ATC200717: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on the Revised Adjustment Strategic Plan 2019/20—2023/24, Annual Performance Plan (App) 2020/21 and the Budget Vote 9 of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation: Date 16 July 2020

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION ON THE REVISED ADJUSTMENT STRATEGIC PLAN 2019/20—2023/24, ANNUAL PERFORMANCE PLAN (APP) 2020/21 AND THE BUDGET VOTE 9 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING, MONITORING AND EVALUATION: DATE 16 JULY 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 reconsider and report on the revised adjustments of the Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan and Budget allocations of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation tabled by the Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (Act No 1 of 1999), reports as follows:

 

  1. INTRODUCTION

South Africa is among countries worldwide seized with managing the outbreak of the Coronavirus 2019 (hereafter referred to as COVID-19) which has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the health, economic and social systems of most countries around the globe. In South Africa contexts, its impact is already observable in the resources of government and has put a strain in its delivery capacity and the country’s ability to meet its NDP priorities. In April 2020, the President announced a R500 billion fiscal support in response to COVID-19 and revised priorities.

 

Based on the above, the Public Finance Management Act of 1999 and the Money Bills Act Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act of 2009 empowers the Minister of Finance to table an adjusted budget whenever necessary to Parliament. On 24th June 2020, the Minister of Finance tabled special adjustments budget from the initial budget tabled in February 2020 to Parliament to fund government activities relating to COVID-19 pandemic. According to Section 5 of the Money Bills Act, Committees are therefore required to review strategic plans, annual performance plans and budgets of government departments to be in line with supplementary/or adjustments budget as tabled by the Minister of Finance in Parliament.

 

In considering adjusted strategic, annual performance plan and special budget, the Committee ensured that the Department and Brand South Africa plans and budget allocations are in line with Medium Term Strategic Plan 2019/24. On 10th July 2020, the Portfolio Committee considered presentations on the adjusted Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans and budget allocation of the Department and Brand South Africa. This report summarises presentations received from the Department and Brand South Africa, focusing on the 2019/24 adjusted Strategic Plans and 2020/21 Annual Performance Plans and special adjustment Budget.

 

  1. THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON THE MANDATE OF THE DEPARTMENT

In the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, the overall mandate of the Department remains that of undertaking national planning, monitoring and evaluation of government programmes and projects in support of the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP). The Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) remains a five-year vehicle through which the NDP is implemented. The MTSF will however be reviewed to reflect to the impact of COVID-19 and other factors such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution report. The COVID-19 outbreak has however impacted on the focus of the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation functions.

The Department has therefore as part of its alignment facilitation role, issued CircularNo.2 of 2020 to provide guidance on the revision and/or re-tabling of the 2020/25 Strategic Plans and 2020/21 Annual Performance Plans to incorporate COVID-19 interventions and align them to the Special Adjustment budget. 

Based on the above, the Department’s mandate is as follows:

  • Supporting the National Planning Commission.
  • Facilitating the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) through the development of sector specific and outcome‐specific medium-term plans and delivery agreements, and monitoring and evaluating the implementation of these plans.
  • Ensuring the alignment of departmental strategic and annual plans and budget allocations with government’s Medium-Term Strategic Framework.
  • Monitoring the performance of individual national and provincial government departments and municipalities, and facilitating targeted intervention programmes.
  • Monitoring frontline service delivery and managing the Presidential Hotline.
  • Developing and implementing the annual national evaluation plans and supporting the national evaluations system; and
  • Promoting good planning, monitoring and evaluation practices in government.

 

  1. ANALYSIS OF THE REVISED BUDGET ON EACH PROGRAMME
    1.  ADJUSTED BUDGET

The Department was originally allocated R499.97 million in the 2020 Appropriation Bill. The Department’s adjusted budget is R399.9 million in 2020/21 financial year. The Department’s 2020/21 baseline was reduced by R100 million (20%) in the June 2020 Special Adjustment Budget. Of the R100 million, the Department has experienced 12.9% baseline reduction for Compensation of Employees.  The Department deferred the filling of 30 vacant posts to 1 April 2021 and adjusting the timing of filling of some posts to realise additional savings. The Compensation budget was based on the assumption that there will be no cost of living adjustments for public servants in 2020/21.

The bulk of the budget cuts derived from monies of Compensation of Employees (R42.5 million), Goods and Services (R51.9 million) and a total of R6.0 million from other activities across all five programmes.  A 35.9% baseline reduction was from goods and services and expenditure on capital assetsby deferring the lease of new office accommodation, a significant reduction in budget allocated for travel, catering, events, postponing research and evaluation projects and funding for training and bursaries to the 2021/22 financial year. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1: Revised adjusted budget

Source: National Treasury (2020)

  1. PERFORMANCE PROGRAMMES

The Department has five programmes, which are as follows:

  1. Programme 1: Administration

The main objective of the programme is to provide strategic leadership, management, administrative, financial and human resource services to enable the Department to achieve its strategic and operational goals. The Programme’s key focus is to implement revised organisational structure and recruitment of key personnel, improve the quality of performance information, maintain good financial management practices to sustain clean audit outcomes and strengthen communication around the National Development Plan.

The budget allocated for Programme was R194.3 million in February 2020/21 Appropriation Bill. Due adjusted budget, Programme 1 has been allocated a budget of R158.2 million in June 2020.  Budget cut under this programme is derived mainly from saving realised on compensation of employees and goods and services.

 

 

  1. Programme 2: National Planning Coordination

The purpose of the Programme is to develop, implement planning frameworks, and facilitate the alignment of the planning and budgeting functions across government and in the Department. The key objective of this Programme is to ensure the achievement of the NDP’s objectives by 2030, through developing an annual budget prioritisation framework, embedding the national spatial development framework in the strategic and annual performance plans of national and provincial departments over the medium term.

The Programme further intends to coordinate planning functions across government by assessing the alignment of the strategic and annual performance plans of national and provincial departments and public entities with Government’s 2019-2024 Medium-Term Strategic Framework annually. In addition, the Programme has to assess alignment of provincial growth and development plans with local government’s Integrated Development Plans and, in turn, with Government’s 2019-2024 Medium-Term Strategic Framework annually.

The budget allocated for the Programme was R81.7 million in February 2020. The Department’s budget cut was R16.6 million from the initial budget. This has seen the Department with revised adjusted budget of R65.1 million for the 2020/21 financial year. Most of the activities under this programme will be achieved despite budget cuts experienced. The programme will provide guidance on the MTSF 2019-2024 and National Spatial Development Framework (NSDF) to coordinate the mapping of projects and programmes to support the localisation of the MTSF 2019-2024 in the District Development Model. The programme will coordinate the process towards the drafting of the updated Integrated Planning Framework Bill.

 

  1. Programme 3:Sector Monitoring Services

The purpose of the Programme is to ensure government policy coherence. The Programme develops, facilitates, supports and monitors the implementation of sector plans and intervention strategies. The main objectives of the programme are to ensure the effective implementation of government’s 2019-2024 Medium-Term Strategic Framework by monitoring the achievement of targets in priorities 1 to 5 and priority 7 and reporting on progress to Cabinet twice in a year. Furthermore, it monitors and reports on the achievement of targets in the performance agreements between the President and Ministers annually, and support, where and when required for the development and implementation of special intervention programmes.

The budget allocated for the Programme was R81.6 million in February 2020. The Programme budget was severely cut by R22.1 million from the initial budget. The budget under this programme is R59.4 million for the 2020/21 financial year. With these severe budget cuts under this programme, the Department will minimise monitoring visits to the public facilities across the public service.

 

  1. Programme 4: Public Sector Monitoring and Capacity Development

The purpose of the Programme is to support the implementation of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework by monitoring and improving the capacity of state institutions to develop and implement plans, and provide services. The main objective of the Programme is to strengthen state governance, efficiency, effectiveness and equity through: monitoring the achievement of targets related to Priority 6 of Government’s 2019-2024 Medium-Term Strategic Framework, and reporting on progress to Cabinet twice in a year. Furthermore, it will develop and implement the new performance and capabilities analytical framework by March 2021, ensuring the alignment of the performance agreements of Heads of Department with Government’s 2019-2024 Medium-Term Strategic Framework and supporting assessments conducted on Heads of Department annually. Additionally, the Programme monitors service delivery through regular frontline monitoring visits, citizen-based monitoring and the Presidential Hotline, and reporting thereon.

The budget allocated for the Programme was R90.3 million in February 2020 for the 2020/21 financial year. Due to the impact of Coronavirus, the budget cut experienced under this programme was R8.8 million from the initial budget. The revised budget for the programme is R81.5 million for the 2020/21 financial year. Some of the targets to be impacted include monitoring reports of the District Development Model in three district municipalities in Limpopo, KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape provinces. The Department has removed Imbizo and citizen based monitoring as targets for this year. Targets such as a number of high risk State-Owned Entities (SOEs) supported and Ministerial Performance Development System Toolkit (framework, guidelines and template) were also affected. 

 

  1. Programme 5: Evaluation, Evidence and Knowledge Systems

The purpose of the Programme is to coordinate and support the generation, collation, accessibility and timely use of quality evidence to support performance monitoring and evaluation across government. The main objective of the programme is to support the planning and monitoring roles of the Department by developing and implementing the national evaluation plan annually, conducting research and evaluations in key policy areas as identified annually, and producing relevant evidence reports. It also improves knowledge management in the Department through the development and implementation of a departmental knowledge and evidence hub.

The budget allocation for the Programme was R52.1 million in February 2020 for the 2020/21 financial year. The Department has experienced budget cuts of R16.4 million from the actual budget. The Programme special adjusted budget is R35.7 million for the 2020/21 financial year. Severe budget cuts in this programme will negatively impact on various evaluation studies planned for the financial year as the spending focus was mainly for generating and collating evaluations, research and data from across government. The implementation of the National Evaluation Plan 2020/21 has been suspended due to budget cuts.

 

  1. BRAND SOUTH AFRICA
    1. Legislative Mandate and Policy

Brand South Africa (BSA) derives its mandate from the organisation’s Trust Property Control Act No. 57 of 1988.  BSA was established as a trust in 2002 and gazetted as a schedule 3A public entity in accordance with the PFMA No.1 of 1999.  Brand South Africa is an entity tasked with delivering integrated Marketing, Communication, Reputation Management solutions and interventions as it markets the South African Brand locally and abroad. Brand SA mandate has negatively impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.

Brand South Africa’s purpose is to develop and implement a proactive and coordinated international marketing and communications strategy for South Africa; to contribute to job creation and poverty reduction; and to attract inward investment, trade and tourism. In the next five years, BSA will continue to be the authority on the Nation Brand through development and implementation of proactive and coordinated marketing, communications and reputation management strategies. The entity will achieve this by developing and articulating a South Africa Nation Brand identity that will advance South Africa’s long-term positive reputation and global competitiveness. Brand SA Strategic Plan responds to changing domestic and international realities.

  1. Budget and Performance Programmes
    1. Adjusted budget

Brand South Africa’s main source of revenue is the Government Grant.  Brand SA revised budget allocation is R186.1 million in the 2020/21 financial year. Of R186.064 million, Brand SA experienced budget cuts of R30 million from theinitial budget. In stabilising the organisation, Brand SA has commenced with filling of critical funded positions.

 

Table 2: Revised budget

Programmes

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

2024/25

2024/25

Administration

99.732

110.632

114.776

121.089

127.749

Brand Marketing and Reputation Management

68.469

97.641

101.299

106.870

112.748

Stakeholder relations

17.863

19.749

20.489

21.616

22.805

Total

186.064

228.021

236.564

249.575

263.302

 

  1. Performance Programme

The BSA has three main programmes, namely:

  1. Programme 1: Administration

The Programme seeks to provide strategic leadership, management and support services to the core business functions of Brand South Africa and is overall responsible for ensuring sound governance, high performance and optimal utilization of available capital and resources. 

Programme 1 revised budget is R99.7 million for the 2020/21 financial year as compared to R108.0 million allocated in February 2020. The budget cut was R8.3 million from the actual budget. The budget will be spent on a number of activities including implementation of organisational corporate identity; reporting to Board of Trustees on status of policy governance; policy and procedures awareness workshop; payment of valid invoices to suppliers within 30 days from date of receipt.

 

  1. Programme 2: Brand, Marketing & Reputation Management

The Programme seeks to develop and articulate a Nation Brand identity that will advance South Africa’s long-term reputation and global competitiveness. This includes a focus on research and monitoring sentiment and performance of the National Brand to analyse trends and providing insights to inform decision making and communication; and then to both proactively and reactively communicate the country’s value proposition, values and highlight progress being made.

Programme 2 has been allocated a budget of R92.6 million in the 2020/21 financial year. Due to supplementary budget, Programme 2 budget cut was R15 million. The revised budget is R685 million for the 2020/21 financial year. Programme 2 is the core function of BSA. There are a number of targets affected by budget cuts to fund government priorities on COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The budget will be spent on various activities, which include among others, marketing campaigns that reach four different geographic regions; integrated reputation and communication activities implemented at strategic platforms domestically and internationally; domestic research; developing and implementing Reputation Management strategy. Furthermore, it will develop positive communication pieces, positive thought leadership and webinars.

 

(c) Programme 3: Stakeholder relationships

TheProgramme seeks to build and leverage collaborative partnerships, integrate and coordinate efforts and approaches to market the Nation Brand identity and promote the Nation’s value proposition and to interface meaningfully with stakeholders who drive or influence the Nation Brand and its reputation.

The Programme has a budget allocation of R18.6 million for the 2020/21 financial year. Due to the budget cuts, the programme’s adjusted budget is R17.9 million. The budget cut was R6 million from the February 2020 Appropriation Bill. The budget will be spent on the following activities: to review and implement annual stakeholder relations strategy, implement collaborative activities in partnership with the public sector, civil society and business stakeholders domestically.  

  1. OBSERVATIONS AND FINDINGS

The Portfolio Committee identified the following matters in relation to the special adjustment budget for the Budget Vote 9, which are as follows:

  1. The Committee noted and welcomed presentations by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and Brand SA on the revised Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan as well as adjusted budget for the 2020/21 financial year. The Committee took note of some of the specified targets, which will be impacted by the budget cuts.

 

  1. The Committee notedthe suspension of filling vacancies due to the budget cuts realised on compensation of employees. The Department will fill all funded vacancies in 2021/22 financial year.

 

  1. The Committee urged the Department to fast track the development of the Integrated Development Planning Framework Bill having incorporated best practices learned through the District Development Model.

 

  1. The Committee noted with dissatisfaction the delays in the finalisation of the Ministerial Performance Development System Toolkit (framework, guidelines and template). The Committee will escalate the matter to the Minister in the Presidency tosolicit causes of delays in signing performance agreements between the President and Members of the Executive.

 

  1. The Department was requested to share monitoring reports that have been produced for Phase1 and Phase 2 of COVID-19 with the Committee in September 2020. The Department has to briefthe Committee on the survey on the impact of COVID-19 on the South African Municipalities. 

 

  1. The Committee noted that the Department was in the process of developing monitoring framework to monitor all government activities on COVID-19 pandemic, including financial management.   

 

  1. The Committee notedthe suspension of 12 evaluations approved by Cabinet on the National Evaluation Plan for the 2020/21 due to the budget cuts.

 

  1. The Committee notedthe removal of target on the function of the National Development Spatial Framework on the Annual Performance Plan for the 2020/21 financial year. The Committee was of the view that in order to ensure integration in planning and implementation, the Department has to drive planning at the national level, which includes the National Development Spatial Framework.   

 

The Committee was pleased with the recruitment process progress at the Brand SA with efforts to stabilise the institution in senior management positions. However, the Committee urged the Minister and the Board to speedily act on the findings of the investigation report.

 

 

  1. RECOMMENDATIONS

The Portfolio Committee recommended the following to the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and Brand South Africa for actioning:

  1. The Department together with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs should brief the Committee on the piloted District Development Model with the aim to incorporate lessons learned already and to develop Integrated Development Planning Framework Bill intended to ensure integration, coordination and coherence of government planning and alignment of resources. Both departments should account to the Committee by November 2020.

 

  1. The Department should account to the Committee on the suspension of the targets on signing of the Ministerial Performance Agreements and Performance Management Development System (PMDS) toolkit since it was expected to assist Office of the President with the agreements. The Department should explain reasons why a crucial target like Ministerial Performance Agreements was suspended/or deleted from the Annual Performance Plan, since the agreements can be discussed through virtual platform and signed electronically in the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

  1. The Department should account to the Committee on the monitoring reports that have been produced for Phase1 and Phase 2 of COVID-19 by September 2020. In addition, the Department should brief the Committee on the survey on the impact of COVID-19 on the South African Municipalities.

 

  1. The Department should continue with engagements with the Department of Rural Development and Agriculture on the centralisation of the national planning located in the Presidential Office in order to drive coherent planning for the country. Both Departments should finalise migration of the unit from the Department of Rural Development and Agriculture responsible for the development and management of the function of the National Development Spatial Framework to ensure integration and better coordination at a national planning space.

 

  1. The Department was asked to conduct an evaluation on Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) to determine the extent to which it brought relief to people who could not get paid due to the lockdown of business activities.

 

  1. The Department and Brand SA were requested to be diligent in observing compliance issues raised by the Auditor-General.

 

  1. The Ministry together with Board of Trustees was requested to finalise the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer in Brand South Africa.

 

 

  1. CONCLUSION

In the midst of the COVID-19, the Department’s mandate remains the same,to undertake national planning, monitoring and evaluation of government programmes and projects in support of the implementation of the National Development Plan. The Committee has noted that most of the critical monitoring tools such as Local Government Management Improvement Model and Mandate Paper have been suspended due to budget cuts. The Committee remains resolute that such activities should not be suspended for over the years they remain critical to the planning and improving service delivery in the public service.

The Committee would also like to bring this to the attention of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and Brand South Africa that special adjustments report does not stop the Department and Brand SA to implement recommendations of the May 2020 budget report. 

The Portfolio Committee recommends as follows:

That the House adopts and approve the special adjustment budget of Budget Vote 09 of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. 

 

Report to be considered.

 

 

 

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