ATC190320: Draft Legacy Report for the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration as well as Planning Monitoring and Evaluation ( 2014-2019 term) of Parliament dated 28 November 2018

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

 

DRAFT LEGACY REPORT FOR THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION AS WELL AS PLANNING MONITORING AND EVALUATION PERIOD: 2014-2019 TERM OF PARLIAMENT DATED: 28 NOVEMBER 2018

 

Preface

It has become an established practice of Parliament Committees at the end of their term to prepare legacy reports. The Fifth Parliament has come to an end, therefore the Portfolio Committee has taken an opportunity to reflect back on its work since 2014-2019 term of Parliament, the impact thereof, to further set out focus areas that might be of interest to the successor Committee. The report is presented as follows:

 

  1. INTRODUCTION

Parliament, as guided by the National Assembly Rules has established Portfolio Committees as an extension of the National Assembly. In 2014, the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration; Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation was established by the National Assembly to oversee functions in relation to public service and administration as well as planning, performance monitoring and evaluation in the public service. The establishment of the Committee that oversees both the Departments of Public Service and Administration and Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation had enriched the oversight over the entire public service in holding Executive Authority to account for the purpose of enhancing service delivery.

The Portfolio Committee was among Committees of Parliament with a transversal mandate of ensuring oversight over the Executive Authority in order to realise an efficient, effective and development-oriented public service as enshrined in Section 195 of the Constitution. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa envisages a Public Service that is professional, accountable and development-oriented. The National Development Plan further outlines specific steps to be taken to promote the values and principles of public administration. The specific steps encapsulated in the NDP are central to build an efficient, effective and development oriented public service as part of capable and developmental state. 

 

  1. Department/s and Entities falling within the Committee’s portfolio

Name of Entity

Role of Entity

Department of Public Service and Administration

The Department’s mandate is to implement and coordinate interventions aimed at achieving an efficient, effective and development-oriented public service, which is an essential element of a capable and developmental state as envisioned in the National Development Plan.

Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

The Department’s mandate is to facilitate the development of long and medium-term planning, and to monitor the implementation of the strategic and operational plans as well as delivery agreements. It monitors the performance of individual national and provincial departments and municipalities.

Public Service Commission

The Commission derives its mandate from Section 195 and 196 of the Constitution, which sets out the values and principles governing public administration. The PSC is vested with custodial oversight responsibilities in the public service and it monitors, evaluates and investigates public administration practices, with a view to making recommendations to Parliament and the Executive regarding these practices

National School of Government

The National School Government (NSG) derives its mandate from the Public Service Act. The School is mandated to provide training or effect the provision of training. The NSG aims to enhance capacity of all public servants at all levels to perform effectively and efficiently, develop and use assessment mechanisms to build confidence in the recruitment processes of the public service. Subsequently, the School develops training programmes specific to the needs of the public service with a view to addressing the skills shortages and improving service.

Centre for Public Service Innovation

The responsibility for the public sector innovation is vested in the Minister of Public Service and Administration, in terms of section 3(1)(i) of the Public Service Act (1994). The Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) unlocks, entrenches and nurtures the culture of innovation within the public sector for improved performance and productivity. Therefore, the CPSI guides the process of unearthing and exploiting innovative, efficient and effective solutions needed to ensure successful delivery on government priorities by reducing time and cost to deliver on a service.

National Youth Development Agency

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) is an agency established primarily to tackle challenges that the nation’s youth are faced with. The Agency was established by an Act of Parliament, Act no 54 of 2008. The NYDA Act (2008) mandates the Agency to develop an Integrated Youth Development Strategy for South Africa, and initiate, design, coordinate, evaluate and monitor all programmes that aim to integrate the youth into the economy and society in general. The Act mandates the Agency to promote a uniform approach to youth development by all organs of state, the private sector and non-government organisations (NGO’s).

Statistics South Africa

The activities of the department are regulated by the Statistics Act (Act No.6 of 1999), which ensures independence from political interference in the production and dissemination of official statistics. According to the Statistics Act, the purpose of official statistics is to assist the organs of state, businesses, other organisations and the public in planning, decision-making, and monitoring or assessment of policies.

 

 

                

  1. PURPOSE OF THE LEGACY REPORT

 

  1. The purpose of the Legacy Report is to provide a summary of the Committee’s work during the fifth democratic Parliament, highlight achievements, lessons learned, outstanding issues and suggestions for the future activities. The report provides an overview of the activities of the Committee undertaken throughout the current term of Parliament and its challenges in discharging oversight role over the Executive.  

 

  1. KEY STATISTICS

The table below provides an overview of the number of meetings held, legislation and international agreements processed and the number of oversight trips and study tours undertaken by the Committee, as well as any statutory appointments the Committee made, during the 2014-2019 term:

 

Activity

1st year

2nd year

3rd year

4th year

5th year

Total

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

 

Meetings held

23

22

23

28

21

117

Legislation processed

0

0

0

1

 

1

Oversight trips undertaken

0

2

0

2

0

4

Study tours undertaken

0

0

0

0

0

0

International agreements processed

0

0

0

0

0

0

Statutory appointments Processed

1

0

3

0

0

4

Other referrals from the Speakers/Chairpersons processed

0

0

0

0

0

0

Other referrals from the House Chairpersons processed

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE
    1. The Committee comprised of 14 Honourable Members of Parliament, listed here below:

 

  1.  
  1.  

POLITICAL PARTY

  1. Hon MJ Maswanganyi

Committee Chairperson

ANC

 

  1. Hon WS Newhoudt-Druchen

Whip

 

  1.  
  1. Hon MLD Ntombela

Member

 

  1.  
  1. Hon ZS Dlamini-Dubazana
  •  
  1.  
  1. Hon DH Khosa
  •  
  1.  
  1. Hon DL Meso
  •  
  1.  
  1. Hon MS Booi

Member (Alternate)

  1.  
  1. Hon SC Motau
  •  
  1.  
  1. Hon D Van der Walt
  •  
  1.  
  1. Hon Y Cassim

Member (Alternate)

  1.  
  1. Hon JJ Londt

Member (Alternate)

  1.  
  1. Hon M Tshwaku
  •  
  1.  
  1. Hon CT Msimang
  •  
  1.  
  1. Hon S Mncwabe
  •  
  1.  

 

 

It should be noted that during this term of Parliament, the Committee had to elect four Chairpersons, due to the deployment of some Members to other structures of government, other committees and resignation. The four Chairpersons included Honourable: Ms Peace Mabe, Dr Makhosi Khoza, Mr Cassell Mathale and Mr Joseph Maswanganyi, who remained the Chairperson until the end of the Fifth Parliament. The four appointed Chairpersons exclude Honourable Member: Ms RMM (Mina) Lesoma) who was the ANC Study Group Whip in the sector, and who acted as the chairperson each time there was no full-time chairperson.

 

  1. FUNCTION OF THE COMMITTEE

The strategic objectives of the Portfolio Committee are informed by five strategic goals of Parliament. The mandate of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration as well as Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, were as follows:

  • Participating and providing strategic direction in the development of the legislation and thereafter passing the laws;
  • Conducting oversight over the Executive to ensure accountability to Parliament towards achieving an effective, efficient, developmental and professional public service;
  • Conducting public participation and engaging citizens regularly, with the aim to strengthening service delivery; overseeing and reviewing all matters of public interest relating to the public sector;
  • Monitoring the financial and non-financial aspects of departments and its entities and ensuring regular reporting to the Committee by entities, within the scope of accountability and transparency;
  • Supporting and ensuring implementation of the Public Service Commission (PSC) recommendations in the entire public service; and
  • Participating in international treaties, which impact on the work of the Committee.

 

  1. Legislation

During the fifth Parliament, the Committee received one referral and processed the legislation.

Year

Name of Legislation

Tagging

Objectives

Completed/Not Completed

2015/16

Public Service Commission Amendment Bill [B21-2015]

Section 76

  1. The Bill seeks to amend the Public Service Commission Act of 1997 in order to ensure efficiency and certainty with regard to the process of renewal of the term of a Commissioner.
  2. The Bill seeks to amend section 5 of the Act by empowering the Chairperson of the Commission to designate an Acting Chairperson whenever both the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson are absent.

On February 27, 2019, the Committee adopted the Bill and referred it to the National Assembly for consideration. However, the Committee recommended that Commission should develop rules in terms of Section 11 of the PSC Act of 1997, in order to define the process and criteria for assessing the performance of Commissioners, after which the Commission should present such rules to Parliament.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Oversight trips undertaken

The following oversight trips were undertaken

Date

Area Visited

Objective

Status of Report

January 2015

Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal Provinces

  • To assess the level of compliance of Batho Pele principles as guided by section 195 of the Constitution
  • Verify whether centres were capable and responsive to the needs of the citizens;
  • Evaluate whether services provided were of quality to the citizens;
  • Assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the regional offices in mainstreaming and facilitating youth development issues locally;
  • Determine accessibility to young people from rural areas receiving NYDA services;
  • Monitor provision of the grant funding (financial and non-financial), education and skills development among the youth.

Adopted and ATC’ed

21-23 July 2015

 

Gauteng and North West

  • To determine the state of the Thusong Service Centres in better responding to the needs of communities.
  • To monitor compliance with Batho Pele principles as guided by section 195 of the Constitution.
  • To assess whether the NYDA is accessible, mainstreaming and championing youth development;
  • To assess working conditions of the frontline service officials

 

Adopted and ATC’ed

26-31 March 2017

Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province

  • To receive the State of the public administration using the provincial Management Performance Assessment Tool and Service Delivery Improvement Plans;
  • To determine the state of the Thusong Service Centres in the province. Assess range of services offered, success and challenges experienced. Ensure intergovernmental relations and collaborations in the centres;
  • Assess working conditions of the frontline service delivery officials and ensure compliance with regard to Batho Pele principles;
  • Strengthen the quality of service delivery through monitoring the effectiveness of the queue management and waiting times, signage, safety, cleanliness, dignified treatment and complaints management;
  • Monitor a range of services offered by the National Youth Development Agency branch offices to the youth in the province.

Adopted and ATC’ed

26-29 June 2017

Free State Province

  • To receive the State of the public administration using the provincial Management Performance Assessment Tool and Service Delivery Improvement Plans;
  • To determine the state of the Thusong Service Centres in the province. Assess range of services offered, success and challenges experienced. Ensure intergovernmental relations and collaborations in the centres;
  • Assess working conditions of the frontline service delivery officials and ensure compliance with regard to Batho Pele principles;
  • Strengthen the quality of service delivery through monitoring the effectiveness of the queue management and waiting times, signage, safety, cleanliness, dignified treatment and complaints management;
  • Monitor a range of services offered by the National Youth Development Agency branch offices to the youth in the province.

Adopted and ATC’ed

 

 

 

Challenges

There were no challenges encountered during the oversight. However, the Committee was of the view that Parliament should on its programme schedule more oversight visits to allow Committees to be visible on the ground where service delivery happens. Parliament programme has limited the Committee to conduct oversight visits to critical areas in the specific provinces. Parliament needs to devote adequate budget for the oversight visits for the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration as well as Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation to be visible and engage with the citizens as part of soliciting views on how service are rendered by various government departments.    

 

  1. Study tours undertaken

The study tours were planned based on the strategic planning of the Portfolio Committee. However, the Committee did not undertake any study tour during this term of Parliament. The Portfolio Committee had applied several times to undertake study tours without success due to budgetary constraints experienced throughout the institution. However, other committees undertook study tours, as it is permissible for committees to undertake study tours at least twice within a five-year cycle.

The study tours play an important role in the work of the Committee as Members are afforded with the opportunity to learn best practices and benchmark on the scope of work in relation to conferred mandate. Parliament should devise mechanisms in the next term of democratic Parliament to allow the Committee to undertake study tours early so that lesson learned are implemented throughout its term. 

      

  1. International agreements

In this term, the Committee did not process any international agreement.

 

  1. Statutory appointments

The following appointment processes were referred to the Committee and the resultant statutory appointments were made:

Date

Type of appointment

Period of Appointment

Status of Report

17 August 2015

Public Service Commission: National Commissioner

Five Year Period

One (1) Commissioner appointed

30 November 2016

Public Service Commission:  National Commissioners

Five Year Period

Three (3) Commissioners appointed

 

During the processes of the appointment of the Public Service Commission, Commissioners, the Committee had learned some lessons on the proper interpretation of Section 196 (10) of the Constitution. Section 196 (10) stipulates that “a commissioner is appointed for a term of five years, which is renewable for one additional term”. All vacant posts filled, the incumbents were due for renewal of another five-year contract as per section 196 (10).

In the past years, the National Assembly used to go through the recruitment process on the renewal term of the commissioner/s. Every time when the President refers the matter to the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Committee used to advertise the post and call for interested person to apply. In most cases, the process would commence when the incumbent’s contract had expired.  The recruitment process sometimes used to take longer than anticipated due to numerous reasons such as recess. In some instance, the longer it took for the Committee to recruit, the more it created instability in the institution.

Section 4 of the Public Service Commission Act deals mainly with the appointment and does not provide a mechanism for renewal of the term of the appointment of the Public Service Commission Commissioners. The renewal is provided only in the Constitution. The Constitution does not provide for the process to be followed by the National Assembly, the provincial legislature or the President when renewing the term of the Commissioners. 

In order to address the anomaly, the Public Service Commission Amendment Bill [B21-2015] has been introduced and processed in Parliament. The Amendment Bill seeks to provide for the renewal of the term of the contract of the incumbent commissioners as stipulated in section 196 (10) of the Constitution.     

 

  1. Referral by the Speaker/Chairperson (including recommendation of the High Level Panel)

The following other matters were referred to the committee and the resultant report was produced

Date

Expected report date

Content of referral

Status of Report

06 June 2018 (ATCed-No77)

Not specified in the referral

The Speaker of the National Assembly referred the Report of the High Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change to various Committees for processing and implementation of the recommendations. The High Level Panel report cited only one recommendation on page 518 of the report in relation to the work of the Committee, which is as follows: “Parliament should lead the discussion on how to professionalise the public service”. 

 

The Committee will ensure the recommendation finds expression in the issues to be highlighted in the Legacy Report for more action by the Committee in the sixth Parliament. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Summary of outstanding issues relating to the departments/entities

 

  1. Department of Public Service and Administration and entities

The outstanding issues in relation to the departments and their entities as well as the Public Service Commission are as follows:

  1. Department of Public Service and Administration

 

  1. The Committee has been overseeing the Department on its implementation of the set targets contained in the delivery outcomes (Outcome 12) of the National Development Plan. The Committee received a comprehensive report on the implementation of the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) Outcome 12 deliverables. The Department reported that of the 56 projects for the 2014-2019 MTSF reporting cycle 85% were making satisfactory progress. The Committee was pleased with the progress made with regard to the implementation of the deliverable agreement of the MTSF. However, more still need to be achieved on the sub-outcome “a stable political administrative interface” wherein a head of administration still had to be appointed in the Presidency and Offices of the Premier.

 

  1. The Department of Public Service and Administration has made progress in implementing and coordinating interventions aimed at achieving an efficient, effective and development oriented public service. Among interventions achieved was the passing of the Public Administration Management Act 11 of 2014 into law which prohibit public servants from doing business with the state intended to curb corruption in the public service. The Committee should ensure that the Department moves swiftly with the finalisation of the Public Administration Management regulations to give effect to the implementation of the PAM Act of 2014. The Committee has been overseeing government departments in ensuring adherence to the provision of the Act. The successor committee should ensure that Public Administration Management regulations are finalised to give effect to the Act.

 

  1. The implementation of the Government Employee Housing Scheme (GEHS) has been a concern to the Committee since signing of 2012 multi-year wage agreement between Government and Organised Labour. The quantum of the housing allowance was R1200 per month, paid to eligible employees (salary level 1-10) adjusted by inflation annually. For employees who do not own homes, the housing allowance is diverted and accumulated in the Individual Linked Saving Facility (ILSF), accessed when employees acquire homeownership. The implementation of the GEHS should be closely monitored to ensure qualifying government employees benefit through the scheme, including their saving realised through the ILSF.   

 

  1. Delays in the finalisation of the disciplinary cases in the public service remain a major challenge confronting most of government departments. The departments need to address a huge backlog of the disciplinary cases as per section 16B of the Public Service Act 1994. Offenders have to be updated on the PERSAL system. A pool of experts has been made available across departments to sit in the disciplinary committees to assist with investigations, initiating and chairing of disciplinary cases.

 

  1. Finalisation of the Thusong Service Centres funding model was among issues the Committee grappled with and Government was supposed to have revised or drafted the model within this term. The location of the Thusong Service Centres remains unresolved; the Department was encouraged to finalise this matter with the relevant departments and Cabinet. The Committee should continue to advocate for the finalisation and implementation of the Thusong Service Centres funding model to enhance better quality services to the citizens. 

 

  1. The Committee undertook to make the vacancy rate a reportable issue in the public service in order to ensure that service delivery is not affected. It also undertook to make disability and promotion of women to Senior Management Service (SMS) the topical and accountability issues in the public service. The vacancy rate, disability and promotion of women are issues that the Committee should seek accountability on throughout the reporting periods.

 

  1. The Committee grappled with the introduction and implementation of the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), which was supposed to bring about reforms in or replace the PERSAL system, so that records management on the vacancy rate, statistics on the demography of the staff complement of the public service, details on leave usage by employees, retirements and funded and unfunded posts. The new Committee will have to revisit this issue to ensure its finalisation and implementation.

 

  1. The Committee together with the Department coordinated the workshop on the Policy and Procedure on Incapacity Leave and Ill-health Retirement (PILIR) in 2017 in order to fully understand the extent of backlogs regarding applications for ill-health and medical boarding and the abuse of the policy within the public service. Follow-up reporting on the state of affairs should be done by the successor Committee in the 6th Parliament.

 

  1. The Committee dealt with the Steinhoff debacle on its own to ensure the protection of public servants’ pension scheme and subsequently collaboratively with the Standing Committee on Finance (SCoF), Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) and Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry to ensure good accounting practices regarding public funds. The matter was not finalised due to ongoing legal processes.

 

  1. The Public Administration Management Act 11 of 2014 establishment of the Technical Assistance Unit to deal with corruption cases, this unit has not been established yet. It is a matter to be followed up because the legislation has not been implemented regarding this issue.

 

  1. National School of Government

 

  1. The Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA) underwent transformation regarding its mandate to have the sole preserve of providing and sourcing facilitators of training in the public service. The Academy’s name changed the National School of Government (NSG) after the President assented the Public Administration Management Act on 19 December 2014. The Committee should see to it that all training in the public service is conducted by the School.

 

  1. The Committee had over the years stressed the importance of the School developing a training model, ensuring its courses and certificates are accredited in order to attract students and for the public sector to consider the school as their training academy. The successor Committee should continuously ensure oversight over the above-mentioned activities of the National School of Government to ensure public servants are thoroughly trained and specifically for the needs of the public service. The Committee must ensure that the model gets revised from time to time in order to cater for the evolving needs of the public service.

 

  1. The National School of Government’s prepaid method is gradually yielding the intended results as some government departments are paying for their training courses in advance. The Committee is of the view that prepaid method can enable the School to be self-sustainable in future, with the Committee ensuring oversight in this regard. The successor Committee has to monitor the Training Trading Account of the School in order to realise a goal of self-sustainable capability within the School.

 

 

  1. Centre for Public Service Innovation

 

  1. The Centre for Public Service Innovation should continue to entrench a culture and practice of innovation in the public sector. The Committee had recommended that the Centre for Public Service Innovation should, after innovation and piloting had taken place, hand over innovation projects to the relevant implementing departments or public service-wide where relevant as part of enhancing their efficiency and effectiveness of their programmes. The successor Committee has to monitor innovation projects that are handed over to relevant departments and institutionalised across the public service, where relevant, so that the CPSI continues to explore innovative solutions to a myriad of challenges confronting the public service.

 

 

  

  1. Public Service Commission

 

  1. The Committee had in this term processed the Public Service Commission Amendment Bill [B21-2015]. The Bill seeks to amend the Public Service Commission Act of 1997 in order to ensure efficiency and certainty with regard to the process of renewal of the term of a Commissioner. The Bill seeks to amend section 5 of the Act by empowering the Chairperson of the Commission to designate an Acting Chairperson whenever both the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson are absent. The successor Committee should monitor and oversee the implementation thereof to ensure that renewal of contracts of Commissioners are handled timeously and in a professional manner.

 

  1. Having adopted the Public Service Commission Amendment Bill [B 21D-2015], the Committee was mainly concerned about section 4 of the amended Bill. Section 4 (7) stipulates that the criteria for the renewal of the term of a Commissioner should be undertaken. The Committee was concerned  that “a renewal of term of a commissioner must be based on the commissioner having maintained a satisfactory level of performance in relation to his or her duties”. The Committee, therefore, recommended that the PSC should develop a set of rules, in accordance with Section 11 of the PSC Act of 1997, to define the criteria to measure performance of individual commissioners in case the renewal or extension of term is required.

 

  1. The Committee had dealt decisively with government departments which were unable to implement the PSC recommendations. The successor Committee is urged to assist the Commission in ensuring that government departments implement the recommendations of the PSC.

 

  1. Budget shortfalls in the Public Service Commission were experienced during this term of government and of Parliament. The Committee has emphasised the importance of the PSC receiving adequate funding as a knowledge and research driven institution. Therefore, the National Treasury has to ensure fair allocation of budget for the PSC. A lasting funding solution must be found to enable the PSC to expand its investigation, monitoring and evaluation capacity regarding basic values and principles governing the public service. The successor Committee has to closely monitor the budget allocation of the PSC with a view to recommending more funding where and when necessary.

 

  1. The PSC had challenges with the entire Executive regarding the evaluation of Heads of Department (HoDs) and Accounting Officers because it has to report on the issue to Parliament. The Executive was always not regularly up to date regarding this issue and it affects service delivery because it is linked to the contract and performance of the Accounting Officers and Heads of Departments. The Moderation Panel (the Executive and the HoD from another department and the PSC operating as the Secretariat) are responsible for overseeing the evaluation by the Executive concerned,

 

  1. The PSC budget allocation has been insufficient over the years and this had affected its delivery on its mandate. Also, there is a challenge with the location of the budget of the PSC within the total budget of the Department when it accounts directly to Parliament and it is an independent institution. The Kader Asmal Report made a recommendation in this regard, and the Committee should finalise this matter.

 

  1. The PSC reported on backlogs in the payment of pension beneficiaries and tracing thereof, and the Committee called upon the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and Government Pensions Administration Authority (GPAA) to account on this issue. The successor Committee will have to request for update on this issue.

 

  1. The Committee solicited the assistance of the PSC to investigate and report on the payment or non-payment of service providers in the provinces within 30 days as required by the Presidential Directive. The Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces were visited by the Committee together with the PSC. A backlog of unpaid invoices ran into a billion rands. The new Committee will have to ensure oversight on this issue at provincial level.

 

  1. The Committee dealt with the challenge of the wage bill in the public service, which will be addressed by the possible macro-organisation of the State or reconfiguration of the public service from 2019 onwards. According to international benchmarking by the World Bank in 2015, the public service is not bloated per population size served by the number of departments and public servants. However, because the wage bill is huge, this matter needs the attention of the Committee.

 

  1. Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

 

  1. The Committee oversaw the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the development of the Integrated Planning Framework Bill and further ensured consultation happened with key stakeholders in the process of development of the Bill, especially local government, as represented by SALGA. The successor Committee has to oversee the finalisation of the Bill in order to ensure that planning is well coordinated within the public administration.

 

  1. The Committee noted and welcomed a new initiative Mandate Paper on “priority based budgeting” between the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and the National Treasury to ensure budget alignment of departments with government’s key priorities to advance the National Development Plan.

 

  1. The Committee conducted oversight over the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in monitoring the implementation of the deliverables of the Medium-Term Strategic Plan and delivery outcomes of the National Development Plan; Vision 2030. The Committee was of the view that Department should continuously conduct midterm review on the 14 outcomes. The successor Committee will have to continue monitoring the Department to achieve such a target for the purpose of ensuring regular feedback to the citizens on the NDP.

 

National Youth Development Agency

 

  1. In its oversight over the National Youth Development Agency, the Committee realised that the NYDA Act 54 of 2008 needed to be reviewed to address the existing gaps. The Agency working in collaboration with the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation is in a process of reviewing the Act and consultations with youth structures are underway. The successor Committee has to ensure that the Department tables the Bill to Parliament timeously to allow Parliament to consult extensively with relevant stakeholders on the legislation.

 

  1. The Committee has been advocating that the National Youth Development Agency must effectively exercise its mandate of integrating various sector plans with the aim of advancing youth development through concerted efforts. In addition, the Committee urged the Agency to ensure that integrated youth strategy supports youth employability by supporting and developing economic and social interventions to impart to young people requisite skills to fulfil their aspirations. Since its establishment, the Agency had for the first time ever developed an Integrated Youth Development Strategy in 2018 and Cabinet approved the strategy. The successor Committee should monitor the implementation of the Integrated Youth Development Strategy and the National Youth Policy 2015-2020.

 

  1. The Committee noted the NYDA had successfully concluded organisational structure realignment and culture change programme resulting in the abolition of 92 positions and the overall reduction of the salary bill. The successor Committee has to monitor the spending patterns on the Compensation of Employees and ensure more funding is directed toward programmes aimed at youth development.   

 

  1. The Committee recommended that the NYDA should transfer its Matric Rewrite Programme to the Department of Basic Education to eliminate duplications, with which the Agency complied. The Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Fund is the only project related to educational monetary support. The Committee should ensure that the Fund caters for qualifying youth and for skills needed by the economy.

 

  1. The Committee recommended the formulation of a Turnaround Strategy, which the Agency subsequently presented to the Committee for interrogation and inputs. The turnaround strategy contributed to the realignment of programmes and the reduction of the salary bill, as well as the effectiveness of the role of the Agency. The Committee should see to it that the NYDA spreads equally across the provinces, especially in rural areas.

 

  1. Statistics South Africa

 

  1. In terms of the legislative reform, the Committee noted the progress made thus far with regard to the amendment to the Statistics Act of 1999 that will drive statistical reform in the country, with a particular emphasis on statistical coordination, statistical geography, the data revolution, a state-wide statistical service and institutional arrangements. The amendment will further ensure coordination between organs of state for the purpose of enhancing efficiency in the statistical system.

 

Moreover, the amendment intends to close existing loopholes to curb state institutions duplicating statistic surveys and wasting resources. The amendment would ensure Stats SA remains the only institution to collect official statistics in the country. The amendment process is arduous to be completed in the fifth Parliament. Therefore, the successor Committee has to prioritise the amendment of the Act for the purpose of statistical reforms in the country such as conducting Census in 10 years instead of five years.

 

  1. The Committee noted the budget shortfalls on compensation of employees whilst Stats SA is in a process of planning for Census 2021. The Committee was concerned about the risk of losing competent employees to other sectors, thus affecting the ability to conduct surveys and therefore compromising the department in a long term to rebuild such capacity. The quality of the statistics might also be affected as a result of the severe budget cuts. The successor Committee has to closely monitor budget shortfalls and vacancy rate experienced in Stats SA. Furthermore, the Committee should engage relevant structures in government to correct the anomaly caused by budget shortfalls. 

 

  1. The Committee appreciates that the Census 2021 project will be carried out, in spite of budgetary challenges as the budget set out for the project is ring-fenced by the National Treasury. The successor Committee should continue to monitor the preparations and the implementation of the Census 2021.

 

  1. RECOMMENDATIONS

The recommendations for 6th Parliament Committee are that:

  1. The 6th Parliament take note of the outstanding issues prioritised by the Portfolio Committee.

 

  1. A 6th Parliament Committee has to consider hosting workshops on the following matters: ‘A stable political administration interface; and on how to professionalise the public service’. The workshop will assist all role players to develop a shared understanding on the implementation of the goals of the National Development Plan.

 

  1. A 6th Parliament Committee undertake a study tour as early as possible to benchmark on best practices with other developed countries on how to professionalise the public service and to draw on successful models of frontline service, schools of government and shared service centres. Furthermore, the Committee has to consider undertaking a study tour to capacitate itself and benchmark with other countries with good models on Integrated Planning in the public service.  

 

  1. The Committee should revisit the issue of backlogs regarding applications for ill-health and medical boarding and the abuse of the policy within the public service in order to understand how far the issue has been addressed.

 

  1. The Committee should revisit the issue of backlogs regarding pension pay-outs to and tracing of recipients by the Government Pensions Administration Authority (GPAA).

 

  1. The Committee, possibly with other relevant committees, should follow up on the Steinhoff debacle in order to ensure that public servants pension funds are not used in risky investments.

 

  1. Backlogs on payment of valid invoices within 30 days in the provinces is one of the issues that the Committee should ensure oversight on.

 

  1. The wage bill in the public service will have to be monitored and lasting solutions sought with the Government and organised labour.

 

  1. The speedy establishment of the Technical Assistance Unit within the Department of Public Service and Administration, per the Public Administration Management Act to deal with cases of corruption.

 

  1. The Committee visited distressed mining towns in North West Province. The main issue was housing shortages for the communities. The Committee made recommendations for this challenge to be addressed. The successor Committee should continuously monitor the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in ensuring that government departments are accountable for the distressed mining towns to fulfil their responsibility as per part 3 of the Social Accord on the implementation of the integrated and sustainable human settlements, improve living and working conditions of mine workers. The successor Committee should consider planning a follow up oversight visit in order to determine whether there are improvements.

 

  1. The Public Service Commission should swiftly develop set of rules/regulations to give expression to Section 11 of the Public Service Commission Act 46 of 1997 as amended. The set of rules would clarify the criteria to empower  the President or Premier, where applicable, to either renew or not renew the term of a commissioner. This process will satisfy the National Assembly and provincial legislatures to have confidence that due process was followed in renewing or not renewing the term of a commissioner.    

 

 

 

 

 

  1. CONCLUSION

 

The Portfolio Committee dealt with a lot of topical issues in the public service and ensured accountability by the Executive. There are still challenges on which follow-ups must be made by the Portfolio Committee in order to ensure accountability and efficient service delivery. All these issues are highlighted in the recommendations of the Legacy Report.

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