6.1 Local Government SETA . The Portfolio Committee noted with concern that the local government sector was in dire shortage of qualified personnel with scarce and critical artisan skills. However, the LGSETA was unable to execute its mandate specifically in the training and development of personnel in this sector. . The increase in discretionary and mandatory grants reserves was noted as a serious concern since the demand for training and skilling of the employed and unemployed people remained extremely high. . The serious under-achievement of targets in all the programmes of this SETA was highlighted as major concern. It was noted that the appointment of the Administrator was to ensure that the performance of the SETA is improved. However, the SETA did not manage to achieve much under the leadership of the Administrator. . Members commended the SETA for assisting NSFAS with R15 million for bursaries in the year under review. . The Portfolio Committee was concerned with the matters of emphasis raised by the AG particularly on; poor leadership, internal control deficiencies and financial misstatements. Furthermore, the action plan developed by the SETA in response to the AG's findings was considered inadequate. . The high vacancy rate especially at senior management level was noted as a serious concern that needs to be addressed accordingly. . The Portfolio Committee noted with concern the inadequate capacity of the people employed in the LGSETA, the SETA was encourage to develop these employees through targeted training. . The Portfolio Committee was concerned with a huge amount of money spent by the LGSETA on travelling and subsistence. . It was noted with concern that municipalities were unable to claim discretionary grants owing to inadequate capacity within the municipalities. The Portfolio Committee encouraged the SETA to support these municipalities to ensure training and skilling of employees. . It emerged that about 700 contracts for projects in the year under review were manually captured into the SETA's commitment schedule records. The Portfolio Committee urged the SETA to improve its ITC systems to keep proper records of all projects. . The Portfolio Committee commended the fact that all the 278 municipalities contributed their skills levies to SARS. However, it was noted that the SETA should make follow-up to the municipal entities that were not contributing skills levies as this was against the law. . The Administrator was encouraged to aim for a clean audit in the current financial year. 6.2 Services SETA . It emerged that a number of employees that were charged with financial misconduct resigned before they attended disciplinary hearings. Of serious concern is that some of these employees unduly benefitted from contravening supply chain management policies which often contributed to irregular expenditure. An example was given of a former Chief Operations Officer (COO) who was paid a COO salary on the decision by the Administrator before being appointed into the position. In addition, the COO was also paid a performance bonus of R109 000. The Portfolio Committee was of the view that the SETA should pursue civil cases against these employees to ensure that they pay back the money owed to the SETA. . The under-achievement of targets especially in key delivery programmes was noted as a serious concern which the Portfolio Committee categorically stressed that this kind of under-achievement should be met with real consequences. . The Portfolio Committee commended the SETA for allocating R148 million to NSFAS bursaries. However, it was noted with concerned that an amount R66 million was not yet utilised by NSFAS for bursaries. In addition, it was noted that with reserves of R1.7 billion, the SETA could make a huge difference in covering the NSFAS budget shortfall if it can contribute more towards bursaries. . The SETA was commended for funding only PIVOTAL programmes for the unemployed and short courses only for the employed to enhance their capacity. . The backlog of outstanding certificates especially for artisans was noted as a serious concern since money was paid to service providers to train these people. Furthermore, some of these people were unable to obtain employment owing to lack of certificates. The Portfolio Committee was also concerned that the SETA performed badly in the training of artisan although 2013 was declared a year of artisans and 2014 - 2024 was declared as a decade of artisans. . The Portfolio Committee welcomed the commitment by the SETA to allocate unspent funds for needy student in the 2015 academic year. Furthermore, the SETA was commended for its new strategy of verifying learner records upfront before allocating funds to service providers. . It emerged that the SETA took up to six months to accredit service providers and there were only 13 people that were responsible for this function while millions of rands was spent to create such a backlog in accreditation. The Portfolio Committee welcomed the recruitment of 30 people in the ETQA unit to fast-track the accreditation process.