DPSA IN THE MEDIA: TRANSCRIPT: MPSA Breakfast with Media, Cape Town

Date: 2 May 2013

TRANSCRIPT: MPSA Breakfast with Media, Cape Town

Minister Lindiwe Sisuslu: There’s a

question… I’m just going to

take one from each journalist and perhaps ask my top bureaucrats to

assist me with some of the other questions.

Janie Joubert says the Public Service is bloated.

This is a characteristic of any developing country.

There’s always a flipside to trimming down the

Public Service and we’ve battled with this

through the administration of Mandela, through the administration

of Mbeki and in this administration as well. The flipside is huge

unemployment, huge dependency on the state and we could go on and

on. We are very concerned, however, to ensure that it does not get

more bloated than it is. The question you were asking is how can we

arrest this bloated public civil service and create more

structures. We’re not creating new structures,

we’re restructuring the structures that we have.

For instance, we have Palama right now. Palama is meant to be an

academy and at the moment it is serving as a conduit ensuring that

our public servants are given access to the educational facilities

that are available in institutions of learning.

We’ve looked at the system and found that it

doesn’t work for us so we’re

restructuring Palama to turn it into a school of government. So

there isn’t an additional institution that

we’re putting in that place,

we’re restructuring what we have.

You’re asking what we are going to do about

the additional establishment of the Anti-Corruption Bureau. We have

anti-corruption measures in government. We are going to restructure

them, streamline them and make sure that they reside within the

Public Service and Administration department  and those

will be the elements of the bureau we’re talking

about. We’re not adding any more people to

person these institutions, we’re restructuring

– after having assessed that we

don’t have the necessary muscle and power and

teeth to deal with the problem –

we’re restructuring what we have.

I am told that I forgot to indicate that there is another

independent state here, which is the Auditor

General’s office represented by Mr KimiMakwetu.

I actually noted him and I was hoping that he had perhaps become

one of my advisors. Welcome Mr Makwetu. Mr Makwetu is the author of

that very damning report about the expenditure of government that

he believes we could do something about. It’s a

very detailed report, it took him some time… I

interacted very closely with him when I was in Defence, and yes, he

expressed his concern about this runaway train of consultants and

how much it is costing government and he has insisted that the

Department of Public Administration together with National

Treasury, tighten the regulatory framework so that we depend less

on outsourcing and when we do we follow certain prescripts. So he

is here to defend his line and I am fully supportive of the line

that he has taken, it’s long overdue and we need

to do something about it.

What do we do about public servants that might have been

appointed by a political party? The new Public Service cadre that

we want to emerge out of the school of government we are creating

is a non-political public servant, which in terms of the

Constitution will be able to serve the government of the

day… God forbid it will not be

BEELD/BUILD?running this countryone day…

but even if it does, even if in our wildest dreams we have that

party running the country, the public servant that we produce now

will be able to serve that particular

"_GoBack">government of the day conscientiously, with

dedication and commitment like they would serve the government of

any other party. Because that is the essence of the public servant,

in fact some of the examples we’ve borrowed

heavily from in the National Development Plan (NDP) are British

examples where these are permanent people, especially the

Secretaries, they are permanent. The unfortunate situation with

this case is that they tend to think that Ministers are a corridor,

a moving corridor that if you stick around will very soon move on,

and we don’t want that either. We want to have a

balance where the policies of a ruling party are rooted in what

goes on in government but the Public Service will serve the

government of the day as conscientiously as they should.

I don’t know if there are any other questions

that I can perhaps ask my Director Generals to deal

with?General  Khumbula here is the Acting DG for the

day. He is the DDG responsible for our responsibility over the

employment conditions of the public servants and he indicates that

he is willing to respond to the question around what do we do with

the powers that we want to take on in the bureau as opposed to the

rights of the citizens that are enshrined in the Constitution and

in our laws that allows them to be defended in all cases and how do

we hope to fast track this and will this not limit the rights of

the individual. And he’s written me a whole

thesis here so I’ll hand this over to him so

that in the shortest possible time he can answer that question.

Acting DG of the day, Mr Khumbula: Thank you very much

Minister. Well, firstly there was a question raised about

disciplinary cases and the period it takes to resolve some of these

disciplinary cases. One of the things we’re

doing is to define a period for the resolution of these cases, that

cases must be resolved within 60 days. We’ve had

a problem when it comes to the investigation of the cases. There

was no specific period that was defined for investigation of cases

so it could take very long just to investigate a case.So we felt

that perhaps this is an area we should attack and we should define

a period for the investigation of these cases and

we’ve set ourselves 20 days to investigate and

conclude cases.

The second area is obviously to improve on the prosecution of

these cases, as well as the chairing of these cases.

We’ve trained a pool of public servants to chair

disciplinary cases. But not only have we done that,

we’re also going to invite independent

Commissioners who are listed with some of the bargaining councils,

including the CCMA to actually handle some of the disciplinary

cases within the Public Service, especially those that are complex

and I’m talking about those that relate to fraud

and corruption. Currently our legal system does not allow the use

of independent Commissioners from CCMA and that is the area that we

want to look at.

The Minister referred to a central case management system that

we will be introducing and this is something we will be introducing

soon so that we have a data base of all the cases in the Public

Service. We will then know what is happening in which department

and what kind of assistance they are looking for andthat will

assist us to deal with some of these cases. Of cause cooperation

with other agencies of government is going to continue as part of

that effort. So those are some of the initiatives we are taking in

so far as the management of these cases.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu: Before we take the next round of

questions I thought I’d use this opportunity to

ask my DDGs to please stand up and introduce themselves and we will

go on until we are familiar with everybody. Could the DDGs please

introduce themselves?

INTRODUCTION OF DDGs:

Alex Mahapa, DDG for Governance and International Relations,

DPSA

Colette Clark, DDG for Service Delivery & Organisational

Transformation, DPSA

Walter Mudau, Acting DDG Public Sector ICT Management

 

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu: Thank you very much,

we’ll take the questions?

Journalist 1: While the disciplinary case is still

pending against them, this is what a lot of them do, they just

resign and then move to the next department and get a job there. So

how are you going to prevent these people…

because obviously they still have rights, they

haven’t been found guilty of anything so they

resign and then move on to the next hunting field. Now what are you

going to do about it?  

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu: We started at the top level.

We’ve produced a manual which has been adopted

by Cabinet and has been adopted by all Premiers, of procedures to

be adopted when you are recruiting top echelons of the civil

service like DGs and DDGs, how you interview them and how they are

confirmed in their appointment , how they resign and how they are

retained and all of those matters. We had found a great number of

applications of people who had resigned in previous portfolios and

what we have within that manual now, which is a compulsory handbook

for all Premiers and Ministers, is that any resignation of a Chief

Director and upwards has got to be followed by an exit interview.

We would need to know why that person is leaving, it is compulsory.

It is compulsory because we want to keep track of public servants

and we also want to understand what it is we could do better to

retain our public servants better. But it’s been

institutionalised at the top level precisely because of the

occurrence you are talking about where one would resign while a

process is under way to go and find employment elsewhere. We want

to prohibit anybody who is facing a disciplinary case from

resigning and getting a job in government because we would like to

make sure that that case is closed before they can move on to

another sphere of government. This has been adopted and this is the

procedure we’re following for the top echelons

and I am certain that if it works it will be possible for us to

implement it from Director downwards to the lowest level. But the

highest incidents have been in SMS echelons and we are attending to

that.

Chair: Thank you Minister. I have two or three questions

from my side. The first one is an old important question about the

ministerial handbook. We did ask this in our last meeting and I

think it’s long overdue. What is the progress

with regards to that and why is it taking so long? Secondly, I

understand that there is an office of standard compliance that is

coming up with a so called Super DG who will be cracking those DGs

in various departments not performing very well, can you elaborate

on that as well? And also I understand that the issue of the Wage

Bill… it’s been reduced now.

What are the reasons and do you foresee any challenges with doing

that?

Journalist 2: Minister my name is Thabo Mokoni from the

Sunday Times. I just wanted to ask about the ban on civil servants

doing business with the state. Would you like to see that being

extended to political office bearers, their spouse and their

children? And also, on the Public Administration Bill, how is it

different from the Public Service Act that we currently have at the

moment? Will the Public Administration Bill repeal the Public

Service Act or is it just an issue of the wording or am I confused?

If you could just clarify that one… thanks.

Journalist 3: Bulelani, SABC Radio. Minister my question

is on the issue of the Single Public Service. I wanted to find out,

because this debate has always been muddled with an attempt to

remove provinces. I want to check, the amendment that

you’re speaking to, does it actually speak to

provinces as a sphere of government being removed when you talk

about a centralised administration or perhaps maybe put it

differently. What would be different if your proposals go through

at parliament than what we have at the moment? Thanks.

Journalist 4: Just a little follow up Minister. You said

Mr Levien will tell us which sanction he thinks is appropriate for

some of these misdemeanours. We’re waiting with

baited breath.

Mr Levien: Well I think there would be different kinds of

offenses which one would have to look at. Non-disclosure would be

one, potential conflict of interest would be another, and actual

conflict of interest would be another. But I think what would be

important would be to get uniformity and I think

that’s where the Minister and the department

would come up probably with guidelines, which has been mentioned in

the context of sanctions for disciplinary cases more broadly.

Currently we do refer those matters to executive authorities and

we’re compiling a report based on the 30% sample

of the scrutiny we did for the 2011 year. We currently are

finalising the 100% scrutiny for the 2012 year.

We’ve completed 90% of the scrutiny, but

it’s quite a manual process. As the Minister

said, we want to use technology going forward. So

we’re hoping within the next month or so we

would have completed a 100% scrutiny and we will be submitting

those reports to executive authorities. We do ask them to report

back to us on the actions they’ve taken and we

are currently compiling a report based on the actions taken in

2011and that may help also in deciding on the sanctions for the

various offenses going forward. Thank you.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu: Thabo, I want to invite you to

come along with me to go and spend a day in front of the Batho Pele

building. Do you think it’s possible?

Thabo (Journalist 2):Yes it is.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu: Good, then

it’s a done deal! For those of you who are

outside of this matter, Thabo is the young chap who wrote a

headline story in the Sunday Times that Minister

Sisulu’s high heels can’t

stand the granite of Marabastad where the Batho Pele building is.

So I want to show him how wrong he is. He asked the question on the

prohibition of public servants… will this go on

to political office bearers? Thabo the good thing about this is I

stand as employer of the public servants, I represent the employer.

They are therefore contractually in a relationship with me as

representing the employer. Public office bearers I have absolutely

no relationship with except that I sit with them in parliament and

in cabinet. I have no authority over them. That which we are

putting forward now is something that we have studied. The Auditor

General’s report has been very forthright about

some of its findings in some of these areas. The Public Service

Commission has been very forthright in what needs to be done, the

NDP has been very clear about what their concerns are and

we’ve taken the necessary steps. So I as

Minister of Public Service and Administration have taken the step

that I think will take this government forward in making sure that

public servants do not benefit from working in the Public Service

and run private business as well for reasons that are very well

articulated by the Public Service Commission and the Auditor

General’s reports. This is what

I’m dealing with, I have no idea if political

parties would like to pick this up and make it applicable to

political office bearers as well. But allow me, for now, to be a

Minister of Public Administration. Do you think

that’s possible Thabo?

Thabo (Journalist 2): Yes Minister.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu: Thank you very much. So this is

what we’re doing and I suppose the rest will be

taken up by the political parties themselves.

The Public Administration Bill… I think the

question that was asked is will it replace the Public Service Act?

No, the Public Administration Bill is a Bill which emanates from

Chapter 10 of the Constitution and Chapter 10 of the Constitution

indicates in Section 195 that there will be basic values and

principles governing public administration and it lists what those

basic values and principles are. It goes on to deal with the issue

of how you ensure that these basic values and principles are

carried out and that they have a legal backing…

it says that national legislation must ensure the promotion of

values and principles listed in this Subsection 1 and it goes on to

indicate that legislation regulating public administration may be

different between different sectors, administrations and

institutions. So what we are intending to do is to create this

single national legislation and allow for differences between the

sectors and the institutions that are mentioned in Chapter 10 as

public administration. It goes on to define the Public Service

Commission and the oversight responsibilities of the Public Service

Commission over the Public Service. So what

we’re doing is making sure that the values and

the principles and all those things that needed to have been put in

the Act of Parliament by Section 10 of the Constitution are now

dealt with. It does not substitute, it does not take away the

Public Service Act. Section 197 of Chapter 10 of the Constitution

deals with the Public Service and the Public Service Act is very

specific to the Public Service. So that is how we hope to go ahead

with that.

And I have with me one of my advisors who later will go into the

detail of how we are dealing with the Single Public Administration

Bill and what will be different between this Public Administration

Bill and the Single Public Service Bill.

The ministerial handbook… let me come back to

it later.

The Super DG is a concept that came out of the initial stages of

thinking through how we are going to deal with the public

appointment of senior officials in the Public Service and I think

later it fell by the wayside, but it looks like the concept stuck

on. And I may have used it inappropriately in a meeting myself when

I was talking about a Super DG and hoping that that Super DG would

come from the DPSA, it would make sense wouldn’t

it Levien? But when the National Development Commission was dealing

with this matter they were not sure whether that person would come

from the presidency or the National Development Commission or from

the Public Service department.

Acting DG, the Wage Bill… would you like to

respond that? And I’ll ask my advisor Mr Alvin

to indicate what we are going to do to ensure that we can get buy

in with the Administration Bill that was so difficult with the

Single Public Service Bill.

Acting DG of the day, Mr Khumbula: Well, on the Wage Bill

issue the most important thing is just the improvement on the

settlements that when we settle in the negotiations, those

settlements are not above inflation. We’ve had

instances where we’ve settled with a few

percentages above inflation and we think our state cannot afford

that. We need to contain the Wage Bill. It’s

already high, it’s quite a huge figure so those

improvements have actually resulted in the reduction in the Wage

Bill and we hope to continue to do so. If we look at our 3-year

agreement for example, there is nothing that is in the settlement

that is above inflation. So that’s a fight we

need to continue to fight. Of course Labour, as a stakeholder, will

continue to push us to settle at higher levels for

reasons… for example some of them believe they

are grossly underpaid, that they are not properly graded, etcetera

etcetera. And the work of the Commission which the Minister spoke

about is going to deal with some of those issues and efficiencies,

and that is really the fight we are actually pursuing.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu: Thanks and while I wait for the

advisor to stand up and respond to this question. I have a question

to the journalists, seeing as this is an interactive breakfast, why

is the ministerial handbook such a hot topic for journalists?

Journalist 1: I don’t think I have an

answer. I just want to say to the Minister it’s

been about four years… I think I was in 2008 when

the then Minister, Mr Baloyi, started the whole process of the

review of the ministerial handbook and he moved on then we had the

late Minister who passed away, now we have you. We are just curious

to find out, nobody can tell us what is happening with the review.

Maybe if it’s not going to happen you can tell

us so and we can forget about it. But at this stage

we’ve been promised by three, well at least two

Ministers, that there’s a review pending.

Chair: The review came after many sort of developments

and then hence there was a need for it to be reviewed 

and most of the things that are happening are said to be part of

the ministerial handbook so I think the transparency of it is very

important. Jan-Jan you’re going to add?

Journalist 4: Yes Minister, I’m partly

covered by the Chair but the point is it is a public document, it

has been announced many times by this government that it is being

reviewed. So the only question that makes it a hot potato is not

some sort of interest that we have more in its specific content

than anything else. But it’s a matter that it is

being reviewed, the process is clouded, it’s

very uncertain to us, and very unsure where that process is. There

are reasons for it as Abongwe said, the issue only arose because of

certain uncertainties surrounding this handbook, and the only

question is a) why is it, as a public document, not more accessible

and b) it is this government that decided for its own reasons that

it had to be changed, the only question that remains is why is it

taking so long?

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu: Let me start at the beginning.

The ministerial handbook emanates from a whole set of regulations

that we, when we came in in ‘94 was compressed

into one single booklet that would be accessible to the

administrations of Ministers. It details what Ministers are

entitled to in relation to their tools of trade, it detailswhat

Ministers are entitled to in relation to the benefits of their

salaries. It excludes the actual financial benefits of the salary.

And it was put together precisely so that the Heads of

Ministries… we were new then in 1994, straight

from the bush into government. So it was indicating that generally

this is what our government, which at that particular time we had

taken over, gives to a Minister. You will have 12 people working in

a Ministry and they will be of this level… You

will have a car when you’re in Cape Town, which

will take you from your home to do all your work, you will have a

driver, and all those things.  And it remains a guide to

all Heads of Ministry about how to administer the

Minister’s benefits as a Minister. And when we

discovered that it had taken on a life completely outside of what

it was intended to because of the public interest in it we then

decided we were going to sit down and have a look at it. And every

time we’ve had a look at it

it’s caused more controversy than before we

looked at it and I think the two previous Ministers regretted ever

having had anything to do with it because it became such a

controversial issue. But we’ve since taken the

decision as cabinet that we are going to enlist the support of the

Office Bearers Remuneration Commission because it then takes it

away from the domain of the Ministers themselves to the Commission.

The same people who deal with the remuneration of office bearers

will then deal with that which is the benefit of office bearers

because what we have is just an extract from all those benefits

that accrue from the state for the Judges. For instance it would

say that, in the Judges’ Manual, that Judges are

appointed for life, their wives are paid for life, their cars are

given to them for life, all of those things and etcetera. But it

hasn’t attracted, that part

hasn’t attracted as much attention as this part.

It deals with all Chapter 9 institutions, it deals with all the

benefits of office bearers. So we decided to put it in the domain

where it is most appropriate, in that particular Commission. The

Commission is dealing with the matter right now and at the last

meeting we had with the Commission, the Commission was indicating

that they actually need the legal standing for them to deal with

all the matters that are before them. The Commission as it stands

now is a presidential Commission, in terms of the Constitution,

where the president appoints a Judicial Commission to look at a

particular issue. This is a Remuneration Commission that exists now

and their suggestion is that we actually make it a permanent

Judicial Commission with a permanent mandate that is lodged in

legislation and as soon as we have that, I’m

hoping we can hand over the ministerial handbook to them to

complete for life so that there will not be a Minister dealing with

this hot potato called the ministerial handbook. And of cause it is

a public document and the reason why it never occurred to us to

make it public is because it was a directive to the Heads of the

Ministry and it is a guide. It is not a “Thou

shaltâ€, it says, in the same way that Beeld newspaper

would say to Jan… Jan when you go and cover a

story in Johannesburg you’re entitled to

a… what car is

it?  

Journalist 4 (Jan): No. we don’t drive

anymore…

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu: But you are entitled to an SNT.

It will say to you you can only travel economy or you can only

travel by ComAir but there are basic guidelines. Every

company has that, every institution has that to say this is what we

guide you will do in relation to dealing with the Minister because

the state is committed to ensuring that Ministers have the

necessary support from the state to be able to do their work

because they are employed 24 hours a day. That in essence was the

reason why we had a ministerial handbook, otherwise there

isn’t a concept or a document called the

ministerial handbook. We just took it out of the benefit of the

office bearers to make sure that we who came straight from the bush

understand how government works and we continuously revise it as

and when there is pressure for us to look at certain things. And I

am very glad to announce that it will not be on my desk. I am

hoping that the Commission will deal with this matter, hand it back

to cabinet and that it will be dealt with that way because there

isn’t a single journalist I have met who has not

asked, not how is the weather Minister, but where is the

ministerial handbook. So I don’t want to give

any promises which I might have used against me the next time I

meet with yourselves. It is being dealt with by the Seriti

Commission and I hope they conclude it soon.

I’ll ask Alvin now, and perhaps also ask that

maybe we could have a sentence or so from the CEOs of our

institutions on some matters that may have been touched upon which

they might want to emphasise with a particular perspective from

where they sit. Alvin would you like to very briefly indicate what

is the difference between the Single Public Service and the

Administrative Bill?

Minister’s Advisor (Alvin): Maybe

before I go into that, I just want to indicate the issue of whether

we are repealing the Public Service Act or not. With the drafting,

the lawyers are telling usmaybe if we’re coming

out with this overarching legislation we might consider that. So

our lawyers are still looking into that. We might consider even

repealing the Public Service Act or repeal out of the Municipal

Systems Act, you take out issues that deal with conditions of

service and remuneration, but it’s something

they are looking into and they will come back to us and

we’ll finalise that at a later stage. And

it’s correct that the issue of Public Service is

dealt with under Chapter 10 of the Constitution. The issue of the

Public Administration Management Bill… it is

going to focus on making sure that there is a uniform way of

dealing with administration in the entire public administration of

the three spheres of government. If you are in the Cape Town

municipality and there is recruitment that is going on here, it

must be informed by that legislation. The norms and standards, if

it’s being done in the Stellenbosch

municipality, will be uniform. So there won’t be

different standards that people use but those municipalities will

still have the powers to appoint and fire their employees. They

will develop policies but their policies should be informed by this

overarching legislation. It will also facilitate the movement of

people from different spheres of government. Currently if you apply

for a job in provincial government you have to resign if

you’re coming from a local municipality for you

to take up that job. You lose the pension you’ve

accumulated over many years. So that legislation is going to deal

with that, which currently we don’t have that

overarching legislation, we have local government having a

different process.

In terms of issues of service delivery, we need to have service

delivery standards that apply across the public administration from

national, provincial, to local so that there’s

going to be one entry into the Public Service, one entry into

government wherein if you go into a Thusong centre you will be able

to deal with issues of applying for an ID, and you go to the next

desk and deal with issues of electricity or water application. So

that’s the difference between what we have now

in the Public Service Act, Municipal Systems Act and related

legislation, which this Public Administration Management will deal

with. Thank you Minister.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu: I don’t know,

with your permission Chairperson, if we

shouldn’t ask the Heads of Institutions that are

here just to say one or two things for the benefit of the media

seeing as we’re dealing with public

administration?

Chair: That’s fine Minister.

Head of Institution 1: Thank you very much for the

opportunity. I think for us as an audit office, the issues that are

emerging from the Public Service and Administration Ministry are

central to the work that we do. Having communicated the outcome of

our performance audit this year, as well as following the

interactions that have taken place in parliament

there’s no doubt that the issues of efficiency

and effectiveness are central to the work that we do as an audit

office in the sense that a number of areas we examine, whether they

are in finance or in any operations within government,

there’s always people behind them. And the issue

of ensuring that people are appropriately put in places where they

can be able to deliver what is required in Chapter 10 of the

Constitution remains a central issue. Another area

we’ve paid particular attention to is the IT

environment where the bulk matters of information security as well

as the ability to report on information becomes important as well.

So we are staying close to the Ministry from that point of view

because the tools of trade that are out in government reside

predominantly and are largely driven from this area. And

we’re looking forward to all of this because in

our reports that we have issued thus far, including the general

report that we’re going to be releasing in a

week from today, will also be highlighting some of these issues. We

believe that with due attention given to strengthening capacity in

the public sector, it will take the issues that have been

highlighted in the NDP,amongst others, to the next level. So I

think that’s just a minimum comment I could make

on why it is relevant to us among others. Thank you.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu: Thank you. The next gentleman is

the one who looks after the health of my public servants. He is the

Acting CEO of GEMS

Head of Institution 2 (Acting CEO of GEMS):Thank you

Minister. So far nothing has been referred to in terms of health,

suffice to say we do have that mandate to ensure that public

servants have access to equitable health whenever the need arises.

So that’s our mandate, we carry that out.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu: And we can confirm that the

president’s preoccupation with obesity does not

affect the Public Service?

Head of Institution 2 (Acting CEO of GEMS): I can tell

you that the average BMI of the Public Service of those who are on

GEMS is about 29, which means they are just about 4 above because

the normal is about 25 so we are not doing badly in terms of the

average?

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu: So we’re OK?

The Public Service is OK?

Head of Institution 2 (Acting CEO of GEMS): Well there

are some areas which need attention.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu: Thank you very much. Then we

have the CEO of our Innovation Centre.

Head of Institution 3 (CEO of Innovation Centre): Thank

you Minister. The Minister has actually responded quite

substantially to all the questions. All I would want to add is

simply that one of the outcomes of all the

Minister’s priorities and the outcomes that have

been identified here is not only to tidy up government and our

image to the media and citizens, but there’s a

lot of real work that’s happening underneath the

surface to make sure that the experience of the citizens when they

approach government becomes that seamless experience. We want to

exploit, for instance, the power of ICT to make sure that it no

longer becomes an issue for our citizens who is delivering the

service. If they walk into one office and it’s a

government office they don’t have to know

whether it is Home Affairs or Education or Social Development. So

we want to change the experience of our citizens each time they

approach government and I think one just wants to say that

there’s a lot of work that’s

happening beneath the surface, a lot of paddling to make sure that

the citizen focus is really attained. Thank you.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu:Thank you very much. The next one

is the DG of the academy that we are now changing into school of

government

Head of Institution 4 (DG of school of

government):Minister thank you. I think all that the Minister

has said today actually speaks to… we will not

achieve these unless we have a professional Public Service. And at

the core of establishing this school of government is to ensure

that we have common values and ethos that are inculcated amongst

the Public Service so that we start doing business differently and

our premise is that unless we start thinking differently we will

not change the way we act and therefore this particular treaty is

important. The second important thing in the process of

professionalising the Public Service and establishing the school of

government is a question of what is unique about this school of

government. Is it not going to be the same old Palama? We have

taken stock about that, we have acknowledged that actually at the

core of the complaints is that the consultants we are using to do

the training, some of them don’t even know how

government works. Now the uniqueness is the acknowledgement that we

will use and tap on the experience of those that are in the service

and use them to ensure that they inculcate those values and leave

that knowledge and of course acknowledging that we will continue

holding certain strategic relations as we professionalise our

Public Service, strategic relations with Institutions of Higher

Learning in fields of research, etcetera. Thank you.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu:Thank you, then we have the CFO

of SETA.

Head of Institution 4 (CFO of SETA): I think out of all

the priorities that have been outlined here as those of the

Ministry and also in some of the comments that were made by the

portfolio organisations, SETA’s response is that

we will provide the technological backbone of how do we enable the

public servants, or even extension to the general citizenry, in

terms of how we can use technology to enhance service delivery or

rather to speed it up and to make it much easier. In cases of the

establishment of the Anti-Corruption Unit, we do offer solutions

such as E-Disclosure as initial entry into the Public Service where

an employee would be able to electronically file for disclosure and

that becomes a permanent record and forms part of the database

where it will form the lifecycle of their employment within the

Public Service. Thank you Minister.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu:I think there was a question

about the office of compliance. Colette, do you want to respond to

that?

Colette (DG for Service Delivery & Organisational

Transformation): Was the question on the functions of the

Office of Standards?

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu:The question

was… there are rumours that there is an office of

compliance. Can we verify those rumours?

Colette (DG forService Delivery & Organisational

Transformation):Well, internal to the department in terms of

its own internal structure, we are in the process of establishing

the functionality which would lead up to the establishment of such

an office. There are various corporate forms within government of

which a special service delivery vehicle is but one of them. That

is a branch within a department and that is the first level of the

establishment of a fully-fledged office. A fully-fledged office

would be established once legislation is there to enable it which

would then mean the amendment to the Public Service Act or the

Public Service Regulations to establish an already existing

function within the Public Service Act of oversight, monitoring and

evaluation and compliance with all elements of standards. The

compliance would also deal with the aspect of quality promotion and

quality assurance standards and that all departments then adhere to

some sort of normal unit standards in relation to all elements of

public administration. Thank you.

Chair: Thank you very much. I’m told

that was our last round of questions as the Minister has to leave

for other commitments. But from this side of the PGA Minister thank

you very much for your time, thank you very much for the invite,

and most importantly thank you very much for the

breakfast…and fundamentally important, thank you

very much for the fact that you’ve honoured your

promise since our last meeting that you would like to see similar

engagements going forward in future. You were very proactive in

that regard and we really appreciate that. We had a very

interesting engagement with youand most importantly, very

informative. Thank you.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu:Thank you very much to all the

journalists who turned up. Thank you very much to the Heads of

Institutions and Heads of Government, and my staff. The Chair here

indicated that I should invite you to a breakfast and the idea is

to ask the journalists to please come and join government. This is

the kind of integration we’re looking forward

to, so if you could please join the tables that have the DGs and

advisors and engage them on any other issues that you might have

wanted to clarify. Breakfast is served. Thank you. 

 

END


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