ATC130729: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities on the oversight visit to the offices of the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities from 26 – 28 March 2013, dated 24 July 2013
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Women,
Children and People with Disabilities on the oversight visit to the offices of
the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities from 26 28
March 2013, dated 24 July 2013
The Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities,
having undertaken an oversight visit to the offices and attended a workshop
with the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, reports as
Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities undertook
an oversight visit to the Department of Women, Children and People with
Disabilities from 26 28 March 2013.
Committee resolved in its meeting held on 6 March 2013 to postpone its workshop
with the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities and agreed
to hold it on 27 March 2013 on the turn-around strategy of the Department of
Women, Children and People with Disabilities. In addition, the Committees
intention was to conduct oversight by visiting the offices of the Department of
Women, Children and People with Disabilities as this would coincide with the
workshop to be hosted by the Department. The oversight has direct bearing on
the key issues that the turn-around strategy would address.
objectives of the workshop were as follows:
Discuss the implementation of the turn-around
strategy of the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities;
Engage with the overall mainstreaming framework,
advocacy strategy, institutional support and capacity development and
monitoring and evaluation strategy of the Department; and
Review the Departments progress for the 1
delegation was comprised of the following Members and officials:
(ANC, leader of the delegation),
Ms P Petersen-
(ANC), Ms GK
(ANC), Ms H
Ms E More (DA), Ms CB
(COPE), Ms IC
(UCDP, Ms van der
(IFP) and Mr DC Kekana (ANC). The delegation was accompanied by the following
Parliamentary staff: Ms N Nobatana (Committee Secretary), Ms K Abrahams
(Content Adviser), and Ms C
Tour through the offices of the Department of
Women, Children and People with
The Committee visited the offices of the Department i.e. Office of the
Minister, Director-Generals office, Research Unit, Supply Chain Management,
Advocacy and Mainstreaming, Childrens Unit and
Human Resource. The Committee Members interacted with the support staff
and observed the following:
Committee noted with concern that a significant number of offices were
vacant as staff members were absent. The primary reason for absenteeism
was related to illness but in many instances the absence of the staff
member could not be accounted for which was hugely problematic.
Committee noted that a particular rest room facility was inadequate and
was not attended to for a year.
Committee further noted that the general conditions of the offices were
not conducive to enabling staff to perform their duties well.
Committee was concerned about the availability of adequate and safe office
space. The Committee observed that due to inadequate office space, the
location of certain office equipment grouped together posed as an
occupational health hazard.
Committee noted that there was a shortage and or lack of equipment for
support staff to perform their duties i.e. a Communication Officer who did
not have a laptop and had to share it with the Chief Communications
record and filing system was in disarray i.e.
documents not in
secure lock up facilities
brought into question the measures the Department has put in place to
ensure confidentiality of documentation and prevent loss and or damage.
reception and security areas at the building entrance were inadequate it
was indicated that these were in the process of being set-up.
Committee noted that there was inadequate office furniture such as filing
cabinets in the open office areas. Furthermore, faulty and or broken
equipment such as telephones were left unattended to.
a tour to the Departments offices, the Committee attended a workshop hosted by
the Department on the implementation of the turn-around strategy.
of the Turn-Around
Minister commenced with a brief overview of the progress made with regards to
the TAS. The Committee was informed that the implementation of the TAS has been
challenging in the absence of adequate funding but that the Department was
doing its best to implement it. In terms of key appointments, the Minister
indicated that the Director General would assume the position as of April 2013;
the Chief Financial Officer and the Supply Chain Management positions were in
the process of being
; the interview process for
the Risk Manager position was being finalised. In addition, an audit committee
was established and the position of Deputy Director for Internal Audit was
being finalised. Hence, the Department has ensured that the Auditor Generals
recommendations were being acted on. To this end, the risk committee was
established and started working. The key challenges that affected the delivery
of the TAS
a limited budget and that the
Department was working on 50% of the staff compliment required to give effect
to the TAS.
Acting Director General (ADG) indicated that the TAS was developed within the
context of capacity challenges within the Administration Programme amidst other
problems as identified by the Auditor General (AG) of South Africa. In
addition, the ADG indicated that the TAS was adopted primarily to ensure a
clean audit for 2012/13 and to improve
performance. Furthermore, the presentation also focused on what progress has
been made with regards to supply chain, financial and human resource
three phases adopted to implement the strategy were
(March 2013) and
2013 and thereafter). In terms of the implementation with regards to Phase 1,
the Department has developed the implementation matrix and TAS which was
approved by the Minister on the 15 October 2012. The strategy was officially
launched at a staff
in December 2012.
Acting Director General was appointed as a project champion assisted by the
Acting Chief Financial Officer and the Deputy Director: Human Resource Manager
and as well as Statistics South Africa. The Department is in the process of
sourcing additional capacity to ensure that they accelerate delivery on the
date the Department held a workshop to define the ideal
that is able to deliver on its mandate with available resources, an
and rewards good performance, an
that deals decisively with
poor performance and misconduct and an
that develops its employees and ensures staff wellness. The Department has
revised the strategy goals and linked it to the governments medium term
priorities, delivery agreements and National Development Plan. The business and
service delivery models were adopted as well as new core business values to
behaviours. In addition, the Department also developed
audit action plan was implemented and managed along with a human resource
management plan of action to address the audit findings and progress. Top
management - management committees and audit committees monitored progress.
terms of progress and achievements, the Department noted the following:
It requested and received an additional R12
million for compensation allocated through the Adjusted Expenditure of National
A range of policies were finalised.
Financial delegations were approved and
Responsibility managers were appointed.
Management committees established in support of
good corporate governance, tracking invoices and monthly financial statements
provided to programme managers.
In terms of governance structures, the
Department indicated that internal audit plan approved, Additional Audit
Committee members appointed and competencies strengthened, oversight by Audit
Committee undertaken on compliance issues, TAs and Internal Audit.
regards to monitoring progress, achievements and impact, the Department
indicated that top management monitors progress on the implementation of
project weekly. This progress was reported on at managers and audit committee
Monthly monitoring of
financial statements was also in place as of November 2012. In terms of
quarterly expenditures for 2012/13, the Department used R192
with regards to compensation of employees.
in implementation of the Turn-around Strategy (TAS)
Department indicated the following challenges with regards to the
implementation of the TAS:
There was no additional funding that has been
made available hence implementation of strategy is subject to the current
capacity and budget. Nor was there any commitment received from National
Treasury for the implementation of strategy.
A lack of a training budget for 2012/13
currently inhibits training and development in
of the TAS.
A redesign of
structures is required to support the evolving strategic goals and objectives.
Human Resource planning priorities need to be
adjusted on the basis of amended
intentions, process definitions, business and service delivery model.
Assessment of available skills is required in
order to support of the TAS.
matrix priority areas
Department indicated a number of turn-around matrix priority areas these
Reaffirmed departmental mandate
Strategy, structure and establishment
Monitoring and Evaluation Frameworks
Country reports and other required reports
Information Communication Technology (ICT)
System Controls BAS and PERSAL
Human Resource Strategy
on Overall Mainstreaming Framework
Department then continued to present the overall Mainstreaming Framework,
(presented by Ms
, Deputy Director General
(DDG); the Advocacy Strategy (Ms
Institutional Support and Capacity Development Framework (Ms Sisulu-
) and the Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation
Strategy (Dr September).
Committee having conducted oversight of the Departments office facilities and
having had engaged with Departmental officials the following observations were
noted and responses from the Department:
Media and marketing
Department cited the following examples of how it ensured compliance:
Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy
Institutional Support and Capacity Building
met with the Department, the Committee assured the Department that the feedback
given to it was part of its oversight duties and should be taken in a
constructive manner. The Committee was concerned about the overall progress in
terms of implementing the turn-around strategy, addressing the Auditor
Generals recommendations and the Department being able to fulfil its mandate
within a limited budget, resources and capacity. The Committee would continue
to engage closely with the Department to monitor progress and developments in
the months ahead.
The Portfolio Committee
recommends that the Minister ensures that the following recommendations are
The working conditions of Departmental staff
should be improved as a matter of urgency along with the general morale.
The record keeping of the Department requires
urgent attention and all confidential documentation should be safely
The shortage of office
equipment should be addressed and timeframes set in which
The Committee requests the Department to
submit monthly reports on progress with regards to the implementation of
the turn-around strategy (which includes Human Resource, Finance, ICT,
Internal Audit) and the recommendations made by the Auditor-General.
The Department should provide the Committee
with various MOUs and or contracts with stakeholders.
The Department should submit all reports
produced with respect to women, children and people with disabilities.
The Department should ensure better alignment
between all its policies, frameworks and strategies are concerned that
pertain to women, children and persons with disabilities. Moreover, these
overarching policies must have clear time lines for implementation and be
The Department should submit a written report
to the Committee on the status of human resources and include information
on posts, vacancies, leave, disciplinary hearings, the retention strategy
and staff turn-around
The skills shortage must be addressed. Current
personnel should be up-skilled where required.
The Department should supply the Committee
with a list of consultants being used along with the nature and scope of
work. The Department was cautioned against the use of consultants given
their limited budget and was encouraged to engage the current staff
compliment on matters and to use the funds earmarked for external service
providers on the core programmes instead.
The Department should submit a list of all
donor money received and the expected outcomes.
Mainstreaming Framework; M&E Strategy
The Department was requested to provide
additional information to the Committee that explained what the
implementation plan was to ensure that other Departments comply with the
framework. To this end, the Department should provide a description of
what was expected of Departments, guidelines of how this (mainstreaming)
should be done and by when.
support and capacity building; Advocacy
The Department was encouraged to work more
collaboratively with other Departments and Chapter 9 institutions
especially the Commission for Gender Equality on the 365-Day Action Plan.
to be considered.
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