ATC221031: Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR) of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration: Vote 12 of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Dated 17 October 2022

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

[This report replaces the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, which was published on page 226 of the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports dated 20 October 2022]




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 the Money Bills Amendment Procedures and Related Matters Act, No. 9 of 2009 to consider and report on the Annual Report of the Public Service Commission (an Independent body) 12 October 2022 reports as follows:



Parliament represents the people of South Africa and it has a responsibility to keep the government accountable to the people. Parliament derives its mandate from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. According to Section 55 (2) of the Constitution “the National Assembly must provide for mechanisms (a) to ensure that all executive organs of state in the national sphere of government are accountable to it; and (b) to maintain oversight of the exercise of national executive authority, including the implementation of legislation and any organ of state.  


Parliament has developed and approved its Strategic Plan for the 06th democratic Parliament. The 6th Parliament reaffirmed its commitment to law making, oversight and public participation but also to its vision of being an activist and responsive people’s Parliament that improves the quality of life of South Africans and ensures enduring equality in our society.

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 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 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.



In terms of Section 5 of the Money 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 Committee on Appropriations when considering and making recommendations on the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.

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.


3.1 Method

The Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration compiled the 2021/22 BRRR using the following documents:

  • The National Development Plan: Vision for 2030.
  • Medium Term Strategic Framework 2019 - 2024.
  • State of the Nation Address 2021/22.
  • Strategic Plan of the PSC.
  • National Treasury (2022) 4th Quarter Expenditure 2020/21 Financial Year.
  • Annual Performance Plan (2021/22) of the PSC.
  • Annual Report (2021/22) of the PSC.
  • Auditor-General South Africa’s outcomes of audit findings 2021/22.
  • The Portfolio Committee also met with the leadership and management of the PSC.



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).  



The key priority identified in the SONA 2021 for the PSC was: Tackling Corruption and Building a Capable State. SONA 2021 undertook to tackle corruption and build the capacity of the State by:

  • Government establishing a “joint government and civil society working group charged with developing a national anti-corruption strategy and implementation plan, which was close to completion of this phase of its work. Government launched the strategy by mid-year (2020). Since the introduction of the Public Service Regulations 2016, there were reports that some public servants still conduct business with the State.
  • Ensuring that Government would reinforce areas like ethics and anti-corruption, senior management and supply chain management, and deployment of managers to the coalface to strengthen service delivery.








7.1 The policy priorities, as outlined in the Annual Performance Plan for 2021/22, were as follows:

7.1.1 Improvement of organisational performance

The PSC has placed emphasis on the improvement of organisational performance, doing more with less through various efficiencies, and improving on its audit outcomes. Over the past few years, much emphasis was placed on improving the turnaround time in dealing with grievances and public administration investigations through the review of standard operating procedures. The PSC will make significant efforts to improve the functionality of the Integrated Grievance and Complaints Management System, which is an automated case management system. The main advancement in 2021/22 was that analytical reports could be generated from the Data Warehouse where data is systematically collected in standardised formats for all departments. The reports can either be for a department, a sector or a specific indicator like 30-day payment of invoices.

  1. Gender and Disability Mainstreaming

The Office of the Public Service Commission (OPSC) annually reviews and submits the Gender and Disability Mainstreaming Programme of Action to the DPSA. As at January 2021, the representation of females in the Senior Management Service (SMS) of the OPSC was 51% and at the Middle Management Service (MMS) it was at 47%. Although there is no Public Service-wide target for representation at the MMS, the OPSC believes that it can only attain the required target if a strong cohort of middle managers has the requisite skills and capacity to be promoted to the SMS.

7.1.3 Addressing challenges with office accommodation

The PSC has provincial offices in all the provinces, with a small complement of around 10 employees, supporting Provincially Based Commissioners in executing the mandate of the PSC in the provinces. The ergonomics of some provincial offices are not conducive to the occupational health and safety of employees, which is compounded by the additional COVID-19 requirements, yet the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) has been unresponsive to the PSC’s attempts to address these issues. Some of the PSC’s offices are also not in all respects compliant with the mandatory Minimum Physical Security Standards, due to a lack of responsiveness of the DPWI/ Landlords and a lack of financial resources.


7.1.4 Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment

The PSC has, since 2018/19, set performance standards in its Annual Performance Plan to measure the appointment of service providers who meet the B-BBEE requirements and have exceeded its target in this regard. When the PSC tabled its Adjusted Annual Performance Plan to Parliament in July 2020, the indicator was adjusted upwards from 10% to 40% of B-BBEE suppliers appointed to ensure that the PSC promotes the appointment of the B-BBEE suppliers in its procurement.

7.1.5 Looking into the impact on the operations of the Public Service

The COVID-19 experience has demonstrated that the Public Service can adopt hybrid modes of working and service delivery, thus reducing the need for daily commuting to the office by all employees. This also contributes towards reduced traffic, as well as water and electricity consumption at the office. On the contrary, the savings from the employer are likely to result in increased expenses for employees who work from home. In addition, hybrid modes of working highlight possible challenges on issues of employee health and safety for employees and the safety of the employers' assets whilst working from home and commuting with assets, such as computers, between home and the place of work. These issues necessitate the need to review various Public Service frameworks and policies.

7.1.6 Promoting ethical leadership and anti-corruption

The NDP Vision 2030 addresses the need for a developmental state that is capable, built on strong leadership, sound policies, skilled managers and workers, accountability and observance of the rule of law. The NDP adds that the capable state cannot materialise by decree, but that it has to be built, brick by brick, institution by institution, and sustained and rejuvenated over time.

The State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2021 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.” However, the Strategy is not new, it was initiated in September 2015. Its objectives were to:

  • Rejuvenate a national dialogue and direct energy towards practical mechanisms to reduce corruption and improve ethical practice across sectors and amongst citizens in South Africa.
  • Provide a robust conceptual framework and strategic pillars to guide anti-corruption approaches across relevant sectors in the country.
  • Support coordination between government, business and civil society efforts to reduce corruption and improve accountability and ethical practice.
  • Provide a tool for monitoring progress towards a less corrupt society.

Corruption is a major hindrance to good governance in the public sector. As a result, Government has tasked business, civil society and the public sector with tightening anti-corruption measures as part of a mechanism to prevent and curb corruption. However, it is evident that these mechanisms have not yielded much needed results due to the failure of governance that was observed in the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic, which involved both public servants and the private sector.

Conflict of interest is a major contributor to corruption in public institutions, with the foundation being the abuse of power, which erodes the moral fibre of society. In order to address the challenge of conflict of interest and abuse of power, the PSC needs to go back to the basics, such as recruitment processes, which should be thorough. This means when recruiting and selecting candidates, the public service needs individuals who are acutely aware of their public duty, which is to serve the people of South Africa. The PSC has thus commenced with a study on ethics in recruitment and selection processes in the Public Service.


    1. Budget Allocated and Expenditure 2021/22

The final appropriation budget for the PSC for the 2021/22 financial year was R273.8 million and actual spending amounted to R261.2 million which represents 95.4 per cent. For the year under review, the final appropriated budget was R286.3 million and actual spending amounted to R265.8 million or 92.8 per cent of the budget.  The spending variance between the final appropriation and the actual expenditure was mainly due to vacant posts that drove underspending on the Compensation of Employees. On Goods and Services, there was underspending due to reasons attributed to savings generated on operational costs as a result of the Commissioner’s vacant post and rotational work during the COVID-19 pandemic.


As at the end of the 2021/22 financial year, six of the fourteen posts of Commissioner were vacant. The details of these positions are as follows: a) Four posts at national level, 1 vacant from 25 April 2019 and 3 becoming vacant in January 2022) Two posts at provincial level: Mpumalanga, vacant from 1 April 2019; and Gauteng, vacant from 28 February 2022. Although the positions have been vacant for extended periods, the PSC has no control over the filling of these posts as the responsibility for the recruitment and selection process lies with the National Assembly and relevant provincial legislatures. The PSC has consistently engaged with The Presidency regarding these vacancies. The vacancies impact negatively on the operations of the PSC, as Commissioners are closely involved in the implementation of the mandate of the PSC in departments/ provinces.


As at 31 March 2022, the OPSC had a total of 5 employees employed additional to the establishment, included in the total number of 251 employees. The OPSC vacancy rate of 8% for the 2020/2021 increased to 10% in the 2021/22 financial year. The vacancy rate on salary levels 1 to 12 increased from 8% in the 2020/2021 reporting period to 9% in the 2021/22 reporting period whilst the vacancy rate on SMS level increased from 12% in the 2020/2021 reporting period to 14% in the 2021/22 reporting period.


For the year under review, critical SMS posts were filled, and the target of 50% women in SMS in the Commission was achieved. The OPSC met the national target of 2% for the employment of People with Disabilities out of the total staff establishment, there was a slight increase in the percentage of employment of PWDs from 1.99% in the 2020/2021 reporting period to 2.03% in the 2021/22 reporting period.

Appropriation per programme (R’000)     






Appropriation R’000

Actual Expenditure R’000

(Over)/Under Expenditure R’000




Actual Expenditure R’000

Over)/Under Expenditure R’000


134 559

121 947

12 612

128 597

121 637

6 960

Leadership and Management Practice

49 773

49 728


47 308

47 272


Monitoring and Evaluation

44 267

41 668

2 599

40 382

38 543

1 839

Integrity and Anti-Corruption

57 672

52 428

5 244

57 493

53 704

3 789


286 271

265 771

20 500

273 780

261 156

12 624

PSC: Annual Report 2021/22


The PSC has four programmes which performed as follows:

  1. Programme 1: Administration

The purpose of this Programme is to provide overall management of the PSC and centralised support services. This programme reported expenditure of R121.9 million (95.5 per cent) of its available budget as at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021/22. The main cost drivers were: Chief Financial Officer (R38,9 million), due to ensuring compliance with various pieces of legislation, as well as the procurement of the Data Warehouse from the State Information Technology Agency (SITA); followed by Peoples Management Practices (R24,9 million) that assists line management to implement operational excellence, which focused on re-engineering, culture change and capacity building; and Property Management (R23,2 million), which deals with office accommodation, fixed and movable assets.

The PSC has five planned targets under this programme. All four planned targets were achieved by the commission and only one was not achieved. One target not achieved was 100% of payment of valid invoices paid within 7-14 working days of receipt. Actually the target was achieved within 30 days of the PFMA prescripts, however not achieved within ambitious target of 7-14 working days of the commission.

  1. Programme 2: Leadership and Management Practices

The Leadership and Management Practices (Programme 2) is responsible for promoting sound Public Service leadership, human resource management, labour relations and labour practices. The programme has two sub-programmes, namely: Labour Relations Improvement, and Leadership and Human Resource Reviews.  

This programme reported actual expenditure of R49.7 million or 99.7 per cent of its 2021/22 budget allocation of R49.7 million as at the end of March 2022. The main cost driver is the sub-Programme Manager: Labour Management Practices (R24.2 million), which regulates management practices regarding labour peace. The other cost driver is Labour Relations Improvement (R16.0 million), due to the caseload of grievances and resolution to be dealt with. The programme had a total of five planned targets for the financial year, all of which were achieved. This translates into a 100 per cent achievement. 

The PSC continued to play a critical role in investigating referred grievances that could not be resolved between departments and their employees and making recommendations. The PSC had 558 grievance cases registered on its database, which is a 17.6% reduction when compared with the 2020/21 statistics and a 30.8% reduction from the 2019/2020 figures. The decrease in the number of grievances lodged with departments and those referred to the PSC can be attributed to reduced contact between employees and supervisors due to hybrid working conditions.  

The PSC further continued to finalise report on the Effectiveness of Continuous Employee Development in the Public Service. The findings and recommendations of the study will assist departments to develop and review their training and development policies in response to the current environment, especially skills development and the provision of systems and technological infrastructure to facilitate the adoption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) platforms in order to support operations and service delivery.  

  1. Programme 3: Monitoring and Evaluation

The main purpose of the programme is to improve the functionality of the Public Service through institutional and service delivery evaluation. This programme reported actual expenditure of R41.6 million or 97 per cent of its 2021/22 budget allocation of R44.3 million as at the end of March 2022. The main cost driver is the Programme Manager: Monitoring and Evaluation (R23.2 million), which monitors service delivery culture within the Public Service. The programme had a total of six planned targets for the financial year, all of which were achieved. This translates into a 100 per cent achievement.

The programme establish sound and good governance in the public service remains one of the focus area of the commission. The Commission has evaluated the constitutional principles and a particular focus was given to the principles of “public participation and “development orientation” during 2021/22 financial year. The purpose was to determine departments’ application of the principles with the overall aim of effecting changes to public administration practices.

The PSC held engagements with various Executive Authorities in order to provide the commission’s assessment of the portfolios under Ministries, highlight areas of urgent attention and build working rapport.

With regard to the National Anti-Corruption Hotline, the commission data warehouse has been maintained 100% updates on NACH data sets. Various reports have been generated. The Commission continue to conduct announced and unannounced inspections of service delivery sites to evaluate service delivery from the perspective of citizens and identified service delivery challenges that can be addressed immediately. In 2021/22, the commission conducted unannounced inspections at selected Home Affairs service sites across the nine provinces at 58 sites to assess the level of accessibility and the extent to which services have been modernised to ensure the eradication of backlogs and long queues. In addition, 30 announced and unannounced inspections were conducted in schools, health facilities and Police Stations. 

The Commission continued to monitor performance of departments in terms of payment of invoices of suppliers within the 30-day timeframe as per the National Treasury PFMA regulations. Quarterly monitoring articles produced were published in the PSC’s PULSE to highlight the plight of Small Medium and Micro Enterprises on the payment of service providers. The Commission further continued to promote constitutional values and principles. It held 26 engagements for the period under review through its active participation in dialogues and webinars hosted as part of 2021 strategic plan and the Public Service Month. 

  1. Programme 4: Integrity and Anti-Corruption

The Integrity and Anti-Corruption 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.

This programme reported actual expenditure of R52.4 million or 95.5 per cent of its 2021/22 budget allocation of R57.7 million as at the end of March 2022. The main cost drivers are the Programme Manager: Integrity and Anti-Corruption (R22.5 million), which monitors corrupt practices within the Public Service and the Professional Ethics (R20.4 million) promoting professional ethics in the Public Service by managing integrity systems and conducting research on the effectiveness of ethics promotion in the Public Service. The programme had a total of six planned targets for the financial year, all of which were achieved. This translates into a 100 per cent achievement.

The Commission under the programme undertakes investigations into personnel and public administration practices. Complaints regarding alleged unethical conduct and irregularities are investigated. There were 409 complaints on the database of which 254 (62%) were finalised and the remaining 155 cases (38%) were in progress. Out of 255 complaints finalised, 184 cases were handled in terms of Early Resolution and the remaining 70 cases were investigated by the PSC. Of the 70 cases investigated, 65 complaints (93%) were finalised within 90 working days upon receipt of all relevant information and documents.

Complaints handled in the 2021/22 financial year were predominantly related to irregularities regarding human resource and procurement practices. In the 2021.22 financial year, complaints relating to personnel practices increased slightly to 201 cases compared to 185 in the 2020/21 financial year.  Emanating from investigations into the regularity of appointments and in instances where allegations were found to substantiated, the commission made recommendations to Executive Authorities to facilitate the institutions of disciplinary action and approach the Court to rectify such irregular appointments.

Complaints related to Public Administration Practices has increased from 149 cases in the 2020/21 financial year to 208 in 2021/22. The increase could be ascribed to the fact that the public is more aware of the PSC and its investigative function. More complaints relating to irregularities of SCM processes and procedure are being reported. During the year under review, a comprehensive review into the handling of complaints was conducted.

The Commission continued to manage systems to promote and strengthen integrity in the public service such as the Financial Disclosure Framework for senior managers and the NACH. The PSC received in total 9690 (98%) of the 9899 financial disclosure forms that were expected as per the due date. Based on the scrutiny, the financial disclosure revealed that there are still SMS members in both the national and provincial departments who failed to disclose their interest in private and public companies. This contravene Regulation 19 of the Public Service Regulation.

The public service had a total number of 1491 SMS members with interests in companies. It was discovered that 581 of the SMS members did not disclose their financial interest in companies. The majority of the SMS were in national departments, with 376 SMS and the provincial departments had 195 cases. Among the SMS members who fail to disclose their financial interest in directorship and companies are three Directors-General in national departments and one HOD in the provincial government.

The Commission received 1563 complaints were lodged with NACH. Of the 1563 complaints lodged, 1350 complaints were lodged through the Call Centre and 179 complaints were lodged through email, fax, post and website.                


9.1 Auditor-General Opinion

The Auditor-General (AG) have audited financial statements of the PSC set out on pages 138 to 223, which comprise the appropriation statement, statement of financial position as at 31 March 2022, the statement of financial performance, statement of changes in net assets, and cash flow statement for the year then ended, as well as notes to the financial statements, including a summary of significant accounting policies.


The AG’S opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the PSC as at 31 March 2022, and its financial performance and cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with the Modified Cash Standard (MCS) as prescribed by National Treasury and the requirements of the Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999 (PFMA).


9.2 Compliance with legislation

In accordance with the PAA and the general notice issued in terms thereof, I have a responsibility to report material findings on the department’s compliance with applicable legislation relating to financial matters, financial management and other related matters. The accounting officer is responsible for the department’s compliance with legislation.


9.3 Internal control

The Auditor-General considered internal control relevant to the 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 Auditor-General did not identify any significant deficiencies in internal control.



The Committee made the following observations:

  1. The Committee notes and commends Public Service Commission for receiving clean audit outcomes for the 2021/22 financial year in consecutive years.


  1. The Committee notes and compliments the PSC for achieving almost all set targets of the Annual Performance Plan for 2021/22 financial year. The PSC had 23 targets, 22 of which were achieved. This represents 96 per cent achievement of targets. Target on payment of valid invoices within 30 days of receipt was partially achieved within the PSC set targets but remain achieved within the requirement of the PFMA regulations.


  1. The Committee notes the PSC’s initiative on the legislative reform project intending to introduce to Parliament a Bill that will allow the Commission to be supported by a Secretariat that is independent of government in order to strengthen its independence. The PSC has concluded with sixth version of the legislative amendments which include the socio-economic impact assessment which will determine the efficacy of legislation. Thereafter, the Cabinet will approve for tabling in Parliament before March 2023.    



  1. As per Section 196 (10) concerning the renewable of one additional term of the Commissioner, the Committee urged the Public Service Commission to develop framework to measure performance of individual commissioner in order to have smooth process during the renewability of contract of commissioners in both national and provinces.


  1. The vacancy rate of Commissioners at National and some provinces was a concern to the Public Service Commission since this posts result in underspending of budget over the past two financial years. The Committee was urged to fast track the appointment of one National Commissioner which was vacant since 2019/20 financial year. The Committee was of the view that vacant National Commissioner post has to be filled before March 2023.


  1. The PSC fully advocates for the review of term of the DGs/HODs contract from five years to 10 years as proposed in the National Framework for Professionalising the Public Service only if they are appointed based on merits and capabilities.


  1. The Committee notes that the public service had a total number of 1491 SMS members with interests in companies. It was discovered that 581 of the SMS members did not disclose their financial interest in companies. Among the SMS members who fail to disclose their financial interest in directorship and companies are three Directors-General in national departments and one HOD in the provincial government.




The following recommendations are proposed:

  1. The Public Service Commission in collaboration with the Minister of Public Service and Administration should fast track the finalisation of the draft Public Service Commission amendments Bill, which aims at strengthening the independence of the Commission through operating with its own administration outside of the Public Service Act. The Bill should be tabled in Parliament before March 2023, to allow the Committee ample time to process it.


  1. The Public Service Commission should swiftly develop “Framework on the Renewability of the Commissioner Contract” as stipulated in Section 196 (10) of the Constitution and engage with the Presidency and Parliament on the document for the approval. Since each commissioner is responsible for a specific focus area, it would be easy for Parliament and Provincial legislatures to assess performance.


  1. The Portfolio Committee should make follow up with the National Assembly tabling on one National Commissioner post and make determination as to whether the Committee should re-advertise or not. The National Commissioner vacant post should be filled before March 2023.


  1. The Portfolio Committee should write a letter to the Speaker Office, requesting the Speaker to intervene on the Mpumalanga Commissioner post which has been vacant since April 2019. A letter should be written to the Office of the Premier and Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature to request expedition of the recruitment process.  




The PSC was able to spent almost its entire allocated budget whilst achieving almost all its targets, which is commendable. Its performance during the year under review was thus proportionate to budget spent. Accountability within the PSC has improved with responsible leadership and management.


Report to be considered