl child to work initiative. [Applause.] I will really like to thank them for making me to take a girl child on this hectic day.
It is again that time of the year for Parliament to meet and debate Budget Votes for provision of services to the people of South Africa. My task is to deliberate on the Public Service and Administration Budget Vote no: 12. The Portfolio Committee of Public Service and Administration is certainly delighted that we have had constructive deliberations with the department that has culminated into its Budget Vote report.
Today's Budget Vote deliberations take place precisely eight days after our country's local government elections, in which the ANC, our movement has won decisively. [Applause.] We are certainly indebted to our people for the courageous and dedicated support they have eloquently demonstrated by making the right mark at the polls.
The budget presentation is also taking place against the backdrop of the Africa Day which we celebrated just yesterday in recognition and acknowledgement of the political, economic, social and cultural strides Africa has achieved so far. This is indeed our time as Africans to assert our presence in the global stage. I thought we will be happy as South Africans to do such a good stride.
In his conversations about politics in our world, one of our eminent writers, Ngungi Wa Thiong'o, writes in his celebrated book "Writers in Politics", and he says:
"What gift shall we, the living, bequeath to the unborn?
What Africa shall we hand over to the future?"
This question compels us to think about the future and determine our relevant strategic priorities that are not only relevant, but also responsive to the new societal demands of our changing world. In this way, collectively, we will be in a better position to handover a society that we can individually and collectively be proud of, to South Africa's future. Furthermore, we believe that the five overarching strategic and political priorities relating to education, to health, safety and security, rural development and job creation, that translate into the twelve key outcomes that our government has prioritised over this political term that constitute a key component of what we can as a collective bequeath to our future generations. I think the government has done well there.
Chairperson and hon members, after the committee's celebrations with the department on its strategic plan for 2010-14, we are pleased to report that the department is committed to dutifully forge ahead, determined to contribute to the country's mission of building a "better life for all", despite the challenges it faces.
The department's strategic plan has been developed in line with the outcomes approach to government's performance. As articulated in June 2010 guide to the outcomes approach and its purpose is as follows:
"To ensure that government is focused on achieving the expected real improvements in the life of all South Africans. It clarifies what is expected to be achieved, how it is expected and how it will be known whether it is being achieved or not. It will help all spheres of government to ensure that the results improve the lives of citizens rather than just carrying out functions".
In line with the requirements of the new Outcomes Approach for government's performance, the department has endeavoured to align its high level outputs and key activities not only on its key government's 12 Outcomes, but also to support all other government outcomes.
The 12 Outcomes is to ensure an efficient, effective and development orientated public service and empowered, fair, and inclusive citizenship. Pursuant to the realisation of these outcomes, the department aims to translate medium term vision's five priorities and the key government outcomes into tangible deliverables by 2014.
However, without the required budget, the constitutional obligation and the strategic and political thrust of the department seeks to achieve, might not be realised and the public good will only be an inspirational ideal, rather than a tangible reality. Now, our icon of the struggle, former President Nelson Mandela provides guidance in this regard, and councils us that,
"The purpose of the budget is to bring a better life for all. It is about transforming for our country together all of us".
Without any equivocation, the budget occupies the pride of place in the realisation of the constitutional promise and the key outcomes. We therefore consider it imperative that we collectively support this budget as an implementation instrument for the achievement of the department's strategic and political priorities, and for the benefit of the people of this country. In this context, we are of the view that, it is completely meaningless for us as members of this House to suggest otherwise. Just assume us saying that we don't support such a well planned budget. What would it mean?
In 2004, a special report to Parliament entitled: "Speeding transformation" whereby the authors aptly capture what oversight is all about. They correctly stated that:
"Oversight is a critical part of a democratic society committed to effective government and transformation. It ensures that government remains in touch with people and problems in delivery are recognised and addressed".
This means, among other things that we continue to search for more innovative ways of exercising the oversight responsibilities in this committee and in Parliament as a whole. It was in this context that we embark on the "strategic collaboration of institutions" as an initiative. We will have to continue and consolidate our relationship with the committee's counterparts in the NCOP, particularly the Select committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs which is our counterparts in order to collectively conduct oversight to provinces.
Our intention here as NA and NCOP committees, is to focus on public administration practices, and to ensure that we will be working with the Premier's Oversight Committees, Public Accounts Committees and Local Government Committees in provinces collaboratively. Our goal is to form mutual beneficial relations with strategic oversight partners in our collective task of exercising oversight. Other strategic partners include Auditor-General's office, and the Public Service Commission which are established in terms of Chapter 9 and 10 of the Constitution, respectively.
With all the partners mentioned, we are exploring a possibility of an overarching oversight approach that will allow us to effectively hold government departments accountable on their public administration processes. Chairperson, public service has an oversight function on the public service on which it reports to Parliament and specifically to this committee. More will be said by other members of this committee, but what I wanted to indicate is that the misfortune of collapsing the Budget Vote opened up a serious discussion on all independent institutions established in terms of Chapter 9 and 10 of the Constitution.
Much progress has been achieved as the Presiding Officers of Parliament established the office on Institutions Supporting Democracy. A lot has been achieved by the Deputy Speaker and the Institutions Supporting Democracy in their interaction. It is so safe to say that kind of discussion and that half link of feathers created us to look in totality on the Chapter 9 Institution and how they can impact on our democracy, and we are grateful about that.
Due to the informative nature of the Public Service Commission' report, our committees is making sure that Parliament takes this report seriously and is implemented. We are of the view that the clustering of committees of Parliament, not only in name but in actual work would go a long way in addressing the deficit in the collective and collaborative approach with other departments regarding the cross-cutting matters emanating from the public service. We therefore look forward to a day when we have a report with recommendations from the Parliamentary Clusters to the National Assembly.
Chairperson, an organisational design in the public service should be aimed at addressing the issues of uniformity in the application of legislation, and administration management principles across levels of government. What is obtained in national and provincial administration should be obtained at local level as well. We must always remember that South Africa is a unitary state.
We are pleased that the Ministry for the Public Service and Administration has since December 2010, been conducting workshops for the Provincial Executive which focuses on the government's objectives of effective and efficient managing and leading Public Service.
Despite the fact that the Public Administration Management Bill, also known as the Single Public Service Bill, is not or will not be forthcoming due to its mooted withdrawal, there is a stern believe that the legislation, in this case the Public Service Act of 1994, may have to be amended, to ensure that the uniformity of administration and management principles across spheres of government is a reality.
Regarding the matters relating to systems of the department, on the 25 February 2011, the hon Minister launched the "Go – Live" Integrated Financial Management System Module, which amongst other things, aims to improve the capacity of Public Service and to manage its human resource more effectively. I won't elaborate.
We welcome this development, and hope that the State Information Technology Agency will be on its toes. PALAMA's mandate is to raise the skills levels of public servants in order to improve the capacity of the state to deliver services. The committee appreciates the vision of transforming PALAMA into a training institute and into a fully-fledged management academy.
As we cast our eyes into the future, the committee is of the view that it might be necessary for the Public Service Commission to consider conducting impact evaluation study on all PALAMA's Executive Development Programmes that have been implemented. The well meant PALAMA Indaba that will bring all education stakeholders together, for an institution we are awaiting in the country, it should happen now.
Chairperson, the committee has noted with concern the following matters, as outlined by the Auditor-General and the Public Service, which requires attention. I might not elaborate on that, but it is: Non-compliance with financial disclosure framework, flouting of tender procedures, improper management of capital assets, no supporting evidence on purchases in the government departments, an increase in the cost of financial misconduct, failure of public servants to sign performance agreements, performance agreements not including dates for reviews of performance assessments, and public administration not being broadly representative of the South African people in order to address the imbalances of the past.
Chairperson, we believe that these challenges that the department is confronted with, are not insurmountable. We are pleased to indicate that the committee conducted intensive oversight over these matters, and will continue to find remedial methods with the department, on possible ways of addressing them.
We are hopeful that these challenges will be addressed to ensure that the department effectively delivers on its mandate. Other entities that provide services to South Africa's public Administration, the Government Employees Pension Fund, Government Employees Medical Aid Scheme and the Centre for Public Service Innovation should head for the call of action, "The time to work is upon us".
In conclusion, as the ANC, we are really supporting this Budget Vote before this House for adoption in order for the real work to commence. But we should not forget the guiding words of our former President Nelson Mandela, who advices us that:
"The purpose of the budget is to bring a better life for all".
While we ensure that the department has the necessary financial resources to be able to implement its strategic plan, and the programmes that it has submitted in our Parliament, we are definitely going to hold it accountable and there is no compromise in this regard.
Our people out there are waiting for services to be delivered to them for a positive impact on their lives. The renewal of this mandate on the 18 May, during the Local Government Elections once again says it all. We cannot disappoint our people. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms A M DREYER / C.I/Eng / END OF TAKE
Mrs J C MOLOI-MOROPA
Ms A M DREYER: Mr Chairman, would we all agree that in a budget debate it is appropriate to ask probing questions. Should a professional public service not be staffed with competent and dedicated professional officials? Does effective service delivery by all public departments, including education and health, not rely on the commitments of appropriately qualified officials and how well they are managed? Does this department not receive R690 million to achieve exactly this purpose?
Is it thus not appropriate to enquire how this department is managed? Has the then Minister for Public Service and Administration, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, not emphasised the importance of human resource planning five years ago? If this is the norm with which the DA agrees, how is it possible that the 2010 State of the Public Service report by the Public Service Commission, found that the public service still faced considerable challenges in the areas of effective human resource management?
Why did the Public Service Commission found that just 16 out of 144 departments – a compliance rate of only 11% - submitted human resource development plans? Is that why the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Dr Ralph Mgijima concluded that the Public Service was not at a point where it could confidently say that most of its managers were adequately competent in human resource management?
Meneer die Voorsitter, is dit nie waar dat die korrekte aanstellingsprosedure noodsaaklik is vir doeltreffende bestuur nie? Erken Minister Richard Baloyi dit nie inderdaad nie as hy verwys na...
... the right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time, all the time?
Is dit nie so dat doeltreffende aanstellings akkurate posbeskrywings vereis nie, Minister? Hoekom bevind die Staatsdienskommisie dan dat talle basiese beginsels nie nagekom word nie, soos dat poste geadverteer word sonder posbeskryings, en dat daar vir slegs 36% uit 122 poste posbeoordelings gedoen is?
Kan ons saamstem dat een van die basiese beginsels van doeltreffende departementele bestuur is om werksnemers verantwoordelik te hou vir die nakoming van hulle pligte? Hoe word dit anders gedoen as deur die gebruik van pligstate, prestasie-ooreenkomste en prestasiemetings?
Nou, hoekom word hierdie meganismes, wat op papier beskryf word, dan nie geimplimenteer nie? Hoekom bewys ons slegs lippediens aan prestasie-ooreenkomste?
Why is there a performance management and development system if senior managers simply do not submit the performance agreements requested from them? If heads of departments do not comply with requirements, how can you expect their subordinates to comply? In addition to that, why are so many heads of departments never formally evaluated?
Furthermore, is it surprising that the level of compliance is declining if performance incentives are paid without evaluations being done? If fewer grievances are finalised, is it surprising that there are more resentments amongst employees?
Therefore, won't we all agree with President Zuma when he said that: "we face a crisis of accountability?" If officials are not held accountable, is it not logical that financial mismanagement and corruption would follow? To fight corruption, is it not essential that senior managers entrusted with public funds, should maintain a high standard of professional ethics? Shouldn't their integrity be beyond reproach? Doesn't it make sense that they must disclose their financial interests by the end of April every year?
Is it not worrying that the compliance rate of senior managers in the whole public service, over the last three financial years, has never been more than 50% and that it was declining. How can a Minister enforce compliance in other departments, if in his own one, not one of the 98 senior managers submitted their financial disclosures by due date?
Is it surprising that voters have more trust in a government that complies? Is anybody surprised that the Western Cape government has … [Interjections.] [Applause.] ... Is anybody surprised that the Western Cape government had a 100% compliance rate. [Applause.] Why should officials have discretion to decide whether or not to investigate cases of alleged corruption?
Why is it that half of all departments have no anti-corruption strategy at all? Is one of the most basic principles of effective management not to maintain discipline? Did the Public Service Commission not recommend to Cabinet that they should charge noncompliant officials with misconduct in terms of the Code of Conduct? Why no feedback is received from departments on 63% of cases referred to the National Anti-Corruption Hotline? If even Minister Baloyi's own acting director-general did not submit his financial disclosure by due date, how can we expect the Minister to the enforce compliance in the rest of the public service? Why are officials suspected of fraud or corruption, often just suspended from duty for long periods with full pay?
Why are so many senior managers lenient in imposing disciplinary action against the guilty? Why do they only give written warning and do not dismiss the guilty? Does the Public Service Commission not recommend that all fraud is reported to the police?
Why did the Minister make so many promises today? Why didn't he tell the House whether he fulfilled last year's promises? In conclusion, is it now clear why on 18 May, the support of the voters for a certain party declined while that for another – blue party, grew significantly. [Applause.] Why should the DA support this Budget Vote, given the disintegration of human resource management of appointment procedures of accountability, and of financial discipline in the public service? [Applause]
Mr P B MNGUNI / JN (Eng)/Nigel (Afr) / TM / END OF TAKE
Ms A M DREYER
Mr P B MNGUNI: Chairperson, up front I need to mention that I am not the hon Leonard Ramatlakane. The speech belongs to him. If you want to know me, you must come to my office. Hon Minister and members of this House, the Department of Public Service and Administration remains a critical department regarding government programme implementation.
It is an important department, because it regulates state machinery. The core function of this department is to ensure that all government personnel adhere to the code of good practice. It is this department that regulates uniformity within government personnel policies. It is this department that must ensure that senior management service, SMS, and other personnel receive empowerment and training aimed at improving service delivery. Additionally, Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy, Palama, and State Information Technology Agency, Sita, account to the Department of Public Service and Administration. These institutions receive direction from the Department of Public Service and Administration. The Minister is therefore trusted with a responsibility to steer the ship to safe shores.
The Budget Vote today, and from the previous years, should help the Minister to crack the whip so that the President's state of the nation address directives can be implemented. In the past period, as mentioned, Minister, the department has dropped the ball. When you speak about changing the focus of Palama, it inherently says that you see the weakness. The leadership's voice is not emphatic when it comes to governance, rooting out corruption and promoting good practice in Sita.
In addition to Sita's irregular expenditure of R214 million, it has also not complied with the Public Finance Management Act. We have grave concern that the Minister is not cracking the whip on the mismanagement of public funds. We are even more concerned that he is not voicing his concerns publicly over the fact that the public funds are mismanaged to such an extent. The Minister should be saying that the funds that have been mismanaged should be recovered, repaid and or just be served to the perpetrators.[Interjections.] The department continues to drop the ball when it comes to enforcing general compliance with the Senior Management Service Handbook. We continue to see long suspension with pay. Furthermore, officials avoid disciplinary hearings by taking transfers or negotiated transfers to a sister governmental department as a way to close his or her misconduct hearing. Why is it that the department, Minister, continues to fail in enforcing compliance with the regulations?
The matter of fighting corruption and the conduct by the senior management service remains a pipe dream. The senior management service failed to declare its public interests and continued to receive bonuses through using its family names. Only 15 directors-general had declared their financial interest by the 31 May deadline in 2010. More so, the noncompliance of the signing of performance agreements is a direct result of the executive authority's failure to enforce and maintain accountability and compliance.
Cope can only conclude that these actions by the senior management service, or department's failure, are a clear indication that the President's anticorruption calls are being defied. [Interjections.] If this is not true, what then has been done? Which senior management service official has been shown the door?
Furthermore, the Constitution is clear about Chapter 9 institutions such as the Public Service Commission, PSC. Every year, we repeat ourselves by saying that the Budget should be separated, because the joint budget compromises the PSC. When are we going to move forward on this issue? Moreover, it is regrettable that the ruling party has thrown out the debate about the integration of the Public Service. This is therefore no longer a matter for consideration.
Finally, Cope wants to hear a practical plan on how to manage the Public Sector Wage Bill. The Minister of Finance has reported that close to 40% of government's budget goes to salience and doesn't continue to grow. Leadership is needed within the department. This will ensure that the long-term interests are secure, thereby improving service and avoiding the contraction of those services in time to come. I thank you.
Prof C T MSIMANG
Mr P B MNGUNI
Prof C T MSIMANG: Chairperson, this department has one of the toughest mandates in government, specifically the mandate to improve the service delivery from government to the people of our country. Batho Pele embodies the idea that should be first and foremost in the minds of all government employees and officials: the ideal of service.
Aristotle once said that man is a zoon politikon and that the highest office man can aspire to in life is the office of public service in and for the public good and, further, that politics can and should lead men and women to excellence when it comes to community life. The sad reality is that this ideal has been trampled underfoot by the greed and corruption of many government officials and politics is now seen by many as just another avenue towards a life of power, status and affluence. We are indeed a very far cry from the rule of the philosopher kings, as envisaged by Plato in his ideal Republic.
Mr Minister, your department is at a veritable coal face. You are responsible for creating the norms and standards that will lead to the overall improvement of service delivery by government departments. The IFP commends the department for recent policies and regulations that have been adopted to curb corruption, but the test for any policy or regulation is in its implementation. One such policy is the Financial Disclosure Framework for senior managers in the Public Service. This framework requires senior managers to disclose in prescribed forms all their interests that need to be registered to be scrutinised by the Public Service Commission, PSC, in order to identify any potential conflicts of interest. One would expect senior managers to set a good example by complying with this requirement. Regrettably, in the 2009 PSC report no less that 1 743 managers failed to comply. We are yet to hear what punitive steps the department will take to discipline such managers.
We are currently in service delivery crisis mode. Sporadic outbreaks of service delivery protests are occurring nationwide and have, in many instances, led to the death of civilians and damage to property and infrastructure. Situations such as these cannot and must not be allowed to arise again. The principles of Batho Pele must be entrenched in our Public Service sector. Impact assessments must be conducted and continuous monitoring should take place and, where the principles are found to be lacking, swift corrective actions should be implemented immediately.
Our citizens must be engaged with their service delivery concerns and solutions found in partnership with our people. Initiatives such as the Khaedu project, with its management toolkit for problem identification, must have the full support of government and should be greatly encouraged with mandatory participation for all senior management service members.
The department must however be complimented on its effort to curb excessive government spending through its cost commitment measures such as restrictions of the use of business class travel, participation in the government fleet management scheme and by reducing the size of government delegations to both national and international destinations, which also have the desired knock-on effect of reducing government carbon footprint on the environment. Corruption has no place in government and those found guilty of perpetrating as mentioned above should feel the full might of our law.
Government cannot serve two masters; it exists solely at the will and behest of the people whom it serves. There is no place for self serving officials in government. Let the clarion call resound. The IFP supports the Budget. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A J WILLIAMS //Mohau//Mia /END OF TAKE
Prof C T MSIMANG
Mr A J WILLIAMS: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, friends and guests, I would like to start by saying that the constituency where I am deployed, Dipaleseng, where the council sits in Belfour, Mpumalanga, remains convincingly in ANC hands. This is not surprising for us, as the ANC is the only party in South Africa that has the best interests of all South Africans in mind, not just the rich.
The fact that the ANC victory was not commented on by our so-called free press, reaffirms the idea that, in general, the South African press is not independent at all. If Belfour had fallen – and I say fallen - into the hands of opposition parties, that fact would have been splashed over every front page in South Africa. Independent press, I think not.
One of the biggest challenges facing this country is corruption. Within the public service corruption is widespread and is beginning to take the shape and size of organised crime. Billions of rands are removed from government coffers by these criminals. [Interjection.] Corruption must never be seen as a sexy thing to participate in. It is counter-revolutionary and every disciplined citizen of this country must take a stand against this disgusting behaviour by exposing and reporting it wherever it occurs.
The Minister of Public Service and Administration must be applauded for establishing the Special Anti-Corruption Unit, SACU. So far the SACU has investigated 30 cases referred to it by National Treasury and is currently investigating some eight cases which involve around 265 employees, within various national and provincial departments, in the public service.
The mandate of the SACU is to facilitate, co-ordinate and conduct the management of strategic information, investigations and disciplinary proceedings of corruption and related misconduct cases in the public service.
The budget allocated to the SACU for the financial year 2011-12 is an amount of R8,4 million - R4,2 million to be spent on goods and services and R4,2 million allocated for compensation. If one bears in mind that corruption costs the South African taxpayer billions of rands annually, then it is clear that more money and resources need to be allocated to the SACU.
In the Auditor-General's national audit outcomes general report of 2009-10, irregular expenditure for the departments totalled a staggering R2,3 billion and the total irregular expenditure of public entities amounted to R1,5 billion. This R3,8 billion is a lot of money and this government needs to spend at least half a billion rand on anticorruption activities. It would be a relatively small investment for a very big return.
Corruption is tearing at the very fabric of our society and hampering service deliver. People like Community Development Workers, CDWs, who are, as we speak, out in the community, assisting South Africans to access grants, health care, social services and many more services. CDWs work where the poorest of the poor live. This environment is very difficult, perhaps you should go there sometimes DA. CDWs must be given adequate support in the form of laptops, office space, and administration assistance. CDWs are heroes of government and must be recognised as such.
One of the structures that assist the CDWs is the Thusong Service Centre. These establishments bring government departments to South Africans front door. They are vital for service delivery in the public service. Government's vision for the Thusong Service Centres is to provide every South African citizen with access to information and cervices within their place of residence and in each local municipality by 2014, with the purpose of improving the quality of their lives through integrated service delivery.
Thusong Service Centres serve, not only community through the tireless efforts of Community Development Workers, but also the efforts of the ward committees and councillors. The department needs to take a serious look at these centres and see how they can be improved, in order to bring more government services to the people.
Within the public service, capacity and the ability of departments to retain capacity is a concern. The Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy, Palama, was established to try and address this issue. Palama is at the moment a middle man between the training provider and the student. This will not always be the case. Palama's long-term vision is to become an academy where school leavers can enrol and get comprehensive instruction and qualifications in specific areas of the public service. [Interjection.] The future vision needs lots of work and more resources need to be allocated to this.
Educating our own public servants from scratch will improve the service that will be given to the people. There will also be on the job training to keep the employees updated on government's strategies and plans. Palama must be resourced to reach the status of a public administration academy.
In last year's Budget Vote, I raised the issue of the State Information Technology Agency, Sita, not performing up to scratch. I also assured South Africa that the Sita had a turn around strategy that would change this situation. I am frankly disappointed with the slow implementation of the Sita turnaround strategy. There has been some progress with regard to connectivity of Thusong Service Centres, but I feel that this entity can do more and more quickly.
This entity is vital to the public service and more effort needs to be made by the department to monitor the implementation of the turnaround strategy. South Africa cannot afford to be waiting years and years for the turnaround strategy of the Sita to be implemented. South Africa deserves better and this fourth Parliament expects better.
The Sita has one shareholder... [Interjection.] The Sita has one shareholder and that shareholder is the Minister of Public Service and Administration. The Minister said, in his foreword, in the Sita annual report:
Upon the completion of government modernisation, the Integrated Financial Management System project will replace the current legacy transversal applications, including the Basic Accounting System, the Personnel and Salary System and the logistics Management System.
Hon Minister, I am calling on you and your department to come to the portfolio committee and explain to us exactly what is going on with the Sita and why there is slow implementation of the turnaround strategy.
Public Service and Administration is key department for service delivery to our people. This fourth Parliament cannot allow this sector to stumble along without the necessary resources and skilled personnel. This fourth Parliament expects vacant positions to be filled as they occur. We don't want to see anymore acting positions. Resources must be spent on objectives stated in strategic plans.
It is only through a collective effort by all those in the public service and the commitment to put the people's interest first than we can achieve a better life for all because working together we can do more. Thank you. [Applause.]
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION / Mpho/ UNH (Checked)/ END OF TAKE
Mr A J WILLIAMS
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Hon Chairperson, Minister of Public Service and Administration, Cabinet colleagues, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, members of the portfolio committee, Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, hon Members of the House, the portfolio leadership in the Ministry of Public Service and Administration, our distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, we are living in an interesting time in South Africa.
Never in the history of our democracy have we witnessed a stronger need to fasten the manner in which we deliver services. Our democracy is at the height of its teenage years, and like all teenagers, it is a pivotal time of questioning and rebellion. The public service is the institution charged with the management and redistribution of this teenager's resources. As such, never has there been a more opportune time for us work with vigour in ensuring that these resources are properly redistributed.
I would like to convey my greetings and thank you for affording us the opportunity to address this House on this very important day, the day for the presentation of the Budget Vote for the portfolio of Public Service and Administration.
During last year's identification of strategic priorities and subsequent introduction of the outcomes-based approach as a manner of governance, the Ministry for Public Service and Administration was allocated the responsibility to co-ordinate the implementation, monitoring and reporting of outcome 12: "An efficient, effective and development oriented public service and empowered, fair and inclusive citizenship".
What we do as government is premised on the ruling party's election manifesto and further enhance and guided by the outputs of outcome 12, Cabinet Lekgotla, the state of the nation address 2011, the recent Budget Speech of the Minister of Finance 2011 and other imperatives arising from the assessment of performance of the Public Service.
During our last Budget Vote address to this House in 2010, the office of the Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration made the following commitments: To review the governance arrangements of the single public service; harness the power of technology through e-government; put in place measures to ensure the integrity of Persal data; provide support to at least 80% of government departments so they spend at least 1% of personnel budget on training; expand Gems membership and reduce the number of uncovered employees; roll out solutions to addressing the needs of visually impaired teachers; refocus the Community Development Workers Programme to play a stronger role in the war against poverty; and to connect Thusong service centres to the internet. A lot of these have been done.
The President has called upon the public service to work harder and smarter in addressing the needs of the citizens. We want to assure the house that the Ministry will continue to implement the abovementioned programmes with renewed vigour. With regard to our priorities, I would like to pay special attention to the following given the time constraints: Enhancement of legislative and policy review; accessibility to public services and community participation; and human resource management and compliance.
The Minister has already spoken about some of the areas of participation on the international arena. Yesterday, Parliament celebrated Africa Day, and in support of all the effort to improve the conditions of living of the people of the continent, the Republic of South Africa is engaged in a number of post conflict interventions. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, we developing and implementing the anti-corruption framework, the public service census and capacity building-programme; in Burundi, we are rebuilding and strengthening its public service to run effectively and implementing capacity-building programme; in Rwanda, we are dealing with its capacity-building programme and leadership development; and in South Sudan, it is about the capacity-building in human resources sector.
It is for the first time that we have included participation of traditional leaders as one of the sectors in the Africa Peer Review Mechanism process. This move was necessitated by the fact that 70% of South Africa's population is rural. Through the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, South Africa has been requested to assist in developing a framework for civil society participation in the review of government programs the world over.
A review of the Public Service Regulations is also currently underway which focuses on all the gaps for the institutionalisation of a number of service delivery mechanisms as well as a framework for community development and public participation. The Code of Conduct for the Community Development Workers, CDWs, will also be reviewed in relation to the conflict between the Public Service and political activities.
This year we are planning to work with more vigour in ensuring that the CDWs are linked with the existing community structures such as school governing bodies, community policing forums, ratepayers' associations, traditional institutions, citizen assemblies and religious bodies. This morning I had some discussions with Premiers from almost all over the country. I spoke to Premier Zille, Premier Mokonyane, Premier Hazel Jenkins, and Premier Thandi Modise. It was not deliberate that I spoke to women, but I found them quicker than man. They all agreed with me, in saying that we need to relocate the CDWs to the offices of the Premiers. They need to be hosted there,f for purposes of ensuring that they work swifter and are aligned to the programmes of provinces and integrating services.
The Department of Public Service and Administration, DPSA, will facilitate the process of the location of the CDWs to a national department, hopefully ours, and also to the office of the Premiers for funding and monitoring and evaluation purposes.
The DPSA will commence with the implementation of the Process Map to Parliament that include the review of the draft Public Administration Management Bill as part of a process to implement the single public service. Consultative workshops within government will be held to finalise the draft revised legislation. Further consultations will be made in the National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac, but we will also like to include civil society because it is our biggest client.
On local government citizen participation and access to service offerings, SITA has deployed satellite connectivity to Thusong Services Centres. A process to validate equipment deployment and facilitate site signoff is presently being undertaken. We are currently working with the Department of Basic Education, Health and Communications to develop a blueprint for the connectivity of schools and clinics. A conceptual framework for the implementation of e-government has also been developed.
Taking into consideration what the President said in his 2011 state of the nation address when he said, and I quote:
We are building a developmental state and not a welfare state, and the social grants will be linked to economic activity and community development to enable short-term beneficiaries to become self supporting in the long run.
In supporting this, together with the Minister of Social Development, we will ensure through the work of the CDWs that we identify children who have no access to early childhood programme to be part of those development programmes. The importance of the programme is the development of cognitive and other skills for children which will create ground for a well-rounded human being who will be capable of meeting the challenges of life in education and social spheres without relying on social grants.
I am confident that the Minister of Social Development, in her budget speech, will unveil a grand plan on early childhood development. The department will also launch a campaign which we have dapped 'Know Your CDW', so that communities can be able to access the programme with ease.
The CDW programme has play a critical role in making the following positive development impacts: Assisting in the elimination of government bottlenecks; advocating for an organised voice of and for the poor by supporting community-based and faith-based organisations; strengthening government-community networks through information dissemination; and assisting in bridging the gap between the first and the second economy in South Africa.
Notwithstanding the positive development impact of the CDW programme, government is aware of specific challenges facing the programme that may hamper its impact with regards to the acceleration of service delivery to citizens. One of the challenges is the complex relationship between CDWs, ward committee members and ward councillors and the discrepancies in remuneration.
What we have seen to be the challenge is the fact that CDWs in certain instances are unable to distinguish their roles as civil servants and those of party politics. [Interjections.] I did not say strange. The governance, management, planning and reporting functions have been inconsistent and fragmented across the different spheres of government.
The key elements of the re-designed governance and management CDW model are as follows: National co-ordination, which we would like to see as part of the DPSA; at a provincial level, we would like to see the Premier's office taking responsibility for this, as discussed this morning with some of them; and at a local level, it will have to be based at ward level, but we are also looking at ensuring that it also gets hosted by the various traditional authorities in the rural areas and also at the Thusong Service Centres.
Previous research conducted on service delivery draws attention to key challenges that encumber government's concerted attempts in achieving equitable, effective and efficient access to public services for its citizens. One of the primary concerns is that the current initiatives are being driven by individual departments and therefore result in considerable duplication and high expenses.
Accessibility of services is limited by the current structure and functioning of government whereby the provisioning of a single service as per the mandate of the sphere of government fails to address citizens' needs in a comprehensive manner. For citizens living in areas that are remote and lack basic infrastructure, services and utilities, access to government services is severely limited. Citizens are required to incur travelling costs for long distances to reach service points in the nearest local towns.
To respond to these challenges, government must facilitate participation of citizens in the delivery of services and the packaging of information. It should intensify the task of developing a public service that has a strong citizen-centred culture and repackage service offerings and develop new models and ways of providing services and information. Firstly, it should maximise the effectiveness of face-to-face service interaction; and secondly, to maximize the take-up of self service for citizens through the use of technology.
We need to achieve greater collaboration within and across all three spheres of government to provide services and information in a more responsive and integrated manner to citizens. In this respect, it is necessary that government concentrates its services in a single location and ensures greater a joined-up services. This service location should be as close to the people as possible.
We have recently launched the Maponya Mall Thusong Project which is still a pilot project. The rationale for the project was that it should provide a 'one-stop' interaction with government where departments and institutions will provide professional, fast, friendly services in an integrated fashion.
To further expand on providing citizens with convenient access to services, DPSA and partner institutions will be investigating a collaborative partnership with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa, and institutions across government to develop government 'one-stop-shops', Thusong, in train stations. This is important because statistics are showing that the number of people using those facilities could also benefit by government providing services at particular stations for their convenience. We are looking at two areas, which is Johannesburg station, which used to be called Park Station and also Cape Town Station, because we get a lot of that. Prasa has also indicated that we should look at Queenstown which is also dealing with access to train stations by rural communities
In June, we will engage traditional leaders countrywide to request that the traditional offices host the Thusong Services model in a bid to make public service products and services more accessible to rural communities that have no/or little infrastructure in rural areas.
In all the work we do, the department will continue to monitor the implementation of gender, disability and youth frameworks by all departments through the analysis of periodic reports submitted by departments. The enhancement of skills for gender and disability focal points will be done through training in mainstreaming the implementation of the strategic frameworks.
I wish to state that there is a need to look into ways to improve the relationships between the political heads and the heads of departments. Mechanisms should be put in place to ensure that accountability in terms of administrative responsibilities as outlined in the Plantand Facilities Maintenance Association, PFMA, is not compromised based on the poor working relationship between the executing authority and the accounting officer. We should also be cognisant that these relationships also affect the working of government at all levels. If the political and administrative head do not work in tandem, it creates a ripple effect of non-performance at all levels of a department.
Public Service needs to deal with the burden of cost to the state occasioned by indecisive and incompetent leadership in the area of human resource management and the handling of labour relations matters. The challenges in the Public Service include the management of discipline, sick leave, corruption and conflict of interest including the management of integrity of the public servants.
There was a Cabinet decision to introduce multiple administrators for the government employee medical scheme. We are lagging behind in the implementation of that Cabinet decision, but we have undertaken to, in the approved procurement plan for 20ll, to issue a tender for the appointment of two more administrators.
The Gems membership currently stands at 556 000 and its set to grow in this financial year to 620 000. As a department, we can proudly say that this is one of the performing public service entities and will continue to enhance its product offering so that it becomes the medical scheme of choice. [Time Expired.] I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms M C MOHALE /TM / END OF TAKE
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION
Ms M C MOHALE: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, other Ministers and Deputy Ministers present here, hon members, distinguished guests and fellow South Africans, in terms of its legal mandate, the Ministry and the Department for Public Service and Administration is responsible for all human resource transversal policies, regulations, norms and standards, labour relations, conditions of services and employees wellness on behalf government as an employer. Part of this responsibility includes the education and training of public service employees, their wellbeing in terms of health and wellness, and ensuring continuous innovation in the work methods to improve service delivery as technologies change. It achieves these goals through among other entities, the Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority, PSETA, in terms of education and training, Government Employees Medical Scheme, GEMS, in terms of medical aid, and the Creative Problem Solving Institute, CPSI, in terms of innovation.
The PSETA is accredited as a SETA in terms of the South African Qualifications Authority, SAQA, Act 58 of 1995. Its mandate is to develop and implement a sector skills plan for the public sector within the framework of the National Skills Development Strategy and to monitor and audit achievements in terms of national standards and qualifications as they pertain to the public sector. In our oversight work, we have noted a number of challenges and problems that this entity has experienced in recent times.
One of the main problems which have persistently faced the PSETA is that of governance. This is manifested in their disclaimer audit report for the 2009-10 financial year from the Audit-General and the fraud findings as alluded to in that report. We are happy that the ministry has shown a determination in attending to these challenges in the form of instituting a forensic investigation and taking charge in terms of implementing temporary measures through an administrator. We are encouraged by plans that the PSETA Board has come up with in this Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period to focus on building the institution capacity of the organisation through among others the appointment of the chief executive officer, CEO, senior management and most importantly, to address and complete the issue of its autonomy and funding model which has to some extent contributed to its perennial problems.
Hon Chairperson, notwithstanding these challenges though, we have noted some of the achievements as reported in the annual report such as: Achieving full accreditation as education and training and assurance body; meeting the National Skills Development Strategy, NSDS, targets by accrediting 33 service providers, developing 24 qualifications and certifying 25 moderators; and exceeding the target of 2 000 by assisting 3 211 workers to enter learning programmes, with 2 812 workers against a target of 950 workers completing learning programmes
We believe that with extra support in terms of capacity and addressing its governance problems, the PSETA can do more to drive the process of ensuring that a skilled workforce in the public service is realized in the near future. As public representatives we are going to increase our vigilance in our oversight role to monitor the implementation of a change programme as developed by its board and hold them accountable. For the ANC, SETAs are the bedrock of our policy priorities on skills development for the purpose of job creation. The ANC is committed to building the capacity of the public service and administration as it is crucial for a developmental state.
We recognise that institution building for appropriate skills development cannot be achieved overnight as we are dealing with the legacy of long-entrenched structural imbalances in our system of education and training for the public sector. In this vein all efforts to build the PSETA must be supported while at the same time ensuring that actions are taken where good corporate governance has been violated. Where evidence has been found for fraud and mismanagement, action must be taken swiftly against the culprits.
Hon Chairperson, creativity and innovation is an important element of modern approaches to service delivery as demonstrated by the need for continuous change in the work methods. The legislative mandate of the CPSI is to provide the Minister with independent, diverse, and forward-looking research findings and advice on innovative service delivery with specific focus on government's priorities. It encourages learning and rewarding institutions on innovative methods of providing services to the people.
It is pleasing to note that the CPSI is recognized and is a member of international bodies such as the United Nation's Committee of Experts. This, together with its sharing and cross publishing of innovative case studies between the Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management and CPSI journals needs to be applauded and encouraged as it promotes learning and institutional strengthening. Its new multimedia innovation centre was established as a knowledge repository for the public sector but now has grown to facilitate various other platforms that are necessary for capacity building for people to expand and test their ideas.
Hon Minister, we would like to see the CPSI visiting communities especially where we have seen protests about service delivery so that the problems could be diagnosed and correct solutions applied to improve service delivery. The centre needs to brand service delivery in the public service. From the lessons we learn in the type of innovation and management in our observations of the CPSI and GEMS, is that success is possible in the public sector. GEMS is showing success in achieving its mission of providing all public service employees with equitable access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare benefits within a very competitive market environment of medical aid schemes. It continues to increase its membership base while managing cost effectively at the same time.
All these three entities are strategically important for the task of building modern human resource management and development in our public service and administration. The ANC has supported their creation because of its longstanding commitment to building a strong professional public service and administration based on the democratic values of our Constitution and Batho Pele Principles. The ultimate goal from the ANC policy perspective is a strong developmental state that is capable of eradicating poverty, eliminating inequalities, growing the economy inclusively and delivering services to all in society especially the poor with speed and quality.
We want to see PSETA in particular, supported in its change management processes and thus strengthened in the interest of the education and of government employees and sound human resource management and development. We want to support the noble efforts of innovative approaches to service delivery through the CPSI.
Ka lona lebaka leo, ANC e thekga ditekanyetšo tše. Ke a leboga. [Legofi.]
Mr E NYEKEMBE / keh (Sep)/A N N (Eng) / END OF TAKE
Ms M C MOHALE
C/W(Ms MC Mohale)
Mr E NYEKEMBA: Chairperson, hon Minister and deputy Minister, hon members, officials and guests good afternoon.
It is now universally accepted, that the most critical aspect and resource for any organisation, is its people. The public service is no exception to this observation.
It is through this ministry for public service administration and its department that, government human capacity is developed and harnessed, to meet the challenges of delivery. The department's aim of leading the modernisation of the public service through a generally applicable framework of norms and standards, to improve service delivery assumes that, within itself, it possesses superior skills, knowledge and competences to improve advice and leadership on human resources management, HRM, to government as a whole.
The debate on this Budget today, is to ensure that, this assumption is a reality and is complemented by equally appropriate financial resources that will allow for the achievement of its noble aim.
Given its broad mandate, this department can generally be based to be responsible for the HRM and development arm of government. From a government institutional perspective, it is the responsibility of this department, that the principles governing the public service administrations are as stipulated in the Constitution of the country, are translated into a reality and implemented.
Two of these principles stipulate that;
1. Good HRM and carrier development practices, to maximise human potential must be cultivated.
2. Public administration must be broadly representative of the South African people, with employment and personnel management practices, based on ability, objectivity, and fairness at the need to redress the imbalances of the past to achieve broad representation.
Additional to this constitutional obligation, is the mandate it devries from the public act of 1994 as amended, which calls for the development of norms and standards. Just to mention two.
Labour relations in the public service secondly, transformation, reform innovation and any other, to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the public service and its service delivery to the public.
When assessed historically against the broad constitutional mandate, and the public service act, the department has performed relatively well in building a system of HRM in the public service. That is comparable within international best practice. Compared to the period before 1994 change has overwhelmingly taken place in the arena of public service administration and best practice to management of human resource is to reutilized.
The necessary legislative legal and regulative framework have been established, and continued to be reviewed on a regular basis to keep up with the changing environment and new challenges.
Some of the HRM challenges have been identified in the reports of the public service commission, the auditor general, the ministry itself and us as Parliamentarians, arising out of our oversight work.
The most pressing challenges which will require urgent HRM interventions include amongst others;
1. Failure to inculcate and entrenches the culture of service based on the values and principles of Batho Pele which have been adopted by government.
2. Limited success in effectively utilising the performance management and development system.
3. Weaknesses in the management and implementation of disciplinary processes.
The persistence of the challenges should not however blind us, to the enornomous improvements in the management of HRM that makes our public services to function and deliver the services we are receiving on a daily basis. We have noted from the department's 2009-10 annual report. The following recorded achievements with regard to improving the HRM and development environment in the public services. Just to mention two.
1. Continued with the implementation of capacity development programme and the training of community development workers.
2. Development of the integrated financial management system and HR module and the rolling out of HR connect source system to some departments.
Although we have expressed our concerns with persistence of the challenges as identified above. We are encouraged by the measures that are being proposed in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework plan, MTEF, to address them. In particular, we welcome the priorities that you have identified as critical to address the challenges going forward such as the following.
1. The revision of the performance management and development system inorder to strengthen the senior management service performance in the public service.
2. Effecient management of working time in the public service.
3. Revision of the recruitment processes.
4. Improvement of the gender and disability mainstreaming and ensure that government representation targets are achieved.
5. Increased training and development of public servants.
We believe that the speeding up of the implementing, these measures will greatly assist in making the public service work better and with speed, as has asked by the President in his state of the nation address.
From the perspective of the ANC,a public service and administration that is adequately staffed with personnel that is qualified,skilled,competent and representative, as required by the the Constitution is crucial not only to achieve the goals of a developmental state but equally for nation building.
In ANC's view, HRM and development constitutes one of the critical elements of the technical capacity of a developmental stage. Its ability to translate broad objectives into programmes, projects and ensure their implementation is overwhelmingly dependant on proper training, orientation and the leadership of the public service and acquiring a returning of skilled personnel in the public service.
In our support for government to improve the functioning of the public service, we have consistently called for and promoted measures that will make it to be flexible, operationally integrated and frontline level, innovative and promotes managerial accountability and performance in terms of its HRM and development systems.
It is on the basis of this that we have advocate for the establishment of a single public service so that we can establish a better integrated and harmonised system of HRM and development across all the spheres of government.
The ANC supports the Budget Vote. Thank you.
Thank you god I am not the member of the DA or Cope which were formed in 1994.
Point of Order
Mr M J ELLIS: May I say sir, that it is not only the hon member whose time has exhausted, we are exhausted having listened to him as well.
Dr H C VAN SCHALKWYK / MMN / END OF TAKE
Mr E NYEKEMBE
Dr H C VAN SCHALKWYK: Voorsitter, die Staatsdiens, skoon administrasie en goeie dienslewering behoort sinoniem te wees. Die Staatsdiens is die spieëlbeeld van hoe die land regeer word.
As ons kyk na dienslewering, kan ons nou maar net kyk na die proteste wat plaasgevind het voor die plaaslike verkiesing. Daardie selfde swak dienslewering kom in die Staatsdiens voor. Wat korrupsie en skoon administrasie betref, hoef ek niks verder te sê nie, want spreker na spreker voor my het vanaand verwys na die korrupsie in die Staatsdiens. Selfs my ANC-kollegas het dit erken.
My colleague, hon Dreyer, touched on the Department of Public Service and Administration, DPSA, and the Public Service Commission, PSC, so I will reflect on Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy, Palama and State Information Technology Agency, Sita.
Palama's identity should be cleared for once and for all. Is Palama a service provider or is it merely a facilitator? Minister, I recall that you informed the portfolio committee that you were going to make an important announcement concerning Palama on Africa Public Service Day on 3 June. I presume that you will give more information on a turnaround strategy for the entity on that occasion. I heard tonight, Sir, that you were talking about Palama and preparatory school. But, we await further information.
In his 2011 state of the nation address, President Zuma highlighted the recruitment of qualified heads of the departments, chief financial officers, etc. Skills development was given priority in his state of the nation address. Has Palama presented a strategy designed to deal with the issue of in-service training for those who presently occupy senior positions in all the departments?
The DA believes in appointing people at Senior Management Services, SMS, level, who are fit for purpose. In order to improve service delivery, it is essential to appoint qualified and dedicated people at SMS level. An effective recruitment process in the public service is obviously a prerequisite for good service delivery. Cadre deployment should not be tolerated, because all cadres are not necessarily qualified and dedicated public servants. Senior managers should be appointed and promoted only on a basis of merit and the expertise to do the work of the department concerned. That is exactly what the DA's open opportunity society for all advocates.
Let me congratulate Mr Blake Mosley-Lefatola on his recent appointment as the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Sita – the 12th CEO in 12 years! I am sure he will have knowledge of the enormous challenges as the CEO. Since its inception 12 years ago, Sita has been plagued by scandal, with allegations of corruption, ineffectiveness and mismanagement regularly associated with the state owned entity.
Let me highlight only the following: In the 2009-10 financial year, Sita incurred R215 million worth of irregular expenditure, on top of the R19 million uncovered in the 2008-09 financial year; Sita has acknowledged challenges that have affected its ability to turn around tenders quickly; tenders are taking up to two years to be awarded, because of constant top-level shuffling at the entity; and the delay has thrown Information and Communications Technology, ICT, industry into turmoil and negatively impacted service delivery.
According to a consolidated list of bids on Sita's website, the agency issued 68 requests for quotation last year, of which 47 are still being evaluated, 13 have been binned, another seven are still open to invitations, and only one tender was awarded. The consolidated list does not have any information available about tenders issued this year. Now, is this backlog in tenders reflects efficient management? I don't know!
The ideal should be that Sita would provide for the whole of the public service. We know, however, that where Sita is viewed as not being helpful or as unresponsive, the accounting officers of departments can go directly to industry to procure products and services that Sita is unable to, or incapable of offering at the required time, quality and price.
In response to a DA parliamentary question, the Minister indicated that only two government departments are regular customers of Sita: The South African Police Services, SAPS, and the Department of Defence and Military Veterans.
At a recent Police Parliamentary Portfolio Committee meeting, however, it was revealed that the relationship between Sita and the SAPS is on thin ice, due to poor service delivery from Sita. Apparently there are problems relating to service level agreements between the two parties. There is a lack of joint planning and agreement between the two parties. The lack of a backup system for the criminal record centre is a reflection of this lack of joint planning.
Ek wil afsluit met 'n radikale gedagte wat in die nabye toekoms gedebatteer behoort te word: die staat gaan beter af wees sonder die Staatsdiens se leierskap- en bestuursakademie, Palama, en die Staatsinligtingstegnologie-agentskap, Sita. Bestaande universiteite en ander opleidingsinstellings bied voldoende tersaaklike kursusse aan wat staatsdiensamptenare op alle vlakke kan oplei en toerus vir hulle loopbane. Deur van hierdie bestaande opleidingsinrigtings gebruik te maak, sal staatsdiensamptenare goeie gehalte opleiding ontvang en sal die staat baie geld bespaar wat eerder vir beurse vir staatsdiensamptenare aangewend kan word.
Palama is nie 'n opleidingsinrigting nie. Dit is bloot 'n fasiliteerder, 'n middelman, waarsonder die Staatsdiens maklik kan oorleef.
Dieselfde geld vir Sita. Raak ontslae van die jarelange korrupte, ondoeltreffende agentskap en maak gebruik van die IT–bedryf wat daar in die privaatsektor beskikbaar is. Baie dankie. [Applous.]
Mr L SUKA
Dr H C VAN SCHALKWYK
Mr L SUKA: Chairperson of the House, the Minister and the Deputy Minister, members of this august House, officials, ladies and gentleman. I am not going to waste time and respond to some of the issues that were raised by members on my left hand side; some of them are not worth responding to. Firstly, at the political level the question of the increase of your numbers - I am referring to members of the blue t-shirts. It is because of the demise of the orange shirts that you forged an alliance; that is why you increased your numbers. [Applause.] It is not because of our decrease.
Secondly, the human resource development is very dynamic; it is not static, so you have to keep up with the changes that are taking place in the government. So surely, you have to adjust your plans from time to time. Unfortunately, some of the members were just criticising without having any plans to say that these are the plans that we put on the table. I must commend equally that for those opposition parties that bring some sanity and direction to assist our department, it is of no use to listen to crybabies without bringing the real issues. [Applause.]
The growth and maturity of our democracy over the past seventeen years, could not have survived without independent institutions such as the Public Service Commission, PSC, and the Auditor-General. These institutions have been central in the transformation, strengthening and continuing development of Public Service and Administration. It is to their credit that Parliament is able to debate this budget today with a sense of comfort that evidence and objectively verifiable information can be obtained to support and substantiate whatever arguments we might be advancing to assess the vote before us.
Current international experiences and research on statecraft shows us that in the long-term the survival and maintenance of any democracy is not depending on individual leaders, no matter how good they might be, but rather on the strength and calibre of its institutions. Our long struggle against colonial and apartheid oppression have always been based on the strength of the collective and recognition of the importance of democratic institutions as a way of building a democratic society.
As the ANC, we recognize the strategic importance of the Public Service Commission and the Auditor-General, the struggle to transform the public service so that it can serve the developmental needs of our people with speed and respect. Our priority, this year, is to monitor whether the culture of the public service is changing, whether the services are delivered faster, efficiently and in a caring manner. We will be monitoring whether the people are informed about the services that are delivered by the public service how they can access them.
These are the changes that the ANC wants to see happening to improve service delivery to our people. As parliamentarians, we cannot play our oversight role and monitor that these changes are indeed happening, and the public service is operating differently according to the culture that I have just outlined without our collaboration with both the Public Service Commission and the Auditor-General within their constitutional mandate.
The Constitution of our Republic has enshrined the establishment of both the PSC and the Auditor-General to assist us as public representatives to play our role of oversight and seeking public accountability from the executive in a more qualitative manner through research-based information and objective evidence. In terms of the Constitution of the Republic of 1996, the Auditor-General is established to strengthen our constitutional democracy by auditing and reporting on the accounts, financial statements and financial management of, among others, all national and provincial state departments and administrations.
It must submit audit reports to any legislature that has a direct interest in the audit, and to any authority prescribed by national legislation. All its reports must be made public so that there is nothing that is swept under the carpet. The PSC is established to work in the interests of the maintenance of effective and efficient public administration and high standards of professional ethics in the public service. Its functions are to promote the democratic values and principles enshrined in the Constitution and those articulated in its section 195.
The common features between the two institutions are that they are required by the Constitution to be independent, impartial and must exercise their powers and perform their functions without fear, favour or prejudice. They are accountable to the National Assembly where they must report on their activities and the performance of their functions. In fulfilment of our mandate, we have interacted with them in recent times and have received their reports and plans within the context of this budget debate. In assessing this budget for the Department of Public Service and Administration, we have extensively used the often valuable reports, the produce in their examination of the health of our administrative arm of the state and its capacity to deliver.
From the Auditor-General, we have benefited and made use the audit reports they have conducted on the departments and the institutions report under it for the annual reports of 2009-10 which formed the basis upon which we are debating this budget.
In addition, we have also made extensive use of their other numerous reports such as the general report on the national audit outcomes, and the consolidated general report on the provincial audit outcomes for 2009-10 financial years.
These reports gave us an indication of where progress is being made and the areas of continued weaknesses in our system of public service and administration where we need to focus our oversight attention to as Parliament. It was encouraging to get from these reports that progress was being made in reducing the number of departments with audit qualifications both nationally and provincially; notwithstanding the trend showed continuous challenges with regard to financial, human resource, supply chain management and accountability.
The PSC has also provided us with valuable information through their reports which assess the state of the public service on an annual basis. Of critical importance, for the purpose of oversight and accountability, was their profiling and analysis of the most common manifestations of corruption and its related risks in the public service - you can see that in March 2011.
In assessing the public service and administration as a whole for the purpose of this budget, we have taken into account the findings and the recommendations emanating from this report. As members of the ANC, we remain resolute in our determination to fight corruption in our society. I will not amplify what has been said, the ANC supports this budget. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION//Robyn – Afr/ AZM MNGUNI – ENG/VM
Mr L SUKA
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Thank you Chairperson, I want to indicate that in life there is something we call the 'golden rule' and it states: right minded people will give credit where it is deserved.
As we agree with that, we know that unfortunately, it may not be in the political diary of hon Dreyer to do exactly that. The word 'credit' where it is deserved does not exist. I know that she might have that in her diary but the problem is that the chief prefect, hon Ellis, is here to ensure that she has to comply and comply subjectively. We know that, as the ANC government, it is us who indicated that we needed to do things differently and doing things differently meant that we needed to respond and address the challenges that are there in our public service. Of course, it is only those who know what credit is and when it is the right time to give it, who will actually acknowledge that.
We indicated that, and it was this Ministry that introduced and addressed this portfolio committee. Hon Dreyer was there, we continued to say, watch the space, the turnaround strategy, in as far as Seta is concerned, is areality. We indicated – unfortunately, it would not be correct - more especially when the chief prefect is here- for Ms Dreyer to agree and acknowledge that it was this Ministry that had a meeting with the Premier of this province on the functioning of Seta. The Premier of this province acknowledged that since this Ministry had introduced a turnaround strategy, the way forward is clearer.
We know it cannot be said because saying it here would suggest that she is putting the leadership or the Premier and the chief prefect present here, under context - we know that. I want to stress that as hon Members of Parliament we are here to represent the people; it may be that you represent the people from the opposition side but the issue is, patriotism has to be there. We do not have to pretend as if we do not see if good things are achieved, simply for cheap political point scoring; it does not work.
It was this Ministry that introduced ethics and integrity and we said we are going to enforce that as part of the performance indicators such that when we do performance assessments we check whether these people uphold the ethical code that we expect from our public servants. It was this Ministry which introduced that but we know that it not be possible for Ms Dreyer to acknowledge that and sympathise with you, Madam.
It was this Ministry which dissolved the PSeta Board; we dissolved it and addressed this hon august House and said we are dissolving it because of the irregularities that were there. We are not ending up in dissolution, we are following it up and there are people which we are sure are going to be arrested; that is going to happen through our leadership. We know that, unfortunately, it cannot be acknowledged, for there may be a problem, hon Dreyer.
We have indicated, even here, that our fight against corruption is a real fight. We have indicated that there are cases which the unit that we have introduced has already started to investigate; watch the space, those are cases that affect even people at the highest level possible. We might be at the doorstep of public servants in this province. We are saying that this is what we are doing but, of course, unfortunately, that cannot be acknowledged, for cheap political point scoring.
It was this Ministry that trained public service prosecutors; we now have prosecutors at our public service level to ensure that we fast-track the finalisation of cases of discipline. We have started doing that; we reported this in the Portfolio committee but unfortunately of course, that may not be noted.
I do not want to miss the point you raised, Mr Williams. I would like to thank you for the call you made. We, as this Ministry, will avail ourselves to give a blow by blow account in terms of where we are on the turnaround of Seta. We are going to do that because it would not be shared in twenty minutes time, where the Deputy Minister and I have to address all those issues that are our competency – to give due consideration and account to respond in as far as that is concerned. Thank you for that call, we will address these issues.
As this Ministry – in fact it is sometimes not good to talk about yourself – we started this project when we were still members of this portfolio committee, we need to build a new cadre of public servants. I know, Ms van Schalkwyk, the problem you have with the public service cadres is not with the people themselves, but it is with the word 'cadre.' You heard it for the first time from the ANC. [Laughter.] Your hatred for the ANC limits your understanding of what we are doing. We are very proud, I can even give a free lecture of what we mean when we say 'public service cadres we shall create' we will do that in the presence of Hon Ellis so that maybe he will learn not to restrict and say you cannot amend your speeches. Your speeches were, unfortunately, prepared for you; you had to come and address those things. Listen to what the ANC government says about public service cadre; we said there are eight attributes that our public servants cadres should uphold. Those are the attributes that we want and that is what Palama is addressing.
We are saying those attributes, Ms van Schalkwyk, is a public servant who break... - I know you can read but because I do not have time, I can just give this to you – it is a present. Please do not let Mr Ellis see it because you might get in trouble. [Laughter]The next time I appear before the portfolio committee, these are the issues that we are going to address. We want to hear the DA joining us in saying we need public service cadres. The word cadres... [Time Expired.]
House adjourned at 18:55.
LIM... / END OF TAKE
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