Chairperson, chairperson of the portfolio committee, Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration in the Presidency, hon members, honoured guests, friends and comrades, members of the department's management and staff, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen, I'm pleased to present another Budget Vote of the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation. Hon members, it was as recent as last week that we had to bid a sad farewell to and grieve the loss of a serving Minister of this administration, Comrade Roy Padayachie, and a former Minister, Sicelo Shiceka. It was also in the same week that Parliament lost one of its own, hon Florence Nyanda. Allow me to dedicate this Budget Vote to their selfless struggle and dedication to the people of South Africa.
Last year I outlined measures to improve the performance of government. Since then we have institutionalised quarterly monitoring of delivery agreements by the Cabinet. In addition, we reviewed the annual performance plans of national departments to ensure that their contents are in line with the delivery agreements. Much has been learnt from the past year and Ministers, premiers, members of executive council, MECs, mayors and officials are currently in the process of reviewing and refining the delivery agreements on the basis of this experience. Where targets have been achieved, the review process involves setting higher targets. In instances in which monitoring and evaluation has indicated that our activities are not having the intended results, we are making changes to these activities so that we can achieve the desired results.
South Africa is faced with very complex socioeconomic challenges, for which there are no simple and uncontested solutions. For this reason this administration has started a process of turning the government into a learning organisation which does not just keep doing the same things in the same old way, regardless of whether they are working or not.
We are changing government into an organisation which constantly collects evidence on whether or not its policies and programmes are working, and we use this evidence to inform the interventions we make. The primary role of the department is to change the culture and develop the skills of the public service in monitoring and evaluation, so that all managers at all levels regularly monitor and evaluate their own work and improve their performance. This is the only way that we will get government to work faster, harder and smarter.
In this regard, we are engaged in a range of monitoring and evaluation capacity-building initiatives, including managing national and provincial monitoring and evaluation forums, learning networks and data forums, and developing guidelines and training courses for officials.
On the international front, we have engaged with and learnt from many countries, including Mexico, Columbia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America and Australia. In March this year we hosted a workshop with our African counterparts from Benin, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana and Senegal. The workshop agreed that we would continue to share and learn from one another's experiences. We have also established working relationships with international organisations, which provide support in this field, including the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results, the International Institute for Impact Evaluation and the World Bank.
As the President announced earlier this year, the development of infrastructure to enable economic growth and to meet the basic needs of our people is a key priority. In this regard we have been focusing on monitoring the implementation of the economic infrastructure delivery agreement. Our monitoring indicates that much progress has been made, but that more attention needs to be paid to areas such as the acceleration of the electrification programme, increasing demand-side energy savings and improving the maintenance of municipal electricity distribution infrastructure.
Further improvements in productivity are required at the ports, and we need to put in place an appropriate pricing strategy for water. In addition, the sanitation programme will need to be improved and accelerated if we are to meet our 2014 target of 100% access to safe sanitation facilities.
The Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission has been created to accelerate infrastructure progress and to oversee efforts to address these challenges. We have been contributing to the work of the commission directly and through our monitoring of municipal, social and economic infrastructure delivery.
We have also been working with the National Treasury and the Construction Industry Development Board to put in place a mechanism to monitor progress with infrastructure projects at all levels of government. The Construction Industry Development Board is now in the process of establishing the projects register which will serve this purpose.
Following the report of the Human Rights Commission on the open toilets saga, we have, in collaboration with the Department of Water Affairs, completed a review of the state of sanitation in the country. The review indicated that while we are increasing access to safe sanitation by approximately 300 000 households per annum, there are challenges with the operation and maintenance of the sanitation system. The study found that this was caused by a combination of weak municipal management and a lack of clear responsibility of the sanitation policy at national level. The Human Rights Commission has indicated that it is pleased with the study and is currently consulting with civil society regarding the recommendations. After these consultations, recommendations for improvements will be taken to Cabinet.
We have produced the 2011 development indicators, which provide a broad picture of the state of our country's development, with 83 socioeconomic indicators based on data sourced from government systems, official statistics and research done by local and international institutions.
Both the development indicators and the results of our monitoring reinforce the need for us to continue to focus on the priorities which we identified at the beginning of the term. For example, in basic education, we have increased the number of children benefiting from early childhood development, with enrolment in Grade R doubling between 2003 and 2011. Seventy percent of learners are now in no-fee schools and the overall pass rate for Grade 12 increased in 2011.
However, while the development indicators show that we have achieved a high school enrolment rate, they also show that we have not yet overcome the legacy of apartheid in the basic education system. The system is still not performing at the level of other middle-income countries. In this regard we have identified a number of areas for improvement, such as strengthening the teaching of literacy and numeracy in lower grades, strengthening school management and increasing the accountability of school principals. The Department of Basic Education is implementing plans to address these issues.
Similarly, while there have been improvements in a number of health indicators, such as the stabilisation of HIV and Aids, there are areas for concern, such as the high maternal mortality. In the fight against crime, the indicators show that public feelings of safety have significantly improved and that crime is coming down. The murder rate per 100 000 of the population has halved since 1994, but crime levels remain unacceptably high. Again, we have identified the speeding up and the finalisation of cases before our courts, thus further improving the investigative and prosecutorial capacities of the police and the National Prosecuting Authority. We also have to secure more convictions for corruption.
November 2011 marked the mid-point of this electoral term and we have carried out a mid-term review, the contents of which will be elaborated upon during the Presidency Budget Vote. The mid-term review provides a detailed assessment of our progress and challenges with regard to the implementation of the delivery agreements.
Monitoring is necessary, but not sufficient. It only asks whether we are doing what we planned to do. In order to assess whether or not our plans are resulting in their intended impacts and the reasons for this, we need to carry out evaluations. Evaluations involve deep analysis of issues such as causality, relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, value for money and sustainability. In this regard the finalisation of the National Evaluation Policy Framework has been a major milestone for the department over the past year.
Our evaluation framework sets quality standards for evaluations based on best international practice. The focus of the evaluations will be on programmes related to government's priorities. The framework also provides for the development and monitoring of improvement plans to address the recommendations from the evaluations.
In terms of the framework, we will work with other departments and provinces to identify key programmes to be evaluated. We are taking the first annual national evaluation plan, with eight recommended priority evaluations, to Cabinet next week and we will take the first three-year national evaluation plan to Cabinet later this
Programmes under consideration for evaluation this year include: the national school nutrition programme and the Grade R Programme in the Department of Basic Education; the integrated nutrition programme in the Department of Health; the Recapitalisation and Development Programme and the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme in the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform; the Business Process Outsourcing Services Incentives Scheme in the Department of Trade and Industry; and the Integrated Residential Development Programme and urban settlements development grant in the Department of Human Settlements.
We have completed an evaluation on early childhood development, ECD, with the Departments of Health, Basic Education, and Social Development. The findings of the evaluation are informing the current review of the early childhood development policy. The evaluation found that many elements of comprehensive ECD services are already in place and some are performing well. However, the evaluation also identified a number of required changes to ECD policy, including extending home and community-based programmes, ensuring food security and adequate daily nutrition for the youngest children to avert the life-long damaging effects of stunting; and increasing parent support programmes. The evaluation found that the current co-ordination mechanisms for ECD were not working adequately.
The achievement of all of our targets for all of our priorities is dependent on the creation of a developmental state, supported by an effective and efficient public service. The need for a capable state is also highlighted in the draft National Development Plan produced by the National Planning Commission.
With the aim of contributing to the development of a capable state, we have worked with other transversal departments and institutions to develop and pilot the monitoring of management performance in departments. The purpose was to increase our focus on the capacity of departments to effectively and smartly convert inputs such as money and staff into outputs such as infrastructure and services. We have obtained Cabinet's approval for widespread application of the tool.
Working in partnership with the offices of the premiers, we facilitated assessments of the quality of management practices in 103 national and provincial departments so far. This involved assessing the quality of management practices across a comprehensive range of management areas. By carrying out these assessments, the Presidency and the offices of the premiers are sending a strong message to managers that improving the quality of management practices is also important.
In each management area, performance is assessed against the management standards established by the relevant transversal departments. The process includes self-assessment and internal audit validation by the departments, external moderation and feedback by our department, followed by performance improvement by the departments themselves. We draw on data produced by the Auditor- General, the Public Service Commission, the Department of the Public Service and Administration and the National Treasury.
In general, in line with findings by the Auditor-General, the assessments indicate low levels of compliance with some aspects of legislation, particularly relating to supply-chain management, human resource management and information technology governance amongst the majority of departments.
The assessment of results also indicates that departments are generally not working as smartly as they could. For example, in their own self- assessment, 86% of the departments assessed indicated that they were not carrying out evaluations of major programmes periodically and using the results of such evaluations to inform improvements. This is why we have put in place the National Evaluation Policy Framework. For service delivery improvement, 69% of the departments indicated that they do not have a service charter, service standards and a service delivery improvement plan in place, as required by Public Service Regulations. Sixty-seven percent of departments assessed themselves as noncompliant with the required policies and systems for promoting professional ethics.
The assessments will be repeated annually so that improvements can be tracked. Although it is too early to speak conclusively of the impact of this monitoring of management, the indications are positive. The self- assessment exercise was generally enthusiastically received and many departments carried out a frank and honest assessment and used the process to identify their shortcomings and put in place improvement plans.
The Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation will interact with departments that have demonstrated smart management practices to write up their case studies so that other departments can use them as a model to improve their own management practices. We will be reporting to Cabinet shortly on the results of the first round of management performance assessments.
We are also involved in the monitoring of a range of key indicators of the management performance of government through the Forum of SA Directors- General, Fosad. These relate to management areas over which directors- general have control, and which are of concern to citizens, labour, business and Parliament. They include, for example, reducing waiting times and turnaround times for a range of services, reducing the time taken to finalise disciplinary cases in the public service and the filling of vacancies. In addition, we are monitoring the responsiveness of departments to the anticorruption hotline. Members would also be pleased that we are paying particular attention to the responsiveness of departments to requests from Chapter 9 institutions and the timeous submission of quality strategic plans, annual performance plans and annual reports to Parliament.
We collect information on these indicators from departments, and progress reports per department are regularly presented to Fosad. In some areas this intensive monitoring of management issues is starting to bear fruit. We have seen significant improvements in waiting and turnaround times recorded at the Department of Home Affairs and the SA Social Security Agency. The SA Police Service has also improved its reaction times to serious crimes.
With regard to the payment of suppliers within 30 days, national and provincial departments are required to submit monthly reports giving details of all the invoices which have not been paid within 30 days and the reasons for this to the Treasury. Bimonthly progress reports on this issue are presented to our department and also to Fosad. This new monitoring process is enabling us to obtain a better understanding of the extent of the problem and its causes. So far the monitoring has confirmed that the outcry amongst small businesses regarding this issue is justified. Departments are reporting thousands of invoices which have not been paid within 30 days and most of the reasons for this relate to weaknesses in internal management practices. Our expectation is that the focus of the Forum of SA Directors-General, Cabinet and the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission on this issue will result in accounting officers paying attention to monitoring and addressing the problem in their own departments.
We are aware that to date our focus has mostly been on national and provincial government. We are now paying more attention to monitoring municipalities. We will include municipal customer service centres in this year's round of unannounced frontline service-delivery monitoring visits. In addition, we have started to develop an appropriate tool to assess the management of municipalities, in collaboration with the Department of Co- operative Governance and the Traditional Affairs and the National Treasury. This tool will be completed and piloted by the end of the financial year and will be widely applied to municipalities in the following year. This, we hope, will help us to effectively respond to the frustrations of our people at the local level.
Turning to the budget, the department has been allocated R174 million for the 2012-13 financial year. Of this, R93 million will be spent on compensation of employees, R67 million on goods and services, and R14 million on payments for capital assets. The department has four budget programmes which correspond with the four branches of the department, and the budget has been allocated to these programmes as follows: Administration: R60 million; outcomes monitoring and evaluation: R38 million; monitoring and evaluation systems co-ordination and support: R19 million; and public sector oversight: R57 million.
We have submitted a revised strategic plan as well as our annual performance plan to Parliament this year ...