ATC151023: Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on Department Of Correctional Services’ Performance In 2014/15, and the first half of the current Financial Year, dated 22 October 2015
BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES ON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES’ PERFORMANCE IN 2014/15, AND THE FIRST HALF OF THE CURRENT FINANCIAL YEAR, DATED 22 OCTOBER 2015
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, having considered the performance of the Department of Correctional Services, and Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services, reports as follows:
1.1. The Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act (Act 9 of 2009) provides for, amongst others, a parliamentary procedure to amend Money Bills. The procedure grants parliamentary committees greater opportunity to influence the allocation of funds to the departments they oversee. Section 5 compels the National Assembly to, through its committees, submit annual Budgetary Review and Recommendation (BRR) reports on the financial performance of departments accountable to Parliament. The BRR report must be informed by a committee’s interrogation of, amongst others, national departments’ estimates of national expenditure, strategic priorities and measurable objectives; National Treasury-published expenditure reports; the relevant annual reports and financial statements; the Auditor General of South Africa’s (AGSA) audit findings; as well as observations made during all other oversight activities.
1.2 In addition to its other obligations, the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services (the Committee) oversees the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) in their efforts to deliver on their mandates. To this end, the Committee monitors the implementation of, and adherence to policies such as the white papers on Corrections in South Africa, and Remand Detention; compliance with applicable legislation; adherence to principles of good governance, and sound financial management; and service delivery in line with their mandates, strategic objectives, and government policies and priorities.
1.3 In preparing to report on the DCS and JICS’s financial and service delivery performance in the period under review the Committee drew on, amongst others, previous reports and recommendations related to their service delivery and financial performance; the DCS’s 2014/15 Annual Report and Financial Statements, the JICS’s 2014/15 Annual Report, and their performance in the first quarter of 2015/16.
1.4 Owing to time constraints, the Committee was unable to interrogate the JICS’s reports on their performance in the period under review.
1.5 This report comprises four parts: an overview of the DCS’s performance in 2014/15 (Part A); an overview of the DCS’s performance in the first quarter of 2015/16 (Part B); an overview of the JICS’s performance in 2014/15 (Part C); and our observations and recommendations (Part D).
PART A: DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES’ PERFORMANCE IN 2014/15
According to section 2 of the Correctional Services’ Act (Act 111 of 1998), the DCS contributes towards maintaining and protecting a just, peaceful, and safe society, by enforcing court-imposed sentences in the manner prescribed by the Act, detaining inmates in safe custody while promoting social responsibility and the human development of all offenders and persons subject to community corrections.
2. STRATEGIC GOALS FOR THE YEAR UNDER REVIEW
2.1 The DCS identified three strategic goals – aligned to government’s priority goal to ensure that all South Africans are and feel safe – to pursue over the medium term:
- firstly, that all offenders should be held in safe, secure and humane custody, should be provided with correctional sentence plans, and should have their literacy, education and training needs met;
- secondly, that remand detainees should be held in safe secure and humane detention, should have access to court processes, and should have their family and social needs supported; and
- finally, that parolees, probationers and those under community supervision, should be rehabilitated, monitored and reintegrated.
3.1 The DCS received a budget of approximately R19.8 billion in 2014/15. It succeeded in spending 99.02 per cent of the allocation i.e. 0.7 per cent less than in 2013/14. About 62 per cent of the budget (R12, 702 billion) was allocated to the compensation of employees, of which only R12, 611 billion was actually spent.
3.2 Irregular expenditure increased from approximately R43, 2 million in 2013/14 to R164 million in 2014/15. The expenditure was the result of non-compliance with procurement processes, and not ensuring that the work performed was authorised by the accounting officer.
3.3 Fruitless and wasteful expenditure also increased from R1, 16 million in 2013/14 to R27, 7 million in 2014/15. The expenditure was the result of costs incurred for services that were not used and the halting of the development and implementation of projects on which money had already been spent.
3.4 The revenue collected by the DCS is made up of, among others, fines, penalties, sale of capital assets and, sale of goods and services. It increased from R117, 1 million in 2013/14 to R139, 8 million in 2014/15.
3.5 Claims against the DCS showed a reduction to R791, 3 million, from R801, 2 million in 2013/14. The claims related to, amongst others, damages, bodily injury/assaults, unlawful detention, and pain and suffering.
3.6 Combatting corruption is a government priority. The DCS reports an increase in the types of misconduct matters from just under 3 000 in 2013/14 to 4 167 cases in 2014/15. The report does not provide an indication of the number of officials involved, or how many of these cases were resolved in the period under review. A total of 2 804 disciplinary hearings were held, 2 680 were resolved before the end of the financial year. Of the matters heard, 124 resulted in dismissals.
4 PERFORMANCE ACROSS PROGRAMMES
4.1 Programme 1: Administration
4.1.1 The Administration programme comprises the Management, Finance and Corporate Services sub-programmes. It received a final appropriation of R3, 662 billion, of which 99, 4 per cent was spent – leading to an under-expenditure of 0,6 per cent. The under-spending occurred under the Management sub-programme, in relation to item ‘machinery and equipment’.
4.1.2 The Administration programme had a total of 11 targets. Only five (45 per cent) of these planned targets were achieved. Most of the targets which were not achieved were related to modernisation and integration of IT architecture; a very crucial component of the implementation of the Seven Point Plan and the National Development Plan: Vision 2030.
4.1.3 As in the previous years, the DCS did not achieve targets in relation to the filling of vacancies. The DCS had set out to decrease its vacancy rate to less than 2 per cent of all funded positions. This target was not achieved – the vacancy rate stood at 8.65 per cent (3,544 posts) in the period under review.. This means that only 38,462 (91.35 per cent) of the 42,006 funded permanent posts were filled. The highest per-programme vacancy rate (15.85 per cent) was under the Rehabilitation programme, compared to 8.4 per cent under the Social Reintegration programme, 13.2 per cent under the Care programme, 13.3 per cent under the Administration programme and 5.6 per cent under the Incarceration programme.
4.1.4 As in previous years, the reasons for the failure to meet this target related mainly to the slow processing of applications, inability to attract and retain scarce and critical skills, and a high attrition rate. Of the critical skills, the highest vacancy rates were in relation to medical practitioners (38 per cent), psychologists and vocational councilors (34 per cent), pharmacists (28 per cent), educationists (20,5 per cent) and professional nurses (18,1 per cent). The vacancy rate for Senior Management Service (SMS) stood at 25 per cent of all funded SMS posts.
4.2 Programme 2: Incarceration
4.2.1 The Incarceration programme comprises the Security Operations, Remand Detention, Facilities, and Offender Management sub-programmes. The programme received a final appropriation of R12, 178 billion, of which 99.3 per cent was spent, leading to a 0.7 per cent (R81.5 million) underspend. The under-spending occurred under the Facilities (R61.2 million) and the Security Operations (R20.3 million) sub-programmes, mainly in relation to Goods and Services.
4.2.2 This programme had eleven planned targets, of which only seven (63.6 per cent) were achieved. Targets set in relation to escapes, assaults, the reduction of overcrowding, and the creation of additional bed-spaces in correctional and remand detention facilities were not met.
4.2.3 The number of assault-allegations had increased from 7 370 in 2013/14 to 7 850 in 2014/15, an increase the DCS ascribes to gang activity within its centres.
4.2.4 Although the number of escapes has decreased from the 60 reported in 2013/14 to 49 in 2014/15, the targeted reduction to 0,026 per cent could not be achieved.
4.2.5 The DCS reported an increase in the rate of overcrowding which stood at 32 per cent at the end of the 2014/15 financial year. The main reason for not achieving the 29,7 per cent reduction was the poor performance with regards to the creation of additional bed-spaces. The DCS had intended to create 1 081 additional bed-spaces, but only created 282. In 2013/14 the DCS did not create any of the 450 new bed-spaces it had planned to create.
4.3 Programme 3: Rehabilitation
4.3.1 The Rehabilitation programme comprises the Correctional Programmes, Offender Development, and the Psychological, Social and Spiritual Services sub-programmes. The programme received a final appropriation of approximately R1,109 billion of which 91,9 per cent was spent, resulting in an under-expenditure of 8.1 percent (R90,074 million), the highest of all DCS programmes. The under-expenditure was attributed to delays in the filling of funded posts under the Offender Development sub-programme. The DCS claims to have achieved all of the seven targets set in relation to this programme and to have exceeded all targets set in relation to the Psychological, Social and Spiritual Services sub-programme.
4.4 Programme 4: Care
4.4.1 The Care programme comprises the Nutrition Services, Hygiene Services, and Health Services sub-programmes. The programme received a final appropriation of R1, 94 billion, and succeeded in spending this entire budget.
4.4.2 The DCS reported that it had met four of the five targets set in relation to this programme. It exceeded targets in relation to the percentage of inmates tested for HIV, the percentage of inmates on antiretroviral treatment and the TB cure rate. All six of the management regions effectively managed health care waste services. The DCS did not meet the target in relation to the percentage of inmates who received prescribed diets under the Nutrition sub-programme.
4.5 Programme 5: Social Reintegration
4.5.1 The Social Reintegration programme comprises the Parole Administration, Supervision, Community Reintegration, and Office Accommodation: Community Corrections sub-programmes. The DCS succeeded in spending 100 per cent of the R830, 6 million allocated to the programme.
4.5.2 The DCS reported that it had achieved six of the seven targets set in relation to the programme. The target in relation to the submission of cases to the case management committees, and for consideration by correctional supervision and parole boards (CSPB) was not achieved. As in previous years, the variance was ascribed to vacancies on the CSPBs.
5. AUDIT COMMITTEE FINDINGS
5.1.1 Audit committees are established in accordance with provisions of the Public Finance Management Act and Treasury Regulations. As an oversight body they provide independent oversight of departmental governance, risk management and control processes.
5.1.2 The DCS has a history of challenges with regards to its relationship with its audit committees. For most of the year under review the audit committee only had two members, and therefore was not fully functional. At the time of reporting the Audit Committee had six members, and had appointed a Chairperson.
5.2.1 The DCS had to develop mechanisms to ensure that all its employees adhered to internal controls at all times. The Audit Committee identified areas of concern in relation to the DCS’s internal control environment: internal audit; movable tangible assets; performance information; information technology; compliance with laws and regulations; and risk management.
5.2.2 The Internal Audit Unit lacked capacity and skills – particularly in relation to IT, Performance, and Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles (GARP) – and therefore was unable to resolve the DCS’s longstanding governance challenges. The Audit Committee emphasises that the following positions, which have been vacant between 10 months and 5 years should be filled as a matter of urgency: Director: Specialised Audits; Deputy Director Regularity Audits; Deputy Director: IT; and two Internal Auditor-posts.
5.2.3 The Chief Audit Executive was only appointed in July 2014, which impacted on the work of the Audit Committee, and delayed the department’s internal audit. The review of the risk register and the internal audit plan were also started late, and the latter was only approved in October 2014. The Audit Committee reports that it had not been provided with progress reports with regards to the development of the audit action plan developed in response to the AGSA’s 2013/14 findings.
5.2.4 The DCS appointed a Chief Risk Officer in October 2014 who has since developed the necessary frameworks, guidelines and policies that, if adhered to, will ensure adequate risk management.
5.2.5 Although the DCS provided monthly, quarterly and annual reports to the National Treasury, the Audit Committee remains dissatisfied with the content and quality of its quarterly reports. Both internal and external audits revealed that the DCS did not comply with the guidelines for performance reporting as set out in the National Treasury Framework.
6. FINDINGS OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL OF SOUTH AFRICA
6.1.1 The DCS received a qualified audit in respect of contingent liabilities. It did not have adequate systems and processes to record and maintain a register of claims against it, and therefore was unable to provide the AGSA with sufficient evidence for such claims. This resulted in the Auditor General being unable to determine whether adjustments to the amount of R791, 3 million had been necessary.
6.2 Emphasis of Matter
6.2.1 The Auditor General drew attention to three matters related to the restatement of corresponding figures, payables and impairments. The matters, which are listed below, did not alter the overall opinion:
- figures for 2015 had to be restated owing to errors in the financial statements discovered during 2015;
- the DCS did not comply with National Treasury regulations regarding the payment of invoices within 30 days - had the R198, 6 million in question been paid, the DCS would have exceeded the voted funds by R6 million which would have resulted in unauthorised expenditure; and
- material impairments amounting to R60,5 million were provided for owing to irrecoverable receivables - the amount had increased from the R44 million reported in 2013/14.
6.3 Predetermined objectives
6.3.1 The Auditor General audited the Incarceration and the Rehabilitation programmes to obtain evidence of the usefulness and reliability of the performance information presented in the annual performance plan for the year ending 31 March 2015.
6.3.2 In relation to the Incarceration programme, the Auditor General found that significant targets were not reliable due to incorrect recording of reported actual achievements and inadequate review of the validity and completeness of reported achievements against source documentation.
6.3.3 In relation to the Rehabilitation programme, the Auditor General found that 60 per cent of the indicators were not verifiable due to the inconsistent implementation of technical indicator description.
6.3.4 In addition, significantly important targets were not reliable when compared to source information or evidence provided owing to incorrect and inconsistent implementation of standard operating procedures, technical indicator descriptions and documented system descriptions for the accurate recording of actual achievements against source documentation; and inadequate review of the validity and completeness of reported achievements against source documentation.
6.4 Review of financial statements
6.4.1 According to the Auditor General, the submitted financial statements did not comply with section 40(1)(a) and (b) of the Public Finance Management Act.. Although the material misstatements in relation to commitments, receivables and receivables for public private partnerships were subsequently corrected, supporting documents could not be provided.
6.4.2 The Auditor General held that inadequate preparation and review of financial statements, poor daily recording of information, weak contract management of leases and inadequate project management were the root causes.
6.5 Compliance with legislation
6.5.1 In relation to strategic planning and performance management, the Auditor General found that the accounting officer did not ensure that the departments maintained effective, efficient and transparent systems of risk management and internal control with respect to performance information and management as required by section 38(1)(a)(i) of the PFMA.
6.5.2 In addition, specific and appropriate information systems to enable the monitoring of progress towards achieving the goals, targets and core objectives as indicated in the strategic and annual performance plans were not adequately implemented and operational as required by the Public Service Regulations.
6.5.3 The Accounting Officer failed to ensure assessment of the operational procedure and the monitoring mechanisms over all transfers made and received as required by the Treasury Regulations.
6.5.4 Furthermore, the Accounting Officer failed to ensure that the Audit Committee was constituted as required by the PFMA and the Treasury Regulations.
6.5.5 Debts older than three years remained on the age analysis even after all necessary steps had been taken to recover the outstanding monies. Requests to write off debts were not authorised timely and this was in contravention of the PFMA and the Treasury Regulations.
6.5.6 Employees failed to disclose when their family members, partners or associates had a private or business interest in contracts awarded by the DCS. This was in contravention of the Treasury Regulations. The Auditor General ascribed this non-compliance to the DCS management’s failure to take action against officials who did not submit the prescribed disclosure declarations, and suppliers who did not declare their relationship with employees.
6.6 Financial Health
6.6.1 The DCS failed to settle payables within 30 days as required by the Treasury Regulations. This resulted in a cash shortfall of 1,8 per cent for the settling of accruals at year end.
6.7 Human Resource Management
6.7.1 The DCS’s vacancy rate had increased from 5, 49 per cent in 2013/14 to 8, 65 per cent in 2014/15. Funded posts were not filled within 12 months as required by Public Service Regulations. Posts were also not advertised within the prescribed six months of becoming vacant.
6.7.2 The Auditor General identified the following root causes for the DCS’s poor filling of vacancies: SMS posts which require filling are presented to the Minister for noting which delayed the filling of vacancies; inadequate HR management to ensure sufficiently skilled resources are available, and that performance is monitored; and a termination rate that is higher than the rate at which vacancies were filled.
6.8 Information Technology
6.8.1 The DCS’s financial systems were not supported by well-designed, well-implemented and effectively operating IT controls. Little progress has been made as far as the use of the electronic performance information system – users were forced to rely on manual processes. Given the decentralised nature of its IT architecture, the DCS did not have a central/integrated disaster recovery plan in place. User accounts and domain passwords were inadequately administered.
PART B: DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES PERFORMANCE IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2015/16
This section, which is an overview of the DCS’s performance in the first quarter of the 2015/16 financial year, should be read along with the Committee’s report on the DCS’s 2015/16 budget (Vote 18) published in May 2015.
- BUDGET AND EXPENDITURE AT 30 JUNE 2015
The DCS received a budget of R20, 6 billion in the 2015/16 financial year. By the end of June 2015 it had spent R4, 7 billion of the allocation – R305 million less than projected. The benchmark is that the 25 per cent of its overall allocation must have been spent by the end of the first quarter. The DCS has failed to do so.
- Programme 1: Administration
7.1.1 The programme received a R3,7 billion budget in 2015/16. By the end of June 2015 25, 33 per cent of the allocation (R91 million) had been spent. This is 2,7 per cent more than projected. Spending on sub-programmes Ministry, Management, and Internal Audit was lower than planned, while spending on sub-programmes Corporate Services, Finance and Office Accommodation was higher than planned. The over-expenditure is ascribed to the R78, 6 million overspent on property payments under the Office Accommodation sub-programme.
7.1.2 Fourteen targets were set under this programme. Of these, ten are measured quarterly and four, annually. Of the quarterly targets only four were achieved. All the targets that were not achieved were under the Management sub-programme. This underachievement of performance shows a continuing pattern from the 2014/15 financial year, where the DCS failed to achieve its IT modernisation and integration projects.
- Programme 2: Incarceration
- The programme received a budget of R13, 1 billion in the 2015/16 financial year. By the end of June 2015, the DCS had managed to spend R2, 9 billion or 22 per cent of the allocation i.e. 2, 8 per cent less than projected. The R365 million underspend was attributed mainly to the slow filling of vacancies. The DCS underspent on all sub-programmes except sub-programme: Remand Detention. The largest variance between planned and actual spending was reported under sub-programmes Offender Management and Remand Detention. A 31, 7 per cent overspend was reported in relation to sub-programme: Remand Detention, and a 19, 5 per cent to Offender Management. At the time of reporting 8, 31 per cent of the DCS’s funded posts were vacant, a negligible improvement from the 8.65 per cent at the end of 2014/15 financial year.
- There are 13 targets under this programme. Of these eleven are measured quarterly, and two annually. Of the quarterly targets only four were achieved. The seven targets that were not achieved are under sub-programmes: Security Operations (only one of three targets achieved); Remand Detention (only three of seven targets achieved); and Offender Management (one target not achieved).
- Programme 3: Rehabilitation
- The Rehabilitation programme received the second lowest allocation in 2015/16 i.e. R1, 2 billion. By the end of June 2015, the DCS had spent R230, 5 million or 20 per cent of this allocation - 2, 2 per cent less than planned. The biggest variance was reported in relation to the ‘Households’ item which reflected a 1 064 per cent overspend.
7.3.2 There are nine 9 targets under this programme, of which four are measured quarterly. Of the quarterly targets three were achieved. The target that was not achieved is under the Psychological, Social and Spiritual sub-programme.
- Programme 4: Care
- The Care programme received R1, 8 billion in 2015/16. By the end of June 2015 the DCS had spent R425, 7 million or 23, 7 per cent of this allocation. The DCS underspent on all sub-programmes except the Nutritional Services sub-programme, which reflected a R18, 9 million overspend. The Health Services sub-programme reflected the highest underspend i.e. R13, 8 million. The DCS also reported a R10, 8 million underspend in relation to the Compensation of Employees item.
- There are five targets under this programme, and all are measured quarterly. Only four targets were achieved. The target that was not achieved is under the Hygiene Services sub-programme.
- Programme 5: Social Reintegration
- The Social Reintegration programme received a budget of R881, 2 million in 2015/6. By the end of June 2015, R215, 2 million i.e. 0,4 per cent had been spent, R3, 4 million less than planned. Lower than planned expenditure was reported in relation to sub-programmes Community Reintegration, and Office Communication (Community Corrections). The DCS overspent on the Parole Administration and Supervision sub-programme.
- There are seven targets under this programme, all of which are measured quarterly. Five targets were achieved. Both targets that were not achieved are under the Community Reintegration sub-programme.
PART C: JUDICIAL INSPECTORATE FOR CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
According to section 85(1) of the Act, the JICS is an independent office under the control of the Inspecting Judge. The JICS is mandated to facilitate inspections of correctional centres, in order for the Inspecting Judge to report on the treatment of inmates, and conditions of incarceration. In addition, the Inspecting Judge has powers to inspect correctional and remand centres; handle complaints; conduct investigations; and make rules consistent with the legislation.
8.1 Human Resource Management
8.1.1 At the time of reporting the JICS had neither an Inspecting Judge, nor a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The position of Inspecting Judge has been vacant for about a month following the unexpected passing of Judge T Skweyiya who was appointed in June 2015. The CEO position has been vacant since the dismissal of the previous CEO about two years earlier.
8.1.2 According to the presentation provided to the Committee, the JICS has a fixed post establishment comprising 101 posts of which only 44 were approved and funded. In the year under review the JICS also employed 38 workers on fixed term contract posts to address its immediate needs. At the time of reporting, 47 per cent of the establishment comprised contract posts.
8.2 Financial Management
8.2.1 The JICS received a total budget of R45, 368 million in 2014/15 i.e. approximately 30 per cent more than in the previous financial year. The bulk of the budget was spent on the Compensation of Employees item.
8.2.2 The JICS only spent R38 419 302 of its allocation, leading to under-expenditure of 15, 32 per cent. The JICS partly ascribed the under-expenditure to the DCS’s failure to create the new organisational structure, which was approved in 2012. The additional posts, which were budgeted for could not, therefore, be created and filled. The failure to spend was also attributed to the promotion, resignation and/or transfer of officials in its finance and supply chain management unit, which then impacted on planning and the procurement of goods and services.
- Supply Chain Management
8.3.1 At the time of reporting the JICS only had 20 vehicles on its inventory list; only 18 were roadworthy. The vehicles are distributed across the regions, and were used by inspectors. The JICS claims that at times it has to resort to borrowing vehicles from the DCS.
- Property Management
8.4.1 The previously reported infrastructure-related challenges remained in 2014/15: neither the regional offices nor the head office had long term leases. The previous Inspecting Judges made use of office space in the KZN Provincial Department of Public Works and the DCS’s Community Corrections office in Durban.
- Information Technology
8.5.1 The JICS is dependent on many of the DCS’s transversal systems. In addition, the DCS owned the administrator rights to all IT systems used by the JICS. The JICS’s email domain is the same as the DCS’s, which also has central control of the JICSs internet access.
- INSPECTIONS, INVESTIGATIONS, COMPLAINTS AND MANDATORY REPORTING
9.1.1 The JICS aims to inspect all 243 correctional and detention facilities in the country within a three-year cycle. In 2014/15 inspections increased to 95 from 91 in 2013/14. Some centres were expected on more than one occasion.
9.1.2 The inspections confirmed the DCS’s nurse- and social worker-shortage; and that infrastructure remained poorly maintained, and inappropriate. It was also found that many centres did not comply with the minimum standards for food and physical exercise as prescribed in sections 8 and 11 of the Correctional Services Act (Act 111 of 1998). The inspections also concluded that only 34 per cent of the centres inspected served meals at the prescribed intervals.
9.1.3 With regard to the Emergency Support Team’s (EST) compliance, the JICS found that at 22 per cent of the centres complaints arose following EST searches and that at 22 per cent of the centres, centre-management did not supervise searches.
9.1.2 The number of investigations decreased from 20 in 2013/14 to 19 in 2014/15. Most of the investigations related to allegations of assaults and 26 per cent, to the deployment of ESTs.
9.3.1 The JICS’s Legal Services Unit recorded 455 258 complaints in the period under review. Most of the complaints were related to transfers, communication with family, health care services, bail and legal representation.
- Mandatory Reporting
9.4.1 The number of unnatural deaths reported remained the same as in 2013/14, which is 46. The majority of the deaths were classified as suicides. Eleven homicides were recorded – only one involved an official. While the report included the outcome of rulings in unnatural death cases dating back to 2013/14, it does not provide ruling in the 2014/15 incidents. The number of suicides decreased from 20 in 2013/14 to 9 in the period under review. It should be noted that the number of unnatural deaths differs from the one reported by the DCS in its 2014/15 Annual Report - the DCS reported only 44 unnatural deaths.
- The number of natural deaths decreased from 588 in 2013/14 to 583 in 2014/15. The report does not list the causes of death.
9.4.3 The use of mechanical reports also decreased from 271 in 2013/14 to 263 in 2014/15. At 171, the Gauteng region reported the highest incidents by far.
9.4.4 The reported cases in which force was used increased dramatically from 191 in 2013/14 to 461 in 2014/15. In this instance too, the Gauteng region reported the most cases by far.
9.4.5 The number of segregation reports also showed a marked increase from the 8 397 reported in 2013/14 to 11 130 in the period under review. In eleven of cases, inmates appealed against their segregation. The report does not provide information on their outcome. The JICS notes that the DCS did not impose the sanction for the minimum period that is necessary – all cases exceeded seven days.
- COMMUNITY OVERSIGHT AND STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
10.1 Independent Correctional Centre Visitors
10.1.1 The JICS must maintain an independent complaints system, which includes community involvement. They do so through the appointment of community-nominated independent correctional centre visitors (ICCV).
10.1.2 In the period under review 309 ICCV posts were approved and financed. At 31 March 2015, only 83 per cent of the posts were filled. The vacancies were due to resignations, contract terminations and expiration, and correctional centres not being operational owing to renovations underway.
10.1.3 A performance audit conducted in the period under review revealed several instances of non-compliance in response to which corrective action, including eight terminations, was taken.
PART D: OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
11. DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
11.1 Quality and completeness of information tabled
11.1.1 The Committee notes that the DCS has not provided performance information on certain sub-programmes which appear in the DCS’s 2014/15 Annual Performance Plan and which were funded. Of concern is that these sub-programmes include Correctional Programmes which received an initial allocation of R57,9 million, more than half of which was eventually vired elsewhere. Other sub-programmes such as Internal Audit and Office Accommodation were also not included in the programme performance information section of the Annual Report. The DCS should provide a written explanation for the omissions. Furthermore, future strategic and annual performance plans should include performance targets for all budgeted programmes to facilitate accurate assessment of whether the budget had been spent efficiently and effectively.
11.1.2 The Committee, as in the past, expresses its dissatisfaction with the quality, completeness and usefulness of the information tabled in both the quarterly and annual reports. The first quarterly report for 2015/16 provided no detail with regards to specific areas of under-performance, or about interventions in place to address the challenges that had led to under-performance.
11.1.3 The findings of the Auditor General with regards to the quality of information under the Rehabilitation and Incarceration programmes are of grave concern to the Committee. The DCS’s success has to be measured against its ability to provide safe incarceration while also rehabilitating the criminal behavior of offenders. The Auditor General’s findings after auditing these programmes points to serious weaknesses in both areas, especially in relation to poor management and control, unreliable performance information, poorly designed and inconsistently applied technical performance indicator descriptors.
11.1.4 It appears to the Committee that centre-level officials have not been sufficiently sensitised to the importance of collecting, compiling and submitting accurate information to their area and regional managers. The Auditor General found that the information was not adequately scrutinised for accuracy before submission to the National Commissioner who was responsible for submitting it to the Department of Monitoring and Evaluation, National Treasury and Parliament. This situation is exacerbated by the number of vacancies in the unit responsible for internal control.
11.1.5 The Committee wishes to remind the DCS that the Accounting Officer is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of information provided to Parliament. The Accounting Officer should therefore ensure that the relevant policies, data collection, verification and reporting systems are in place, including bringing the Internal Control Unit into full capacity and operation - as there are still many strategic and operational positions which are vacant. Relevant officials at centre and regional level should also be sensitised, and where necessary trained to ensure that they are competent to assist the DCS in improving the quality of its performance information.
11.1.6 The DCS should consider stipulating in the performance contracts of area and regional commissioners that they are responsible for the accuracy of information emanating from their areas and regions and to put in place a verification process in order to certify that information submitted to the national office, and ultimately to Parliament.
11.2.1 The DCS has conceded that leadership instability had contributed to the lack of progress as far as improving governance, legal compliance and operational effectiveness and efficiency. The DCS has not had a national commissioner or chief financial officer complete a full five-year term, and its Human Resources Management was equally unstable. The absence of a permanent Chief Deputy Commissioner: Strategic Management, a Chief Audit Executive and Risk Manager have exacerbated the situation. The leadership instability had contributed to the DCS’s failure to address internal control weaknesses, human resource-related challenges, and many others. The Committee commends the Minister for filling the position of the National Commissioner, the Chief Financial Officer, and other senior management positions in the first quarter of the current financial year. It urges the Minister to ensure that all vacant and funded Senior Management Service posts, which stood at a 25 per cent vacancy rate at the end of 2014/15 financial year, are filled within the 2015/16 financial year.
11.3 Organisational structure
11.3.1 The DCS concedes that its overall organisational structure and management system required modernisation, and had to be made more efficient. Two of the DCS’s regions were amalgamations of five provinces: the Limpopo/Mpumalanga/North West (LMN) region; and the Northern Cape/Free State region. The regions were vast, and very difficult to manage. The LMN region was the DCS’s worst performing region, and this may be linked to its size. Although each region had its own regional and financial managers, all regions reported to the DCS’s Head Office. The Committee is pleased to learn that the proposal to establish nine regions that mirror South Africa’s provinces was receiving the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services’ attention. We further recommend that the relative authorities investigate the desirability of the devolution of power to regional/provincial management offices.
11.3.2 The Committee agrees with the Auditor General and Minister of Justice and Correctional Services that the DCS’s organisational structure has impeded adequate management and control. The DCS’s service delivery occurred at centre-level. Centre-managers reported on their performance to area commissioners who in turn reported to regional commissioners. The DCS’s five regional commissioners were responsible for providing the national office with regular and reliable performance information. In the absence of an organisational structure that allows for effective management and control, it was unlikely that the DCS’s governance and service delivery would improve. The Committee should be provided with a comprehensive report on the weaknesses of the current structure and how these would be addressed in the new organisational structure. In addition, all future quarterly reports should include a detailed assessment of the performance of each of the regions.
11.4 Human Resource Management
11.4.1 The DCS insists that it is understaffed, and that it would require an additional 20 000 funded posts if it were to deliver on its mandate. The National Commissioner has argued that if the demands of the White Paper on Corrections in South Africa, which became official policy in 2005, and those of the more recent White Paper on Remand Detention (2014) are to be met, the DCS’s staff establishment would have to increase. He nevertheless conceded that reductions to the establishment had been the result of the DCS’s inability to fill vacancies. It is noted that the DCS was in negotiations with the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and National Treasury to have its establishment increased.
11.4.2 The DCS has also reported challenges around the fact that correctional services offices were appointed in terms of either the Public Service Act, or the Correctional Services Act. Those appointed in terms of the Public Service Act were barred from performing any duties at correctional centres, which at times made it difficult to alleviate the burden on centre-based personnel. We recommend that in addition to the above-mentioned negotiations for an increase to its establishment, the Public Service Commission’s advice should be sought with regard to the feasibility of appointing all correctional services officials in terms of the same legislation.
11.4.3 We note concerns that the staff establishment did not adequately address needs at centre level, and that to achieve safe and secure detention, more personnel would have to be employed. The Committee is of the view however that the DCS’s staff establishment is adequate, and that should posts be filled timeously and with appropriately skilled officials, many of the challenges experienced would be minimised. In addition, the DCS should deploy officials appropriately. Inmates were always vulnerable by virtue of their incarceration, and therefore constant monitoring was required to ensure their safety. In the Committee’s view it was the shift system – which resulted in too few officials being on duty at weekends, in evenings, and on public holidays – and not the staff complement that had to be addressed.
11.4.4 It appeared as though the DCS whose activities are labour-intensive remained over-staffed at its national office, while the number of officials at centre-level - where the DCS’s core services were rendered- remained inadequate. The Committee remains concerned that despite being unable to fill existing vacancies, the DCS continues to insist that it required a considerable number of additional posts. The slow filling of posts appeared to be entirely related to weak human resource-management. Our observation that the DCS’s Human Resource capacity should be strengthened, is substantiated by the Auditor General’s findings. The Committee should be provided with a report detailing the challenges the DCS was experiencing with regard to the filling of vacancies, a strategy for how these would be addressed, and the detail of how and where the 6 600 appointments to be made over the next five years would be made. All future quarterly reports should include an update on progress made (and challenges encountered) in relation to the filling of vacancies, including those at Senior Management Service level.
11.4.5 The DCS has for several years been facing serious challenges directly linked to the shift system it employed. The Committee is also aware that officials working at centre-level had consistently brought the challenges they encountered in this regard to DCS’s attention. In early September 2015, the National Commissioner indicated that a new shift system would have been announced at the end of that month. The DCS is urged to ensure that adequate consultation takes place before the new system is implemented, that officials receive the necessary support in the transitional period, and that challenges are addressed as they arise. The Committee should be provided with a report on the new shift system detailing how, and by when it will be fully-implemented. All future quarterly reports should include updates in this regard.
11.5 Financial management
11.5.1 During the quarterly report hearings, the Committee noted that the DCS underspent in a number of areas, and overspent in others. In very few instances did spending occur as planned. This is a cause for concern as it may signify poor planning which will have service delivery implications. The DCS explained that most of the under-expenditure was the result of the slow filling of funded posts. The Committee noted undertakings to address this challenge in order to prevent recurrence in the second quarter of the 2015/16 financial year.
11.5.2 The Committee is concerned about the under-spending in relation to the Incarceration programme in the first quarter of 2015/16, which appeared to be mainly due to the slow filling of vacancies. Should the DCS not improve its recruitment processes and thereby fail to spend monies allocated to the filling of posts, National Treasury was likely to once again effect cuts to its establishment and budget, with debilitating consequences for operations at centre-level.
11.5.3 Most of the under-expenditure reported in relation to rehabilitation and care services for the first quarter of 2015/16 was also ascribed to the slow filling of vacancies. The filling of case-officer posts was particularly challenging. We note that the latest advertisements called for candidates with the specific skills required for the post, which the DCS believes will yield better results.
11.5.4 The sharp increase in both irregular, and fruitless and wasteful expenditure in 2014/15 is a matter of concern. We also note that had all creditors been paid within the prescribed 30 days, the DCS would have incurred unauthorized expenditure. This is a cause for concern, especially as non-payment of service providers within the prescribed period may be interpreted as a deliberate means of ‘saving’ monies.
11.6 Internal Control environment
11.6.1 During interactions on the DCS’s performance in the first quarter of the 2015/16 financial year, the National Commissioner conceded that the DCS often addressed one qualification, only to neglect other risk areas, resulting in new qualifications. This had led to the DCS’s perennial audit qualifications. In addition, the DCS conceded that it had, in the past, often paid scant attention to the Auditor General’s findings.
11.6.2 We note that several interventions were reportedly underway to strengthen the internal control environment. These included: the appointment of auditors appointed on a contract to assist regional and larger area management offices to identify potential risks as soon as possible; the development of a comprehensive risk register so as to systematically address and reduce risks; improved consequence management in cases of non- or poor performance and where officials are guilty of flouting supply chain management policies and regulations; and the investigation of all financial misconduct matters younger than three years.
11.6.3 The Committee welcomes the DCS’s undertaking to address the weaknesses in the internal control environment. Given its history of non-compliance with PFMA provisions and National Treasury regulations with regard to internal control, we are concerned that commitments made may not be honoured. The Executive Authority and the Deputy Minister for Correctional Services are therefore urged to closely monitor the DCS’s performance in this regard, to ensure that the department complies with the applicable legislation and regulations, and cooperates fully with its Audit Committee. The Committee should be provided with a report on how the DCS intends to address audit findings, and progress made should be reported on in all future quarterly reports.
11.7 Conditions of Incarceration
11.7.1 The Committee notes with concern that despite initiatives such as the establishment of efficiency enhancement committees, the implementation of bail and remand detention protocols, the inmate population has in 2014/15 for the first time in five years shown a marked increase. The population increased from 149 058 in 2013/14 to 153 226 at the end of 2014/15, an increase of 4 168 inmates. We note that the largest increase related to sentenced males, which increased by 6 991, from 105 206 in 2013/14 to 112 197 in 2014/15. The Justice Crime Prevention and Security cluster should accelerate efforts to promote alternatives to incarceration, especially in relation to young, and first time offenders. The Committee should be provided with quarterly reports on efforts to increase alternative sentencing and diversion, and to reduce the inmate population.
11.7.2 The DCS consistently refers to the Committee’s past recommendation that closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras be used to improve security, but has never provided detailed information on the work it has done to establish whether this was feasible or not. The technology would ensure the safety of inmates and officials alike, and was fairly simple to install and use. The DCS should provide the Committee with the outcome of the exploratory research it claims to have undertaken, and with a definitive decision with regard to the use of technology to improve security. Should a decision be taken against the use of CCTV cameras, the Committee should be presented with the strategy that will be employed to manage gangsterism, prevent escapes, and to ensure the safe incarceration of vulnerable categories of offenders in particular.
11.8.1 The Committee notes that participation in work programmes depended on inmates’ security classification. The majority of the inmate population comprised young offenders who had committed serious crimes, and who therefore carried a maximum security classification. They were allowed to work in workshops where they could be monitored, but were barred from agricultural work, which was reserved for inmates who posed a lower escape risk.
11.8.2 Case management committees considered sentencing remarks and information gleaned from admission assessments when they decided on the interventions an inmate required. At present only rehabilitation and reintegration interventions were compulsory. The DCS was considering ways in which work and skills development programmes - which contributed to the success of rehabilitation and reintegration efforts - could be made compulsory. The Committee remains unconvinced of the wisdom of work programmes being voluntary.
11.8.3 The Committee remains concerned that despite South Africa no longer employing a punitive system, but one focused on correcting offending behaviour (rehabilitation) and the social reintegrating of ex-offenders, the DCS’s budget remained skewed in favour of incarceration. Despite the small budgets these programs received, in comparison to the other DCS programmes, funds were shifted through virements (R56, 726 million of the initial Rehabilitation programme allocation in 2014/15) away and, on top of that, underspent (R90, 074 million of the final appropriation of the Rehabilitation programme). Virements, while a legitimate resource in reprioritising allocations, should not be used to obfuscate under-expenditure and failure to implement the crucial rehabilitation and social reintegration programmes.
11.8.4 The DCS should expedite efforts towards a budget that reflected and supported its priorities. The correctional system should focus its efforts in the area of correcting offending behaviour, rehabilitation, and reintegration; and less so on creating an environment almost solely focused on security and imprisonment. Slow progress in the delivery of corrections, rehabilitation, psychological and social work programmes, and the under-expenditure on rehabilitation and reintegration programmes impacted very negatively on efforts to transform the system into one that prepares offenders for life as law-abiding citizens, and to reduce the recidivist-rate.
11.8.5 The Committee reiterates that correctional centres should become centres of expertise targeting young offenders, in particular, for skills programmes that will assist in making them law-abiding and productive citizens, and arresting the rate of recidivism. Efforts to better utilise the DCS’s production workshops and agricultural land would allow for greater participation in skills development programmes. The proceeds from the sale of goods manufactured and harvested could be used to increase the DCS’s self-sufficiency, and ability provide support services to ex-offenders upon their release.
11.8.6 The DCS should partner with non-governmental, community- and faith-based organisations to deliver halfway houses and associated services in support of those ex-offenders and parolees who require such support.
11.9 Infrastructure projects
11.9.1 The above-mentioned increase in the inmate population combined with non-performance with regard to the creation of new bed-spaces further compromised the DCS’s capacity to provide safe, secure and humane conditions of incarceration.
11.9.2 The Committee notes that targets set in relation to down-managing overcrowding have yet again not been met, in part owing to the non-completion of renovation and infrastructure projects. The slow progress in the creation of additional bed-spaces impacts on conditions of incarceration and comes at great financial cost. In April 2015, it was reported that the ministers for Public Works and Justice and Correctional Services would enter into bilateral engagements in the hope of addressing the infrastructural delays and challenges. Talks are now continuing between the deputy ministers in the two portfolios, and we look forward to the speedy resolution and a positive outcome.
- Information Technology
11.10.1 The Committee notes the Auditor General’s findings in relation to the DCS’s IT environment with mounting concern. The findings substantiate observations made by the Standing Committee on Public Account during recent hearings on the DCS’s performance in the 2013/14 financial year. Despite repeated assurances that plans were underway to modernise its information systems, the DCS reported no expenditure on the acquisition of software or IT equipment and installations in the first quarter of the 2015/16 financial year. Fully-functional, reliable and integrated ICT infrastructure is vital to efficient administration, financial management and internal control, and is the backbone of information management. In the absence of a modern, integrated and reliable system specifically designed for the DCS’s complex environment, it was unlikely that information management or governance and control would improve.
- The Committee should be provided with a full report on the current status of the DCS’s IT environment and capabilities, as well the challenges that have resulted in the lack of progress in the modernisation project. Additionally, the Committee should be provided with the DCS’s strategy for addressing the inefficiencies that have led to the current situation. All future quarterly reports should include the details of progress made with regards to the IT-modernisation project and the procurement process in relation to the establishment of the Integrated Information Management System (IIMS).
- Forward funding needs
12.1.1 Interventions aimed at strengthening the DCS’s leadership and risk and financial management should receive focused attention, and be adequately managed and overseen by the relevant authorities. Improvements in this regard will strengthen the DCS’s impact, even in light of current constraints on public funding.
12.1.2 As in 2014, the Committee acknowledges that it may not be feasible to continue to fund posts which the DCS has failed to fill over long periods. We remain concerned about the impact a limitation on the DCS’s ability to recruit personnel key to its core functions of rehabilitation and security is likely to have. The DCS’s unique circumstances should therefore be taken into consideration when budgetary adjustments are made.
12.1.3 We have noted with concern the underspending of the capital budget owing to poor delivery of capital works projects, which impacted on the creation of bed-spaces. Every effort should be made to address challenges with regard to the delivery of capital works projects as the slow creation of additional bed-spaces impacts directly on conditions of incarceration.
12.1.4 As in 2014, the Committee acknowledges that the economic environment has necessitated considerable financial restrictions on the public sector too. In light of this it is understood that requests for additional funding are unlikely to be granted. We therefore recommend that should further austerity measures be imposed on the DCS, they should not negatively affect the delivery of rehabilitation and reintegration services.
The Committee thanks everyone who participated in the process, and looks forward to future
Report to be considered
 In 2014/15 alone, 3504 employees left the DCS through resignations and retirement.
 The initial appropriation for the Incarceration programme was R12,299,765 billion, of which R121, 017 million constituted virements away from this programme leading to a final appropriation of R12, 178 billion.
 There were virements of R56,726 million from the Rehabilitation programme which resulted in the final appropriation of R1,109,566 billion from an initial appropriation of R1,166 billion.
 The final appropriation for this programme was R1,940 billion, as R194,405 million was reprioritised towards it, increasing the allocation from the initial appropriation of R1,745 billion.
 The initial allocation for the Social Reintegration programme was R886,259 million. R 55,571 million was vired, leaving a final appropriation of R 830,688 million.
 Please see Part B Performance Information of Annual Report (pp43 -61) where the DCS reports on its performance per programme.
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