The government is proposing to extend the term of office of department heads from the existing five years to 10 years, subject to merit.
The policy has been finalized and has been submitted to cabinet. Acting Minister for Public Service and Administration Thulas Nxesi said in his speech on the budget vote at a mini-plenary session of the National Assembly on Thursday. This undermines the development and pursuit of long-term strategies.
A 10-year term would ensure greater stability and less vulnerability to political interference.
Nxesi said that the professionalization of public administration – mentioned by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Union address – is crucial for state capacity building.
Among the “radical” reforms included in the framework are more vigorous impact management measures, particularly in the Dealing with mediocrity, unethical behavior and corrupt and criminal acts.
It also includes “tools for conducting integrity tests before a person enters the public service and stabilizing the interface between politics and administration in the public service with regard to the term of office of department heads, with consideration being given to extending this to 10 years, depending on performance ung.”
Nxesi said the framework also proposes the redesignation of the Civil Service Committee – which oversees public administration – to protect hiring and selection practices from partisan influence and manipulation in appointments to directorates-general and their deputies.
Dealing with public sector payroll costs that are a burden on the fiscus , Nxesi said: “It is becoming increasingly important to develop a new public sector pay framework, including one Wage setting mechanism to better manage public sector wage bills and ensure a greater degree of uniformity and equalization of pay between different parts of the public sector.”
DA Spokesman for Civil Service and Administration Leon Schreiber , criticized the ANC’s cadre deployment policy, while deputy spokeswoman Mimmy Gondwe said the Ministeriu I’ve lost the war on corruption, fraud, and other forms of public service misconduct.
“We still have officials doing business with the state, even though it’s specifically forbidden by the prosecutor’s Administrative Act and the Public Service Ordinance. Government agencies are bled dry every year by all manner of financial misconduct by public officials, with little or no action being taken against the responsible public officials, promoting a culture of impunity,” she said. >
“We will never see a stable one and have fully functioning civil service when no disciplinary or criminal action is taken against public officials. We urge the Department to adopt and aggressively implement a strategy to address the disciplinary backlog that has reportedly cost us R4.5 billion in FY2019/2020 and FY2020/2021.
“If necessary, the department should also explore the possibility of centralizing the disciplinary management function and allowing it to be managed and managed by a single competent entity within the department, housing specialists in areas such as dispute resolution, labor and human resource management. ”
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