The DPSA Director-General, Ms Yoliswa Makhasi, today convened a strategic planning session with Provincial DGs to streamline services that the DPSA provides to client departments.

In a webinar that was facilitated by the National School of Government (NSG) Principal, Prof Ngcaweni Busani, DG Makhasi said while the DPSA needs to increase capacity to critique data received from provinces, compliance is necessary with a focus on critical areas.

In the meeting that took place yesterday and was also attended by DPSA Management Committee, the focus was on how the DPSA can streamline compliance processes in line with the creation of a capable and ethical public service that is effective and efficient.

The meeting discussed what areas of consultation and monitoring should be improved, especially as it comes to the issuing of circulars and public service-wide policy frameworks.

Discussions also centered on how can the DPSA encourage comparative analysis and sharing lessons learned with other provinces for capacity development, public service-wide performance, and improved service delivery.

The high-level inputs provided by Provincial DGs and heads of Programme 1 (Corporate Services) included that there is a need to make compliance less labor-intensive and to automate submissions of evidence through modernization of the process.

Paper evidence submissions should be eliminated and analysis of submitted evidence improved. The standardization of the reporting process should be modernized for a uniform standard, reduction of the use of hard copies (paper), and reduction of compliance fatigue in the compliance process.

Initiatives to build the internal capacity of the DPSA for in-depth data analysis of reports submitted should be fast-tracked. The DPSA should provide timely feedback on submitted compliance reports to departments as part of improving planning and state capacity to deliver services effectively and efficiently.

DPSA should strive to provide agility and responsiveness on matters affecting the Public Service such as the long outstanding Remote Work Policy Framework. There should be a concerted effort to work towards a strategy for Internal Integration to avoid the Department having many Branches, Chief Directorates, and Directorates going out alone without coordination.

The interface between the DPSA and other central government Departments such as the Office of the Premiers (OOPs), DCOG, DPME, the Presidency, and National Treasury should be improved for streamlined support services to departments and eliminate the fragmented approach to reporting.

The Offices of the Primers should be considered as an extension of the DPSA in the Provinces and work with them to improve support to service delivery departments, improve planning and monitoring for early warning identification of areas of challenges, and sharing of lessons learned. TDPSA should prioritize areas that need to be reported on, and focus on what can make an overall impact.

The Provincial DGs implored the Department to re-imagine a redefined DPSA, with an improved understanding of the reporting required, review of the negotiations process, Occupational Specific Dispensation Framework, and for DPSA to be able to plan ahead in order to provide value add to service delivery.

In his closing remarks, Prof Busani said strategies for internal integration and Branch outreach should be prioritized at DPSA and the department’s senior managers should champion simplicity and be agile to improve the ease of doing business. He said by making compliance easier, DPSA will achieve its strategic goals.

“There is a need for a well-coordinated DPSA, a DPSA that is operating as one and also a need for thorough consultation on policies and prescripts,” he said.

The outcome of this engagement will inform discussions at the DPSA Strategic Planning Session that is scheduled for the 10th and 11th December 2020.

The Strategic Session of the DPSA is designed to assist the DPSA to be responsive and be agile enough to respond with speed to issues and challenges facing the Public Service, including during national disasters such as the current Covid-19 Pandemic.

Overall, Provincial DGs demonstrated appreciation for the opportunity to engage with the DPSA at a strategic level on how DPSA provides support and services to client departments.