ATC090708: Report on Budget Vote 9: DPSA
REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON BUDGET VOTE 9: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION (DPSA)
The Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, having considered Budget Vote 9: DPSA, dated 08 July 2009 reports as follows:
1.2 On 26 June 2009, the Committee met with the DPSA to be briefed on their medium term budget and strategic plans for the 2009/10 financial year. This was done as part of the Committee’s role in conducting parliamentary oversight and ensuring executive accountability, especially with regards to budget expenditure.
2.1 Those that appeared before the Committee for the briefings on the budget included Deputy Minister R Padayachie, Director General (DG) Prof Richard Levin and other departmental officials. The main objective of the briefing session was to allow the Department to brief the Committee on its 2009/10 medium term budget, priority projects per programme and how it intends to address the challenges encountered with regards to realising its vision and mission.
3. Deputy Minister’s Political Overview
3.1 Deputy Minister Padayachie presented a contextual and political overview of the Budget Vote and quoted from the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by His Excellency JG Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa delivered during June 3rd, 2009. The Deputy Ministerstated that the state of the nation address has made significant reference to the strategic objectives of DPSA by stating that:
“A developmental state requires the improvement of public services and strengthening of democratic institutions….to ensure that all three spheres - local, provincial and national - improve service delivery, we will speed up the establishment of a single Public Service. This administration would insist on putting people first in service delivery and ensure courteous and efficient service from front-counter staff in the provision of services in all government departments.”
3.2 The Deputy Minister emphasized that the department’s medium term strategy incorporates the State of the Nation’s priorities; it responds to the challenges confronting the public service and is cognisant of the implication of the global economic crisis.
4. Departmental Budget Vote
4.1 Following the political overview by the Deputy Minister, Prof Levin presented the Departmental Budget Vote. The presentation focused on medium term priority projects, programme achievements, challenges and budget allocations related to departmental programmes.
Human Resource Management and Development (HRM&D)
4.2 The programme aims to develop and implement an integrated strategy, monitor employment practices, conduct human resources planning and diversity management and improve the health and well-being of public service employees, through the establishment of an integrated Health Risk Assessment and Management System for the Public Service. The programme will also ensure the development and implementation of policy on compulsory training programmes for HR practitioners. The JobACCESS Strategic Framework and the Gender Equality Strategic Framework will be implemented.
4.3 The Department also aims to implement the competency assessments for Senior Management Service members on a compulsory basis. Furthermore, performance management and development system will be facilitated by the Department. The HR Connect to the entire Public Service is aimed to be implemented. Lastly, the Department plans to develop an organisational strategic framework and a social cluster generic organisational structure.
Management of Compensation (MOC)
4.4 The purpose of this programme is to develop and implement compensation policies and guidelines for the public sector and ensure coordinated bargaining and effective management for the establishment of the single public service. On this programme, priority projects included the implementation of the Remuneration policy framework for the Public Service; reviewing of pension and medical provisioning in the public service; development and implementation of HR module of the Information of financial management system; convening of Public Sector Summit to strengthen social partnership for good governance; monitoring and evaluation of the wage bill trends in the public service; and the development and introduction of an appropriate legal dispensation for the Single Public Service.
Information and Technology Management (I&TM)
4.5 The effective use of information and IT in government, and facilitation of the use of IT for modernizing government and establishment of e-government practices within an acceptable information security environment are the aims of this programme. The strategic outputs expected from the programme encapsulate the development of a prototype to enable six pro-poor services. The application for maintenance and notification of death forms part of the outputs expected from this programme. The connection of 52 Thusong Service Centres to a centralised ICT infrastructure and installation of 45 new General Service counters was identified as a priority.
4.6 The Department aims to report on the ICT expenditure patterns in the Public Service and make recommendations on strategies to save/reduce costs/expenditure. The Architecture blue-print for IT in Government is planned to be developed, as well as Government Wide Information Security Governance Framework.
Service Delivery Improvement (SDI)
4.7 Service delivery improvement in this programme is translated through supportive interventions and partnerships, which improve efficiency and effectiveness, innovative learning and knowledge-based modes and practices of service delivery in the public service. Therefore, in thisprogramme the Department aims to focus as part of its priority projects, on assisting the departments to develop service delivery models using a service delivery model toolkit. The Department aims to support the departments to develop and implement 3 year Service Delivery ImprovementProgrammes.
4.8 Furthermore, the Department will provide extensive support to one Province and one Sector in the implementation of Batho Pele and other service delivery improvement programmes. The Community Development Worker Policy Framework and guideline will also be finalized during the financial year. In addition, support in the implementation of the War on Poverty campaign by establishing institutional arrangements framework will be provided.
Governance for Public Service and Administration
4.9 The intention of this programme is to improve governance and public administration for improved service delivery in Africa and other participating countries worldwide in support of the vision of the efficiency and increased public participation in governance, by fighting corruption and carrying out participatory monitoring. The programme aims to achieve this through the development of a consolidated system for “one time” reporting on various public service regulations. It is envisaged that the African Peer Review Mechanism and programme of action will be monitored and implemented, through the submission of progress reports to the Heads of State and Government.
4.10 The Department also intends to implement a framework for Conflict of Interest as well as to complete the follow-up compliance audit report on the implementation of the Minimum Anti-Corruption Capacity (MACC). Significantly, the anti-corruption training and awareness material will be developed. Furthermore, the Department would convene the South African Development Co-operation Anti-Corruption Committee, as well as hosting the Anti-Corruption Summit and experts’ roundtable to approve the Programme of Action requirements.
4.11 The Department delivered on most of its objectives and outputs for the previous financial year. Part of the achievements includes the launching of Job access strategic framework; finalization of the report on the Public Service Women Management; report on the barriers to access (for women, blacks and disabilities) was completed; completion of HIV&AIDS and TB Policy for Public Service; training of 200 public servants nationally on the management of HIV and AIDS; completion of Health and Productivity Management and the Wellness Management Policies; completion of Safety, Health, Environment, Risk and Quality (SHERQ) Policy for public service; a policy and procedure document on the Revolving Door Remuneration policy for PS has been approved; completion of a review of the call centre of State Information Technology Agency; development of e-government strategy for ICT Connectivity; a GIS survey was conducted in over 80 departments and other key government institutions; sharing of best practice DVD and booklets during the Batho Pele Learning Network (BPLN) and they continue to be shared during theBatho Pele Change Management Engagement Programme (BPCMEP).
4.12 The major challenges that confronted the Department include the global economic crisis which resulted in reduced funding for policy institutions such as the DPSA, internal reorganisation in the Department at the beginning of the financial year and the change in political leadership halfway through the financial year. These factors enabled the Department to find ways to operate in a ‘business unusual’ manner in order to deliver on most of its objectives.
5.1 Having considered and deliberated on departmental Budget Vote 9, the Committee has observed that:
5.1.1 The Department’s medium term strategy has been aligned to new and established mandates.
5.1.2 The new mandate of the Department has included those emanating from the Macro-reorganisation, State of the Nation Address and May Cabinet Lekgotla.
5.1.3 The Department is however in the process of reviewing its strategy in order to identify gaps and to reprioritize its resource allocation.
5.1.4 The Department will hold an operational review session to ensure alignment of strategy and its operational plan for 2009/2010.
6.1 In order to ensure continuous executive accountability and parliamentary oversight over the medium-term projects of the Department, the Committee resolved that the Department should:
6.1.1 Provide the Committee with progress reports on all the municipalities that fail to comply with the policy frameworks developed by the Department.
6.1.2 Provide the Committee with progress report on the development of the Single Public Service Bill.
6.1.3 Provide the Committee with the lists of all the summits and conferences scheduled for 2009/10 financial year.
6.1.4 Provide the Committee with progress reports on a quarterly basis on achievements by the Department in respect of 2009/10 medium term priority project per programme.
6.2 The Committee recommends that the National Council of Provinces approves Budget Vote 9.
Report to be considered.
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