ATC201125: Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR) of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on the Department of Public Service And Administration (Dpsa), Public Service Commission (Psc), National School of Government (Nsg) and Thecentre for Public Service Innovation (Cpsi): Dated 25 November 2020

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATIONS REPORT (BRRR) OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION ON THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION (DPSA), PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (PSC), NATIONAL SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT (NSG) AND THECENTRE FOR PUBLIC SERVICE INNOVATION (CPSI):  DATED 25NOVEMBER 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, which is in line with Section 5 of theMoney Bills Amendment Procedures and Related Matters Act, No. 9 of 2009 to consider and report on the Annual Reports of the Department of Public Service and Administration, and entities as well as Public Service Commission (Independent body), reports as follows:

 

  1. INTRODUCTION

Parliament derives its mandate from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. The strategic objectives of the Portfolio Committee are informed by five strategic goals of Parliament. The functions of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration as well as Monitoring and Evaluation are 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 the Parliament towards achieving an effective, efficient, developmental and professional public service;
  • Conducting public participation and engaging citizens regularly, with the aim to strengthen service delivery; oversee and review 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, within the scope of accountability and transparency;
  • Supporting and ensuring implementation of the Public Service Commission (PSC) recommendations in the entire public service
  • Participating in international treaties which impact on the work of the Committee.

 

  1. PURPOSEOF THE BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATIONS REPORT

In terms of Section 5 of theMoney Bills Amendment Procedures and Related Matters Act, No. 9 of 2009 the National Assembly, through its Committees, must annually compile Budgetary Review and Recommendations reports (BRRR) that assesses service delivery and financial performance of departments and may make recommendations on forward use of resources. The BRRR is also a source document for the Committees on Appropriations when considering and making recommendations on the Medium Term.

The Money Bills Amendment Procedures and Related Matters Act, section 5 (3) highlights focus areas on the budgetary review and recommendation report as:

  • Providing an assessment of the department’s service delivery performance given available resources;
  • Providing an assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of the departments use and forward allocation of available resources; and
  • Including recommendations on the forward use of resources.

 

3.1Method

The Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration compiled the 2019/20BRRR using the following documents:

  • The National Development Plan: Vision for 2030.
  • Medium Term Strategic Framework 2019 - 2024.
  • State of the Nation Address 2020.
  • Strategic Plans of the PSC, the Department and entities.
  • National Treasury (2020) 4th Quarter Expenditure 2019/20 Financial Year.
  • Annual Performance Plans of the PSC, the Department and entities.
  • Annual Reports 2019/20of the PSC, the Department and entities.
  • Auditor-General South Africa’s outcomes of audit findings 2019/20.
  • The Portfolio Committee also met with the leadership of the PSC, the Department and entities.

 

  1. NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN VISION 2030

The Department of Public Service and Administration is required 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. In relation to the National Development Plan 2030, the Department has the following strategic priorities:

  • Measures to advance women’s equality.
  • Graduate recruitment scheme for the public service to attract highly skilled people.
  • Realising a developmental, capable and ethical state to ensure a dignified treatment of citizens.
  • Addressing unevenness in state capacity to deal with uneven performance in local, provincial and national government.
  • Professionalisation of the public service in order to:

 

  • Put in place the Administrative Head of the Public Service.
  • Introduce a hybrid system for the appointment of Heads of Department (HoDs).
  • Establish delegations of authority and principles on human resource matters.
  • Address the shortage of scarce skills.
  • Solve skills shortage at technical and managerial levels.
  • Improve intergovernmental relations.
  • Fight and eliminate corruption in the public service.
  • Foster leadership and inculcate responsibility throughout society.
  • Put responsibility for human resource matters on the shoulders of the HoDs.

 

  1. MANDATE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION

The mandate of the Department of Public Service and Administration is derived from Section 195(1) of the Constitution to implement 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:

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

 

5.1 Strategic Goals

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:

 

  1. A stable political-administrative interface

Promoting stability of leadership in the top levels of bureaucracy which is central to building a capable and developmental state by introducing clear delegations, effectively managing the political-administrative interface, improving public confidence in the process and quality of appointments.

 

 

  1. A public service that is a career of choice

Promoting the public service as a career of choice by adopting a more long term approach to developing the skills and professional ethos that underpin a development oriented public service, recruiting young professional into the public service, ensuring that the work environment is conducive for learning to take place on the job and by adhering to the Constitutional principles that guide personnel practices.

 

  1. Efficient and effective management and operations systems

Improving management and operations systems to challenges frontline staff face in delivering quality services to citizens by clarifying responsibilities, introducing efficient and effective work processes, including IT systems that are tailored to specific areas of service delivery and by delegating greater authority to resolve day-to-day problems.

 

  1. Increased responsiveness of public servants and accountability to citizens

Improving accountability as set out in the Batho Pele Principles and the Public Service Charter by strengthening accountability to citizens, particularly at the point of delivery, increasing the responsiveness of public servants to the views and concern raised by citizens and other service user and by developing the capacity to monitor the quality of service provision and effecting the required improvements.

 

  1. Improved mechanisms to promote ethical behaviour in the public

Improving confidence in the integrity of the public service through strengthening the fight against corruption by effecting amendments to the relevant codes of legislation in order to limit the scope for conflicts of interest, preventing public servants from doing business with the state and by building the capacity of departments to investigate issues relating to ethics, integrity and implement disciplinary actions on cases where there is a possible or actual conflict of interest.

 

 

  1. STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS (SONA) 2020

The key priorities identified in the SONA 2020 for the sector were:

 

The following are the on-going issues in the SONA 2020:

6.1. State Capture and corruption

In case of State Capture, Government has to wait on the Commission of Inquiry to finalise its work to propose recommendations concerning the information and evidence presented to it by witnesses. It would not be prudent to act on information and evidence now until the Commission makes a determination on the matter because it would be sub judice and therefore litigious against the State and prosecuting authorities to act on it, where all witnesses have not given their side to the allegations against them. However, regarding corruption in the public service, the Public Administration Management Act 11 of 2014, with subsequent Public Service Regulations of 2016 must be fully implemented because these are the safeguarding measures already in place to prevent officials from doing business with the State.

 

6.2Building a capable State

The National School of Government is there to fulfil this need. Departments must just identify training needs in their respective sectors so that the School can design curricula, and where the School cannot, solicit collaborative assistance from tertiary institutions and the sector education and training authorities (SETAs). Each department pays one per cent of its budget towards training to relevant SETAs.

 

6.3 Containing the wage bill

Regarding this issue, yes, future containment of the public service wage bill is necessary given the economic climate. However, this can only affect the next cycle of wage negotiations as Government is tied up to a three-year wage agreement with organised labour until March 2021.

 

  1. DEPARTMENT AND ENTITIES’ PROGRAMME PERFORMANCE
    1. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION

7.1.1     Budget Allocated and Expenditure 2018/19

The Department of Public Service and Administration spent R954.9 million or 96.1 per cent of its 2019/20 budget allocation of R993.3 million as at the end of March 2020, compared to the R926 million in 2018/19 actual spending. The main cost drivers of the total Vote budget were: Public Service Commission (R278.2 million), Administration (R244.3 million); National School of Government (R187.9 million). The lower than anticipated spending was mostly reported under the compensation of employees’ budget due to vacant positions. The variances under compensation of employees are due to posts that become vacant due to staff turnover and other vacant posts that were not filled during the 2019/20 financial year.

 

The underspending under goods and services’ budget was due to delays in establishing the Government Employees Housing Scheme. The other reasons for underspending was due outstanding invoices in respect of SITA and Office Accommodation.    The main cost drivers of the total Vote budget are: Administration (R244.3 million); Service Delivery Support (R292.3 million) and Governance of Public Administration (R326.7 million).The Department did not incur any unauthorised or fruitless and wasteful expenditure during the year under review.

 

The number of posts on the establishment of the Department increased in the 2019/2020 reporting year from 423in 2018/2019 to 425 in 2019/2020 (excluding the Minister and Deputy Minister), 368 of these were filled posts. The Department spent 30.44% of the total voted expenditure for compensation, with more spending realised in salary levels 13-14. 

 

As of 31 March 2019, the DPSA had a total of 67 persons employed additional to the fixed establishment (which includes 20 persons in the Internship Programme), compared to the 59 persons employed additional to the establishment in the 2018/2019 financial year (which included only 1 person in the Internship Programme). The vacancy rate increased from 12.90% (2018/19) to 13.40 in the reporting year. However, the vacancy rate on SMS level remained the highest on all levels with a 24.8% reported in the 2018/2019 reporting period, it is now reported to be 26.4%. it should be noted that the department prepared for a restructuring of the orginasational structure to be effected from 1 April 2020 and therefore vacant SMS level posts filling was delayed, to ensure that posts that will be redefined in the new structure are not filled in the reporting year. There were 16 posts out of a total 418 posts subjected to job evaluation during the period under review, the majority of these jobs (50%) were on salary levels 9-12.

 

Appropriation per programme (R’000)

Programme R’000

Final appropriation

Expenditure

Variance

Virement

Percentage

  1. Administration

244349

232 381

11 968

2 752

95.1%

  1. Policy Development, Research and Analysis

34 410

32083

2 327

(1 871)

93.2%

  1. Labour Relations  and Human Resource Management

73675

59 120

14555

(1 900)

80.2%

  1. Government Chief Information Officer

22435

21277

1 158

(900)

94.8%

  1. Service Delivery Support

292 298

287228

5 070

5 155

98.3%

  1. Governance of Public Administration

326176

322876

3300

(3 236)

99.0%

Total (DPSA)

993 343

954 965

38378

-

96.1%

DPSA: Annual Report 2019/20

 

  1. Programme Performance

The Department has six programmes which are as follows:

 

(a) Programme 1: Administration

The purpose of the programme is tomanage overall strategic and operational functions of the Department which include policy direction; strategic leadership; coordination and facilitation of multilateral and bilateral programmes; integrated planning and programme support; provisioning of financial and human resource management services; security and facilities management; communication and ICT management; coordination of the provisioning of internal legal advice services, as well as , and audit and risk management oversight.

 

The programme had six predetermined targets in 2019/20 financial year. The Department achieved alltargets. The programme reported an expenditure of R 232.4 million or 95.1per cent of the programme’s 2019/20 available budget of R244.3 million as at the end of the fourth quarter of 2019/20.The reported expenditure was R12.0 million or 1.0 per cent lesser than the projected expenditure of R244.3 million for the period under review. The majority of the underspending was on goods and services with R10.2 million. The majority of this amount was due to outstanding invoices in respect of SITA and savings on Office Accommodation due to outstanding the lease agreement finalisation between DPSA and Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, which affects accurate projected expenditure of Office Accommodation.

 

(b) Programme 2: Policy, Research and Analysis

 

The purpose of this programme is to research, analyse, monitor and evaluate the formulation, development and review of policies and policy reform through a cogent policy and research agenda and strategy for public administration discourse and reforms, based on both national and international trends, using capacity and functionality assessments; providing Public Service productivity measurement instruments; investigating appropriate and alternative pubic administration delivery models through knowledge management and best practices; managing and evaluating transformation programmes; in order to enhance access to public services through feasibility and continuity studies.

 

The programme had achievedseven (7) planned targets and only one (1) target was not achieved. The programme reported an actual expenditure of R32.1 million or 93.2 per cent of its 2019/20 budget allocation of R34.4 million as at the end of March 2020. The expenditure was R2.4 million or 1.1 per cent lower than the programme’s projected expenditure of R34.4 million for the period under review. The Department variance under programme 2 was R2.3 million. This amount consists mainly of R1.3 million on Compensation of Employees due to vacant posts and R970 000 underspending under goods and services was related to the cancellation of planned workshops on OFA, which were scheduled to take place during March 2020. The main cost driver of the Programme is: Public Service Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation (R14.3 million).

 

The Public Administration Management Act (PAMA) was signed into law by the President in 2014. The Act seeks to provide a legal framework across the three spheres of government for bringing some degrees of uniformity in the public administration pillars, transversal institutions, Human Resource, Information Communication Technology and systems. Regulationsare drafted which will bring into effect the Act. To give effect to PAM Act, the Department has instutionalised selected aspects towards the draft regulations for the Office of Standards and Compliance (OSC) was conducted through consultations held with national departments. The Department had further compiled business case on the structure and governance of the Office of Standard and Compliance. 

 

Under this programme, the Department submitted report on the implementation of recommendations made towards the establishment of a national administration to support the Public Administration Management Act.  The recommendation arises from the research that there should be legislative amendments effected to existing Acts to give meaning and effect to the NDP recommendations such as clearly defining what the definition of the National Administration, Provincial Administration and Local Administration.

 

The Department was unable to conduct further consultations on the draft White Paper for the Transformation and Modernisation of public administration linked to the social vision of the NDP and provisions of PAMA of 2014. Productivity is key in delivery of quality services. The Productivity Measurement Tool was approved by the Minister of the Department. The Department has compiled report linking organisational productivity assessment with the Performance Management and Development System (PMDS). The purpose of linking of organisational productivity assessment with the PMDS is a key process towards the mainstreaming and entrenchment of productivity assessment in the public service. The Department compiled report on the state of readiness of departments to Public Administration Organisational Functionality Assessments (OFA) tool. The report provides an assessed of the extent to which departments are ready to deploy Organisational Functionality Assessment Tool.

 

(c) Programme 3: Labour Relations and Human Resource Management

The purpose of the programme is to develop, implement and monitor human resources policies and functions, by managing labour relations negotiations, employee relations, discipline and work environment management, designing remuneration and job grading policy frameworks; as well as, support the implementation of human resource development and planning strategies, systems and practices.

 

The programme had seven predetermined targets in 2019/20 financial year. All targets were achieved. The programme spent R59.1 million or 80.2 per cent of its 2019/20 budget allocation of R73.6 million as at the end of March 2020. The expenditure of R59.1 million was R14.5 million or 1.2 per cent lower than the projected expenditure of R73.6 million over the period under review.The under spending of R8.7 million was mainly under compensation of employees due to the vacant funded posts in this programme.  The major underspending in this programme on goods and services relates to the Government Employees Housing Scheme with n underspending of R4.9 million.  The funding was ring-fenced by the National Treasury and could therefore not be utilised for any purpose.

 

A public service that is career of choice is among the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP). The NDP proposes a number of interventions aimed at ensuring public service becomes a career of choice, that attracts and retains appropriate skills and expertise necessary to deliver on the goals and mandate of government. In this regard, the Department is responsible to monitor and report on the average percentage of funded vacant posts on PERSAL against 10% or less. The Department submitted report to the Minister on the average percentage of funded vacant posts on Personnel and Salary Administration System(PERSAL).

 

The Department provided policy support through engagements with selected national and provincial departments on the revised Performance Management Development System for Heads of Departments (HODs). Among targets not achieved was the drafting of the annual report on support provided to departments to implement the Graduate Recruitment Scheme Framework. In addition,

 

The Departmentcompiled report on the Graduate Recruitment Scheme Framework. Some of the recommendations indicate that the state should have a common approach based on a strategy for recruiting dedicated young people, developing their skills and linking their career progression to performance. Therefore, in line with the decentralised human resource management approach of the Public Service, the Framework provides an approach for departments on how to establish their departmental-based graduates’ recruitment schemes in line with their skills needs. During the reporting period, the Framework was being piloted with 12 departments. The Department issued circular to all national and provincial departments requesting them to fully implement the Framework.  

 

The annual report on the appointment of persons into developmental programmes within the public service indicates that; the total number of youth appointed in the developmental programmes from 2014 to 2019 was 178 438 and out of this number, 39 767 secured employments, either contract or permanent. The Department is also responsible to monitor the average number of days taken to resolve disciplinary cases by all national and provincial departments. The Department did not achieve this critical target over the consecutive years due to late submission of reports by the departments for 2017/18 on the average number of days taken to resolve disciplinary cases. In 2018/19, the Department submitted first and second quarterly reports on the average number of days taken to resolve disciplinary cases by national and provincial departments. In 2019/20 financial year Department compiled quarterly analysis reports on the average number of days taken to resolve disciplinary cases and precautionary suspension cases in national and provincial departments.

 

Government and Organised Labour concluded a collective agreement in 2015, signed at the PSCBC, to establish a Government Employee Housing Scheme (GEHS). According to clause 4.1.3 of the Resolutions7 of 2015 the employer is responsible to operate, administer and manage the GEHS with consideration of Labour as a key partner in the governance of the Scheme. The Department has on an interim measure, established a Project Management Office for the GEHS.  Progress on the implementation of the services of the GEHS as at March 2016 is as follows: Housing Allowance Administration

  • A housing allowance of R1200 per month to qualifying employees to assist them towards accommodation.
  • R300 of the housing allowance for Tenants saved in the GEHS Saving facility in order to assist employees accumulate a deposit required for buying houses

 

In 2019/20 financial year, the Department submitted four (4) quarterly reports on the implementation of the GEHS. As at March 2020, 651 358 employees were receiving the GEHS housing allowance for home ownership and 261 964 employees who do not own houses were also receiving GEHS for renting. A total of R8.6 billion saved in the Individual Linked Saving Facility.

 

(d) Programme 4: Government’s Chief Information Officer

The purpose of this programme is to promote and manage the use of ICT’s as a strategic tool in the design and delivery of citizen-centred services within government, by coordinating and consolidating public service ICT policies, strategies, costs, risk assessments, as well as ICT Governance matters.

 

The programme had achieved all four predetermined targets and all achieved. The programme spent R21.3 million or 94.8 per cent of its 2019/20 total available budget of R22. 4 million as at the end of March 2020. The spending translated into a R1.2 million or 1.1 per cent lower than anticipated expenditure for the same period in 2018/19. The main cost drivers of the Programme are: Public Service ICT E-enablement (R6.6 million) and Public Service ICT Stakeholder (R6.3 million). The majority of the under spending was attributed to goods and services due to professional services that costed less than anticipated and GITOC activities that were sponsored.

 

The programme submitted the Public Service Digitalisation Strategic Framework and the Public Service Cloud Policy to the Director-General. The aim of the Framework is to assist the Public Service in planning how to improve service delivery to the citizens through leveraging data as well as Information and Communication. In order to reduce high costs of procuring ICT products and services, the Department submitted a report on progress made by all national and provincial departments in managing the cost related to IT procurement within the public service. The report on ICT expenditure by all national and provincial departments in managing the cost related to information technology (IT) procurement within the public service indicates that above 40 billion has been spent since 2015-2018/19 financial years. ICT expenditure of 2018/19 has recorded an increase of 11% compared to the base ICT expenditure of 2017/18. 

 

(e) Programme 5: Service Delivery Support

The purpose of this programme is to manage and facilitate the improvement of service delivery in government by supporting and monitoring Operations Management and Service Delivery Planning; Frontline service delivery, including Service centre oversight; integrated citizen participation through African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the Open Government Partnership (OGP), as well as the implementation of community development programme.

 

The programme had six predetermined targets and all achieved for 2019/20 financial year. The programme reported a total expenditure of R60.8 million against an available budget of R65.9 million as at the end of March 2020. The expenditure was R5.1 million or 1.1 per cent lower than the projected expenditure of R65.9 million for the same period. This underspending was mainly on goods and services in the Chief Directorate: Public Participation and Social Dialogue and relates to a delay in training and travel activities of the National Governing Council members related to the African Peer Review Mechanism project a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The Department compiled the assessment of the implementation of the Service Delivery Improvement Plans by all national and provincial departments. From the 125 SDIPs submitted to the Department in 2018/21 SDIP cycle, only 84/125 (67.2%) annual reports for 2018/19 financial year have been submitted.  A report on the implementation of the SDIP by all national and provincial departments was produced.

 

The Department submitted 2019/20 assessment reports on the implementation of the Batho Pele standards by national and provincial departments. The Batho Pele standards were developed in 2015 as part of the MTSF and piloted in six departments.  The implementation of the Batho Pele Standards was part of the National Government of action under the current MTSF 2019-24 and is based on the quest for improvement in the provision of key services to communities.

 

The Public Service Charter is a pledge of commitment between the employer and labour representatives to work together to improve service delivery. It aims to improve service delivery by ensuring adherence to basic values and principles of service provision. The Department submitted a report on the implementation of the Public Service Charter by departments. The public service charter is not effectively implemented due to poor understanding of the charter coupled with the absence of leadership commitment.

 

(f) Programme 6: Governance for Public Administration

The Department drives this programme to manage and develop policies, strategies and programmes on Public Service ethics, integrity and leadership; intergovernmental relations; macro organization of the state, including organisational design; strategic planning frameworks; as well as, monitor government intervention programmes and Human Resource information systems.

 

The programme had four (4) predetermined targets and all achieved for 2019/20 financial year. The programme spent R44.6 million or 93.1 per cent of its available budget of R47.9 million as at the end of March 2020. The expenditure was R3.3 million or 1.1 per cent lower than the projected spending of R47.9 million. This underspending is mainly on goods and services in the Chief Directorate: Public Participation and Social Dialogue and relates to a delay in training and travel activities of the National Governing Council Members related to the African Peer Review Mechanism project as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The Department developed proposal on the establishment of the Head of the National Administration and Head of the Public Service. Among the issues raised in the proposal is the establishment of the specialised Service Delivery Unit/Project Office Bureau for the purposes of service delivery imperatives. The Department further developed the guidelines to support the implementation of the revised Determination on Other Remunerative Work.  Furthermore, the Department produced report on the adherence by Public Service employees in national and provincial departments to the Directive on conducting business with the Organ of State. The report shows, that some departments identified public officials who did not resign from the public service but are still continuing to conduct business with an organ of state.  

 

Chapter 3 of the Public Service Regulations provides for the electronic submission of disclosure of financial interests, which had been revised. A revised determination was drafted to address conflict of interest arising from public servants doing business with the State. The Public Service Regulations have been amended to prohibit public servants from doing business with the State, andhave been aligned with the Public Administration Management Act.

 

The Department submitted a report on the adherence by designated employees from national and provincial departments to the legislative framework regarding electronic disclosure of financial interests (e-Disclosure System). There have been some improvements in the adherence/compliance rate by designated employees across all categories but 100% adherence has not yet been achieved as projected. 

 

  1. THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (PSC)

The PSC derives its mandate from Sections 195 and 196 of the Constitution, 1996. Section 195 sets out the values and principles governing public administration, which should be promoted by the PSC, as well as powers and functions. The PSC is required by the Constitution to exercise its powers and to perform its functions without fear, favour or prejudice. The Constitution links the PSC’s independence firmly with its impartiality and no organ of state may interfere with the functioning of the PSC. The Public Service Commissiongets its budget through a transfer from thebudget vote of the Department of Public Service and Administration.

 

The budget allocated for 2019/20 financial year was R278.2million with anexpenditure of R274.5estimated of 98.6%. There were no fruitless and wasteful expenditure, as well as unauthorised expenditure incurred. The PSC has achieved clean audit for the year under review.

 

  1. Programme Performance
  1. Programme 1: Administration

The main aim of this sub-programme is to provide overall management of the PSC and its Office. The activities of this sub-programme are structured to meet the following objectives: assisting the Head of Department with the delivery of functions and responsibilities, assignedby legislation, providing strategic support and administrative services, providing continuous and adequate support service to the PSC and its Office towards achieving its strategic and operational objectives.

 

The programme was allocated a budget of R128.6 million and spent R125.7 million, which was an estimated97.7% expenditure. The PSC maintained a vacancy rate of 7% (19 vacancies out of 274 approved posts) and out of the 9 vacant critical posts at SMS level, six were filled, four of these posts were filled by women in an effort to attain the 50% representation of women at SMS level.  During the 2019/20 financial year, the PSC reviewed 13 Human Resource Management and Development policies.

 

The PSC has amended its organisational structure relating to the Branch: Corporate Services wherein two Chief Directorates were created and the post of Deputy Director-General was abolished. During the reporting period, the PSC’s visibility improved and this was done through various mediums of communication. The outputs such as media articles and the Pulse of the Public Service, which was released on a quarterly basis, continued to raise the profile of the PSC. Quarterly media briefings based on the PSC’s operations titled, the Pulse of the Public Service, were held, resulting in the PSC reviewing extensive media coverage.

 

  1. Programme 2: Leadership and Management Practices

The purpose of the Programme is to promote sound public service leadership, human resource management, labour relations and labour practices. The budget allocated for the programme was R49.7 million and the programme spent R48.9 million. All planned targets were achieved.

 

Labour relations management forms an integral part of management in a labour intense organisation such as the Public Service.  The PSC is mandate in terms of Section 196 (f) (ii) of the Constitution to investigate grievances of employees in the Public Service. As at March 2020, 806 grievances were registered of which 725 (90%) were for level 2-12.  Of the 725 cases, 549 (76%) were concluded of which 460 (84%) were concluded within 30 working days of receipt of all relevant information. The 806 cases mentioned above include 81 cases for members of the SMS, of which 61 (75%) were concluded and 56 (92%) within 45 days.

 

The PSC produced three research reports such as the guide for Executive Authority, Head of Departments, Senior Management and other staff on prescripts and legislative requirements for the new administration. With the guide produced, the PSC participated in the induction and orientation of the Executive Authorities (EAs) at national and provincial levels at the beginning of the 6th Administration in 2019. The EA-HOD Guide covers various topical issues that cut across the mandate of the PSC, including among others, the application of the Constitutional Values and Principles role clarification at the political-administrative interface. 

 

  1. Programme 3: Monitoring and Evaluation

The programme is responsible for establishing a high standard of service delivery, monitoring and good governance in the Public Service. There are two sub-programmes under the programme, which are Governance Monitoring and Service Delivery and Compliance Evaluations. The budget allocatedto the programme was R42.4million and the expenditure was R42.3 million. A total of 100% of the targets were achieved.

 

Section 196 (4) (e) of the Constitution requires the PSC to provide an evaluation of the extent to which the values and principles set out in Section 195 are complied with. These evaluations are meant to go beyond compliance and determining whether the intention of the public administration values and principles are achieved at outcome level. The Constitutional Values and Principles were designedas a key instrument for governing public administration.  Through, its work on the CVPs, the PSC has mainly focused on the evaluation of national and provincial departments towards an efficient and effective public service that responds to the developmental needs of the society.

 

The key outputs produced in the year under review include 58 promotion engagements on the constitutional values and principles. The PSC produced 12 evaluation reports of departments. This comprehensive set of evaluations enabled the PSC to make a clear diagnosis on the performance of the public service both at the level of each provincial government and the above-mentioned sectors at national level. The PSC produced the State of the Public Service Report, which raises critical issues. A Constitutional Values and Principles Booklet was developed which aims to develop a shared understanding of the CVPs and provide a norm of what can be expected from the public administration.

 

  1. Programme 4:Integrity and Anti-corruption 

The programme is responsible for undertaking public administration investigations, promoting a high standard of professional ethical conduct amongst public servants and contributing to the prevention and combating of corruption. There are two sub-programmes; which are Public Administration Investigations and Professional Ethics. The programme was allocated R57570 million and spent R57506 million.

 

The PSC has the mandate in terms of section 196(4) of the Constitution to investigate either of its own accord or on receipt of any complaint of personnel and public administration practices and to reports to the relevant EAs and legislatures. The demands on the PSC to conduct investigations have increased over the years. Broadly, these investigations relate to personnel practices (irregular appointments, transfer, qualifications and compensation related allegations, Supply Chain Management practices and poor service delivery.

 

In relation to complaints lodged with the PSC, as at March 2020, there were 315 complaints on the database of which 225 were finalised and 90 were in progress.  Of the 225 finalised, 216 (96%) were finalised within 3 months of receipt of all relevant documents.  There has been a slight increase in the closure rate of cases of 68% in 2018/19 to 71% in the 2019/20 financial year.

 

The National Anti-Corruption Hotline plays an integral part to combat corruption in the Public Service. A total of 1591 of NACH cases were referred within 7 days of receipt of case reports. The PSC closed 999 cases relating to public entities.  The PSC hosted International Anti-Corruption Day on 09 December 2019.

 

The PSC monitors the implementation of the Financial Disclosure Framework in the public service as part of promoting a high standard of professional ethics. Section 18(1) mandates all members of the SMS in the public service to disclose all their registrable interests annually to their respective HoDs by no later than 30 April each year and HoDs submit to Executive Authority within 30 days of receipt thereof. Over 9834 SMS members submitted financial disclosure forms to the PSC by the due date of 31 May 2019.  Accounting for 97% of the total number of SMS members.

 

  1. AUDITOR-GENARAL’S REPORT ON THE PSC

The Auditor-General issued an unqualified audit opinion in respect of the Entity for the 2019/20 financial year. The Auditor-General reported that financial statements present fairly in all material respects the financial position of the Public Service Commission as at 31 March 2020. The PSC’s financial performance and cash flows for the 2019/20 were in accordance with the Modified Cash Standard (MCS) prescribed by the National Treasury and the requirements of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). However, the Auditor-General reported on material findings regarding the following matters:

 

There was irregular expenditure of R132 000, which concerned mandatory IT goods/services not procured through SITA.

 

  1. NATIONAL SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT

The National School of Government received its budget appropriation through budget vote 12 of the Department of Public Service and Administration. The APP for the 2019/20 financial year has a total of 27 performance targets (for both programmes). In terms of the Annual report targets, 23 are achieved against the target of 27. Four targets were not achieved as planned. This translates to the 85% achievement of performance targets. The appropriated funds for the 2019/20 financial year was R187 905 million with the expenditure of R182986 million which was anincrease from as compared to 2018/19financial year. The National School of Government received clean audit and the NSG Trade Account received an unqualified audit from the Auditor-General.

 

The School of Government operates a Trading Account for its training operations. The Department submits separate financial statements for the NSG Training Trading Account (TTA), a trading entity established in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Course fees are determined on a cost-recovery basis in accordance with Treasury Regulations 19.5.2. The tariffs are assessed annually and revised as deemed necessary as part of the on-going NSG financial status reviews and in accordance with Treasury Regulation 19.5.3. 

 

  1. Programme Performance
  1. Programme 1: Administration

The programme governs the overall management of the School and provides for organisational support services enabling the Director-General/Principal, Branch Heads and all employees in the NSG to carry out their responsibilities within an effective governance system. The responsibilities of this programme include providing administrative, legal, human resource and financial management, across the Department. The programme comprises of the following sub-programmes: Office of the Principal and Corporate Management. The programme was allocatedR100.4million for 2019/20 and spending patterns, compared to the 2018/19 financial year. Expenditure on the programme was R95.5 million. 

 

The NSG has a total of 231 posts on the organisational structure. Of 231 posts, 212 posts filled and 19 vacant which result into vacancy rate to be at 8.2%. of the 19 vacant posts, 6 posts are SMS whilst 13 are non SMS posts. The vacant posts are due to the repositioning of the NSG and budget ceiling on compensation of employees. The NSG has fair representation of gender with females at 57.5%, and females at SMS at 55.8%. In terms of employment equity, the School has 24.1% youth and 2.8% of the people with disabilities.

 

The School developed a five-year Strategic and Annual Performance Plan, which was tabled timeously to the National Treasury, Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and Parliament. The average number of days for debt collection was reduced from 48 days in 2017/18 to 46 days in 2018/19 financial year. In 2019/20 financial year, the average number of invoices increased from 45 days to 56 days for collection of current debt. Total revenue collected was R1.9 million, which was a decrease as compared to R146.9 million in the 2018/19 financial year. Decrease in revenue collection was due to the impact COVID-19 pandemic which negative impacted on the NSG ability to increase the debt collection.

 

The School continues to pay all its suppliers within 30 days of receipt of a valid invoice. However, only one invoice was not paid on time.The School implemented two agreements supporting international exchanges and capacity building initiatives. The School further completed 13 training need analysis with public sector institutions. The School developed six new programmes/courses in line with a curriculum framework.

 

  1. Programme 2: Public Sector Organisational and Staff Development

The main aim of the Public Sector Organisational and Staff Development Programme is to facilitate transfer of payments to the Training Trading Account for management development and the training of public sector employees. The programme caters for the School Training Trading Account, which comprises of the following three sub-components: the Training Policy and Planning; Training Management and Delivery; and Specialised Services.

 

The Trading Training Account closed the year with a surplus of R14.0 million in 2018/19 and the closing status in 2019/20 is a surplus of R35.2 million.  The online programme Nyukela went live on 15 July 2019 as a compulsory offering in response to the Directive on minimum entry requirements for the SMS. Since going live and by the end of financial year, 161 leaners enrolled and 136 completed the programme (84% completion rate). The DPME partnered with the NSG to develop training material for a training courses. Theory of Change for Planning in the public sector. The training was delivered to a total of 1706 learners, which included planners, M&E practitioners, internal auditors, financial officials and programme managers. 

 

The National School of Government maintained the status of being an accredited training provider by the relevant accrediting bodies. The School published eightresearch projects of the targets set in the year under review. The school completed thirteen training needs analyses to inform training and development opportunities in the public service. The School further completed 72 evaluations and 7 applications of learning studies. As part of ensuring quality assurance, the School developed a curriculum programme and quality assured 13 programmes by the Quality Assurance Committee.

 

The School facilitated the accreditation process through the application process, coordinated PSETA annual site monitoring visit for the purpose of determining the NSG compliance to their required standards in relation to accreditation. The School held 16 Training of Trainers (ToTs) or Trainer Learner Network (TLNs). Further signed 14 memorandum of understanding with the public sector departments and other organs of the state.

The NSG developed experiential learning programme to prepare South African public sector managers for site visits at the coalface of service delivery, named Khaedu. Most African countries requested the NSG to train their officials on the same programme which was then termed “Khaedu Africa”. In this financial year, a total of 100 senior managers (25 from four countries) were trained. In relation to provision of training for mandatory programmes, the NSG collaborated with the North West Ikatisong School of Governance (ISOG) resulting in the uptake of 1 019 officials to be trained in various programmes before the end of the financial year. The Executive Induction Programme (EIP) for DDGs and DGs took place on 17-19 March 2020, with a total of six delegates (National, Limpopo, Eastern Cape, KZN, North West).

 

  1. Centre for Public Service Innovation

The Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) is an entity of the Ministry for the Public Service and Administration established to entrench and drive service delivery innovation across all sectors. Chapter 3 of the National Development Plan (NDP) statesthat “Innovation across state, business and social sectors should start to become pervasive”. The NDP stipulates that innovation should also focus on improved public service delivery and on goods and services aimed at low-income sectors.

 

The CPSI is bridging the gap between the world of science and technology driven by the National System of Innovation led by the Department of Science and Technology. The National System of Innovation includes entities such as National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI), the Innovation Hub and the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). The CPSI’s Strategic Plan is aligned to the Government priority outcomes.

 

The expenditure for the period of the 01st of April 2019 to the 31st of March 2020 amounted to R29.856 million or 77.68% of the appropriation of R 38.347 million for the year. With regard to the Compensation of employeesan amount of R19.9 million was spent up to the 31st of March 2020 (95.41 % of the compensation budget).  The spending is lower (R953 000) than anticipated as a result of the vacant Executive Director’s post since 2018; the position was filled through secondments from the DPSA until June 2019, and again from a secondment from the Presidency from September 2019.  The secondment from the Presidency ended on the 14th of February 2020.  For the remainder of the financial year, the post was filled through the internal capacity.   The CPSI has another three vacant posts that were in the process of being filled.  The positions will not be filled due to the pending organisational review of the CPSI. Two of these three vacant posts are currently occupied by officials, appointed additional to the establishment, on lower than projected notches. These vacancies resulted in savings from differences in notch levels for the 2019/20 financial year and the vacant post since October 2019.

 

With regard to Goods and Services an amount of R 9.31 million was spent on Goods and Services for the same period; (55.96 percent of the Goods & Services budget); the expenditure is lower than projected. The CPSI’s relocation to the DPSA Batho Pele/Agrivaal Building resulted in some areas of underspending the financial year.  Funds projected for the lease accommodation were planned to be redirected to tenant installation, upgrading long-overdue infrastructure, and maintenance of the building as per the MoU with DPSA. This could not be invested in during the year due to the pending organisational review of the CPSI. The CPSI financial system at the DPSA/ Agrivaal Building was only reconnected to the transversal systems at SITA during July 2019.  All financial transactions were performed at the SITA’s offices in Centurion from March 2019 to 8 the 08th of July 2019.  For this reason, transaction costs incurred were lower than anticipated and resulted in an underspending at the end of the financial year.

 

  1. AUDITOR-GENERAL OUTCOMES

 

7.1 Audit Opinion

The Auditor-General presented the Department with aclean audit for the 2019/20 financial year. This means that the Department’s financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Department as at 31 March 2020. The Department’s financial performance and cash flows for the 2019/20 were in accordance with the Modified Cash Standard prescribed by the National Treasury and the requirements of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

 

The Auditor-General performed procedure to determine whether the reported performance information was properly presented and whether performance was consistent with the approved performance planning documents. The AG performed further procedures to determine whether the measures and related targets were measurable and relevant, assessed the liability of the reported performance information to determine whether its valid, accurate and complete. The AG did not identify any material findings on the usefulness and reliability of the reported performance information.

 

7. 2 Compliance with legislation

In accordance with the PAA and the general notice issued in terms thereof, Auditor-General have a responsibility to report material findings on the compliance of the Department with specific matters in key legislation. Auditor-General performed procedures to identity findings but not to gather evidence to express assurance. 

 

7.3 Internal control

Auditor-General considered internal control relevant to audit of the financial statements, reported performance information and compliance with applicable legislation; however, my objective was not to express any form of assurance on it. The matters reported below are limited to the significant internal control deficiencies that resulted in the findings on compliance with legislation included in the report.

 

 

  1. OBSERVATIONS AND KEY FINDINGS

The Committee made the following observations:

 

  1. The Committee notes and commends the Department of Public Service and Administration and entities (National School of Government and Centre for Public Service Innovation) for receiving clean audit outcomes for 2019/20 financial year. The National School of Government Trading Training Account received unqualified audit in programme 2 even as there was the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

  1. The Committee notes theDepartment’sachievement of 34 out of its 35 (97%) annual targets, whileone wasnot achieved.The Committee commends the Department for achieving almost all of its targets.

 

  1. The Committee further commends the Department and entities including the Public Service Commission for not experiencingunauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in 2019/20 financial year. The Committee wishes the Department and entities to maintain same precedent on zero unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the upcoming financial years.

 

  1. The Committee commends the Department of Public Service and Administration, National School of Government, Centre for Public Service Innovation and Public Service Commission for paying suppliers within 30 days.

 

  1. The Committee notes an increase of female representivity from 41% in 2018/19 reporting cycle to 47.44% in 2019/20, although it is still not enough. The Committee advised the Department to lead by example in achieving 50% of women atSMS levels. The Committee commends the Department for exceeding a national target of 2% by maintaining 3.5% of employing people with disabilities.

 

  1. In an effort to reduce the wage bill, the Committee notes a report by the Department that Early Retirement proposal was unsuccessful due to dispute by the Labour Unions at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council. The Committee urged the Department together with the labour unions to find amicable solutions to reduce the wage bill and to keep the tenets of the three-year agreement at the PSCBC in order to foster labour peace and rule of law.

 

  1. The Committee welcomes government’s approval of the Digital Transformation Strategy for the Public Service together with the existing National e-government strategy and roadmap,which will bring some convergence and create a collective opportunity for and effort towards digitisation of government. The Committee was of the view that these two strategies will bring some degree of coherent coordination across the spheres of government in striving to digitise most of the government services.

 

  1. Service Delivery Improvement Plans in the Public Service have been a challenge experienced by the Department of Public Service and Administration in terms of lack of uniformity and some departments not submitting at all. The Committee supports the Department in developing service delivery model that will find expression in the piloted District Development Model to address the unevenness in the institutionalisation of service delivery improvement initiatives. 

 

  1. The Committee takes note that part of the Public Administration Management Act of 2014 regulations are implemented in a phased manner over the medium term strategic framework,among which is the establishment of the Chief Directorate of the Office of Standards and Compliance.

 

  1. The Committee was concerned about the lack of high uptake by the public servants on the Government Employee Housing Scheme, which resultsin government saving the monies supposed to assist towards paying mortgage bonds.  

 

  1. The Committee was pleased withboth the Department and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation for developing a strategy to operationalise the NDP objectives of establishing the Administrative Head in the Presidency and Offices of the Premier to manage career incidents of Heads of Departments as part of addressing political administrative interface.

 

  1. The Committee notes that the lifestyle audit strategy and draft guideline for public servants has been approved by the Cabinet. Government will, therefore, be able to continue implementing lifestyle audits in the 2021/22 financial year.

 

  1. In light of the Auditor-General’s audit findings, the Department and its entities were required to develop an action plan to address matters raised to avoid recurrence of similar issues in the 2020/21 financial year.

 

  1. The Committee commends the Department for resolving to induct Executive Authorities of the new Administration in 2019 and beyond on the issue of Executive delegations to Accounting Officers. This resulted in improvement on the signing of performance agreements of directors-general/Heads of Department.

 

  1. There must be proper controls regarding other remunerative work by public servants, to ensure that primary employment and service delivery are not affected by the practice. Also, all the monitoring platforms detecting officials doing business with the State should be strengthened.

 

  1. The Committee notes that the Department had entered into a new Memorandum of Understanding with the CPSI regarding shared services, since the Centre is still in the process of being recomposed.

 

Public Service Commission

 

  1. The Public Service Commission was urged to monitor the management of the transfer and secondment of government officials in the public service.

 

  1. The Public Service Commission was urged to investigate reasons why disciplinary cases in the public service get prolonged without closure, which costs government a lot of money whilst officials are idling at home.

 

  1. The Committee notes and compliments the impartiality observed by the Commission regarding the disciplinary process against its Director-General.

 

  1. The Committee notes that there were still some vacancies in certain provinces regarding regional commissioners, which hampers the work of the Commission.

 

 

National School of Government

 

  1. The Committee notes the increase in the average number of days to collect debt from 45 days in the 2018/19 financial year to 56 days in the 2019/20 financial year due to COVID-19 pandemic, which has negatively impacted on the NSG’s ability to maintain proper debt collection. The Committee expressed dissatisfaction regarding the inability to collect debt for the 2019/20 financial year, the reason being the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, which was experienced in South Africa at the end of the financial year.

 

  1. The Committee further takes note of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which have significantly impacted on the training courses and generation of funds particularly in conducting face to face classes as compared to online classes. The School is faced with a challenge of raising the revenue since most of the public servants enrolling for training do not have laptops for online training programmes.

 

  1. The National School of Government should continue to develop a funding model, which will make the School self-sustainable. A certain percentage of the training budgets in government departments have to be ring-fenced for training and development courses offered by the School.

Centre for Public Service Innovation

  1. The Committee notes the efficacy of the innovation projects and outcomes within the Centre and the public service.   

 

 

  1. RECOMMENDATIONS

The following recommendations are proposed:

DPSA

Legislative and governance matter

 

  1. The Department should speed up legislative reform, especially concerning the Public Administration Management Act of 2014 in order to ensure that operational systems are updated and strengthened. This would enable the National School of Government to improve on its mandate.

 

Administrative matters

  1. The Department of Public Service and Administration should swiftly and fully establish the Office of Standards and Compliance and expand its scope to conduct life style audits for government employees in all three spheres of government.

 

  1. The Department of Public Service and Administration should develop an inclusive strategy aimed at managing the public service wage bill over the medium term by regularly consulting with organised labour when major decisions affecting the conditions of service in the public service are made. However, government is urged to keep the three-year agreement on salaries, which was effective from the 2017/18 financial year up to the 2020/21 financial year.

 

  1. The Department of Public Service and Administration should comprehensively report on progress made and challenges encountered regarding the Government Employees Housing Scheme (GEHS) in order to reduce housing backlogs.

 

  1. The Department of Public Service and Administration should conduct an evaluation of the Government Employees Housing Scheme to determine factors that led public servants, notbeingable to take their benefits (R1200 per month) offered by government to own houses.

 

  1. The Department of Public Service and Administration should urgently improve on its vacancy rate at 13.4%, as this affects service delivery.

 

  1. The Committee compliments the Ministry for steps taken towards the finalisation of the disciplinary process of the Director-General at the PSC, since the President delegated the responsibility to it to facilitate the process. The Committee will expect a report in this regard as soon as it is finalised.

PSC

  1. The Public Service Commission should investigate reasons causing delays in closing disciplinary cases in the public service as the situation costs government millions of rands, whilst suspended officials are idling at home.

 

  1. The Public Service Commission should improve on its reputation management and public perception to instil confidence in the institution.

 

  1. The Committee urges the Commission to facilitate with the Offices of the Premier to see to it that vacancies of the Commission are filled where they exist.

 

 

 

NSG

  1. The National School of Government in consultation with the National Treasury should develop a lasting funding solution for the sustainability of the School. The School should be permitted to use training funds for learners who were unable to attend training for a longer period when they had prepaid for such training.

 

  1. The National School of Government in collaboration with the Department of Public Service and Administration should ensure that all senior managers in the public service become aware of the mandatory training courses freely offered by the School.

 

  1. The National School of Government should devise a strong risk management strategy to protect itself against cyber-attacks.

 

    1. The Department and the Ministry have to speed up all bottlenecks towards the finalisation of an investigation on the repositioning/reconfiguration of the Centre for Public Service Innovation and thereafter report to the Committee on the roadmap, challenges and successes it experienced while undertaking the process.

 

  1. The Centre for Public Service Innovation and the Department should operationalise the new Memorandum of Understanding agreed upon between themregarding shared services so that the Centre’s mandate is not stifled, since it moved from its equipped place of operation back into the Department.

 

 

  1. CONCLUSION

The Department of Public Service and Administration has in the 2019/20 financial year continued 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. The Department and entities were able to spend almost all their entire allocated budgets and achieved clean audits, which is commendable.

 

Report to be considered

 

 

 

Documents

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