The Department of Public Service and Administration is working closely with the Public Service Commission (PSC) to deal with fraudulent complaints from the Department of Social Development, says Public Service and Administration Minister, Ms Noxolo Kiviet.
“The DPSA is assisting the Public Service Commission (PSC) by referring reports of fraud, where reported to the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and the Public Administration Ethics, Integrity, and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit (PAEIDTAU), directly to the PSC. Where direct assistance is required, the DPSA support the PSC,” said Minister Kiviet while responding to a Parliamentary question for written reply.
The PAEDTAU is mandated in terms of the Public Administration Management Act, 2016 to provide technical assistance regarding ethics, integrity, conduct and discipline management.
It is also mandated to set norms and standards on ethics, integrity, conduct and discipline, as well as to improve and strengthen oversight, and to promote good governance.
Part of the mandate of the PAEIDTAU is to work with other institutions, such as the PSC, to be able to fulfil its mandate.
Findings of the PSC therefore influence policy development, the adoption of norms and standards to address the PSC findings and the development of Guides and Manuals to address implementation of policy directives.
In responding to the question if whether any steps have been taken to outlaw the practice of cadre deployment in favour of a merit-based recruitment and selection system, Minister Kiviet said: “The recruitment and selection in the Public Service is regulated in terms of the Public Service Act, 1994 and Regulations 65 and 67 of the Public Service Regulations, 2016.
“Furthermore, the Executive Protocol provides principles and procedure for the employment of Heads of Department (HoDs) and DDGs at National government.
“The provincial governments are encouraged to follow the practice. This a merit-based recruitment and selection system that is applied in the Public Service. Therefore, cadre deployment is not used to fill the vacancies in the public service,” said Minister Kiviet.
When asked what prohibits her department from rolling out integrity testing for all public servants who are already in the system and new recruits, the Minister said the DPSA has already appointed a service provider to identify and pilot appropriate Integrity Psychometric Assessment tools to be included in the existing SMS assessment battery.
According to Minister Kiviet, this project has already commenced and will be concluded on the second quarter of 2023/24 financial year. “This project is mainly for SMS members and does not include all public servants for now. Lessons learnt from the pilot will guide and inform the way forward in as far as other public servants, outside the SMS, are concern.
“The Integrity Psychometric Assessment tools will serve as a vehicle for advancing the notion of an ethical state and as a tool towards professionalising recruitment and may be a permanent feature of the public service going forward and not subjected to specific timelines,” she said.