Digitisation in the public service space remains a huge challenge that will be resolved by finalisation of the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), says Public Service and Administration Deputy Minister, Dr Chana Pilane-Majake.
Delivering her Budget Vote Speech at the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday (7 June, 2022), the Deputy Minister emphasised that plans and budget allocations must serve the needs and aspirations of the citizens.
“Connectivity and digitisation of government remains a huge challenge that will be resolved by finalisation of the Treasury engineered, technical Integrated Financial Management System.
“The Department of Public Service and Administration’s overall budget allocation is R540.3 million in the financial year 2022/23, as compared to the adjusted allocation of R531.7 million in the financial year 2021/22,” she said.
Fight against corruption
Dr Pilane-Majake also announced that DPSA has intensified the fight against corruption by strengthening anti-corruption practices in the public sector.
This, she said was done in the form of:
- Setting of Norms and Standards for Public Service of South Africa
- Appointment of Ethics Officers by all government departments to monitor and respond to corrupt practices;
- Life Style Audits for public servants comparing employee salaries to assets owned by public servants;
- Launch of Ethical, Disciplinary & Integrity Technical Task Team that works jointly with civil society in building anti-corruption strategy in public service;
- Protection of whistle-blowers – DPSA appreciates legislative amendment measures put in place by Department of Justice in strengthening legislation such as the “Protected Disclosures Act” that promotes full protection of whistle blowers
- Fusion Centre that brings together all security agencies to intensify the fight against corruption;
- Anti-Corruption hotline that is operated from the PSC;
- Annual Declaration of interest by public servants to ensure that they are not conflicted and doing business with government; and
- Improved consequence management practices such as ensuring that public servants who transgress the law and are sanctioned, do not manage to get their way back into public service.
According to the Deputy Minister, the Public Service Commission (PSC) is required by the Constitution to exercise its powers and to perform its functions without fear, favour or prejudice.
The PSC monitors, evaluates and investigates public administration practices. It also has the power to issue directions regarding compliance with personnel procedures relating to recruitment, transfers, promotions and dismissals.
She further revealed that the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) continues to grow a number of in-house software developers in government departments building solutions internally, at fraction of a price normally charged.
The overall budget allocation to the CPSI is R44.4 million in 2022/23 financial year, as adjusted from R42.5 million in 2021/22.
The National School of Government
The Deputy Minister announced that this current financial year (2022/23), the National School of Government (NSG) will be launching the Executive Education Programmes.
Giving an update about Nyukela (Step Up) – a certificate for entry into the Senior Management Service (SMS), she said there is a high rate of enrollment on the Nyukela programme.
She said that to date, the enrollment of the course stands at 11 668 public servants while a total of 6893 public servants have successfully completed the course.
The School’s overall budget allocation is R228.1 million in financial year 2022/23.
The Government Employees Housing Scheme (GEHS)
Through the GEPF/PIC funding arrangements, an enrolment system has been developed and employees are enrolled daily through the Call Centre, online or directly with the GEHS office.
Enrolment with the scheme enables the profiling of employees to inform housing choices and/or solutions.
As at 31 March 2022, a total of R14 billion (R14 879 522 719.16) was saved in the Individual Linked Savings Facility (ILSF) by approximately 208 047 employees. An average of R300 million (R341 808 858.14) is being saved in ILSF monthly.
Government Employees Medical Scheme
It is now 16 years since GEMS was registered to meet the healthcare needs of public servants. “GEMS has evolved with time and has grown from strength to strength. Similarly, GEMS challenges have taken different shapes and forms but have not gone unresolved,” she said.