Mrs J C Moloi-Moropa (ANC) to ask the Minister for the Public Service and Administration:
In terms of PALAMA's strategic plan, the strategic objectives are as follows:
PALAMA's training is aligned to the public service competency framework as determined by the DPSA, is specific to job knowledge requirements applicable to the public service, as an example, financial management and supply chain training programmes developed in line with National Treasury policies and prescripts, and includes accredited programmes enabling the learners to exit PALAMA training with qualifications recognised by South African Qualifications Authorities and some Higher Education Institutions. PALAMA's training also provides for different competency levels, at entry level, the approach is of short courses, whereas at intermediate to advance level, training includes practical work based on job specific assignment. Additional to these, PALAMA has already begun to model on-site training through the Khaedu Programme which introduces innovative problem solving training methods.
The above training excludes training provided under induction programmes and orientation of the unemployed youth graduates; and well as donor-funded capacity building initiatives on the African continent. PALAMA's training has also been offered beyond the realm of public servants, extending to office bearers in other organs of state, including the legislatures. Clearly, from these training figures, PALAMA is making more gains in achieving what it has been established to do
Although PALAMA has delivered on its mandate in terms of the Public Service Amendment Act, 2007, notwithstanding existing gaps, it is clear that the mandate should be changed to respond to the needs of the Public Service. I have further directed the leadership of PALAMA to accelerate the process of repositioning the academy as a fully flashed School of Government by October 2013 with the capability of offering mandatory training programs which will be a condition for entry and mobility in the Public Service. This will also place PALAMA at a position to be able to play a leading role in public service research to ensure that the training programmes are aligned to the needs of the public service.
This School of Government, similarly to those in the our higher education and training environment and benchmarked against other countries School of Government will deliver a much broad and comprehensive training and development programme for the public officials and servants in the various levels of Government. The capacity of the new School of Government will include functions such as: development of evidence-based training intervention programmes at the points of delivery; curriculum design; quality assurance of training programmes through teaching and learning and accreditation; context based delivery of training programme; and offering of professional and academic certificates. The public service administration and training environment in Government, including PALAMA will be structured around these functional areas.
Since inception in 2008, PALAMA has provided training to public servants as follows: 21 037 (2008/09); 20 137 (2009/10); 20 273 (2010/11); and 24 071 (2011/12). The said performance has been audited by the Auditor-General in the respective financial years, for which there have been unqualified audits, and which is the only reliable information to assess the performance of PALAMA. The performance of the last financial year was presented to the Portfolio Committee on 9 October 2012.
Primarily to the existing gaps is to optimise training impact. This requires training with a focus on the doctrine of common ethos and a common understanding of the needs of a developmental state, with managerial skills necessary to effectively implement government policies and put a premium on serving the government of the day to the highest standards. In this regard, public service induction is key, and hence the Public Service Induction Training Programme is one for the mandatory training programmes offered by PAMALA. Training of those tasked with employee development and management is also critical and hence PALAMA is offering specialised training for HRM & D practitioner in addition to mentoring and coaching courses. Effective learning requires a coherent approach in the choice of training to be undertaken as a result, PALAMA is currently in discussions with all relevant stakeholders to develop a Matrix of Qualifications for the public service in order to broaden the scope for mandatory training for all in the public service.