Media briefing on the draft 2008 Programme of Action for the Governance and Aministration cluster
In his State of the Nation Address on the 8th of February 2008, President Thabo Mbeki said that government was "making the firm undertaking that we will use the short period ahead of us further to energise our advance towards the realisation of the all-important goal of a better life for all. The entirety of our governance system is therefore making the commitment that in the period ahead of us, it will do its best to live up to the imperative - Business Unusual!" Business Unusual does not refer "to any changes in our established policies but with regard to the speedy, efficient and effective implementation of these policies and programmes, so that the lives of our people should change for the better, sooner rather than later".
President Mbeki earlier this year said that the public service must "put its shoulder to the wheel" to ensure accelerated service delivery and sound administration. This imperative applies to every person who is privileged to serve the people as a public servant. Accordingly the Governance and Administration (G&A) Cluster will focus on strengthening the machinery of government and improving the performance of the human resources which drive that machinery so that the public service meets its obligations to citizens.
The concept of "Business Unusual" is critical to ensuring that the governance Cluster is able to transform, to innovate and to capacitate our society to achieve its developmental goals. We have long maintained that simply doing our work the way we have always done it is not sufficient to meet the challenges of our transforming society. None of us denies that there remain major challenges in terms of service delivery. What we need to ensure is that we do not waiver in our commitment to change, to development and to improvement.
The question that we need to address is how we change from business as usual to "Business Unusual"?
What this change needs is relentless driving and leadership from our senior managers, from our elected representatives - both those who serve as members of the government and those in the legislatures who hold the machinery of government to account. "Business Unusual requires extraordinary commitment, dedication and, may I say it, patriotism. We need to move away from the mindset that achievement of seniority in our ranks means we have arrived at a point where we can sit back and let our subordinates carry the burden. We need to lead by inspiration, by innovation and by dedication.
While the purpose of this briefing is to map out the programme of the Cluster for the coming period, we do not do this in an historic vacuum. Our path ahead is mapped by our journey thus far. In our last briefing we pointed to some of the milestones we achieved during the past year, and I believe that we should further elaborate on some of these:
The implementation of the Occupation Specific Dispensations rewards skill, performance and service, and demonstrates our commitment to retaining and attracting skills and building the skills base of our economy. Agreement has been reached and implementation taking place in the Health and Justice sectors, and is close to being finalised in the Education sector. The massification of induction and the transformation of the South African Management Development Institute (samdi) into an Academy are proceeding at a brisk pace, and are critical building blocks in the "Business Unusual" foundation.
In our last briefing in November 2007, we reported how strong leadership and management have seen significant results in tackling corruption and inefficiency. In terms of improving civic services in the past year we have seen a wide range of measures to improve the services delivered to the people of South Africa:
* The Track and Trace commenced on the 19th of February 2007.
* A review of all information technology (IT) projects was undertaken including investigating other available options.
* The procurement process for new passport printers has commenced and it is at an advanced stage.
* Scanners and receipt scanners were rolled out to 254 out of 259 Home Affairs offices.
* Training on new systems was provided to 1 249 frontline staff and extended to further 427 employees.
* Online verification has been piloted in four front offices.
* Plans for the implementation of the new Coat of Arms have been finalised.
In Local Government the alignment of integrated development plans (IDPs) with the National Spatial Development Perspective and the Provincial Growth and Development Strategies has improved in all provinces. In the years 2007/08 79% of IDPs received a credibility rating of between high and medium compared with 40% three years before - there is still room for improvement, but substantial progress has been made. Of major significance in this regard is the 100% adoption rate of IDPs as a result of concerted effort of all spheres over the last three years. The mainstreaming of Project Consolidate into the 5-Year Local Government Strategic Agenda (2006-2011) has seen a total of 359 experts deployed to 105 Project Consolidate municipalities by the end of 2007.
In the spirit of Business Unusual, government has identified a suite of Apex Priorities. In the words of President Mbeki, these are to be used as "catalysts further to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the objectives the people mandated us to pursue". Government has tasked the Governance and Administration (G&A) Cluster with three "simple but urgent and critical priorities". These priorities are as follows:
Project 15: Regularise employment and Performance Agreements (PAs) at designated levels (lead department: dpsa), consisting of two elements:
a.. Ensuring that all currently vacant positions of Director-General (DG), Deputy Director-General (DDG) Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Municipal Manager are filled within six months, also taking into account demographic targets; and
b.. Ensuring that by June 2007 and by May of every year thereafter all Senior Management System (SMS) members have submitted signed PAs.
Vacancies in top management impact negatively on government's ability successfully to pursue its mandate. Currently three national and three provincial DG posts are vacant, while 12 provincial head of department (HOD) posts are vacant. Replies by departments indicated that 11 CFO posts were vacant. At the time of the survey 36 national and 10 provincial DDG posts were vacant. With regard to local government, the vacancy rate of municipal managers has decreased from 27% in February 2007 to 22% in December 2007, indicating a 5% improvement. However, there is a need for municipalities to work hard to reduce this vacancy rates, considering the institutional and developmental goals of government.
Individual performance agreements between supervisor and subordinate at all levels are the crucial underpinning of effective organisational performance in the public service. Therefore it is of great concern that there is not full compliance in this regard at senior management level. Not all departments replied to the Department of Public Service and Administration's (dpsa) request for information, but those that did up to 31 January indicated that 4 425 senior managers have signed performance agreements. This falls considerably below 100% compliance. A report on this survey will be submitted to Cabinet soon, which will also propose sanctions for failure to conclude a performance agreement within two months of the commencement of the financial year (that is, by end May). These will include non-eligibility for performance awards, pay progression and annual increment; and extension of the probationary period by the period for which the PA was not signed. A further survey will be conducted at the end of May 2008 regarding the 2008/09 financial year. Refinements of the Municipal Performance Regulations will be explored in 2008.
A report on both aspects will be submitted to the July Cabinet Lekgotla.
Project 16: Ensure integrated planning across all spheres (Presidency), consisting of two elements:
a.. Completing the process of setting up planning capacity; and
b.. Ensuring alignment among planning instruments across all the spheres.
In 2007 the Presidency explored the desirability of the establishment of dedicated planning capacity in government in order to develop a strategic national development plan for South Africa. Initial comparative research was conducted. The main proposal for the establishment of strategic national development planning capacity was approved by the January 2008 Cabinet Lekgotla. Further work will be done this year and a report made to the January 2009 Cabinet Lekgotla.
The other aspect of the project is the alignment of the planning of the national, provincial and local spheres of government. The project is implemented in three phases. These are:
(1) The technical analysis of economic potential, poverty and strategic development challenges facing a district;
(2) The translation of the technical analysis into a development vision for the district backed by setting of priorities and identification of intergovernmental/coordination arrangements to ensure the implementation of the priorities; and
(3) Institutionalising outcomes of the first two phases by including them in the district Integrated Development Plan (IDP) as overall framework for integrating plans of other spheres.
Eleven districts have been identified and meetings to introduce the project have been held in all.
a.. Project 17: Improve civic services (Department of Home Affairs)
All the elements of Project 17 have been integrated into the Turnaround Strategy of the Department of Home Affairs (dha), which is reported upon below.
Cluster priority projects
Turnaround Strategy of the Department of Home Affairs
As part of its Turnaround Project the Department of Home Affairs has conducted market research on the best option available for the identity card. The purpose of the research was to understand the current market prices, suppliers and technology. The Department will soon make a decision on the best solution for the country. This will be followed by the launch of a Pilot Project before the end of the year and a full rollout commencing in 2009.
This year, the Department will also launch the Online Verification Project, which is part of the Home Affairs National Identification System (HANIS). Through this system, citizens' fingerprints can be immediately verified at dha outside offices when making applications for enabling documents. This will reduce identity document (ID) fraud and improve turnaround time for processing enabling documents such as ID book and passports.
The Department has completed the development of its new service delivery model centered on its customers and clients. At this stage the Department is involved in consultations both internally and externally with key stakeholders. With regard to ID processes, the Department has launched an effective and efficient Track and Trace for the ID book. As part of the Track and Trace is the SMS notification system to notify clients to collect their IDs. This service has significantly improved service delivery for our citizens.
A printing machine for the new passport system will be delivered soon. This element of Apex project 17 has been incorporated into 55 key turnaround projects for 2008. The intended outcome for this project is to improve security and turnaround times as well as service delivery and integrity of the RSA passport.
The Certificate via Terminal project is a key project in the Turnaround Strategy. The full rollout is currently under investigation with the possibility of capturing data directly (from the front offices) on the national population register. The envisaged outcome will focus on improving service delivery and customer satisfaction through improved turnaround times.
The Department has intensified its battle to root out corruption together with other law enforcement agencies and will continue doing so with vigour and zeal as demonstrated in the past successful cases and direct its efforts to further root out possible syndicates operating in our environment.
Single Public Service
Consultations on the draft Single Public Service Bill are continuing. An engagement with the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) is underway. The Bill will be gazetted in the Government Gazette in March 2008 for public comment. Thereafter it is hoped to table the Bill in Parliament in June 2008, which is within the deadline of 18 months set by President Mbeki in the February 2007 State of the Nation Address.
The cost-benefit analysis on remuneration and conditions of service, which will assist in developing a remuneration policy for the Single Public Service, will be finalised by April 2008. A change management drive including awareness campaigns/roadshows as well as the identification and training of change agents.
As part of the Single Public Service initiative, and in order to make the next generation e-government real for South Africans, a number of catalytic projects have been identified for implementation. Catalytic projects are a stimulus for change and have the potential to generate broader change, as they drive integration across departments, jurisdictions and channels. The projects include: application for an ID, application for a birth certificate, application for a death certificate, foster child care grant, maintenance order and the old age pension application. This work will be completed by the end of the year
In an effort to improve an integrated service delivery in the Public Service, the G&A Cluster will also undertake to develop Thusong Services Centres. Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) working with other government departments and partners will finalise the funding model for Thusong Services Centres as well establish 10 new Thusong Centres. The Cluster will facilitate the process of developing a coordinated service delivery spatial plans including service points and human resource (HR) capacity and will as a first step conduct a survey of existing Geographical Information System at provincial and national government and then establish GIS for the Single Public Service.
Projects emanating from the January Cabinet Lekgotla
The G&A Cluster presentation at the January 2008 Cabinet Lekgotla focused on ways of improving the performance of the public service, progress in the Local Government Strategic Agenda, and the Policy Process on Provincial and Local Government.
Broad focus areas in relation to the performance of the public service included: firstly, the need for preparatory work leading up to a Public Sector Summit towards the end of 2008. This would be part of an effort to engage with public service unions on issues more broadly than conditions of service, including Batho Pele principles and productivity of public servants. Secondly, the need for the decentralised regulatory framework to be more effectively managed was raised, including measures for ensuring compliance to the prescripts, such as those contained in the newly enacted Public Service Amendment Act. Thirdly, the need was raised for the Executive to give leadership to their departments and municipalities by insisting that the basics of sound administration are in place and by establishing and maintaining lines of communication with staff at all levels, in order to mobilise them to deepen their commitment to service delivery.
Various additional projects have been adopted following the Lekgotla: a project will be established to focus on strengthening the quality of leadership provided by the executive and senior management, referred to by President Mbeki; a project on organisational performance management; and a review of the career-pathing mechanisms in the public service.
Progress on the Implementation of the Local Government Strategic Agenda (2006 - 2011)
In his State of the Nation Address, President Mbeki indicated that government will continue to intensify its efforts to strengthen local government capacity in line with the 5-year Local Government Strategic Agenda (2006 - 2011). The implementation of the Local Government Strategic Agenda from 2006 onwards was a logical extension of Project Consolidate, initiated in 2004. The three core pillars of the Local Government Strategic Agenda are:
a) Mainstreaming hands-on support to Local Government to improve municipal governance, performance and accountability;
b) Addressing the structure and governance arrangements of the State in order to better strengthen, support and monitor Local Government; and
c) Refining and strengthening the policy, regulatory and fiscal environment for Local Government and giving greater attention to the enforcement measures.
In 2007 national government together with all provinces, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), individual municipalities and key partners outside of government gave active support to implementing this agenda which focused on the five key performance areas of local government transformation, namely:
a) municipal transformation and institutional development
b) basic services and infrastructure
c) financial viability and financial management
d) local economic development and
e) good governance and community participation.
In this briefing, we will report on some of the key indicators of progress and highlight some of the core challenges that will be prioritised in 2008.
Basic SERVICES AND INFRASTructure
In the State of the Nation Address the President indicated that government will "speed up the development of sustainable human settlements, with intensified efforts, as a matter of urgent priority, to accelerate universal access to water, sanitation and electricity, so that by 2014, we have decent human settlements and access by all households to these services."
In 2007 we have given urgent attention to this priority through the deployment of expertise to support the infrastructure programmes at municipalities. We have managed to do this with critical support from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the South African Institute of Civil Engineering (SAICE), the USAID and the Old Mutual Group of South African (through the establishment of the Ilima Trust).
Infrastructure spending in municipalities has improved. The combined efforts referred to above have resulted in levels of infrastructure spending improving to 98% by June 2007, at the end of the last municipal financial year. Notwithstanding this progress, there is still a need for a few identified municipalities to address the problem of under-spending and seize the opportunity that is presented in the current capacity building programmes.
Financial Viability and Financial Management
A related key area of our work with local government is focused on improving their financial viability and financial management capability. This year we will reach another milestone in our implementation of the Municipal Property Rates Act by promulgating a second set of regulations. This is consistent with our commitment to the phased implementation of the Act to ensure that all our relevant municipalities are able to derive their much-required revenue. By the end of 2007, over 50 municipalities were implementing the Property Rates Act and our projections are that this number will increase significantly in 2008.
In the past year our work also focused on strengthening the financial management capacity of municipalities by assisting them to improve the overall submission rate of Annual Financial Statements (AFS). For the year that ended on 30 June 2007, 81% of municipalities submitted these statements on time by 31 August 2007, as prescribed by the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA). Previously the submission rate was 69%.
It should also be noted that the establishment of municipal Internal Audit Committees (IAC) has improved to 74%. This year the dplg will work closely with the Auditor-General to improve the quality of the audit outcomes in some of the identified municipalities. Key partners in this initiative are National Treasury and the Institute of Municipal Finance Officers (IMFO).
Local Economic development
In the area of local economic development (LED) many municipalities are making notable progress in performing their mandated role. All metropolitan and District municipalities have now convened Growth and Development Summits. The focus in most municipalities is now on implementing the decisions and outcomes of these Summits. The finalisation and implementation of LED Strategies and Plans in all municipalities will be a priority in 2008.
Under the umbrella of the Urban Renewal and Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programmes, the dplg with the support of the Business Trust undertook a Nodal Economic Assessment and Profiling of all 21 urban and rural development nodes. One of the key findings of this study concluded that the individual nodal economies profiles amply demonstrate that there is significant potential for catalytic economic development in these nodes. One priority of this Cluster will be to support municipalities in recruiting and mobilising the necessary economic development expertise to act on the findings of this study.
Good governance and community participation
In the area of good governance work continued in various areas during 2007. The dplg worked closely with some donors, SALGA and provinces to roll-out the Local Government Anti-Corruption Strategy. In 2008 the intention is to upscale this work and rollout the strategy to 150 municipalities throughout the country.
Secondly, all the affected provinces (KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, North West, Mpumalanga and Free State) have given attention to the implementation of the legislation on traditional leadership. All these provinces have been able to develop province-specific legislation and government is now rolling out a programme of support in order to enable traditional institutions to strengthen their capacity regarding their developmental traditional responsibilities.
Lastly, on the state of community participation, the national establishment rate for ward committees stood at 97% as at December 2007. In the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill, presently before Parliament, we are exploring some immediate areas of improving the functionality and capacity of these ward committees.
The January 2008 Extended Cabinet Lekgotla resolved that national and provincial government, State-owned Enterprises and municipalities will respectively re-commit itself to support and intensify the implementation of the 5 Year Local Government Strategic Agenda (2006-2011).
The Provincial and Local Government Policy Review
A core priority of the Local Government Strategic Agenda is the refinement of policy, institutional and fiscal matters as it affects local government. In this regard a policy review process was initiated on 31 July 2007 which consisted of a public call for responses to key policy questions on provincial and local government. A wide range of responses were received by the end of October 2007 from individuals, government departments, public enterprises, universities and research institutions, municipalities, provinces, organised local government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and political parties.
The Minister for Provincial and Local Government, Mr FS Mufamadi, announced on 12 December 2007 an overview of the process and emerging issues to date. The Extended Cabinet Lekgotla in January 2008 endorsed the development of draft White Paper by mid-2008. This policy review process is scheduled for completion in early 2009.
2008 Programme of Action
The draft 2008 Programme of Action (POA) of the Governance and Administration (G&A) therefore focuses on Good Governance, Capacity of the State, Macro Organisation of the State and Transversal Systems. Some of the projects to be included in the G&A Cluster's Programme of Action for 2008 have already been included in the discussion above.
Anti-corruption projects in the Good Governance programme include the development of the 2nd National Anti-Corruption programme and the implementation of the Local Government Anti-Corruption Strategy.
The gender and disability programmes will focus on the implementation of Gender Equality Strategy for the Public Service and the Job-Access Strategy for the employment of people with disabilities in the Public Service respectively. The main objective of these two strategies is to ensure that government works towards achieving 50% employment of women in Senior Management positions and 2% employment of people disabilities in the Public Service.
Implementation of the Batho Pele programme will continue in 2008, including training for officials in all three spheres in Batho Pele Change Management Engagement Programme (BPCMEP) and the development of Service Delivery Improvement Plans (SDIPs) and Service Standards for national and provincial departments. A customer satisfaction survey to assess the outcomes of the 2007/08 SDIPs in all social cluster departments will be conducted.
The G&A Cluster will also ensure that through the Public Participation programme, Presidential Izimbizo are held and that progress reports on the implementation of commitments given are closely monitored. With the dplg as a lead department, assisted by provinces and SALGA, the Cluster will provide training and develop a funding model to ensure that all ward committees are functional and able to serve as vehicles for the promotion of community participation. Furthermore, guidelines will also be developed for the definition of roles and responsibilities of Traditional Leaders towards ensuring the effective functioning of all ward committees.
Capacity of the state
The key focus of the skills development sub-programme is the implementation of:
* The Human Resource Planning Strategic Framework
* HR Connect (a skills database for the public service)
* compulsory competency assessments for the Senior Management Service (SMS)
* the implementation of the Leadership Development Management Strategic Framework for the SMS and
* the Public Service Human Resource Development (HRD) Strategic Framework Vision 2015.
The South African Management Development Institute (samdi) is the lead department for the capacity development sub-programme. The key projects that will be implemented include the implementation of the Public Service Academy Strategy and training on Anti-corruption, Gender and Disability Mainstreaming, Accelerated Management Development (ADP), the Khaedu SMS Development Programme and the Massified Induction Training Programme. The G&A Cluster hopes to deliver 20 Anti-corruption training sessions to government departments, 20 Gender Mainstreaming training sessions to government departments, training of 1 000 Senior Management members on Khaedu Development Programme, Training of Trainers in all nine provinces as well training 40% new non-SMS staff members as part of the Massified Induction Training Programme.
Macro-organisation of the state
The project on the implementation of the Community Development Workers (CDW) Programme will also be pursued this year. The focus of the action plan for CDW will seek to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the CDWs, develop an operational strategy and guidelines to ensure performance and accountability of CDWs, develop an outcomes-based training and capacity building programme as well as develop a monitoring and evaluation instrument to monitor the work of CDWs.
To instil a common understanding about the role of the community development workers a Master Plan has been developed. The Master Plan is there to define the space that the community development workers occupy in public service, what they do, how they complement other government services and with whom they should collaborate. A stakeholder workshop will take place on 18 February 2008 and the platform will be used to finalise the Master Plan and receive all outstanding information required to finalise the Plan.
The last broad policy area of the G&A Cluster is the transversal system and has two main focus areas for 2008. These focus areas are Integrated Planning and Government-Wide Monitoring and Evaluation System (GWM&ES). The Integrated Planning focuses on the implementation and monitoring of credible Integrated Development Planning (IDP) Framework and the aim is to achieve 100% IDP adoption rate for 2008/09 and 50% of IDPs drafted in the credible IDP format.
The GWM&ES has the following key projects:-
* training in the Government Wide Monitoring & Evaluation System
* distribution and first phase implementation of policy framework, guidelines, standards and regulations
* enhancement of present monitoring systems, including web-based POA reporting system
* publication of mid-term review based on high-level development indicators and
* implementation and maintenance system to contribute to the alignment of strategic plans and regular assessment of progress toward implementation against these plans.
During the course of this year, the G&A Cluster in collaboration with the Presidency as the lead department and other relevant departments will ensure that training material is developed for GWM&E for all levels, will train 1500 officials on Monitoring and Evaluation and update the revised high level of development indicators.
Building the capacity of the state, accelerating service delivery and fulfilling the requirements of a developmental state requires extraordinary effort, commitment and innovation. We need, as the President has indicated, to ensure that our starting point is "business unusual". We have made significant gains in our transformation of the state, but these are far from enough. We must now rekindle our spirit of hope, of drive and determination as we go beyond what we consider our best efforts to build a truly developmental state
Issued by: Department of Public Service and Administration
13 February 2008
Province Or State