Report of the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development on Budget Vote 20: Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), dated 1 July 2009: 1. Introduction The briefings on the budget of the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) took place on Friday, 26 June 2009. The officials presenting on behalf of the Independent Complaints Directorate comprised: Mr Elias Valoyi - Acting Executive Director. Ms Noluthando Sihlezana - Programme Manager: Information Management. Mr Tommy Tshabalala - Programme Manager: Investigations. Mr Jacob Matsomela - Acting Programme Manager: Administration. Mrs Elise Verster - Chief Financial Officer. This report includes an overview of the presentation made by the ICD to the Committee. It 1 focuses on their Strategic Plans for 2009/10 – 2011/12. 2. Overview of Proceedings 2.1 ICD: Strategic Priorities The Acting Executive Director, Mr E Valoyi, presented the ICD's strategic objectives and an overview of its allocation for the 2009 – 2012 MTEF cycle. The Department faces a number of challenges. However, there was a promise that these would not hinder the vision of the ICD to see a transformed police service in line with the spirit of the Constitution, or hinder the mission of the ICD to promote proper police conduct and a respect for law by our police officers. The ICD views itself as being at the forefront of restoring the image of the police and restoring the confidence of the public in the police service. Accordingly, the ICD views the need for greater accessibility by the public to the services offered by the ICD as a priority. It aims to achieve this via a two fold approach. Firstly, it is restructuring Programme 3: Information Management and Research. The restructuring involves translating the posts of Monitor and Case Analyst into the posts of Investigator and Assistant-Investigator, respectively. This will give the ICD greater investigative capacity and streamline the complaints handling process. It is further envisaged that this will centralise all complaints and allow for greater accountability and reduce delays in handling complaints. Its second approach is to increase its accessibility to the public. It aims to accomplish this by establishing satellite offices in the provinces with special focus on rural areas. It has already established 6 of the 22 identified satellite offices. This will reduce travel time for complainants when lodging a complaint. It will also reduce the time it takes an investigator to reach the scene of a crime. Furthermore the ICD is establishing a toll free number to assist rural communities to access the ICD where satellite offices are not yet established. It is envisaged that this will evolve into a fully fledged call centre. 2.2 Programme Structure and Budget of the ICD The ICD consists of the following 4 programmes: Programme 1: Administration Programme 2: Investigation Programme 3: Information Management and Research. With regard to the budget of the ICD, the following three Policy Options or Funding Proposals were put forward by the ICD: 1 The presentation can be obtained from the Committee Secretary, Mr G Dixon, Telephone: 021 – 403 3771. Priority 1 focussed on an increase in funding to increase ICD’s accessibility. This would entail opening up 16 more Satellite Offices that would total 64 posts. The Marketing of ICD services to the Community would require an additional 18 posts and lastly funding to upgrade the Call Centre and IT database that translates to 5 additional posts. Priority 2 focussed on immediate funding to ensure staff retention and career growth, restructuring to increase the investigative unit to 36 posts. Implement the results of the Job Evaluation process that will translate to lower level salary increases. Priority 3 funding proposal would lead to implementation of the 535 posts for the full approved establishment. To date, the ICD received funding for 270 posts. An additional 265 posts are required. ICD was advised on 28 November 2008 of a proposed allocation of R118 018 000, 00. ICD was again advised on 15 January 2009 of the amended allocation totaling R114 865 000,00. This totaled to a final cut of R3 153 000,00. The CFO made a budget comparison with the Secretariat for Safety and Security. The Secretariat for Safety and Security has a staff complement of 30 staff members. The Secretariat received more than R12 million budget for 2009/10. Comparing the budget priorities, the Secretariat for Safety and Security has received a bigger budget than the ICD. 2.3 Challenges faced by ICD The following challenges were noted by the ICD: The ICD has to contend with travelling vast distances within provinces to get to crime scenes, as the Offices of the ICD are often inaccessible to the rural public. There is a lack of funding to ‘restructure’ Programmes 2 and 3. The ICD requires an additional 265 posts to be at full operational strength. At present the unfunded posts place additional strain on the ICD with compliance to the Public Finance Management Act, Act No 1 of 1999. The Auditor-General has qualified the management of assets for 3 consecutive years. The current staff retention strategy is ineffective due to a limited budget. The ICD demonstrated that it cannot retain staff that are overworked due to the understaffing of the entity. The staff also receives less remuneration when compared with other departments within government who do similar work. The career pathing of the entity also remains a challenge as the flat structure negatively impacts career growth. There is a concerted effort to increase SAPS members but the commensurate manpower increase within ICD is not forthcoming. A legislative lacuna exists with regard to the disciplining of SAPS members. The ICD can only recommend concerning disciplinary measures but cannot enforce the matters highlighted. The ICD have draft legislation available for the Minister of Police's attention. Outdated electronic Database/ Case Management System High staff turnover in Support Services (Programme 1) Lack of segregation of duties within Programme 1 has led to irregular practice with regard to financial management legislation. Staff are responsible for many duties and one person is not only ordering stock but also has signing power to distribute stock. This same person is also responsible for stock taking. This is an undesirable situation as it may lead to corrupt activities. 3. Committee Response: Questions/Issues to Consider The following issues and questions were raised by the Committee: The Committee acknowledges the many challenges faced by the ICD. It is however concerned by the unfunded posts placing pressure on the service delivery of the ICD. While the Committee acknowledges the current financial situation faced by the country, it is however imperative that more consideration be given to this matter in terms of policy priority within the Ministry of Police. The Committee is concerned that the reduction in the budget is affecting the service delivery within provinces, such as the Northern Cape, where more resource commitment is needed due to the greater distances that need to be covered by the investigators, Due to time constraints, the Members decided that they would require written responses to issues and questions raised, and would thereafter propose recommendations to the above issues. 4. Appreciation The Committee thanks the ICD for their comprehensive presentation. Report to be considered.
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