Institutions supporting public administration
Public Service Commission (PSC)
The PSC derives its mandate from sections 195 and 196 of the Constitution. The PSC is tasked and empowered to, among other things, investigate, monitor and evaluate the organisation and administration of the Public Service. This mandate entails the evaluation of achievements, or lack thereof of government programmes.
The PSC has an obligation to promote measures that will ensure effective and efficient performance within the Public Service and to promote values and principles of public administration as set out in the Constitution, throughout the Public Service.
The Constitution mandates the commission to:
- promote the values and principles governing public administration
- investigate, monitor and evaluate the organisation and administration, and the personnel practices of the Public Service
- propose measures to ensure effective and efficient performance within the Public Service
- give directions aimed at ensuring that personnel procedures relating to recruitment, transfers promotions and dismissals comply with the constitutionally prescribed values and principles
- report its activities and the performance of its functions, including any findings it may make and to provide an evaluation of the extent to which constitutionally it complied with the prescribed values and principles
- either of its own accord or on receipt of any complaint:
- investigate and evaluate the application of personnel and public-administration practices, and report to the relevant executive authority and legislature
- investigate grievances of employees in the Public Service concerning official acts or omissions, and recommend appropriate remedies
- monitor and investigate adherence to applicable procedures in the Public Service
- advise national and provincial organs of state regarding personnel practices in the Public Service.
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Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI)
The CPSI was established to identify, support and nurture innovation in the public sector to improve service delivery.
The CPSI works through partnerships with other departments and state-owned enterprises to, for example, enhance the productive capacity of visually impaired educators by providing datacard devices to access teaching material without the use of Braille.
The CPSI runs targeted innovation programmes to support the outcomes of, among other things, rural development, and accelerated service delivery at local government level.
The ninth annual Public Sector Innovation Awards Ceremony was held in November 2011.
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State Information Technology Agency (Sita)
Sita consolidates and coordinates the State's information technology (IT) resources to save costs through scale, to increase delivery capabilities and to improve interoperability.
Sita is committed to government's IT Strategy, which seeks to leverage economies of scale, enhance the interoperability of government systems, ensure system security, eliminate duplication and advance Black Economic Empowerment. The strategic
- improving financial sustainability
- optimising infrastructure
- extending the service footprint
- modernising public-service operations
- reducing operational costs
- achieving operational excellence
- developing and retaining personnel.
Highlights in service delivery in 2011 included:
- The commencement of a telemedicine project at the departments of health and social development in Limpopo. The project entails the upgrading of infrastructure to ensure suitability for the use of telemedicine equipment and facilities, ensuring that citizens in rural communities receive adequate health consultations for effective healthcare.
- The National Network Upgrade Programme for the South African Police Service (SAPS) made some progress. The ICT teams ensured high service-delivery levels.
- Sita successfully hosted the IEC's Call Centre during the 2011 local government elections.
- The development of a Master Systems Plan for the Mpumalanga Department of Social Development was well underway and Phase One of the project was nearing completion.
- The Poverty Index System piloted in Johannesburg, in collaboration with the departments of housing, social development and health, provided a composite view of indigent citizens. It enabled the city to track human development in its constituencies and support the objectives of the Government's war against poverty.
- Sita provided TSC connectivity.
- The Sita Library Information Management System was implemented to replace legacy systems at provincial and public libraries nationally.
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Government Information Technology Officers' (Gito) Council
The Gito Council advises government on the application of IT to improve service delivery. Its membership consists of the chief information officers from national departments and premiers' offices . The council has been involved in developing an IT security policy framework, IT procurement guidelines and e-government policy and strategy. It also monitors government IT projects to avoid duplication.
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Public Administration Leadership
and Management Academy
Palama (Sesotho for "ascend") prepares, incubates and advances the cause of effective, efficient and developmental public service.
Palama's mission and programmes are rooted in the Public-Service priorities. The President declared 2011 as the Year of Job Creation, and subsequently Palama's focus in 2011 was on creating and contributing towards creating jobs.
Palama also collaborated with the National Youth Development Agency on an initiative called Breaking Barriers to Entry, which sources new-generation public servants from a database of unemployed graduates.
Public Service Induction is another programme that Palama rolled out in 2011.
There is induction for non-senior management and Wamkelekile, which is induction for senior management members. Palama converted Wamkelekile to make it available on an e-learning platform for senior managers who cannot attend the classroom phase.
Both programmes are meant to instil and sustain the values and attributes of a public-service cadre. Among other activities, 90 gender main-streaming training sessions were conducted, with 1 866 officials being trained; and 20 new Palama courses were assessed for gender sensitivity and inclusivity.
In September 2011, Palama held the Public Sector Trainers' Forum for HRD practitioners. This served as a platform to share experiences and innovative ways to best deliver training in the Public Service.
Source: South Africa Yearbook 2011/12
Editor: D Burger. Government Communication and Information System
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