Hon Speaker, the mandate of the Department of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation includes the facilitation of the development of plans or delivery agreements for the crosscutting priorities, or outcomes of government and monitoring and evaluating the implementation of these plans. It is also responsible for assisting the President to put in place performance agreements for each Minister, to provide support to the President and Deputy President on Cabinet memoranda, to monitor the performance of individual national and provincial government departments and municipalities, to monitor frontline service delivery, to carry out evaluations, to promote good monitoring and evaluation practices in government and to produce government-wide monitoring and evaluation frameworks.
Moreover, there is an additional mandate of managing the Presidential Hotline and evaluation. The purpose of the transfer of the function was to give effect to the focus of government on monitoring and evaluation by promoting interface between government and citizens.
The budget of the department has increased from R106 million in 2011-12 to R204 million over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF. The department informed the committee that it had made use of consultants mainly to conduct evaluations of government performance. This was normally done to ensure that there was an independent opinion in the evaluation process of government departments. This was also done to take advantage of the capacity and the expertise of evaluation in the private sector and to ensure that there was proper, efficient, effective and credible measures - this was identified as one of the international best practices.
The mandate of the department has four programmes namely: administration; outcome; monitoring; and evaluation, which is responsible for, amongst others, assisting the President to monitor the performance of individual Ministers against their performance agreements and supporting the Deputy President and the Minister in the Presidency with advice, including briefing notes on Cabinet submissions.
Programme 3, monitoring and evaluations, is responsible for co-ordinating and supporting an integrated government-wide performance monitoring and evaluation system through policy development and capacity-building. It is also responsible for creating policy platforms for the monitoring and evaluation system and building monitoring and evaluation capacity across government. The committee noted with concern that the performance indicators provided by the department were only in terms of percentages, without providing baselines from which it would make it possible for the committee to track progress on performance.
Programme 4, the public sector oversight, is responsible for monitoring the compliance and quality of management practices in all the national and provincial departments on an annual basis; on-site monitoring of quality of frontline service delivery at 260 sites over the MTEF, the development of the Presidential Hotline as an effective monitoring and evaluation tool to strengthen government-wide service delivery citizens based on monitoring.
The committee also noted that the department had conducted its first evaluation programme, which was on early childhood development, employing the services of the Human Science Research Council, HSRC. Furthermore, the committee expressed concern at the lack of human resource and ICT capacity at the department to effectively deal with the additional mandate of the Presidential Hotline. The department promised that it would double the number of call operators in order to address the call-throttling changes.
In conclusion, the committee notes the important work that the department is doing; however, it is the committee's view that the department will have to increase its capacity in order to effectively deliver on its mandate. I thank you, hon Speaker.
There was no debate.