Hon Chairperson, hon Minister and hon members, according to Chapter 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, public administration must be governed by democratic values enshrined in the Constitution. These must include the following principles: a high standard of professional ethics; efficient, economic and effective use of resources; accountability; good human resource management and career management practices; and the public administration must be broadly representative of South African people, with employment and personnel management practices based on ability, objectivity and fairness.
The department received R690 billion to achieve these goals. To support the Budget Vote, one needs to look at the previous year's performance. A professional Public Service should be staffed by competent and dedicated professional officials. Furthermore, does effective service delivery by all public departments, including education and health, not rely on the commitment of appropriately qualified officials and how well they are managed?
Didn't the then Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, emphasise the importance of human resource planning five years ago? If this is the norm - with which the DA agrees - how is it then possible that the 2010 State of the Public Service Report by the Public Service Commission found that the Public Service still faced considerable challenges in the area of effective human resource management? The Public Service Commission found that just 16 out of 144 departments submitted human resource development plans. This is a compliance rate of only 11%. Is that why the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Dr Ralph Mgijima, concluded that "the Public Service is not at a point where it can confidently say that most of its managers are adequately competent in human resource management"?
Isn't it true that to have efficient management it is essential to follow correct appointment procedures?
Erken minister Baloyi dit nie inderdaad nie as hy verwys na ... [Isn't Minister Baloyi indeed acknowledging this when he refers to ...]
"... the right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time"?
Is dit nie so dat doeltreffende aanstellings akkurate posbeskrywings vereis nie? Hoekom bevind die Staatsdienskommissie dan dat talle basiese beginsels nie nagekom word nie? Voorbeelde is dat poste geadverteer word sonder posbeskrywings en dat daar vir slegs 36% van die 122 poste posbeoordelings gedoen is. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Isn't it true that effective appointments require accurate job descriptions? Why did the Public Service Commission then find that several basic principles are not being complied with? Examples of this are posts that are advertised without job descriptions and that job evaluations have been done for only 36% of the 122 posts.]
Why must appointments take 11 months, on average, to be completed? I have noticed that the Minister would like to reduce the period for appointments and I would support him in that.
Verder is daar voor die verkiesing spoedeisend opgetree om die Plaaslike Regering: Munisipale Stelselswet te wysig om korrupsie en politieke inmenging te bekamp. Die wysigingswet is deur beide Huise voor die munisipale verkiesings goedgekeur. Die verkiesing is verby en die wet is nog nie deur die President bekragtig nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[In addition, before the elections urgent action was taken to amend the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act to curb corruption and political interference. The amending Act was approved by both Houses before the municipal elections. The elections are over and the Act has still not been ratified by the President.]
Must we wait for all the cadres to be appointed and irresponsible appointments to be made before the law is implemented? This is just another sign that, for the next term of office, it will be business as usual for municipalities and the communities will suffer poor service delivery because competent people were not appointed in a responsible manner.
Kan ons saamstem dat een van die basiese beginsels van doeltreffende departementele bestuur is om werknemers verantwoordelik te hou vir die nakoming van hulle pligte? Hoe word dit dan gedoen as daar nie gebruik gemaak word van pligstate, prestasie-ooreenkomste en prestasiemetings nie? Hoekom het ons meganismes op papier wat ons nie nakom nie? Ons moet nie lippediens bewys nie, maar ons moet behoorlike prestasie-ooreenkomste teken en navolg. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Can we agree that one of the basic principles of efficient departmental management is to hold employees accountable for the discharging of their duties? How is it possible to do this if duty sheets, performance agreements and performance assessments are not being used? Why do we have mechanisms on paper that we don't comply with? We shouldn't be paying lip service, but we must sign and follow proper performance agreements.]
There is a performance management development system, but managers simply do not submit the performance agreements requested from them. If heads of departments do not comply with requirements, how can one expect the subordinates to comply? In addition, why are so many heads of department themselves never formally evaluated? Therefore, would we not all agree with President Zuma that we face a crisis of accountability? If officials are not held accountable, it is logical that financial mismanagement and corruption will follow.
In order to fight corruption isn't it essential that senior managers entrusted with public funds maintain a high standard of professional ethics? Shouldn't their integrity be beyond reproach? Therefore, doesn't it make sense that they must disclose their financial interests by the end of April every year?
It is worrying that, over the past three financial years, the compliance rate of senior managers in the entire Public Service has never been more than 50%, and that it is declining. Why should officials have the discretion to decide whether or not to investigate cases of alleged corruption and why is it that half of all departments have no anticorruption strategies?
Discipline is one of the most basic principles of effective management. Did the Public Service Commission not recommend to Cabinet that they should charge noncompliant officials with misconduct in terms of the code of conduct? There has been no feedback received from departments on 63% of the cases referred to the national anticorruption hot line. Officials suspected of fraud or corruption are often just suspended from duty for long periods with full pay. It is a positive statement from the Minister to want to engage in a process to ensure that suspensions with full pay are finalised within 60 days. Why are so many senior managers lenient in imposing disciplinary sanctions against the guilty, and why do they only give a written warning and not dismiss the guilty? Does the Public Service Commission not recommend that all fraud be reported to the police?
I must also commend the Minister on his endeavours to review working hours in the Public Service. As you stated, economies that pursue the 45-hour work week will grow at a faster pace than those economies that follow a 38- hour week. While we can argue a convincing case why Africa as a continent has lagged behind most economies, especially when we consider the effects of colonialism and apartheid, these arguments will lose credibility - if they have not already done so. The structure of the working hours in the SA Public Service impedes access to public services. I thank you. [Time expired.]