ATC210513: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on the Strategic Plan 2019/20—2023/24, Annual Performance Plans (Apps) 2021/22 and the Budget Vote 11 of the Department of Public Service and Administration, Date 13 May 2021

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION ON THE STRATEGIC PLAN 2019/20—2023/24, ANNUAL PERFORMANCE PLANS (APPS) 2021/22 AND THE BUDGET VOTE 11 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION, DATE 13 MAY 2021

 

  1. BACKGROUND

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

  1. INTRODUCTION

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

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

On 05th May 2021, the Committee considered presentation derived from the Annual Performance Plans and budget allocation of the Department of Public Service and Administration and Centre for Public Service Innovation. This report summarises the presentations received from the Department of Public Service and Administration and Centre for Public Service Innovation, focusing on the 2019/24 Strategic Plans and 2021/22 Annual Performance Plans and Budget as well as allocations over the MTEF.

  1. OVERVIEW OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION

The Department of Public Service and Administration is expected to implement and coordinate interventions aimed at achieving an efficient, effective and development-oriented public service which is an essential element of a capable and developmental state as envisioned in the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa envisages a Public Service that is professional, accountable and development-oriented.

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

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

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

  1. LEGISLATIVE MANDATE

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

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

 

  1. STRATEGIC PRIORITIES 2019/2024

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

 

4.1 Formulating and implementing the Public Administration Policy

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

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

4.2Regulating and improving Public Service Employment and Conditions of Service

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

4.3Improving Public Service Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)

 

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

 

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

 

 

4.4Ensuring Service Delivery Improvement

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

 

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

 

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

 

  1. Strategic focus for 2021/22

The strategic focus of the Department is based on the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 and the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2019-2024.In particular, the NDP envisions:

Building a capable, ethical and developmental state. The vision is for the country to move towards a developmental and transformed state that is capable, professional and responsive to the needs of its citizens. This requires well-run and effectively coordinated state institutions with committed public servants that are skilled and capable of delivering consistently high quality services, while prioritising the country’s developmental objectives.

 

Promoting accountability and fighting corruption. The vision is of a South Africa that has zero tolerance for corruption. In 2030, South Africa will be a society in which citizens do not offer bribes and have the confidence and knowledge to hold public and private officials to account, and in which leaders hold themselves to high ethical standards and act with integrity. Anti-corruption agencies should have the resources, independence from political influence, and powers to investigate corruption, and their investigations should be acted upon.

 

The MTSF 2019-2024 - states that Government must aim at “Ensuring a Capable and Developmental State”. “Key attributes of a developmental state include a capable, autonomous meritocracy; political leadership oriented towards development; a close, often mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship between some state agencies and key industrial capitalists; and successful policy interventions that promote growth. Transforming South Africa into a Developmental State will require building critical and necessary capabilities to foster an environment, which mobilises government and non-government contributions to realise changes in the socio-economic structures and the culture of society. This MTSF 2019-24 will prioritise the engagement between leadership of the executive, legislature and judiciary on strengthening governance and accountability. It further commits the state to manage the political-administrative interface more effectively, reduce the levels of fraud and corruption in the private and public sectors, and rationalise the public service governance system.

  1. STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS (SONA 2021)

The priorities highlighted were:

a) Fighting corruption to strengthen the State

First and foremost the Address highlighted overriding priorities of 2021, which are defeating the coronavirus pandemic; accelerating economic recovery; implementing economic reforms to create sustainable jobs and drive inclusive growth; and fighting corruption and strengthening the State. The Address highlighted that Government “had started implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, which lays the basis for a comprehensive and integrated society-wide response to corruption. Government is set to appoint “the members of the National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council, which is a multi-sectoral body that will oversee the initial implementation of the strategy and the establishment of an independent statutory anti-corruption body that reports to Parliament.

 

b) Building a capable State dependent on advancing honesty, ethics and integrity

 

Building a capable State is still another area prioritised by Government. In 2019, the President called on all public servants to serve South Africans with diligence and to adhere to the Batho Pele principles of putting the people first. He further indicated that the capacity of the state will be built by actions including:

 

  • Firstly, strengthening the technical capacity in government to ensure that projects move faster, building a pool of engineers, project managers, spatial planners and quantity surveyors – an action team that can make things happen faster on the ground.

 

  • Secondly, improving the capabilities of public servants through the introduction of a suite of compulsory courses by the National School of Government, covering areas like ethics and anticorruption, senior management and supply chain management, and deployment of managers to the coalface to strengthen service delivery.

 

c) Enhanced accountability through Ministerial Performance Agreements

 

The President reported that in October 2020 he had signed off Ministerial Performance Agreements with the Executive in order to enhance accountability. This is also not a new phenomenon for the Executive. Non-performance is usually addressed through reshuffling not with a view to dismissing, but to shift the Member of the Executive to another portfolio. Those who would be prone to not deliver as expected of them would probably still commute to another portfolio with the similar attitude. However, Parliament is there to demand accountability from the Executive, serving the checks and balances. The nature of the questions asked by Parliament to the Executive will give a hint to the President concerning who is complying or not complying with society’s satisfaction levels through Parliament’s ability to ask probing, not sweetener, questions.

 

d) Professionalism to inculcate public confidence

 

The above are in line with the vision of the National Development Plan: Public service – Key medium-term goals for 2019 - sub-outcome 2, which stated that the public service must have sufficient technical and specialist professional skills. It is also in line with the spirit and letter of the Medium Term Strategic Framework 2019-24, which states the following objectives for Priority 4:  Strengthen Governance and Public Institutions:

 

  • Outcome: Improved governance and intergovernmental and engagement with citizens.
  • Outcome: Honest and capable state with professional and meritocratic public servants.
  • Outcome: Professional and ethical Public Service.
  • Outcome: Developmental state and compact with citizens, responsiveness, public trust.
  • Outcome: Strengthen relations and efficiency in government.

 

Skills deficits and insufficient attention to the role of the State in reproducing the skills it needs remain a challenge. Monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of policies are important to ensure that “state institutions are well-run and effectively coordinated, run by professionals who are committed to the public good and capable of delivering consistently high-quality services, while prioritising economic growth and reduced poverty and inequality.

 

  • Accordingly, the strategic focus of the Department for 2021/22 includes: Developing regulations to enable the full implementation of the Public Administration Management Act (PAMA, 2014).
  • Reviewing the Public Service Act and related policies, where required, which will be done concurrently with the development of the Single Public Administration Bill.
  • Improving implementation of administrative policies and enforcing compliance where required.
  • Improving the implementation of the Batho Pele principles by ensuring that there are measurable standards in place.
  • Stabilising the Public Service by restoring stability and credibility in state institutions.
  • Fighting corruption by inculcating a culture of accountability, ethical and professional standards of all civil servants, as well as strengthening discipline management within the Public Service.

 

The strategic priorities of the Department align with the national strategic imperatives as outlined earlier on in the brief. The implementation of these strategic priorities will put service delivery on a better level, and Parliament’s oversight can see these priorities effectively taken through.

 

  1. BUDGET ANALYSIS

The Department of Public Service and Administration’s overall budget allocation for 2021/22 is R526.2 million, compared to the adjusted allocation of R468.9 million after the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The Department’s budget is divided into five programmes, reduced from six programmes in 2020/21. Programme 6: Governance of Public Administration, was discontinued, as the departmental transfers, namely the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the National School of Government (NSG), are currently fully-fledged budget Votes. The main cost drivers of the Department are Programme 1: Administration (R237.3 million); followed by Programme 5: Government Service Access and Improvement (R104.8 million) and Programme 3: Negotiations, Labour Relations and Remuneration Management (R99.1 million).

Whilst Programme 4: E-Government Services and Information Management consumes the smallest portion of the Vote, it experiences the most significant growth of R61.75 per cent in real terms, this is because the programme had a lesser allocation in February 2020, and during the June 2020 readjustment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme’s allocation was reduced further. To, at least, make it relatively effective to its mandate, this level of increase is justified. Priority Programme 3: Negotiations, Labour Relations and Remuneration Management, also experiences significant real growth of 37.83 per cent. This is due to the nature of negotiations on wage and conditions of service, which have a tendency to drag on and involve litigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1: Main Appropriation 2021/22

Programme

                   Budget

Nominal Rand change

Real Rand change

Nominal % change

Real % change

R million

 

2020/21

Million

2021/22

Million

                  2021/22

 2021/22

2021/22

Programme 1: Administration

 

 

 

 226,4

 

237,3

 

 10,9

 

1,3

 

4,81 per cent

 

0,59 per cent

Programme 2: Human Resource Management and Development

 

 

 

 42,8

 

49,2

 

  6,4

 

 4,4

 

14,95 per cent

 

10,32 per cent

Programme 3:        Negotiations, Labour Relations and Remuneration Management 

 

 

  69,0

 

 99,1

 

  30,1

 

 26,1

 

43,62 per cent

 

37,83 per cent

Programme 4: E-Government Services and Information Management

 

 

 21,3

 

35,9

 

  14,6

 

 13,2

 

68,54 per cent

 

61,75 per cent

Programme 5:Government Service Access and Improvement 

 

 

109,4

 

 104,8

 

   -4,6

 

 -8,8

 

-4,20 per cent

 

-8,07 per cent

TOTAL

 

 468,9

 526,2

   57,4

  36,2

12,2 per cent

7,72 percent

Source: National Treasury (2021)

 

  1. PROGRAMME PERFORMANCE
    1. Programme 1: Administration

The main purpose ofthe Programme is to provide strategic leadership, management and support services to the Department, and coordinate the Department’s international relations.The purpose of the Programme is to provide policy, coordinated strategic and overall administrative support services to enable the Ministry and the Department to deliver on mandates.

The budget for Programme 1 increased from R226.4 million in June 2020/21 to R237.3 million in 2021/22. This represents an upward revision of R10.9 million (4.81 per cent) in nominal terms. However, when taking into account the effect of inflation, the allocation to the Programme only increases by 0.59 per cent. The programme is the main cost driver under this Vote, consuming 45.09 per cent of the overall allocation.

 

The main cost drivers under this programme are the Corporate Services (at R96.3 million); Office Accommodation (at R54.4 million); Ministry (at R29.7 million); and Finance Administration (at R29.5 million) sub-programmes. Prioritisation of the Budget in this manner is justified, as the Corporate Services sub-programme also includes the Centre for Public Service Innovation’s activities. There is one Corporate Services for the Department, including established government components. Also, the strategic focus of the Programme is “Improved implementation of administrative policies”, which includes (i) monitoring fruitless, wasteful and irregular expenditure; (ii) revising the Public Service Amendment Bill; (iii) consulting on the Public Administration Management Amendment Bill and (iv) implementing Public/Stakeholder Participatory Strategies and Plan. The Department will support the development of Section 100 and 139 Monitoring and Intervention Bill by providing input towards the finalising of the Bill.  f quarterly reports on the implementation of the APP submitted to the Executive Authority, National

 

  1. Programme 2: Policy Development, Research and Analysis

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

The budget allocation for Programme 2 increased from R42.8 million in June 2020 after adjustments caused by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, to R49.2 million in 2021/22. This is an upward revision amounting to R6.4 million in nominal terms, and R4.4 million in real terms. This programme consumes the second smallest portion (9.35 per cent) of the overall budget. The bulk of the Programme’s budget (R15.3 million)is allocated to the Human Resource Planning, Employment and Performance Management sub-programme. The Transformation and Workplace Environment Management sub-programme, at R10.8 million and the Office of Standards and Compliance at R10.0 million, follow with relatively bigger budgets.

 

The programme’s strategic focus is “A stabilised Public Service”,with strategic targets being to issue the legislative frameworks, provide technical advice and guidance to departments to support public service business continuity during the State of Disaster as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and develop an Occupational Dictionary. The Department will further contribute to the development of the governance and state capacity/skills aspect of the joined-up plan within the identified districts/metros. Moreover, the Department will issue legislative framework to institutionalise mandatory in-service training framework by the National School of Government. The National Development Plan has deliberated on the challenge of unevenness of performance of government. The Department will in this regard develop measures to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of government institutions.

 

8.3        Programme 3: Negotiations, Labour Relations and Remuneration Management

 

Programme 3: Negotiations, Labour Relations and Remuneration Management was formerly known asPublic Service Employment and Conditions of Service. The function of the programme is to manage, oversee and facilitate organisational development, job grading, macro organisation, remuneration, human resource information systems, conditions of service, labour relations and dispute management in the public service. It also administers the implementation of the Government Employees Housing Scheme and the macro organisation of the State, and ensures coordinated collective bargaining

Programme 3 is allocated a budget to the value of R99.1 million, which increased from a previous allocation of R69.0 million in June 2020/21. This is an increase by R30.1 million (i.e. 43 per cent in nominal terms and 37.83 per cent in real terms). Programme 3 accounts for 18.83 per cent of the total budget Vote in 2021/22. The Programme’s budget is the third largest allocation, as it caters for Management: Negotiations, Labour Relations and Remuneration; Negotiations, Labour Relations and Dispute Management; Remuneration, Employment Conditions and Human Resource Systems within the Department.

The programme’s strategic focus areas are “A stabilised Public Service; and Intensifying the Fight against Corruption”. The Department focus under this programme will be to manage collective bargaining processes conducted for the State in the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council. Furthermore, conduct a review of National and Provincial Programme 1 Structures and Personnel Expenditure Review. The Department intends to develop a Job Evaluation System for the Public Service, and incorporate the Professional Ethics in the Induction Programme. The Department will produce a consolidated annual report on the status of resolution of disciplinary cases and the impact of interventions implemented.

 

The Department during the course of the financial year will commence with the development of Job Evaluation System. The Technical Assistance Unit for Ethics and Integrity in the public service will carry out a number of measures to tackle corruption in the public service, which include amongst others: the implementation of interventions to support the timely resolution of disciplinary cases and the reporting of criminal conduct in the public administration to the relevant law enforcement authorities initiated. Moreover, produce annual report on discipline management and issue guidelines on Conducting Lifestyle Audits to national and provincial departments, provide implementation support and assess implementation thereof.

 

  1. Programme 4: e-Government Services and Information Management

The function of Programme 4: e-Government Services and Information Management (formerly known as Government Chief Information Officer) is to manage, oversee and facilitate ICT governance, e‐enablement, ICT infrastructure, information and knowledge management, and innovation in the public service and coordinate and facilitate ICT stakeholder management. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is playing an ever-increasing role as a strategic enabler of public service delivery.

 

This programme receives the smallest allocation, i.e. 6.82 per cent share or R35.9 million of the total Vote in 2020/21. However, the allocation was revised upward by a significant R14.6 million (61.75 per cent in real terms). In this regard, the Department strategic focus of the programme is “Improving the implementation of administrative policies”. The strategic targets of the programme are to issue legislative frameworks to institutionalise the National e-Government Strategy and propose measures to National Treasury on the optimisation of ICT spend in the public service. The programme will generate measures to reduce ICT expenditure in the public service. The Department will work interactively with national and provincial departments to ensure that business continuity measures are established in the midst of the COVID-19 disruptions with more emphasis on the application of information technologies.

 

The ICT Governance and Management sub-programme is the main cost driver of the Programme at R13.1 million, followed by the e-Enablement and ICT Service at R7.5 million.     Budget allocation to this programme may not be enough, given that it establishes a legislative framework, strategies and roadmap to enable South Africa to craft a shared Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) future, as well as the constraints that are currently in place. The 4IR is a substantive project, which requires a lot of financial and infrastructural resources. Also, the growing need for IT utility due to the virtual conducting of business as a new norm imposes a new approach to the funding of the programme. Risks imposed by cyber-bullying on Government IT requires more funding of the IT infrastructure.

 

  1. Programme 5: Government Services Access and Improvement

Programme 5: Government Service Access and Improvement (formerly known as the Service Delivery Support Programme) manages and facilitates the improvement of service delivery in Government. As indicated in Table 1, the budget allocation for Programme 5 decreased from R109.4 million in 2020/21 to R104.8 million in 2021/22, representing a nominal decrease of R4.6 million or 4.20 per cent. In real terms, the budget allocation to the programme decreased by 8.07 per cent between 2020/21 and 2021/22.

 

Strategic focus areas of the programme are “A stabilised Public Service; Improved implementation of administrative policies; and Improved implementation of Batho Pele Programme”. Strategic targets of the programme are to issue the Organisational Functionality Assessment Tool to national and provincial departments and monitor the implementation of the Business Processes Modernisation Programme. Furthermore, develop the Participatory governance mechanisms and citizen engagement programme. The Department will under this programme develop Legislative Frameworks to support departments on public service delivery business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Batho Pele Revitalisation Strategy will continue to be implemented across the public service. The Department will continue to monitor the implementation of the Revised Batho Pele Programme. The African Peer Review Mechanism Country Review Report and the National Plan of Action for the country will be rigorously monitored, evaluated and validated.

 

It is not advisable for Government to give less attention to this Programme in terms of budget allocation, since it enables the Department to give technical support and advice to national, provincial and local government institutions who experience service delivery challenges. This will thwart preventative and remedial measures to service delivery challenges and protests. The main cost drivers are the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI), whose allocation is R42.6 million. The Service Access sub-programme consumes R17.8 million and Service Delivery Improvement, Citizen Relations and Public Participation sub-programme R13.9 million, whilst Operations Management consumes R13.6 million of the programme’s budget in 2021/22.

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

The responsibility for the public sector innovation is vested in the Minister of Public Service and Administration, in terms of Section 3(1)(i) of the Public Service Act (1994). The CPSI is established in terms of Section7(a) listed in Schedule 3A of the Public Service Act, 1994, as amended and is an organ of state. The Act mandates the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) to unlock, entrench and nurture the culture of innovation within the public sector for improved performance and productivity. Therefore, the Act positions the CPSI to guide the process of unearthing and exploiting innovative, more efficient and effective solutions needed to ensure successful delivery on government priorities. The CPSI was in its formationestablished as a Section 21 Company.

The functions of the CPSI are to:

  • Provide the Minister with independent, diverse and forward-looking research findings and advice on innovative service delivery with a specific focus of government priorities
  • Enhance public service transformation and reform through innovation partnership and projects

Support the creation of an enabling environment for innovation within the structures and agencies of the South African Government (encouraging, learning and rewarding).

  1. Budget Allocation

The CPSI’s budget is located within the budget appropriation of the DPSA, as a transfer through Programme 5. The current budget allocation is according to the organisational mandate of the Centre.

Table 2: Budget allocation to the Centre

 

 

 

R million

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

Total

Current payments

Transfers and subsidies

Payments for capital assets

Total

Total

Administration

        21.5

 

20.8

0.0

0.6

23.6

25.4

Public Sector Innovation

21.1

21.1

-

-

20.6

20.0

Total

42.6

42.0

0.0

0.6

44.1

45.4

Source: National Treasury (2021)

 

The overall budget allocation to the Centre is R42.6 million in 2021/22, up from an adjusted appropriation of R38.4 million in 2020/21. This represents a significant nominal increase of 22.41 per cent and a real increase of 17.48 per cent.

 

  1. PROGRAMMES
  1. Programme 1: Administration

The programme provides strategic leadership, overall management of and support to the organisation. There are three sub-programmes under programme 1, which are Strategic Management, Corporate Resource Management and Office of the Chief Financial Officer. The allocation to this programme is R21.5 million, which is 50.46 per cent of the overall budget. The allocation assists the Centre to run efficiently in executing its mandate. The spending focus on the programme intends to build capacity in promoting innovation in the public service. Over the medium term, the department will focus on promoting and unearthing innovation projects in the public service.

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

(b)Programme 2: Public Sector Innovation

The Programme drives service delivery innovation in the public sector in line with Government priorities. There are three sub-programmes under Programme 2, which are Research and Development, Solution Support and Incubation, and Enabling Environment.

This programme has an allocation to the value of R21.1 million, which is 49.54 per cent of the overall budget. The programme has three sub-programmes, namely: (i) Research and Development: This sub-programme establishes the knowledge base in support of the programme to inform the selection and development of potential innovative models and solutions; (ii) Solution Support and Incubation: Thissub-programme facilitates the testing, piloting, demonstration, replication and mainstreaming of innovative solutions for the public sector; and (iii) Enabling Environment: This sub-programme nurtures and sustains an enabling environment, which entrenches a culture and practice of innovation in the public sector through innovative platforms and products.

 

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

  1. OBSERVATIONS AND KEY FINDINGS

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

Department of Public Service and Administration

  1. The Committee notes and considered the Annual Performance Plans (2021/22) of the Department of Public Service and Administration and the Centre for Public Service Innovation. The APPs reaffirm the Department’s mandate to implement and coordinate interventions aimed at achieving professional, accountable and developmental oriented public service, capable to deliver on the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 and the Centre to facilitate and replicate new innovations.

 

  1. The Committee welcomes the commitment made by the Minister regarding government moving towards a full implementation of the Public Administration Management Act of 2014, which aims to ensure, among other things,the integration and coordination between public service and local government. The Act seeks to provide a legal framework across the three spheres of government by bringing some degree of uniformity. The Committee further welcomes the amendments to the provisions of the PAM Act.

 

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

 

  1. The Department has finalised developing guidelines for lifestyle audits in the public service in March 2021. The Committee was pleased with the progress thus far.

 

  1. The Committee notes the Department’s involvement in leading digital transformation in the public service and the World Bank’s report towards assisting South Africa to rollout the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Service delivery and public service efficiency depend on this technological intervention in the “new normal”. The Committee urges the Department to strengthen its efforts to modernise the public service through digitisation of government systems.

 

 

  1. The Committee notes the Department’s processes to reach amicable agreement with organised labour on wage negotiations.The Committee requests that stakeholders maintain stability in the public service.

 

  1. The Committee welcomesthe Department’s support to and involvement in the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs’ development of new legislative reform (Monitoring and Intervention Act)by 2022 to regulate the implementation of Sections 100 and 139 of the Constitution.

 

  1. The Committee notes the development of launching e-recruitment by 2022 through the Integrated Financial Management System led by the National Treasury. The IFM system will replace an aging PERSAL system once the system is fully developed and tested.  

 

 

Centre for Public Service Innovation

 

  1. The Committee takesnote of theMinistry’sfinalisation of researchon the future and repositioning of the Centre for Public Service Innovation, with an aim of putting the entity as a preferred choice among government departments when seeking innovative solutions to service delivery challenges.
  2.  The Committee further notes that an organisational structure has been completed for the Centre for Public Service Innovation, so thatthe moratorium on all funded vacant posts at the CPSI will be lifted.However, the Committee cautions the Department and the CPSI to ensure that the filling of posts happens within the approved allocated budget on compensation of employees. 

 

  1. RECOMMENDATIONS

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

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

 

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

 

  1. The Department should also finalisethe second phase of regulations on the Public Administration Management Act of 2014 in order to give effect to comprehensive implementation of the Act. The Department should, therefore, report on these activities at the latest by March 2022.

 

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

 

  1. Moving speedilywith training on and implementation of the guidelines for conducting lifestyle audits in the public service. The Department should present the progress report on these guidelines to Parliament on or before March 2022.

 

  1. Beginning to generate reports on the work done by the Technical Assistance Unit so that the operationalisation of Public Service Regulations 2016 can be realised, especially regarding ethical conduct and preventing officials from doing business with the State.

 

  1. Regarding the finalisation of disciplinary cases within a timeline of 90 days and some suspensions taking longer than 60 days without holding disciplinary hearings, the Committee requests the Department to constantly monitor the trends in the departments and in provinces. Moreover, it must assist struggling government departments who are unable to resolve disciplinary cases within required stipulated period. 

 

Centre for Public Service Innovation

  1. The Centre should develop innovative solutions to assist government to accelerate service delivery and replication where necessary;and to handover such solutions to the relevant departments for further implementation.

 

  1. Having concluded the organisational structure and research in repositioning the CPSI, theCentre should ensure that all critical technical posts are filled, so that the entity continues to find new innovative solutions for enhancing efficiency in most government departments. 

 

  1. CONCLUSION

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

 

 

The Portfolio Committee recommends as follows:

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

 

Reportto be considered.

Documents

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