The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) is committed to its strategic goals of implementing Batho Pele, the Public Administration Management Act (PAMA), restoring stability in public service space, and eradicate corruption.
Addressing the Department’s senior managers at the strategic planning session that took place over the last two days, DPSA Minister, Mr Senzo Mchunu, said DPSA has set itself goals around full implementation of Batho Pele principles, full implementation of Public Administration Management Act (PAMA), stabilizing the Public Service, Fighting Corruption and policy implementation.”
Minister Mchunu said the Public Service is currently faced by a trust deficit, low ethics standards and lack of professionalism.
“We have to move fast and have a turnaround plan to regain lost trust. We must be seen to be delivering and responding to people’s needs because the current administration is faced with the most difficult task of restoring stability and credibility in state institutions.
“While organised labour and Government have achieved many progressive agreements, there are new challenges that require new responses to chart the way forward to the future.
“Through the National School of Government (NSG), the government would be intensifying the programme of skilling and reskilling public servants with the view to build a new layer of committed and ethical employees who are drawn into the service to serve the people professionally and satisfactorily,” he said.
Minister Mchunu said the full implementation of PAMA is one of the most important priorities that will ensure the achievement of a single Public Service including other imperatives such as the National Development Plan (NDP).
“Surely, we have learnt some lessons, which must never be repeated, and what we observed was a reminder of what could go wrong if we take things for granted. We must now inculcate a new culture of accountability,” he said.
The Minister said achieving clean audits help in setting the standard for sound financial governance to improve public confidence in the entire government departments.
“It is good that we attained a clean audit opinion from the Auditor-General, however, going forward, we must ensure that we receive a clean audit without any issues raised.
“This is a matter that we must give priority. It is possible to achieve it, especially since the DPSA is a model department,” he said.
The Minister said a remuneration strategy for the State in the Public Service, Public Sector, Judiciary and Legislatures must be developed.
“We must develop a draft Wage Setting Mechanism for the State and implement a Uniform Job Grading System.
“We need to look at other issues such as consolidation of the plethora of allowances, the introduction of danger insurance and ensuring that the Public Service is more effective and efficient,” he said.
Public Service and Administration Deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga said the long list of communication technologies that never existed 25 years ago, can be used to deliver services in a streamlined and cost-effective manner.
“Technological advances such as Apps can be used to deliver services in a streamlined and cost-effective manner.
“All existing service delivery practices and values should be viewed afresh and reconsidered in terms of their fitness for the new era because most of the service delivery approach to accelerate service delivery are outdated,” she said.
The Deputy Minister said the Service Delivery Improvement Plan is a worthy tool, but there is a need for revision and for it to be incorporated within each government departments’ strategic plans.
She said there is also a need to explore the government spend on Information and communications technology (ICT) to maximise leverage on ICT in the public service.
“The vision that needs to be realised is consolidated online access platforms, mobile technology and public payment platforms.
“There has to be a highly coordinated data sharing across the Public Service, of course, these are all in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” she said.
She said the President’s call on public servants to “Khawuleza” (hurry up) and move with speed in delivering services to the people, should characterise the District Development Model, which seeks to improve the coherence and effect of government service delivery and development.
The Director-General of the DPSA, Prof. Richard Levin said the department will develop practical action plans that promote cohesive synergies.
He said a thorough system-wide analysis of the challenges in the Public Service should be completed by the end of the financial year with a practical action plan.
“As the Department is responsible for the optimal effective functioning of the State Machinery, a coordinated integrated strategy to tackle the critical challenges within the Public Service will need to be developed.
He emphasised the importance of proper planning at the inception of programs and to apply proper risk management to strategies to anticipate failures and come up with mitigating factors to offset the potential failures.