ATC200715: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on the Adjusted Budget Vote 24, Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), dated 15 July 2020

Police

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on the Adjusted Budget Vote 24, Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), dated 15 July 2020.

 

1.         Introduction

The Division of Revenue Amendment Bill [B09-2020] and Adjustments Appropriation Bill, 2020 [B10-2020] was tabled on 24 June 2020 by the Minister of Finance. The purpose of the Bill was to mitigate the measures Departments had to take to deal with the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the country. This was after the President declared a national lockdown on 15 March 2020. 

On the 21st of April 2020 the President announced a R500 billion fiscal support package that includes spending towards COVID-19 priorities. On 30 April National Treasury published on the “Economic Measures for COVID-19”, outlining an R500bn response, as well as identifying the funding sources for the package. Part of the funding sources for this package is a R130 billion baseline re-prioritisation in the 2020/21 financial year. The Special Adjustment Budget seeks to modify the 2020/21 budget to utilise current baseline allocations to provide for the rapidly changing economic conditions and enable spending on the COVID-19 response. A revised fiscal framework has been presented, to account for substantial revenue losses emanating from the economic shock of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

 

2.         The Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the mandate of the Department

The mandate of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is derived The IPID Act No. 1 of 2011 gives effect to the provision of section 206(6) of the Constitution, ensuring independent oversight of the SAPS and Municipal Police Services. The IPID resides under the Ministry of Police and functions independently of the SAPS.

The Department reported that it continued to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the existence of the COVID – 19 Steering Committee guides officials on recommended health protocols.

The IPID reported that there was a greater need to safeguard and protect their officials including Investigators against the impact of COVID-19 through implementing appropriate measures including procurement and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). The Department has spent an amount of R1,2 million on the procurement of PPEs and the number of officials at IPID offices coming to office has been reduced with most employees working remotely. Regular screening of officials and visitors to the IPID offices is being conducted.

The IPID has closed and de-sanitized a few of its offices as a result of some members coming into contact with staff who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The Department is left with R 8.9 million to fund operations from its budget and has to spend R1.2 million on procurement of PPE. The Department managed to identify savings of R2.8 million.

 

3.         Analysis of the Adjustment Budget on Programmes

The IPID received a Main Appropriation of R355.7 million in 2020/21, which was a nominal increase of 5.6% compared to the previous financial year. National Treasury did not reduce the budget allocation due to an already constrained budget.

In this Special Adjustment Budget, the Main Appropriation remained unchanged. Virements of R4.820 million were reallocated from the Goods and services in the Administration, Legal and Investigation Advisory Services, and Compliance Monitoring and Stakeholder Management Programmes to the Investigation and Information Management Programme. The reprioritised funds are for the procurement of personal protective equipment for investigators and other staff, including sanitisation of IPID buildings.

To date, the IPID had spent R1.2 million on personal protective equipment, amongst other measures implemented at IPID offices to ensure the safety and protection of investigators and staff. To date, the IPID has recorded five cases of employees who tested positive for COVID-19.

During the first quarter of the 2020/21 financial year, IPID prioritised the improvement of its ICT operational environment to enable remote operations and virtual meetings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1:  IPID Vote Adjustments: Revised programme allocations

 

2020/21

Downward revisions

Reallocations

 

 

R thousand

Main budget

Suspension of funds

(COVID-19

purposes)

Virements from

(COVID-19

purposes)

Allocated to

(COVID-19

purposes)

Virements to

(COVID-19

purposes)

2020/21 Total net

change

proposed

2020/21 Total

allocation proposed

Increase/ Decrease

Programmes

Administration

104,993

-4,078

-4,078

100,915

-3.8%

Investigation and Information Management

231,005

4,820

4,820

235,825

+2.06%

Legal and Investigation Advisory Services

6,932

-182

-182

6,750

-2.6%

Compliance Monitoring and Stakeholder Management

12,737

-560

-560

12,177

-4.3%

Total

355,667

-4,820

4,820

355,667

 

-

 

Economic classification

Current payments

349,353

-4,820

4,820

349,353

-

Compensation of employees

242,827

242,827

-

Goods and services

106,526

-4,820

4,820

106,526

-

Transfers and subsidies

820

820

-

Departmental agencies and accounts

820

820

-

Payments for capital assets

5,494

5,494

-

Machinery and equipment

5,494

5,494

-

Payments for financial assets

-

Total

355,667

-4,820

4,820

355,667

-

                   

Source: National Treasury: Adjustment Budget 2020

 

 

 

 

3.1        Revised programme allocations:

Revised programme allocations:

  • The Main Budget of the Administration Programme decreased from R104.9 million to a Revised Allocation of R100.9 million, which is a decrease of R4.078 million, or -3.8%.
  • The Main Budget of the Investigation and Information Management Programme increased from R231.005 million to a Revised Allocation of R235.825 million, which is an increase of R4.820 million, or +2.06%.
  • The Main Budget of the Legal and Investigation Advisory Services Programme decreased from R6.932 million to a Revised Allocation of R6.750 million, which is a decrease of R182 thousand, or -2,6%.
  • The Main Budget of the Compliance Monitoring and Stakeholder Management Programme decreased from R12.737 million to a Revised Allocation of R12.177 million, which is a decrease of R560 thousand, or -4.3%.

Explanations of budget adjustments to the Goods and services budget:

  • Suspension of activities due to restrictions on economic activity, including
  • Planned internal audits,
  • Risk assessments,
  • Training and workshops.

Performance indicators

The only impact of the COVID-19 response is on targets in the Compliance Monitoring and Stakeholder Management Programme. The IPID made significant changes to the performance targets in the Programme. The reductions on targets are due to lockdown restriction on public gatherings.

 

 

 

 

Table 2: Changed targets: Programme 4: Compliance Monitoring and Stakeholder Management

OUTPUT INDICATORS

TABLED TARGETS

PROPOSED TARGETS

REASON

WAY FORWARD

Number of community outreach events conducted per year

40

30

Due to restricted travelling and physical engagements

Communication Strategy will be implemented, by focusing on Community Radio Stations

Number of formal engagements held with key stakeholders per year

136

107

Meetings will be conducted by means of virtual application and in person where possible

Number of station lecture awareness trainings per year

56

42

Larger Police Stations will be identified and lectures will be conducted by means of virtual applications

Source: IPID (2020)

 

Intake of cases, COVID-19 cases and Covid-19 related challenges

During the lockdown period (26 March to 30 June 2020), the IPID had a case intake of 1 647 cases, of which the majority are for assault (1 180 cases), discharge of official firearm(s) (242 cases), death as a result of police action (76 cases), and death in police custody (44 cases).

Of the total 1 647 cases, 645 cases related to COVID-19. This represents 40% of the total intake. Most of the COVID-19 cases were assault (499 cases), discharge of official firearm(s) (116 cases), corruption (13 cases) and death as a result of police action (11 cases). Of the 645 cases, 47 cases have been finalised.

The IPID identified five challenges experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic on the investigation of cases. The table below shows these challenges.

 

Table 3: COVID-19 related challenges on investigation of cases

Challenges

Mitigating Strategies

Temporarily Closure of IPID offices in

GP, KZN,EC & WC

 

IPID Management responds to disinfect the affected offices;

Affected employees are screened and tested;

Encourage remote work.

 

Closure of other Stakeholders offices

Communicate with the affected Offices` Management for update.

Delays in receiving Technical reports

Continue to work on other cases whilst waiting for technical reports.

Natural anxiety among employees

Management support through COVID-19 Steering Committee and Wellness Unit.

Witnesses or Suspects under quarantine

Appointments are rescheduled.

Source: IPID (2020)

 

5.         Observations and Findings

Personal Protection Equipment

The Committee questioned the IPID about its spending on PPE, especially hand sanitizer and wanted a complete breakdown of the spending on PPE.

 

 

Remote Investigations

The Committee wanted to know how the IPID was conducting remote working with respect to investigations and wanted to know how the investigators were processing investigations.

COVID-Related Cases

Members questioned the statistics provided by IPID whether they included all the COVID-19 cases in the information made available to the Committee. Members also asked for details on the numbers of cases of affected staff, administration officers and investigators. The Department was asked how many staff were working at offices.

Skilled staff and ICT contracts

The Department was asked whether they had enough skilled and trained staff with respect to the management of ICT contracts. The Committee questioned the allocation of R9.2 million for ICT contracts and Members wanted to know if it was enough.

Discharge of official firearms

The Committee noticed that there was an increase in official firearms in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces and wanted the IPID to explain the reasons for such increases.

 

6.         IPID Responses

The IPID reported that they will provide a full breakdown of the procurement of PPE’s and make available such report to the Committee.

Investigators were placed on stand-by while working remotely. They are able to work independently and the bulk of the work is done outside of the offices. The IPID has received 645 COVID-19 cases during the lockdown.

The IPID reported that the Collins Khosa investigation has been completed and recommendations has been made to the National Prosecutions Authority and to the SAPS.

The ICT funding is insufficient and the IPID has reported that they were always trying to balance our budget. Modernising the ICT infrastructure is still a challenge in trying to put all systems in place.

As far as the increase in discharge of official firearms were concerned in three provinces, the IPID reported that it had some challenges during the first lockdown and they had to give priority to such cases. Since the lockdown was reduced to level three, the IPID has seen investigations into discharge of firearms, which is increasing. The IPID has picked up that there are those incidents where police disperse people when crowds have gathered, after they used rubber bullets. The police usually report such incidents and this has led to the increase in the number of discharge of firearms. This was more prevalent in the Western Cape province.

The IPID administrators are affected and the steering committees on COVID-19 have made available enhanced PPE. The IPID also reported that they are engaged in contact tracing after investigators went to crime scenes, courts and police stations.

 

7.         Recommendations

  1. The Committee recommends that the IPID provide a report with a fullbreakdown of procurement of PPEs equipment and present such report to the Committee

 

  1. The Committee recommends that the IPID should take effective steps to protect all staff from contracting the COVID-19 virus.

 

  1. The Committee recommends that the IPID should explore other funding sources for its ICT budget.

 

8.         Conclusion

The Portfolio Committee on Police, having considered the Adjustment Budget for Vote 24, Independent Police Investigative Directorate, supports the 2020 Adjustment Budget. The Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters reserved its rights with respect to the adoption of the report.

 

Report to be considered

 

 

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