ATC200605: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on the Strategic Plan 2019/20—2023/24, Annual Performance Plans (Apps) 2020/21 and the Budget Vote 11 of the Department of Public Service and Administration, Date 27 May 2020

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION ON THE STRATEGIC PLAN 2019/20—2023/24, ANNUAL PERFORMANCE PLANS (APPS) 2020/21 AND THE BUDGET VOTE 11 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION, DATE 27 May 2020

 

  1. BACKGROUND

The Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration (hereinafter referred to as the Portfolio Committee) having considered the directive of the National Assembly to consider and report on the Strategic Plans, Annual Performance Plans and Budget allocations of the Department of Public Service and Administration, and Centre for Public Service Innovation tabled by the Minister of Public Service and Administrationin terms of the Public Finance Management Act (Act No 1 of 1999), reports as follows:

  1. INTRODUCTION

Parliament plays an important role in overseeing planning and performance of government departments and public entities as well as Chapter 9 and 10 institutions. The Public Finance Management Act, section 27 stipulates that the Minister must table the annual budget for a financial year in the National Assembly before the start of the financial year. Subsequent to that the Money Bills Amendment Procedures and Related Matters Act, No 9 of 2009, section 10 (1) (c) clearly stipulates that the relevant members of Cabinet must table updated strategic plan and annual performance plan for each department, public entity or institution, which must be referred to the relevant Committee for consideration and reporting.

In considering the strategic and annual performance plans, the Committee ensured that the Department of Public Service and Administration and Centre for Public Service Innovation plans and budget allocations are in line with Medium Term Strategic Plan 2019/24. Budget allocation serves as a key instrument for government to promote socio-economic development. Budget allocation plays a critical role as an economic instrument of the government to reflect on the country’s socio-economic policy priorities by translating priorities and political commitments into expenditures. Budget serves as a vital tool to operationalise government activities towards the achievement of its intended priorities. Furthermore, the budget highlights the constraints and trade-offs in policy choices.

On 13th May 2020, the Committee considered presentation on the Strategic and Annual Performance Plans and budget allocation of the Department of Public Service and Administration and Centre for Public Service Innovation. This report summarises the presentations received from the Department of Public Service and Administration and Centre for Public Service Innovation, focusing on the 2019/24 Strategic Plans and 2020/21 Annual Performance Plans and Budget as well as allocations over the MTEF.

  1. OVERVIEW OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION

The Department of Public Service and Administration is expected 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 (NDP) 2030. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa envisages a Public Service that is professional, accountable and development-oriented.

The NDP identifies specific steps that need to be taken to promote the values and principles of public administration as enshrined in the Constitution. Furthermore, the NDP highlights the need for a well-run and effectively coordinated state institutions with skilled public servants who are committed to the public good and capable of delivery consistently high-quality services, while prioritising the nation’s development objectives.

Unevenness in capacity that leads to uneven performance in the Public Service is also acknowledged in the NDP. This is caused by a complex set of factors, including tensions in the political-administrative interface, instability of administrative leadership, skills deficits, insufficient attention to the role of the State in reproducing the skills it needs, the erosion of accountability and authority, poor organisational design and low staff morale. Steps are needed to strengthen skills, enhance morale, clarify lines of accountability and build an ethos of public service. These steps are guided by the need for long-term policy stability as well as awareness of potentially adverse effects of over-regulation.

The main objective of the Department is to put in place the mechanisms and structures that can support departments in developing their capacity and professional ethos. The Public Administration Management Act (PAMA) 11 of 2014was signed into law with an objective of establishing a uniform system of public administration to ensure that common norms and standards are achieved at all government levels. This effectively places DPSA at the centre of ensuring that all operating platforms and units to drive a compliant ethical public service areguided by norms and standards.

  1. LEGISLATIVE MANDATE

The Department is mandated by Section 195(1) of the Constitution, which sets out basic values and principles that the Public Service should adhere to and the Public Service Act (PSA) of 1994, as amended. In terms of the PSA, the Minister for the Public Service and Administration is responsible for establishing norms and standards relating to:

  • The functions of the public service.
  • Organisational structures and establishment of departments and other organisational and governance arrangements in the public service.
  • Labour relations, conditions of service and other employment practices for employees.
  • The Health and wellness of employees.
  • Information management.
  • Electronic government in the public service.
  • Integrity, ethics, conduct and anti-corruption; and
  • Transformation, reform, innovation and any other matter to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the public service and its service delivery to the public.

 

  1. STRATEGIC GOALS OF THE DEPARTMENT

The key strategic priorities of the Department are explained below:

4.1 Implementing the Public Administration Management Act (PAMA) 11 of 2014

The Public Administration Management Act provides a uniform legal framework across the three spheres of government to bring some degree of commonality of purpose in key public administration areas. It was signed into law by the President of the Republic of South Africa in December 2014. The Act:

 

  • Promotes and gives effect to the values and principles in Section 195 (1) of the Constitution.
  • Provides for the transfer and secondment of employees.
  • Promotes a high standard of professional ethics in the public administration.
  • Promotes the use of information and communication technologies in the public administration.
  • Promotes efficient service delivery in the public administration.
  • Facilitates the eradication and prevention of unethical practices in the public administration; and
  • Provides for the setting of minimum norms and standards to give effect to the values and principles of section 195 (1) of the Constitution.

 

4.2 Institutionalising a Single Public Administration

The three spheres of government are obliged to cooperate with one another within ‘one democratic state’ in mutual trust and good faith by adhering to Chapter Three principles as set out in the Constitution. Section 195 (1) of the Constitution further stipulates the basic values and principles governing public administration, which apply in every sphere of government, organs of state and public enterprises. The Public Service is, according to Section 197 (1) and (2) of the Constitution found within the public administration and must function, and be structured in terms of national legislation, as well as the terms and conditions of employment in the public service as directed by national legislation.

The three spheres of government are required to provide effective, transparent, accountable and coherent government for the country. This requires that the spheres respect each other’s powers and functions, while striving to work together in a meaningful way to maximise service delivery impact for the citizens.

4.3 Implementing the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Pillar 1 of the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities refers to removing barriers to access and participation. The Department has to ensure accessibility to the building by persons with disabilities, such as the provision of ablution facilities and lifts for such persons. The Department also provides reasonable accommodation and assistive devices to persons with disabilities such as the provision of back support chairs to employees with back problems.

 

 

 

 

4.4 Implementing the Framework on Gender Responsiveness

The Framework requires institutions to reserve specific budget for gender matters, in particular for women empowerment. The Department, through the Gender Equality Strategic Framework Implementation Plan, annually sets aside budget for the implementation of the gender programme within the department.

4.5ImplementingNational Youth Policy

The National Youth Policy discourages systematic racism within societies, however, it encourages institutions to embark on campaigns on raising awareness and changing attitudes and behaviour in relation to racist and xenophobic attitudes. The Department had established the Youth Forum which is responsible for the development of the annual plans for youth development.  Conversations on racism and xenophobia had been the subject of debates in the workshops held in the Department.

4.6 Institutionalising the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

South Africa is party to CEDAW and ratified the Convention on 15 December 1995. Part I (Article 1-6) of the Convention focuses on non-discrimination, sex stereotypes, and sex trafficking. The Department is abiding itself to this Framework as no employee is being discriminated against on the basis of gender. Part II (Articles 7-9) outlines women’s rights in the public sphere with an emphasis on political life, representation, and rights to nationality. The Department always ensures the protection of the rights of women at the workplace.

This strategy is in line with the National Development Plan (NDP) in that a capable state, which is well run and effectively coordinated among different government institutions, will operate with the integrity and effectiveness this strategy envisages. The Department plannedto introduce measures to professionalise the public service, which will include, amongst others, compulsory training programmes and the review and enhancement of appointment procedures for senior managers. The issue that the Department needs to revisit is the affirmation of people with disabilities. This is a huge challenge for public service since the employment is still around 2% in the public service. The public service has made tremendous strideswith regard to the affirmation of women in senior management. However, the public service has not reached 50% gender representivity.

4.3STRATEGIC PRIORITIES 2019/2024

The priorities for the Department of Public Service and Administration over the medium term period are informed by the National Development Plan objectives, which are therefore translated into the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2019-2024. The Department highlighted the following priorities to the Portfolio Committee:

4.3.1 Formulating and implementing the Public Administration Policy

The Minister for the Public Service and Administration makes regulations within and for the entire public service. In 2016, the Department developed the Public Administration Management Regulations on Conducting Business with the State, the Disclosure of Financial Interests and setting up the Ethics, Integrity and Discipline Technical Assistance Unit as well as the Office of Standards and Compliance Regulations, in terms of Section 18 of the PAMA.

The Department reported that there is insufficient data and information on the implementation of most administrative policy areas of the Public Service Act norms and standards, as historically standards were not structurally developed based on any critical success factors of capacity and capability across the public service, and which are therefore mainly not measurable. There is a need for an e-Enabled system for self-diagnostics and compliance audits through the measurement instruments of the Office of Standards and Compliance. The Organisational Functionality Assessment Tool is being consolidated to measure institutional governance, as well as organizational administration

4.3.2Regulating and improving Public Service Employment and Conditions of Service

The State, as the employer, is going through difficult financial times and as a caring Government, departments have to function within the available resources. Failure to exercise financial prudence will result in government borrowing money from the external institutions to finance government work. The State is cautious of borrowing to pay salaries at the expense of delivery. In 2019 already, outlining the fiscal outlook during his Budget Speech, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni indicated that in 2018/19 the tax revenue would be R1.3 trillion and that spending would be about R1.5 trillion, leaving government with a budget deficit of R215 billion, or 4.3% of the gross domestic product.

 

Improving on Public Service Employment and Conditions of Service requires some restraint on the part of Government, but this restraint should not affect the multi-year agreement between Government and organised labour, which ended in March 2020. To be seen as “good faith negotiator”, Government should honour the agreement and then negotiate for any other deal linked to the country’s economic outlook going forward. To manoeuvre circumspectly in this area, Government needs to keep its word regarding the agreement already in place so that organised labour would be flexible in their approach concerning future collective bargaining.

 

Early Retirement in the Public Service should be decentralised as depicted in the Public Service Act. This will ensure pertinent challenges arising from the applications are addressed by individual departments with understanding of the situations of staff. This will enhance compliance and performance at the local level.

 

With respect to discipline management, the Department has noticed a high usage of legal representatives which is contrary to the Disciplinary Code and Procedure. Even though there has been an improvement on the average number of days taken to resolve disciplinary cases, departments are still delaying with the finalisation of disciplinary cases within 90 days and have suspensions that are longer than 60 days without holding disciplinary hearings. Such delays are in contradiction of the disciplinary code, which is costly to the government coffers.

 

4.3.3Improving Public Service Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)

 

The Public Service continues to rely on brick and mortar as the main channel or mechanism (service delivery points) through which the citizens can access public services. Furthermore, these service delivery centres operate within specified times of the day, referred to as office hours. The two issues introduce a huge limitation or hindrance on how the citizens’ access and experience public services as they often have to travel long distances to where these service delivery points are located. Importantly, they must do so within certain time limits or operating hours. It is important to further highlight that public services are requested and delivered through dis-integrated manual processes that are largely paper based, which does not allow government to have an integrated view of which citizens accessed which public services at which service delivery point.

 

With global trends clearly indicating that the public administration is mostly affected by 4IR trends owing to the old and often outdated ways of thinking, work and policies, the Department will be leading digital transformation of the public service.  Some of the key interventions in this regard will include developing the required prescripts to enable and support the digital transformation of the public administration. This will ensure that government is a key economic enabler and player positively benefits from the digital economy.

 

4.3.4Ensuring Service Delivery Improvement

A number of evaluation reports and studies on government service delivery indicate that, despite the existence of an enabling environment through regulatory frameworks and support mechanisms, some government services such as sanitation, water, electricity and housing are still not equally accessible to all South Africans (especially in rural areas) and delivery is not offered at the desired level. The persistent challenges that affect the service delivery value chain include, amongst others, poor and uncoordinated planning, spending of budgets allocated for delivery of services, lack of service standards, lack of technical skills, insufficient resources as well as lack of efficient and effective management of operations and frontline staff’s adherence to the provision of services in line with the Batho Pele principles. Compliance on the submission and implementation of Service Delivery Improvement Plans (SDIPs) still remains a challenge.

 

Improvement in service delivery also requires adherence to the Batho Pele policy and the Public Service Charter, and strict monitoring thereof. In addressing the gaps and weaknesses, the Department will over the MTEF period, institutionalise a number of integrated interventions which include, amongst others, the strengthening of the implementation of the Operations Management Framework and Service Delivery Improvement Plans as well as a revised Programme to strengthen the implementation of the Batho Pele Programme.

 

In line with Cabinet decisions, the DPSA will also during this MTSF, transfer the Community Development Workers and Thusong Service Centres Programme coordination and implementation functions to the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA). The DPSA will retain the policy development function as delegated to the Minister for Public Service and Administration.

 

 

 

  1. BUDGET ANALYSIS

The Department of Public Service and Administration’s overall budget allocation for 2020/21 is R565.7, compared to R527.2 million in 2019/20. This represents an increase of 6.91 per cent in nominal terms. However, in real terms the total budget for the Department increased by only 2.41 per cent between the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years.

 

The Department’s total allocation over the MTEF period is R1.8 billion. This reflects a decrease by R1.4 billion from the 2019 Budget as a result of the reorganisation of vote structures, through which the Public Service Commission and National School of Government became standalone votes instead of departments within the Department of Public Service and Administration. Accordingly, transfers to departmental agencies and accounts decrease to R129.7 million (7.2 per cent of the Department’s total budget) over the medium term. As the Department’s work is labour intensive, spending on compensation of employees accounts for an estimated 59.1 per cent (R1.1 billion) of its total expenditure over the period.

 

The budget of the Department of Public Service and Administration is divided into six programmes. The main cost drivers are Programme 1: Administration (R258.3m); Programme 5: Service Delivery Support (R101.4m) and Programme 3: Public Service Employment and Conditions of Service (R77.7m). Programme 5 is a transversal programme assisting the entire public service with Service Delivery Improvement Plans (SDIPs).

 

Table 1: Programmes and budget allocation

Programme R'000

Revised

Estimates

2019/2020

Medium Term Expenditure Estimates

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

  1. Administration

241.6

258.3

275.7

286.6

  1. Policy Development, Research and Analysis

36.3

39.5

41.9

42.4

  1. Public Service Employment and Conditions of Service

75.6

77.4

81.9

84.1

4. Government Chief Information Officer

23.3

28.6

30.3

31.7

5. Service Delivery Support

99.2

101.4

107.7

110.6

  1. Governance of Public Administration

51.2

60.2

69.2

72.1

Total

527.2

565.7

606.6

627.5

Source: Estimates of National Expenditure (2020)

 

  1. PROGRAMME PERFORMANCE
    1. Programme 1: Administration

The main purpose ofthe Programme is to provide strategic leadership, management and support services to the Department, and coordinate the Department’s international relations.The purpose of the Programme is to provide policy, coordinated strategic and overall administrative support services to enable the Ministry and the Department to deliver on mandates. The budget for Programme 1 increased from R241.6 million in 2019/20 to R258.3 million in 2020/21. This represents a 2.41 per cent increase in real terms in the budget allocation between 2019/20 and 2020/21. The Programme is one of the three major cost drivers under this Vote, consuming 45.66 per cent of the overall allocation. It is also one programme that experiences real percentage increase. The main cost drivers are Corporate Services at R93.2 million, Office Accommodation at R59.3 million and Finance Administration at R30.5 million.

Budget allocated in this Programme will be spentamong other things on monitoring fruitless, wasteful and irregular expenditure and strive to achieve clean audit. The Department will draft Public Service Amendment Bill to be submitted to the Chief State Law Advisor for pre-certification. Furthermore, the Department will engage in consultations with the Department of Cooperative Governance on the draft Public Administration Management Amendment Bill. Moreover, it will develop regulations on selected areas of the PAM Act. The Department will review identified in house policies. An annual report will be produced on the compliance by the national and provincial departments with the DPSA policy.

The Department will support the implementation of Section 100 and 139 Monitoring and Intervention Bill by providing input towards the finalising of the Bill.

he submission of quarterly reports on the implementation of the APP submitted to the Executive Authority, National

  1. Programme 2: Policy Development, Research and Analysis

The main purpose of this Programme is to manage and oversee the setting and translation of public administration norms and standards into administrative policy instruments using research and policy analysis techniques. It is also responsible for managingorganisational functionality assessments of Public Service efficiency and effectiveness for public administration reform. 

The budget allocation for Programme 2 increased from R36.3 million in 2019/20 to R39.5 million in 2020/21. In real terms the budget allocation of Programme 2 increased by 4.23 per cent between 2019/20 and 2020/21. This programme consumes the first smallest portion (6.98 per cent) of the overall budget. The bulk of the Programme’s budget (R16.6 million) is allocated to the Public Service Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation sub-programme, which measures organisational performance, functionality and productivity through the monitoring and evaluation of public service norms and standards, which are derived from the performance information of public service regulatory instruments. This is in line with spending priorities as this Programme develops policy and instruments to measure productivity and performance by the Department itself and the entire public service. The main cost driver is Public Service Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, which is a transversal project.

In order to improve the public sector productivity and functionality, the Organisational Functionality Assessment Tool was designed as a self-assessment process to enable departments to assess and diagnose, based on evidence, whether all the necessary service delivery enablers are in place to support delivery processes in an optimum and accountable manner. The Department intends to issue Organisational Functionality Assessment Tool to national and provincial departments for implementation in the public service. It will further draft quarterly reports on the compliance by national and provincial departments with DPSA policies produced.

8.3        Programme 3: Public Service Employment and Conditions of Service

The purpose of thisProgramme is to develop, implement and monitor, labour relations, human resources management and remuneration policies and guidelines. It also ensures coordinated collective bargaining.

Programme 3 accounts for 13.73 per cent (R77.7 million) of the total budget vote in 2020/21. Between 2019/20 and 2020/21, the budget allocation for Programme 3 decreased by -1.56 per cent in real terms.  The programme is also responsible for monitoring the vacancy rate. The programme’s budget is relatively bigger because it deals also with Negotiations and Discipline Management; Human Resource Development; Remuneration and Job Grading; Employee Benefits; Human Resource Planning and Performance Management for the entire Public Service. This Programme is in line with policy priority on developing and supporting the implementation of health and wellness frameworks and policies. The main cost drivers of the Programme are Employee Benefits at R28.5 million and Employment Practices and Performance Management at R13.4 million, which disburses performance bonuses and notch increases for those who performed beyond the normal rate. Also, another cost driver is the Remuneration and Job Grading sub-programme, which is at R13.2 million.

The Department will under this Programme develop wage setting mechanism for the public service, transition plan for the implementation of the uniform job grading system and issue guideline for the implementation of proposals on the reduction of costs in public administration. As part of intensifying efforts to fight corruption, the Department developed programme to improve the management of discipline within public service. Furthermore, the Department intends to implement Performance Management and Development System of Heads of Department as well as senior management service and level 1-12.

  1. Programme 4: Government’s Chief Information Officer

The Government Chief Information Officer Programme creates an environment for the deployment of information technology (IT) as a strategic tool of public administration. It minimises, controls and maintains IT related risks and costs in the public service.The budget allocation for Programme 4 accounts for 5.05 per cent share or R28.6 million of the total budget vote in 2020/21. In 2020/21, the allocation for Programme 4 increased by 22.75 per cent in nominal terms, but in real terms, it increased by 17.57 per cent. The main cost drivers are Public Service ICT E-enablement at R11.3 million and Public Service ICT Stakeholder at R7.5 million, respectively.

The Department intends to issuean audit report on the implementation of the National e-Government Strategy to national and provincial departments. The budget will be spent on submitting Public Service Data Governance Framework and develop status and recommendations for improvements on the public service Information and Communication Technology infrastructure. The Department will further issue to the national and provincial departments Public Service Information Security Standard and ensure compliance on a quarterly basis with regard to the policies.

  1. Programme 5: Service Delivery Support

The purpose of theProgramme is to manage and facilitate the improvement of service delivery in government. The Programme has seven sub-programmes, which are Management, Service Delivery Support Programmes, Service Delivery Planning, Service Delivery Improvement initiatives, Public Participation and Social Dialogue, Batho Pele Initiatives, and Community Development and Citizen Relations.

The Service Delivery Support Programme (Programme 5) manages and facilitates the improvement of service delivery in government. As indicated in Table 1, the budget allocation for Programme 5 increased from R99.2 million in 2019/20 to R101.4 million in 2020/21, representing a nominal increase of R2.2 million or 2.22 per cent. In real terms, the budget allocation of Programme 5 increased by -2.09 per cent between 2019/20 and 2020/21. Programme 5, at 17.92 per cent share, represents the second largest share allocation of the total budget vote in 2020/21. It is commendable for Government to allocate this much to service delivery support in order for the Department to give technical support and advice to national, provincial and local government institutions who experience service delivery challenges. This will serve as both a preventative and remedial measure to service delivery challenges and protests. The main cost drivers are the Centre for Public Service Innovation(CPSI), which takes R40.8 million, Service Delivery Improvement Initiatives at R16.8 million and Public Participation and Social Dialogue at R11.8 million of the Programme’s budget respectively.

The budget will be spent on the following activities under Programme 5, which are the implementation plan and roadmap for the Revised Batho Pele Programme, Public Service Month and Batho Pele awards. The Department will further evaluate the African Peer Review Mechanism 2nd Generation review for the country. The Department will under this Programme develop business processes modernisation programme.  The planned interventions are in line with the National Development Plan, which underscores quality service delivery as one of the enablers for economic development, improvement of the quality of life for citizens as well as improving public confidence in government.

 

 

  1. Programme 6: Governance of Public Administration

The purpose of thisProgramme is to manage and oversee the implementation of policies, strategies and programmes on Public Service integrity, intergovernmental relations, the macro organization of the State, organisational design and senior leadership management. It also manages government intervention programmes. The Programme has seven sub-programmes which are:  Human Resource Management Information Systems, Leadership Management, Organisational Design and Macro Organisation, Ethics and Integrity Management and International Relations and Government Intervention, Transformation Policies and Programmes, and Governance of Public Administration.

The budget allocation for Programme 6 increased from R51.2 million in 2019/20 to R60.2 million in 2020/21, representing a nominal increase of R9.0 million or 17.58 per cent. In real terms, the budget allocation to Programme 6 increased by 12.62 per cent between 2019/20 and 2020/21. Programme 6, at 10.64 per cent share, represents the fourth largest share allocation of the total budget vote in 2020/21. The main cost drivers are the Ethics and Integrity Management sub-programme at R22.5 million and the Organisational Design and Macro Organisation of the Public Service sub-programme at R9.9 million respectively.

As part of fighting corruption in the public service, the Department will be issuing guidelines on conducting life style audits to national and provincial departments. It will further develop database on public service employees appointed as board members to entities compiled. The Department will categorise employees in the public service designated their financial interest and analyse adherence by designated employees in relation to the Financial Disclosure Framework.  

Over the medium term, the Department intends to submit a report on the improved adherence by national and provincial departments to the Directive on the performance of other remunerative work. Moreover, the Department will monitor the improved adherence by Public Service employees in national and provincial departments to the legislative framework prohibiting them from conducting business with an organ of state.

In line with the outcomes of a stable political-administrative interface and a stale public administration, the Department has an analysis of the average time spent by Heads of Department in their contracts. The reports were compiled and recommendations will be implemented with intention to improve the political-administrative interface. 

 

  1. ENTITY OF DPSA
    1. CENTRE FOR PUBLIC SERVICE INNOVATION
      1. Policy Priorities

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 CPSI is established in terms of Section7(a) listed in Schedule 3A of the Public Service Act, 1994, as amended and is an organ of state. The Act mandates the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) to unlock, entrench and nurture the culture of innovation within the public sector for improved performance and productivity. Therefore, the Act positions the CPSI to guide the process of unearthing and exploiting innovative, more efficient and effective solutions needed to ensure successful delivery on government priorities. The CPSI was in its formationestablished as a Section 21 Company.

The functions of the CPSI are to:

  • Provide the Minister with independent, diverse and forward-looking research findings and advice on innovative service delivery with a specific focus of government priorities
  • Enhance public service transformation and reform through innovation partnership and projects
  • Support the creation of an enabling environment for innovation within the structures and agencies of the South African Government (encouraging, learning and rewarding)

 

  1. Budget Allocation

The budget allocation for the CPSI is R40.8million for 2020/21 financial year as compared to the previous year with R38.4 million. The budget will increaseby 2 per cent over medium term period. In 2015, the National Treasury had granted an approval in terms of section 43 of the PFMA and Treasury Regulations section6.3.1 (b), for the Department of Public Service and Administration to create a new transfer payment to the CPSI. As a result, the CPSI has become an independent accountable entity receiving a transfer payment through the DPSA budget vote.

 

  1. PROGRAMMES
  1. Programme 1: Administration

The programme provides strategic leadership, overall management of and support to the organisation. There are three sub-programmes under programme 1 which are Strategic Management, Corporate Resource Management and Office of the Chief Financial Officer. The budget allocated for programme 1 is R22.2 million in 2020/21 as compared to R20.9 million in 2019/20 financial year. The spending focus on the programme intends to build capacity in promoting innovation in the public service. Over the medium term, the department will focus on promoting and unearthing innovation projects in the public service.

The Centre intends to review and submit the strategic plan and develop annual performance plan for the approval by the Executive Authority. The Centre intends to assess its performance and report to the Executive Authority, DPSA, DPME and the National Treasury. Review two Corporate Resource Management policies, procedures and strategies. Further, the Centre will ensure100% payment of all invoices paid within 30 days on receipt of valid invoice.

(b)Programme 2: Public Sector Innovation

The Programme drives service delivery innovation in the public sector in line with Government priorities. There are three sub-programmes under Programme 2, which are Research and Development, Solution Support and Incubation, and Enabling Environment. The budget allocated for the Programme is R18.7 million in 2020/21 financial year as compared to R17.5 million of 2019/20 financial year.There was a nominal increase in the budget in 2020/21financial year.

The focus in this Programme is on the Research and Development of potential models and new innovative solutions,working in partnership with stakeholders in the National System of Innovation. Service delivery solutions are developed in partnerships with other government departments, non-government organisations, the private sector, academia and international entities.New solutions are tested and piloted with the service owners. The Centre will identify nine knowledge platforms hosted to unearth, demonstrate, share, encourage and award innovation in the public sector. 

 

 

  1. OBSERVATIONS AND KEY FINDINGS

The Portfolio Committee identified the following matters in relation to the Budget Vote 11, to which the Department must respond accordingly:

Department of Public Service and Administration

  1. The Committee noted and considered the Strategic Plans (2019/24) and Annual Performance Plans (2020/21) of the Department of Public Service and Administration and Centre for Public Service Innovation. The APP reaffirms the Department’s mandate to implement and coordinate interventions aimed at achieving professional, accountable and developmental oriented public service, capable to deliver on the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030.

 

  1. The Committee took note of the possibility of reviewing Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan as well as budget allocated due to government measures introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

 

  1. The Committee was not satisfied with the sluggish implementation of the Public Administration Management Act of 2014, which aims to ensure, among other things,the integration and coordination between public service and local government. The Act seeks to provide a legal framework across the three spheres of government by bringing some degree of uniformity. The Department has to play a meaningful role in the implementation of the PAM Act by developing regulations to operationalise it.

 

  1. The Committee noted developmentstowardsamendingthe Public Service Act of 1994, which will transfer powers of the human resource management from the Executive Authority to the Accounting Officers. The Committee was of the view that such amendments have to include powers and responsibilities of the Head of Administration as proposed in Chapter 13 of the National Development Plan 2030.

 

  1. The Committee was of the view that there is a need to align the Public Service Act of 1994 with all other human resource and labour legislation in order to proficiently manage the delegations, disciplinary procedures and career incidents, especially at the senior management service (SMS) level.

 

  1. The Committee noted the finalisation of Organisational Functionality Assessment Tool to measure institutional governance as well as organisational administration. The Committee appealed to the Department to ensure that government departments are adequately trained and capacitated on using the tool if it has to be successful.   

 

  1. The Committee welcomed Department initiatives of embarking on developing guidelines for lifestyle audits in the public service before March 2021. The Committee was pleased with the development.However, the Department was encouraged to speed up the process as these lifestyle audits will assist immensely in curbing the scourge of corruption in the public service.

 

  1. The Committee notedthe high usage of legal representatives during discipline management, which is contrary to the Discipline Code and Procedure, even though there was an improvement in resolving disciplinary cases in the public service. The Committee was not satisfied with the delays in finalising disciplinary cases within a timeline of 90 days and some suspension taking longer than 60 days without holding disciplinary hearings.  

 

  1. The Committee noted the Department’s involvement in leading digital transformation in the public service and the World Bank report towards assisting South Africa to rollout the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

 

  1. The Committee urged the Department to strengthen its efforts to modernise the public service through digitisation of government systems. Digital transformation serves as a strategic driver to create open, participatory and trustworthy public sector. Through digitisation transformation, Government would be able to improve its efficiency, effectiveness and governance in the public sector. The DPSA has to take a lead in developing strategies in digitising the public service. 

 

  1. The Committee was concerned about overlaps in terms of the role of Information Communication Technology in the public service. For this task, the Department should collaborate with relevant agencies, like the State Information and Technology Agency (SITA).

 

 

  1. The Committee notedthe delays encountered by the public service atsenior management level in submitting Financial Disclosure forms due to COVID-19 challenges. The Committee urged the Department to encourage officials to utilise the e-Disclosure platform to avoid further delays.

 

  1. Regarding the finalisation of disciplinary cases within a timeline of 90 days and some suspension taking longer than 60 days without holding disciplinary hearings, the Committee requested that the accounting officer present a progress report on this matter immediately upon lower grades of lockdown.

 

  1. The Committee noted government feedback on the wage dispute. However, the Committee noted the Department’s commitment to the implementation of the multi-year salary agreement. The Department further mentioned that there were a few outstanding matters to be resolved with organised labour within the Bargaining Council. The Committee further notes that the 2020/2021 budget outlines the need to reduce the public service wage bill by R160.2 billion over the MTEF period, including a reduction of R37.8 billion in the current financial year. 

 

  1. The Committee further noted the Minister’s approval of the organisational structure for the Public Administration, Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit. The Committee welcomed such development and urged the Minister to ensure that the Technical Assistance Unit is fully operationalwithin a period of 90 days.

 

  1. The Committee was not satisfied with a lack of compliance with submission of Service Delivery Improvement Plans by some government departments. A mechanism needs to be developed to inculcate a culture of compliance with regard to drafting and submission of SDIPs to the Department.

 

  1. The Committee was satisfied with the development of transferring Community Development Workers and Thusong Service Centres to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.  The Committee welcomed the decision.

 

  1. The Committee is of the view that the Department should ensure that public servants who are entitled to benefit from the Government Employees Housing Scheme utilise the service in order to discourage renting. 

 

Centre for Public Service Innovation

 

  1. The Committee took note of theMinistry’sintentiontoconduct research/review towards repositioning the Centre for Public Service Innovation, with an aim to establish facts on its mandate and whether it is well-located as an entity of the Department or if it should be placed under another department.

 

  1.  The Committee further noted the moratorium on all funded vacant post at the CPSI, including CEO, and that these positions should be filled, where necessary, after a study on repositioning the Centre has been conducted.The Committee was of the view that CPSI has an opportunity during COVID-19 lockdown to devise innovative mechanisms in assisting government to accelerate service delivery under these tough conditions.

 

  1. RECOMMENDATIONS

The Portfolio Committee recommends that the Department of Public Service and Administration undertake the followingactivities:

  1. Fast-tracking the amendments to all due legislation earlier than 2023 to ensure that all administrative, management and governance systems are streamlined. This will give Parliament ample time to finalise its legislation within its term.

 

  1. Amending the Public Service Act of 1994 should include the establishment of the roles and responsibilities of the Head of Administration as one of the interventions encapsulated in the National Development Plan to manage career incidences of Heads of Department and other seniority positions.

 

  1. The Department should also finalise regulations of the Public Administration Management Act of 2014 in order to give effect to comprehensive implementation of the Act. The Department shouldconduct consultations regarding the second phase of the Public Administration Management Regulations. The Department should, therefore, report on these activities at the latest by August 2021.

 

  1. Taking a lead as mandated by the Public Service Act, 1994 to promote the use of Information Technology and Information Management towards improving service delivery in the public service.

 

  1. Moving speedilyto develop guidelines for conducting lifestyle audits in the public service. The Department should present the progress report on these guidelines to Parliament in November 2020.

 

  1. Speeding up the process towards the establishment of the Technical Assistance Unit so that all technical operations are in place regarding the Public Administration Management Act and the implementation of Public Service Regulations, especially regarding ethical conduct and preventing officials from doing business with the State.

 

  1. Adhering to the 2020/2021 budget, which outlines the need to reduce the public service wage bill by R160.2 billion over the MTEF period, including a reduction of R37.8 billion in the current financial year. The Department, working with National Treasury, should play a leading role during salary negotiations by sensitising organised labour about the impact of the wage bill and jointly devise workable strategies to mitigate the situation, without causing any job losses in the public service. The Department together with the National Treasury should present a report on the strategy and progress made to reducing the wage bill in Parliament by February 2021.

 

 

Centre for Public Service Innovation

  1. The Centre should develop innovative solutions to assist government accelerate service delivery during COVID-19 lockdown.

 

  1. The Minister should share with Parliament the findings on the research/or review on repositioning the Centre for Public Service Innovation once concluded. 

 

 

 

  1. CONCLUSION

The Department of Public Service and Administration and its entities play a crucial role in building a state that is capable of realising developmental and transformative agenda. Professionalising the public service remains an integral part of the Department through reskilling and retraining of the public servants. The NDP highlightsthe key areas that the Department must focus on, such as stabilising the political-administrative interface and making the public service as a career of choice. The DPSA Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan are aligned towards achieving the goals and aspirations of the NDP. The Portfolio Committee noted the progress made in implementing and coordinating interventions aimed at achieving an efficient, effective and development oriented public service. The CPSI also plays a crucial role as a catalyst for radical transformation through developing innovation solutions to the public sector challenges.

The Portfolio Committee recommends as follows:

That the House adopts and approve the Budget Vote 11 of the Department of Public Service and Administration.

 

Reportto be considered

Documents

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