ATC100414: Report Budget Vote 11

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION ON BUDGET VOTE 11, DATED 14 APRIL 2010

 

 

1          Introduction

 

Budget vote 11 was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, for consideration and report, on the 2nd March 2010. It was noted that the 2010/11 budget vote 11 comprised of three previously separate votes. The Committee undertook to receive briefings from the affected department and entities.

 

The Committee received briefings from the Department of Public Service and Administration, the Public Service Commission and the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy on their strategic plans and their allocation from budget vote 11.

 

2          Overview of Budget Vote 11

 

Budget vote 11 is divided between six programmes of the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA). Each programme of the department has a specific purpose. Table 1 (below) shows the Budget allocated per programme:

 

Table 1: Budget per programme

 

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

Total

Total

Total

Total

MTEF Allocation

R million

R million

R million

R million

1)      Administration

115.3

138.8

140.6

147.4

2) Human Resource Management and Development in Government

48.1

48.9

39.2

41.5

3) Labour Relations and Compensation Management in Government

117.4

57.2

57.2

58.1

4)      Information and Technology Management in Government

40.1

45.4

45.2

47.3

5)      Service Delivery Improvement throughout Government

191.6

186.7

188.3

195.1

6) Governance for Public Service and Administration

170.3

174.6

186.7

194.7

Total expenditure estimates

682.8

651.6

657.2

684.1

 

The DPSA’s overall budget allocation for 2010/11 is R651.6 million, which is a nominal decrease of 4.57 per cent from R682.8 million to R651.6 million. In real terms, there is a decrease of 10.56 per cent. The budget is divided into six programmes, namely Programme 1: Administration, Programme 2: Human Resource Management and Development in Government, Programme 3: Labour Relations and Compensation Management in Government, Programme 4: Information and Technology Management in Government, Programme 5: Service delivery improvement throughout Government, and  Programme 6: Governance for Public Service and Administration. Each programme will be discussed in detail below.

 

2.1        Programme 1: Administration

 

Programme 1 is allocated R 138.8 million, which is a nominal percentage increase of 20.38 per cent from R115.3 million to R138.8 million, or a real percentage increase of 12.82 per cent. Its purpose is policy formulation, strategic leadership and overall management of the department. This programme houses Management and Corporate Services sub-programmes. The Ministry and Deputy Ministry sub-programmes are also funded from this programme.

 

2.2        Programme 2: Human Resource Management and Development in Government

 

Programme 2 is allocated R48.9 million, which is a nominal increase of 1.66 per cent from R48.1 million to R48.9 million, or a real decrease of 4.72 per cent from its allocation in 2009/10. Its purpose is to develop and implement an integrated strategy, monitor employment practices, conduct human resource planning and diversity management, and improve the health and wellbeing of public service employees. The sub-programmes under this programme are:

·         Management;

·         Employment Practice and Career Management;

·         Senior Management Service;

·         Human resource Planning;

·         Diversity Management;

·         Employee Health and Wellness; and

·         Human Resource Development.

 

Some of the objectives and measures of this programme are:

·         To provide information on skills in the public service by phasing in the HR Connect skills database in all government departments by 2011;

·         To monitor the implementation of the gender equality and job access strategic frameworks through quarterly reports to assess national and provincial departments’ progress in attaining the set targets of 50 per cent women at senior management service level and 2 per cent persons with disabilities at all levels by 2014; and

·         To improve the working environment in frontline offices through capacity development and supporting 300 employee health and wellness managers and practitioners each year in health risk assessment and management.

 

 

2.3         Programme 3: Labour Relations and Compensation Management in Government

 

Programme 3’s budget allocation is R57.2 million, which is a nominal decrease of 51.28 per cent from R117.4 million to R57.2 million, and a real decrease of 54.34 per cent from its allocation for 2009/10. The purpose of this programme is to develop and implement compensation policies and guidelines for the public sector; and ensure coordinated bargaining and effective programme management for the establishment of the single public service. The sub-programmes of this programme are Management, Remuneration and Macro benefits, Negotiations and Labour relations, Special projects and Job evaluation and Single public service.

 

Some of the objectives of the sub-programme are:

·         Review of the pension provisioning in the public service by:

-          reporting progress to the department on discriminatory practices in pension provisioning by March 2010; and

-          implementing the agreed upon and costed practices and developing an institutional framework and governance arrangements to support the envisaged comprehensive social security system by March 2011.

·         Improve the medical subsidy policy by implementing a revised post-retirement medical assistance provision by March 2011 for employees on salary levels 1 to 5 and who are members of the Government Employees Medical Scheme; and

·         Coordinate the design of the programme for the single public service and oversee its implementation by:

-          Establishing the pilot urban mall, which will be a centre where citizens can access government services, in Maponya Mall by June 2010;

-          Developing the single public service regulations by March 2012 in order to enact the overarching single public service legislative framework;

-          Designing and implementing the single public service change management programme by March 2013;

-          Establishing a geographic information system by March 2014; and

-          Developing a government access strategy by March 2015.

 

2.4        Programme 4: Information and Technology Management in Government

 

Programme 4 has an allocated budget of R45.4 million. This amount is a 13.22 per cent nominal increase from RR40.1 million to R45.4 million, and a real increase of 6.11 per cent. The purpose of this programme is to ensure the effective use of information technology in government and facilitate the use of information technology for modernising government and establishing e-government practices, within an acceptable information security environment. The sub-programmes are Management, E-Government, Information and Communication Technology Governance, Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure and Community Development and Access.

 

Some of the objectives and measures include the following:

·         Improve frontline service delivery by completing a connectivity blueprint and bandwidth strategy for connecting schools, libraries, clinics and municipalities by September 2010;

·         Reduce government ICT costs through printer consolidation, telecommunications (voice and data) and the way software is managed by March 2011; and

·         Ensure a configured and structured government IT environment by developing a consultative, government wide IT plan to assist departments by March 2011.   

 

2.5        Programme 5: Service delivery improvement throughout Government

 

Programme 5 is allocated R186.7 million, which is a nominal decrease of 4.9 per cent from R191.6 million to R186.7 million, or a real decrease of 16.6 per cent from its allocation for 2009/10. The purpose of this programme is to allow for the engagement in supportive interventions and partnerships which improve efficiency and effectiveness; innovative learning and knowledge based modes; and practices of service delivery in the public service.

 

Programme 5’s sub-programmes include: Management, Batho Pele, Service Delivery mechanisms Service delivery Facilitation, Community Development Workers, Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA), Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI), Public Service Education Training Authority (PSETA). Funding in all the sub-programmes is mainly used for compensation of employees and related expenditure in goods and services.

 

Some of the sub-programmes’ objectives and measures include:

·         To increase departments’ compliance with submitting annual service delivery improvement plans by giving departments content comments and reporting to Cabinet and through the auditor-general on departments’ submissions;

·         To improve the rollout of community development workers’ programme by implementing a policy on the programme by March 2013; and

·         To implement service delivery improvement plans throughout the public sector by training 500 trainers in 2010/11 on the rollout of service delivery improvement plans through the Batho Pele change management engagement programme.

 

 

2.6        Programme 6: Governance for Public Service and Administration

 

Programme 6 is allocated R174.6 million. This budget is a nominal increase of 2.52 percent from R170.3 million to R174.6 million, and a real decrease of 3.91 per cent, if compared with its allocation for 2009/10. The purpose 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 efficiency and increased public participation in governance; fight against corruption and carry out participatory monitoring. The sub-programmes of programme six are Management, Public Sector Anti-Corruption, International and African Affairs, Monitoring and Evaluation, African Peer Review Mechanism, Research, and the Public Service Commission.

 

Some of the objectives and measures for programme six are:

·         To ensure that South Africa contributes to the African Agenda and benefits from continental best practices in governance and public administration by actively participating in the seventh Pan African conference of African ministers of public service in October 2010;

·         To promote national anti-corruption values and interests at regional and international levels by participating in the quarterly Organisation for Economic Cooperation and development working group on bribery in international business transactions, the United Nations Convention against Corruption intergovernmental working group, and the biannual United Nations Convention against Corruption conference of state; and

·         To assess the performance of departments’ human resource policies through the public management watch system by providing ongoing analytical and evaluation reports on the implementation of the Department of Public Service and Administration’s policies.

 

3.         Findings

 

National Treasury reported that a decision had been taken to shift oversight responsibility for the PSC and PALAMA to the DPSA, in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (1999). This decision poses two challenges for the Committee, the accountability of the Accounting officers for the PSC and PALAMA, and the misplacement of the PSC within the DPSA, given its constitutional responsibility over the Public Service. These two challenges are discussed, in detail, below.

 

3.1        Accountability of the Accounting Officers of the PSC and PALAMA

 

Previously, PALAMA and the PSC had separate budget votes from the Department of Public Service and Administration. The current amalgamation of the three votes into one vote does pose a challenge of accountability, in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, No.1 of 1999, of the three accounting officers affected. PALAMA and the PSC’s Director-Generals (DGs) were previously the accounting authorities for the separate budget votes. With the new funding arrangement however, questions arise as to whether the DGs for PALAMA and the PSC are still accounting authorities, in terms of the PFMA, and whether they now have to report to the DG of the Department of Public Service and Administration, given that funds are transferred out of Budget vote 11 for their respective entities.

 

3.2        Misplacement of the PSC budget within the DPSA’s budget allocation

 

All entities that are allocated funds from budget vote 11 are accountable to the Minister of Public Service and Administration, except the PSC, which is accountable to the National Assembly. The budget vote does not make explicit reference to the accountability of the PSC to the National Assembly.

 

The PSC’s constitutional mandate is to be impartial and independent from Government. It will be unable to maintain its independence if its funding is sourced through a government department that it is not accountable to.

 

The mandate of the PSC is separate from the DPSA’s mandate, yet it is presented in the budget vote as:

·         performing essentially the same functions as the DPSA,

·         as a government body, and

·         accountable to the Director-General of the Department of Public Service and Administration.

 

4          Conclusion

 

Briefings by the DPSA, PSC, and PALAMA on their strategic plans and their budget allocation from Budget vote 11 enabled the committee to explore the implications of the budget vote amalgamation for the three affected entities.

 

5          Recommendations

 

5.1 The Portfolio Committee recommends that the National Assembly        approves budget vote 11 for 2010/11.

 

The Portfolio Committee further recommends as follows:

 

5.2        The challenge posed by the accountability of the accounting officers for PALAMA and the PSC should be reviewed and resolved by the Minister of Finance, in consultation with the Minister of Public Service and Administration and the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission.

 

5.3        The Public Service Commission’s budget allocation for 2011/12 should be placed either separate, or as part of Parliament’s budget vote. This should allow the PSC to maintain its constitutionally enshrined independence from government; or its budget is allocated from the body it is accountable to.  

 

Report to be considered.

 

 

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