ATC210324: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on consideration of the first and second quarter performance 2020/21 financial yearfor the budget vote 12 of the Public Service Commission, dated 24 February 2021

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on consideration of the first and second quarter performance 2020/21 financial yearfor the budget vote 12 of the Public Service Commission, dated 24 February 2021

 

  1. BACKGROUND

The Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) having considered first and second quarter performance of 2020/21 financial yearof the Public Service Commission, reports as follows:

 

  1. INTRODUCTION

Parliament through its Committees has a constitutional responsibility to oversee quarterly programme performance information of the departments and their entities in a specific financial year. The Money Bills Amendment and Related Matters Act (2009) describe the process of exercising this responsibility. The Act states that portfolio committees of parliament must conduct reviews of the finances of their respective departments and entities and if required, issue recommendations on the forward use of resources.

Programme performance information focuses on information that is collected by government departments in the course of fulfilling their mandates and implementing policies. Quarterly performance reports serve as a vital tool used by parliamentary committees to ensure accountability, transparency and oversight on how government resources are spent. Committees are expected to monitor both financial and non-financial performance of the departments. The Public Finance Management Regulations compel departments and their entities to prepare quarterly report within 30 days after the end of each quarter. Committees conduct oversight over performance reports to fulfil Parliament’s oversight and accountability mandates as enshrined in the Constitution and under the rules established by the National Assembly.

On February03, 2021, the Committee considered the first and second quarter performance of 2020/21of the Public Service Commission. Performance information was in accordance with the Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan and Medium Term Strategic Framework 2019-2024. The report further provides an overview of the presentation made before the Committee mainly focusing on the achievements, output in respect of the performance indicators and targets set for the above mentioned financial year. The report outlines the findings/observations of the Committee relating to the Public Service Commission performance. 

 

  1. THE MANDATE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

The PSC is an independent institution established in terms of Chapter 10 of the Constitution. It derives its mandate from Section 195 and 196 of the Constitution, 1996, which set out the values and principles governing public administration, which should be promoted by the PSC, as well as the powers and functions of the PSC. 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 PSC is vested with custodial oversight responsibilities for the Public Service and monitors, evaluates and investigates public administration practices. It also has the power to issue directions regarding compliance with personnel procedures relating to recruitment, transfers, promotions and dismissals. The PSC is accountable to the National Assembly and to Provincial Legislatures and must annually report on its activities and performance to these two institutions.    

The PSC is a constitutional oversight body, established in 1996, primarily to promote “a high standard of professional ethics in the public service”. The PSC operates in terms of the PSC Act 1997. The Act provides for the regulation of the PSC with regard to:

  1. The constitution of the PSC.
  2. Appointment of Commissioners.
  3. Designation of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson.
  4. Conditions of appointment of Commissioners.
  5. Removal from office of Commissioners.
  6. Functions of the PSC (inspections, inquiries, etc.)
  7. Rules according to which the PSC should operate.
  8. The Office of the PSC (OPSC); and
  9. Transitional arrangements with regard to service commissions (created under the Interim Constitution).  

 

  1. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION PROGRAMME PERFORMANCE

 

  1. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

The Public Service Commission had in the first and second quarter spent R200.522 million from the allocated budget of R297.6 million for 2020/21 financial year. Public Service Commission has paid all service providers within 30 days in all quarters. There were no cases of unauthorised expenditure, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in both quarters. In the first and second quarter2020/2021,the PSC had twenty-seven (27) APP targets.9 targets were due in Quarter 1 and all 9 of the planned targets were achieved.12 targets were due in quarter two (2), ten (10) of the planned targets were achieved and two (2) were not achieved withone (1) additional target achieved early. There was R11.3million (4.9%) underspending on compensation of employment, due to vacant posts including those of commissioners in national and three provinces.

 

Allocated Budget and Expenditure

Programmes

Original

budget

R’000

Expenditure as at 31 Dec 2019

R’000

Budget spending

%

Spending norm %

Spending variance

%

Administration

128,572

89,705

68.39%

75.00%

6.61%

Leadership & Management Practices

47,484

36,442

79.19%

75.00%

(4.19%)

Monitoring and Evaluation

43,364

32,019

73.27%

75.00%

1.73%

Integrity and Anti- Corruption

58,809

42,356

73.85%

75.00%

1.15%

Total

278,229

200,522

72.07%

75.00%

2.93%

 

 

4.2 Programme Performance

The report presents both thefirst and secondquarter performance of the PSC, which is as follows:

  1. Programme 1: Administration

The purpose of the Administration Programme (Programme 1) is to provide overall management of the Commission and centralised support services. The PSC had four predetermined targets in the first quarter 2020/21 financial year and all targets were achieved. In the second quarter 2020/21 financial year PSC had five predetermined targets. Of total targets, three were achieved and two targets were not achieved.

  1. Programme 2:Leadership and Management Practices

The Leadership and Management Practices Programme (Programme 2) is responsible for promoting sound public service leadership, human resource management, labour relations and labour practices. The PSC had two predetermined targets and all of these targets have been achieved (100%) during first quarter of 2020/2021 financial year. During the second quarter, PSC had four targets and all were achieved

 

  1. Programme 3:Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and Evaluation establishes a high standard of service delivery, monitoring and good governance in the public service. The PSC had one predetermined target in the first quarter 2020/2021 financial year and over achieved by three additional targets. During the second quarter, PSC had no target determined but achieved one additional target. 

 

 

  1. Programme 4:Integrity and Anti-Corruption

The Integrity and Anti-Corruption Programme undertakes public administration investigations, promotes high standard of professional ethical conduct among public servants and contributes towards prevention and combating of corruption. The PSC hadtwo predetermined targets in the first quarter and three targets in the second quarter of 2020/21 financial year. The targets were 100% achieved.

 

  1. FINDINGS AND OBSERVATIONS

The Portfolio Committee made the following observations and findings:

  1. The Committee notes and welcomed the first and second quarter performance of 2020/21 financial year for the Public Service Commission. The Committee commend the PSC for achieving most of the targets in both quarters especially working under Covid-19 pandemic.

 

  1. The Committee encouraged the Public Service Commission to fill up the vacancies at the national office with clear timelines. Furthermore, the Committee encouraged the Deputy Minister to follow up on her counterparts in the provinces to prioritise filling vacancies of the Commissioners in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal and Limpopo Provinces. The Committee will check with the Speakers Office in the National Assembly about an outstanding position which was before the House.

 

  1. The Committee notes the monitoring by the Commission on the Government Employees Pension Fund with regard to ensuring pension pay out are processed timeously for pensioners.  The PSC was applauded in assisting retired public servants to get their pensions.

 

  1. The Committee notes the expenditure on the Covid-19 PPEs and was in discontent with the spending since most of the PSC officials were working remotely during first and second quarter. The Committee encouraged the PSC to spend wisely.

 

  1. The Committee advised the PSC to provide a detailed report on the complaints received particularly during the Covid-19 and which departments had more complaints. The Commission was requested to provide detailed information in the next meeting.

 

  1. The Committee notes that some government departments continue to pay invoices after 30 days and are in contravention with Public Finance Management Act. The Committee was concerned about lack of consequence management in the entire public service.

 

  1. The PSC was commended for being proactive in its work when conducting inspection in schools across all provinces to assess the state of readiness by the Department of Basic Education to open schools.

 

  1. The PSC was encouraged to be visible in the public and create platforms to engage effectively with the members of the communities on number of service delivery issues impacting on their lives. The Committee urged the PSC to be a reliable institution assisting members of the public in unblocking service delivery and rooting out unethical conduct in the public service.

6. The Portfolio Committee recommends as follows:

6.1       The House adopts and approve first and second quarterperformance report for 2020/21 financial yearof the Budget Vote 12 of the Public Service Commission.

 

Report to be considered

Documents

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