BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON LABOUR ON THE PERFORMANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR, DATED 24 OCTOBER 2012

1.†††††††† Introduction

The purpose of the report is to analyse the performance of the Department of Labour (the Department) against its Predetermined Objectives for the 2011/12 financial year. The Department presented its Annual Report to the Portfolio Committee on Labour (the Committee) for the year under review on the 9th of October 2012, and therefore based on those deliberations the report will carry the recommendations that emanated from the meeting.

 

2.†††††††† The role of the Committee


The role of the Portfolio Committee on Labour is to facilitate public participation by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues through legislation and overseeing executive action over the national Department of Labour. In terms of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act (Act No.9 2009), the procedure hinges on the constitutional obligation of Parliament to maintain oversight over the national executive authority. Therefore the annual assessment of national departments by the National Assembly through its committees provides the starting point of the procedure.

 

The Act also requires Committees of the Assembly to submit annually their Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) after the adoption of the Appropriation Bill and prior to the adoption of the reports on the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). The BRRR and the reports on the MTBPS serve as an indication of whether amendments might be proposed to the fiscal framework and the budget bills when these are introduced in the following year. When the Minister of Finance introduces the National Annual Budget, a report to Parliament setting out how the Division of Revenue Bill and the national budget give effect to, or the reasons for not taking into account, the recommendations contained in the BRRR and the reports on the MTBPS.

The Committee consulted various sources in order to make an objective and informed assessment and recommendations on the Departmentís performance during the 2011/12 financial year. These are:

                The 2011 State of the Nation Address (SONA);

                The Department of Labourís 2011 Strategic Plan;

                The Department of Labourís 2011/12 Annual Report;

                Auditor General Reports presented before the Committee;

                2011 BRR Report;

                Oversight Reports.

3.†††††††† The Department

The mandate of the Department of Labour is to regulate the labour market through policies and programmes developed in consultation with social partners, which are aimed at:

 

                improved economic efficiency and productivity;

                creation of decent employment;

                promoting labour standards and fundamental rights at work;

                providing adequate social safety nets to protect the vulnerable workers;

                sound labour relations;

                eliminating inequality and discrimination in the workplace;

                enhancing occupational health and safety awareness and compliance in the workplace; and

                giving value to social dialogue in the formulation of sound and responsive legislation and policies to attain labour market flexibility for competitiveness of enterprises which is balanced with the promotion of decent employment.††

3.1.†††††† The Departmentís Strategic Objectives

The Departmentís key strategic objectives are to:

                Contribute to employment creation;

                Promote equity in the labour market;

                Protect vulnerable workers;

                Strengthen multilateral and bilateral relations;

                Strengthen social protection;

                Promote sound labour relations;

                Monitor the impact of legislation;

                Strengthen the capacity of labour market institutions;

                Strengthen the institutional capacity of the department.

During the 2011/12 financial year, the Department focused on the following strategic programmes:

                Labour law amendments;

                Re-building Public Employment Services;

                Implementation of the Decent Work Country Programme;

                Strengthening of Department of Labour inspectorate;

                Reducing inequality and discrimination in the labour market;

                Improved access to income protection services.

 

4.†††††††† An Analysis of Section 32 Expenditure Report: 1st Quarter Expenditure Report of 2012/13

The Department has a total budget of R2.1 billion in the 2012/13 financial year.Programme allocation was as follows:

Programme 1: Administration receives the largest allocation, at 35% of the total allocation; Programme 4: Labour Policy and Industrial Relations, which receives 30%;

Programme 2: Inspection and Enforcement Services, with an allocation of 25%; and Programme 3: Public Employment Services, which receives 15%.

When viewed by economic classification, the allocation for the compensation of employees is 42%, followed by transfers and subsidies at 30%, goods and services at 27% and payments for capital assets at 2%.

The overall variation from the financial plans in the Department is mainly under goods and services (R55.7 million) followed by compensation of employees (R28.2 million). This trend is consistent with the previous financial year, and points to the inability of the Department of Public Works to provide invoices on a regular basis, and the slow filling of posts at the Department of Labour.

 

Compensation of Employees: expenditure was R189.5 million, or 21.5% of the available budget of R883.3 million. Planned expenditure was R217.7 million so the department under spent by R28.2 million. This is primarily within Programme 2: Inspection and Enforcement Services, due to vacancies, additional posts not yet filled, and delayed implementation of the Annual Salary adjustments from April 2012.

 

Goods and Services: expenditure was R79 million, or 14% of the available budget of R563.6 million. Planned expenditure was R134.7 million so the department is behind by R55.7 million. This is primarily within Programme 1: Administration, due to major payments towards leases of office buildings that were not made as invoices were not received. These issues have persisted for three months so far. Other factors responsible for the slow spending include outstanding invoices from Travel with Flair, as well as travel and subsistence expenses due to delayed public hearings on the Labour Relations Amendment Bill and the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill that only occurred in July 2012.

 

Transfers and Subsidies: expenditure was R295.2 million, or 46.2% of the available budget of R639.3 million. Planned expenditure was R285 million so the Department is ahead by R10.2 million. This is primarily within Programme 3: Public Employment Services, due to a request for funding made by the Sheltered Employment Factories (SEF) to pay salaries due to slow sales at the start of 2012/13. These issues have persisted for three months so far.

 

Payments for Capital Assets: expenditure was R28.3 million, or 84.4% of the available budget of R33.5 million. Planned expenditure was R5.4 million so the department is ahead by R22.9 million. This is primarily within Programme 1: Administration due to the procurement of vehicles for Labour Inspectors which was made earlier than expected.

Programme 1: expenditure was R145.2 million, or 19.8% of the available budget of R732.6 million. Planned expenditure was R173 million so the department is behind by R27.7 million. This is primarily due to major payments towards leases of office buildings that were not made as invoices were not received from National Department of Public Works (NDPW), and these issues have persisted for three months so far.

 

Programme 2: expenditure was R88.4 million, or 20.6% of the available budget of R429.2 million. Planned expenditure was R107.3 million so the Department is behind by R18.9 million. This is primarily due to vacancies and additional posts not yet filled, and these issues have persisted for three months so far.

 

Programme 3: expenditure was R86.2 million or 26.8 per cent of the available budget of R322 million. Planned expenditure was R80.6 million, so the department is ahead by R5.6 million. This is primarily attributable to an early transfer of funds to the Sheltered Employment Factories (SEF) due to slow sales to date, and these issues have persisted for three months so far.

 

Programme 4: expenditure was R272.2 million, or 42.8% of the available budget of R635.9 million. Planned expenditure was R281.9 million, so the Department is behind by R9.7 million. This is primarily due to outstanding invoices from GCIS for the 2011 Annual Day against Child Labour communication strategy. Invoices for the Public Hearings on Sectoral Determinations have not yet been received from Travel with Flair, and there are still outstanding payments for the International Labour Conference (ILC) that are still outstanding. Various Travel with Flair invoices are still outstanding as they are only submitted approximately two to three months after trips had occurred.

Additional Information

 

The Department was required to make an early transfer of funds to the Sheltered Employment Factories due to cash flow shortages at the factories, stemming from slow sales at the start of 2012/13. In addition, there is currently an on-going process to develop a business case to restructure the Sheltered Employment Factories to make them financially sustainable and to prevent the problems that have persisted for the past few financial years after the loss of their preferential procurement status, such as cash flow constraints and operating at a financial loss.

 

Virements

 

The Department moved R512 000 out of the Research, Policy and Planning sub programme in Programme 4: Labour Policy and Industrial Relations to the Management and Support Services sub programme within the same programme. This was done to supplement the travel and subsistence budget as the Deputy-Director General (DDG) responsible for this programme was required to travel more frequently to Parliament, Imbizos and Ministerial stakeholder meetings throughout the provinces due to the public hearings on the Labour Relations Amendment Bill and the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill. This shift occurred within goods and services and the amount is under 8% of the budget, therefore Treasury approval was not required.

 

5.†††††††† Analysis of the 2011/12 Departmentís Annual Report

The entire 2011/12 financial year was dominated by the impact of the deteriorating global economy, in particular the ongoing European debt crisis.Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have recently lowered their global growth forecast, projecting a slight recession for the Eurozone in 2012. Consequently, the South African Reserve Bankís forecast for 2012 growth is around 2.8%, much lower than the previous yearís 3%. As a result, this has had a negative impact on governmentís goal to fight unemployment, poverty and inequality.

While transformation of the South African labour market remains a top challenge, low productivity and sluggish economic growth, especially in labour-intensive industries, make it difficult to fight unemployment and restructure apartheid employment patterns. As such, when compared with other emerging markets, South Africaís unemployment rates are much higher. In South Africa, too few people work. Only 41% of adults between the ages of 18 and 60 years do work of any kind, whether full time, part time or informal. Compared with developing countries like Brazil and Malaysia, the rate of participation in the economy by working-age adults is around 66%. In developed economies, such as the US and UK, it is 70%. Therefore, given the broader picture within which the South African economy operates, it is important to assess labour market institutions within this context. As such, the Departmentís mandate of ďemployment creation and enterprise development; standards and rights at work including equality of opportunities; social protection; and social dialogueĒ should be weighed up within this context as well.

5.1.†††††† Programme Performance

Programme 1: Administration

Currently, the most critical projects under this programme are:

                Organisational Review and Design;

                Information technology transition;

                Improvement of service delivery access and quality; and

                Management of organisational Performance Information.

 

Over the years, the Administration programme has become critical given the institutional incapacity of the Department to deliver on crucial services due to lack of proper management of assets and contracts, and the general poor resourcing of key programmes. In response to these challenges, the Department established two key positions to further enhance institutional capacity, i.e. that of the Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO). However, there were also other notable challenges such as high vacancy rates in critical positions due to high staff turnover. As such, the Department has a total of 304 vacancies. Some of the provinces with high vacancy rates are KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Mpumalanga.

 

Much progress has been made regarding the management of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) contract between the Department and Siemens.

 

Programme 2: Inspectorate and Enforcement Services (IES)

In the Departmentís 2011-2016 Strategic Plan, the IES unit listed the following challenges:

 

                Lack of capacity and requisite competencies within inspectorate due to lack of appropriate training which includes induction of new recruits into IES, and functional competence based on training programmes for new and existing inspectors;

                No sufficient funding for tools of trade for inspectors such as: motor vehicles, cellular phones, lap tops and other technical equipment;

                Lack of Inspection and Enforcement Manual and Poor Enforcement of Legislation have resulted in non-uniform or non-standardised procedures applied by inspectors in different provinces. This has had the effect of poor enforcement of legislation as a result of poor inspections and investigations;

                Inadequate stakeholder relationship strategy. There is no structured relationship between the DoL and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development to ensure speedy and successful prosecution of cases brought before courts by labour inspectors;

                No Inspection and Enforcement Case Management System to ensure case management which includes registrations, referrals and document management. The IES branch has been operating without a reliable and efficient technology for the past few years. This has resulted in unreliable data, poor reports generated, and poor management of cases and feedback to clients;

                The IES unit has experienced high staff turnover due to inspectors leaving for better remuneration packages elsewhere, the Department has been unable to retain highly skilled and qualified inspectors due to the low salaries paid compared to market related salaries in the private sector. This affects performance and visibility of labour inspectors;

                Lack of a coherent communication strategy to ensure advocacy and education of employers and employees about labour legislation. This results in employees not knowing their rights on employment conditions and standards, no respect of worker rights, non-existent health and safety standards, and employers not knowing their obligations.

 

According to the Strategic Plan, the Department has reviewed the job profiles of inspectors and a new structure with commensurate salaries will be developed and implemented, funds permitting, and a new cadre of inspectors will be appointed over the years. Further, the filling of vacancies will be expedited. However, the IES branch did not put targets on these challenges, and the 2011/12 annual report has also not reported on these challenges and how they have been addressed thus far.

 

Furthermore, while the IES programme is one of the core programmes of the Department, it has not achieved a number of its set targets. In addition, notwithstanding that the programme has identified a number of key challenges and risk areas, these have not been translated into specific targets. Therefore, there are challenges when analysing actual performance of the programme. It is for that reason advisable that the IES programme outline targets, especially on administrative challenges, that hamper on the inspectorsí operations.

 

Programme 3: Public Employment Services (PES)

 

Some of the challenges that were listed by this programme include:

 

                Inadequate communication and marketing strategies of the Department bills and objectives;

                Inadequate IT support;

                Resistance to the Employment Services Bill by external stakeholders;

                Resistance by private employment agencies to collaborate with the Department;

                An incomplete Sheltered Employment Factoriesí Business Case.

 

A number of planned targets were not achieved under this programme. Part of the challenge relates to legislation that has not yet been finalised. Therefore, for both the PES and SEF the biggest challenge has been lack of clarity on the policy framework.

 

The programme has successfully registered a total of 553 883 job-seekers on the system. However, the placement rate has been very low, with the Department reporting a total of 96 505 job-seekers successfully placed or referred to opportunities. According to the Department, the biggest challenge is the high percentage of job-seekers with low level skills to match registered opportunities. Another area of non-achievement is the profiling of job-seekers. The department has not achieved its target owing largely to the fact that candidates not turning up for appointments for assessments. The majority of these challenges are long term, as they reflect socio-economic shortcomings posed by the countryís economic structural deficiency. Therefore, the Department has to find creative solutions to these challenges.†††††

 

Programme 4: Labour Policy and Industrial Relations

 

In the 2011/12 Strategic Plan of the Department, the Labour Policy and Labour Relations programme listed the following challenges:

 

                Inadequate data quality collection and dissemination: To develop and implement data quality policy framework in line with Statistics South Africaís (SASQF)

                Resistance in accepting research findings by the Department stakeholders: Involve stakeholders in the planning and implementation process

                Lack of sufficient resources, particularly human resources, to cover all the identified employers: sensitise senior management about the realities of available resources and match the deliverables to the resources

                Changes to legislative changes: to develop implementation plan with the budget

                Economic climate impacting on collective bargaining and labour relations: investigate increase to dispute resolution subsidy to bargaining and statutory councils

While these challenges and planned response action were outlined in the 2011 Strategic Plan, the 2011/12 annual report did not report on implementation progress.

The Department had planned to establish provident funds for domestic and farm workers to improve their conditions and bring them in line with other sectors. However, this target was not achieved. According to the Department, National Treasury informed the Department that its target group, in terms of social security fund, also includes domestic and farm workers. Treasury also indicated that it had already developed a model within the social security fund for both sectors.This report by the Department of Labour raises unanswered questions regarding whether adequate consultation processes and planning within government departments are adhered to, especially since the DoL is the custodian of vulnerable workers and part of its mandate is to provide a social security net to this group of workers.

 

5.2.†††††† Budget Expenditure for 2011/2012 Financial Year

 

The Department was originally allocated R1 981 458 000 for the 2011/12 financial year. The allocation included the R599 402 000 million provision in respect of transfer payments. During the adjustment period, the budget was increased by 1.81%, increasing the total budget to R2 017 383 000 billion. The total budget utilisation was 99.5%, translating to an underutilisation of R10 261 million (0.5%).

 

The Administration programme was allocated R698 455 million (adjusted appropriation) during the 2011/12 financial year. Following a total of R8 578 million from virements, the programmeís final appropriation was R700 033 with the variance of R2 763 million.

The Inspection and Enforcement programme was allocated R389 290 million during the 2011/12 financial year (adjusted appropriation). Following the shifting of R3 541 million to the Administration programme, the final appropriation was R375 749 million, and the IES spent all its funds.

The Public Employment Services programme was allocated R324 809 million during the 2011/12 financial year. A total of R10 million was shifted to the PES from the IES. As a result, the programmeís final appropriation was R332 719 million. The programme spent R332 194 million, and the variance was R525 000.

The Labour Policy and Labour Relations programme received R604 829 million during the 2011/12 financial year. A total of R2 090 million was shifted to the Administration programme. As such, the programmeís final appropriation was R601 882 million. The programme spent R594 909 million, and the variance was R6 973 million.

 

The Department underutilised its allocation under the following economic classifications:

 

                On compensation of employees, a total of R609 million;

                On goods and services, a total of R5 953 million;

                On transfer and subsidies, a total of R620 million;

                On payment for capital assets, a total of R3 079 million.

 

The total amount unspent is R10 261 million. Under spending on Payments for Capital Assets and Goods and Services is due to less than anticipated orders being processed for the procurement of new office furniture and equipment.

 

Under spending on transfers and subsidies is attributed to less than anticipated expenditure by the National Councils for the Blind, Physically Disabled and the Deaf Federation of South Africa.

 

The Department expected to pay for South African Police Service (SAPS) VIP Police, National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Emergency Medical Services during the 12th International Labour Organisation (ILO) African Regional Meeting, however, when stakeholders submitted their claims in terms of services rendered, the final amounts were much lower than what was initially projected.

 

On virement applied:

 

                A total of R3 541 million was shifted from the IES programme to Administration;

                A total of R2 947 million was shifted from the Labour Policy and Industrial Relations programme to the Administration programme;

                A total of R2 090 million was shifted from the Public Employment Services programme to Administration programme.

In total, R8 578 million was shifted to Administration programme during the 2011/12 financial year. In addition, a total of R10 million was shifted from the Inspection and Enforcement Programme to the Public Employment Services programme.

 

According to the Department, an amount of R10 million was shifted from Programme 2: Inspection and Enforcement Services (Compensation of Employees), to Programme 3: Public Employment Services (Transfers and Subsidies), in order to increase the provision made in respect of the SEF, aimed at funding operational losses of the SEF.

 

6.†††††††† Audit Performance

For the second consecutive year, the Department has maintained an unqualified audit opinion. Although the audit opinion has not remained unqualified on Financial Statements, Predetermined Objectives remain qualified. In addition, there has been a regression in terms of Supply Chain Management and the Human Resources. Asset and expenditure management remains unchanged.

Similar to the previous financial year, the AGSA has raised a number of areas for concern. These include:

Leadership

                The accounting officer did not effectively exercise oversight responsibility regarding compliance with laws and regulations and related internal controls relating to assets (including Public Private Partnerships (PPP)), supply chain management and reporting on predetermined objectives;

                Management did not establish an Information Technology (IT) governance framework that supports and enables the Department to report efficiently on its activities, including reporting on predetermined objectives which resulted in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) strategy for the Department and its entities reporting to it not being developed and approved; and

                There was a lack of monitoring policies for entities reporting to the Departmentís executive authority.

Financial and Performance Management

                Management did not prepare adequate, regular and complete financial and performance reports that are supported and evidenced by reliable information;

                Material differences which were not identified by management prior to submission of the financial statements were identified between the financial statements and the supporting schedules for PPP assets, lease commitments, commitments and accruals; and

                Further, differences were noted on the figures reported in the annual performance report and the auditorís recalculation.

Governance

                Management did not implement adequate risk management activities to ensure that IT governance risks of the Department are addressed;

                The ICT strategy and policies were not adequate; and

                The business continuity plan which should form a basis for the IT governance framework to direct the positioning of IT, resource requirements, risk and internal control management was not developed and implemented.

 

The Department has four programmes, namely: Administration, Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES), Public Employment Services (PES) and Labour Policy and Labour Market Programmes. In terms of performance targets, the Department has not been consistent in its achievement of targets.

 

Measurability of targets

 

                25% of strategic priorities relevant to the Public Employment Services Programme were not clear or specific in identifying the nature and the required level of performance;

                A total of 28% of the targets related to the IES did not specify a deadline for delivery;

                A total of 33% reported indicators relevant to IES were not accurate when compared to source information. This was due to lack of monitoring, review, standard operating procedures and information systems for the recording of actual achievements by senior management; and

                22% and 47% of the indicators relevant to IES and Public Employment Services, respectively, were not verifiable in that valid processes, and systems that produce the information on actual performance did not exist.

 

Reliability of Information

                A total of 47% of the actual reported performance relevant to the selected programmes was not valid, accurate or complete when compared to the source information.

 

Achievement of Planned Targets

                Of the total number of planned targets, only 82 were achieved during the year under review. This represents 59% of the total planned targets that were achieved during the year under review.

 

While the Department has improved in addressing numerous issues related to financial management and received an unqualified opinion, it still struggles to improve on predetermined objectives (performance targets) as it received a qualified opinion in this area.

 

7.†††††††† Outstanding Issues to be considered by the Committee

 

                During the 2011 BRRR, the Committee recommended that the Compensation Fund must commission a study on the reasons for reduction in claims payments to determine whether there is an increase in compliance levels or, on the other hand, poor reporting from employers. In addition, it recommended that the study must be able to reflect on sector compliance and no-compliance in reporting workplace injuries. The Fund should therefore report to the Committee whether this recommendation has been heeded.

                The Committee recommended that due to an increasing demand for the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitrationís (CCMAís) services, the Department and the CCMA should have a sustainable funding model for the entity. The CCMA and the Department should report back to the Committee on their achievements in this regard.

 

8.†††††††† Committeeís Observations

 

Programme 1: Administration

 

                The Committee observed a general decline in the Departmentís entitiesí supply chain management. Entities such as the Compensation Fund, the Sheltered Employment Factories, Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) have all regressed. As such, irregular expenditure has increased

                General negative audit findings from the Department and entities have been due to lack of leadership and proper oversight

                Non-alignment of set targets versusbudget expenditure on certain programmes

                The department has high vacancy rate, i.e. 554 vacancies at the time of reporting.

Programme 2: Inspection and Enforcement Services

 

                There is a high vacancy rate within the IES.

                There is a high number of targets which have not been achieved.

                IES has not set targets on human resources challenges that continue to face inspectors, and as such it is difficult to evaluate progress made thus far towards addressing issues raised by inspectors during the Committeeís previous oversight visits.††

Programme 3: Public Employment Services

                While the programme has successfully registered approximately 600 000 jobseekers in its database, the placement rate is very low due to a high number of unskilled jobseekers.

                Growing trend by employers requesting corporate permits for low-skills level, especially in the agricultural and transport sectors.

                A majority of government departments use the print media to advertise vacancies at a high cost, instead of using the free PES system from the DoL.

Programme 4: Labour Policy and Industrial Relations

                The current industrial relations environment in South Africa requires strong labour market institutions and agencies, to monitor compliance and enforce regulations.

Compensation Fund (CF)

 

                The Fundís internal audit committee is not fully functional.

                Previous improvements in the Fund were mainly due to consultants. However, there was no skills transfer to the CF staff, hence the regression in performance.

                By and large, the CF does not have proper skills training regime.

                The Fund has not met planned targets. Only eight targets were met out of 22.

                There is a high prevalence of fraud by the Fundís staff and medical service providers.

                The number of compensation benefits processed and the number of payments made during 2011/12 shows a sharp decline, yet there are numerous cases of people who report frustration with the Fundís non-delivery service.

Sheltered Employment Factories (SEF)

                While the SEF received an unqualified report, the Committee observed that targets were not properly aligned to the Departmentís mandate.

                The SEF achieved only two of their targets, and 78% of these was not achieved, yet a total of R10 million had been transferred from IES, being money that was meant for compensation of inspectors.

                SEF took long to fill vacancies. The committee was concerned about the AGís observations that the entity opted for short-term solutions, which is appointing consultants instead of recruiting permanent staff.

                An expense of R30 359 825 was incurred due to irregular expenditure, R130 374 due to criminal conduct, and R1 006 852 due to material losses.

                The is lack of proper monitoring of the SEF supply chain management, revenue management, expenditure management and human resources, and this points to lack of leadership within the SEF.

 

9.†††††††† Recommendations

 

Having assessed the performance of the Department of Labour, the Portfolio Committee on Labour recommends that the Minister of Labour should:

 

9.1†††††† Ensure that the Accounting Officer plays an active role in overseeing performance of the entities of the Department of Labour, especially the Compensation Fund and the Sheltered Employment Factories. In doing so, the Department should report quarterly to the Committee on the Compensation Fundís activities, starting in January 2013.

9.2†††††† Take reasonable measures to improve on performance targets and performance indicators by ensuring that reported information is measurable and reliable. In doing so, the Department and entities should report quarterly to the Committee, starting in January 2013, to ensure that planned targets are achieved, and that corrective measures are in place on issues identified by the Auditor-General to ensure increased service delivery.

9.3†††††† Closely monitor the Public Private Partnership contract of Siemens as it draws to an end and ensure that there is smooth handover from Siemens to the Department. In doing so, the Department should submit a progress report, which includes the financial status, to the Committee by 28 February 2013.

9.4†††††† Ensure that all performance agreements are signed by all senior managers within the stipulated deadlines.†††

9.5†††††† Monitor the use of consultants and ensure that there are comprehensive programmes aimed at transferring skills to permanent staff. In doing so, the Department should report to the Committee bi-annually, starting in June 2013.

9.6†††††† Set an example and place vacancy adverts on its Public Employment Services system in order for other government departments to register vacancies as well, starting with the next list of vacancies and continuing into the future.

9.7†††††† Ensure that all critical posts are filled within six months in the Department of Labour and its entities, starting in January 2013.

9.8†††††† Ensure that the Unemployment Insurance Fund assesses the impact of its investment into employment programmes to alleviate poverty, inequality and unemployment. In doing so, the Department should report quarterly to the Committee, starting in January 2013.

9.9†††††† Ensure that the Compensation Fund commissions a study on the reasons for the reduction in claims payments to determine whether this is due to an increase in compliance levels, or poor reporting from employers, or any other reason. In doing so, the Department should ensure that the Committee is briefed by 31 January 2013 on the action plan to be followed so that it can set a deadline for the completion of the study.

9.10††††† Ensure that the Inspection and Enforcement Services branch reports quarterly on the progress made in addressing the challenges associated with the new structure of the inspectorate.

 

 

10.††††††† Conclusion

The Department of Labour has a critical role to play in order to stabilise the labour market through sound labour policies that not only ensure peaceful workplace relations but that also sustain employment creation. As such, the Department has the responsibility to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in delivering services to the people through proper oversight over its entities.

 

Report to be considered.