ATC110420: Report Budget Vote 12 for 2011/12

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION ON BUDGET VOTE 12 FOR 2011/12, AS ADOPTED ON THE 20 APRIL 2011

 

 

1.         Introduction

 

Section 42 (3) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, states that, “the National Assembly is elected to represent the people and to ensure government by the people under the Constitution”.Section 42(3) of the Constitution further states that the National Assembly does this “by choosing the President, by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues, by passing legislation and by scrutinising and overseeing executive action”.

 

Budget Vote 12 was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on the 09 March 2011, for consideration and report. The Committee’s consideration of Budget vote 12 for 2011/12 is in line with the responsibility conferred upon it by Section 42(3) of the Constitution, 1996.

 

2.         Overview of Budget Vote 12 for 2011/12

 

The mandate of the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) has evolved over time. Initially the DPSA’s focus was solely on formulating transformative policies and frameworks for the Public Service.  The Department is now able to provide implementation-support to other government departments in order ensure compliance with the policies and frameworks; and improve service delivery and performance; while it strengthens its monitoring and evaluation functions.

 

The evolved mandate of the DPSA is aligned to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which South Africa has ratified, as the MDGs have been integrated into government’s Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2009-2014. Of particular focus for the Department of Public Service and Administration is the MTSF outcome #12: Efficient, effective and developmental orientated public service and an empowered, fair and inclusive citizenship, as an effective and efficient public service is necessary for the achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals.

 

In terms of government’s 12 outcomes, Minister of Public Service and Administration has been allocated the responsibility of co-ordinating the implementation and monitoring of, and reporting on an efficient, effective and development orientated Public Service and an empowered, fair and inclusive citizenship.  In order to realise outcome 12 in the medium term, the strategic objectives of the Department are:

·         Service delivery quality and access

·         Effective systems, structures and processes

·         Leverage of ICT as a strategic resource for e-government strategy

·         Effective recruitment practices and human resource development in the Public Service

·         Efficient human resource management practices, norms and standards

·         Healthy, safe working environments for all public servants

·         Appropriate governance structures and decision-making

·         Citizen engagement and public participation

·         Effective tackling of corruption

·         Contribution towards improved public service and administration in Africa and the international arena

 

Budget vote 12 is divided into six programmes that address the ten strategic objectives of the Department. The six programmes and their purposes are:

 

·         Programme 1: Administration

Provide policy, strategic leadership and overall management of the Department.

·         Programme 2: Human Resource Management and Development

Develop, implement and monitor human resource management policies

·         Programme 3: Labour Relations and Remuneration Management

Develop, implement and maintain labour relations and compensation policies. Ensure co-ordinated engagement with organised labour.

·         Programme 4: Public Sector Information and Communication Technology

Develop, implement and monitor information communication technology policies and norms and standards that enable citizen-centred services

·         Programme 5: Service Delivery and Organisational Transformation

Promote a service delivery and organisational transformation framework. Engage in interventions and partnerships to promote efficient and effective service delivery.

·         Programme 6: Governance and International Relations

Improve participatory governance; strengthen the fight against corruption and engagement with international partners in the field of public administration

 

Displayed below is a breakdown of the allocated funds per programme:

 

Table 1: Breakdown of allocated funds per programme for Budget Vote 12

R thousand

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

Total to be appropriated

Total

Total

MTEF allocation

 

 

 

1.     Administration

165259

176650

189937

2.     HRM and Development

33966

36475

39489

3. Labour Relations and Remuneration Management

23273

25332

27012

4.    Public Sector Information and Communication Technology Management

40862

43301

46037

5.    Service Delivery and Organisational Transformation

204843

214314

227832

6.    Governance and International Relations

221866

230155

244235

Total Estimates

690069

726227

774542

         

 

Transfers from Budget Vote 12 are made to the Public Service Commission (PSC), the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI), Public Services Sector Education Training Authority (PSETA) and the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA).

 

The Public Service Commission (PSC) is the only body empowered and constitutionally mandated to oversee and evaluate the functioning of the Public Service with a view to establishing good governance and best practice principles. The Public Service Commission’s transfer from Budget vote 12 amounts to R151, 051 million.

 

The Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy’s (PALAMA) primary responsibility is to ensure the provision of training and management development for public servants in order to improve the capacity of the state. The aim of PALAMA is to provide and co-ordinate the provision of training and management development interventions that lead to improved performance and service delivery in the public sector. PALAMA receives a transfer of R118, 414 million from Budget vote 12 for 2011/12.

 

The Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) receives a transfer of R14,848 million, while the Public Services Sector Education Training Authority (PSETA) receives R21, 044 million transfer from Budget vote 12 for 2011/12.

 

The State Information Technology Agency (SITA) was established in 1999 to consolidate and co-ordinate the state’s information technology resources to save costs through scale, to increase delivery capabilities and to improve interoperability. SITA was established in terms of the SITA Act (No. 88 of 1998) as amended by Act 38 of 2002. SITA is funded from providing services as stipulated in the service level agreements referred to in the legislation.

 

Although the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) does not receive funds from Budget Vote 12, its budget has been included in National Treasury’s Estimates of National Expenditure 2011 Budget vote 12 chapter. SITA plays a pivotal role in the Integrated Financial Management System, the PERSAL system and the connectivity of Thusong Services Centres for access government services.

 

4.         Findings

 

Some of the key findings for the Committee were focused on the following:

 

4.1  Effective recruitment and human resource development practices

The Department undertook to conduct an analysis of organisational and senior management service skills gaps in 46 government departments.

 

4.2  Update or replacement of the PERSAL System

Clarity was sought on the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) PERSAL system, in order to have the correct and updated information on the vacancy rate in the Public Service; both funded andunfunded posts.

 

4.3  Report on Delivery Agreements the Executive signed with the President on delivery of mandates

 

Collaboration between the DPSA and the Ministry for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation to give a Government-wide report on progress by Ministries to deliver on their signed agreements with the President would be desirable, to determine whether Ministries were still on track regarding their agreements. It is understandable that they report to the President with whom they have signed; but Parliament is within its oversight rights to determine the track record so far.

 

4.4  Citizen engagement and participation to speed up service delivery

The Department should report back to Parliament on the feedback and findings regarding this proposed engagement with the citizens. This could allow Parliament to engage Government on strategies to minimise civil boycotts and unrests.

 

4.5  Effectively tackling corruption

The Department promised to improve information technology security systems in order to effectively lower the levels of corruption in the Public Service. The Department also plans to reduce transgressions related to financial systems and security risks to government systems by developing and implementing a vulnerability assessment programme.

 

4.6  The Public Service Commission (PSC) Budget Vote

The Portfolio Committee has noted with extreme regret that the PSC’s budget is no longer a stand-alone budget vote as in the past. The Portfolio Committee’s understanding is that the budget of the Commission was rendered a vote on its own because this institution is independent and autonomous. It reports to Parliament regarding its function and operation. It never accounts to the Department. This matter should be further pursued with a view to reversing it to the previous status quo.

 

4.7  Integrating gender equity and disability recruitment measures into Government’s Programme of Action

As at June 2007 disability representation was 0.2 per cent in the Public Service. It was regrettable that the Public Service has paid lip service to this policy matter. It is high time that the Public Service devoted its urgent attention to this issue. The Portfolio Committee is aware that Cabinet reviewed the target date to address gender and disability issues and extended it to March 2010. But this target date has come and gone, and the Committee is of the view that these targets have not been met, yet again.

 

5.         Conclusion

 

The allocations of Budget vote 12 for 2011/12 are in line with the strategic priorities and key outcomes of Government. The Committee will consider key projects of the Department of Public Service and Administration, PALAMA, SITA and the PSC for future committee oversight, whilst monitoring the expenditure of Budget Vote 12 on a quarterly basis for 2011/12.

 

6.         Recommendations

 

The Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration recommends that the National Assembly approves budget vote 12 for 2011/12.

 

The Committee further recommends that:

 

1)      All government departments should fill vacancies that currently exist within their establishment, taking into consideration the Gender and Disability targets government set, in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals.

2)      It is understood that the process of removing the Public Service Commission (PSC) from the Budget Vote falling under the executing authority of a Minister of the Executive is underway. However, the process and the final location of the PSC’s budget should protect the independence, perceived or real, of the PSC.

3)      Although the State Information Technology Agency does not receive funding from Budget vote 12, it is nonetheless displayed as part of Budget Vote 12. The Minister of Public Service and Administration should provide the committee with clarity on the operations and funding model of the State Information Technology Agency.

 

 

Report to be considered.

Documents

No related documents