Journal of Public Administration - Volume 37, Issue 2, 2002
Volumes & issues
Volume 37, Issue 2, 2002
Author C. ThornhillSource: Journal of Public Administration 37, pp 83 –84 (2002)More Less
Government is continuously being required to adopt new policies or adapt existing policies and service delivery mechanisms to cater for the needs and meet the needs of contemporary society. It is required of Government to adapt its decision-making and policy formulation strategies to accommodate the diverse factors influencing policies and their outcomes e.g. environmental concerns, national and international economic and political developments as well as societal phenomena. Once Government is assured that the strategies would result in optimum policies the implementation thereof could commence. However, it is imperative to ensure that the results would be achieved efficiently and effectively. Therefore, administrative and managerial monitoring and control mechanisms should also be developed and implemented.
Author F. CloeteSource: Journal of Public Administration 37, pp 85 –102 (2002)More Less
The objective of this paper is to summarise the potential applications of selected user-friendly, state of the art electronic negotiation support software to promote more successful negotiation outcomes within complex public management networks.
Various specialised niche software packages have been developed over the last few years to support negotiation processes as a result of the complicated nature of these processes and the different, frequently contradictory variables that need to be taken into account in the preparations for such negotiations. The knowledge explosion in this regard and the recent expansion in electronic hardware and software applications in government, have, however, taken place so fast that these tools are either still relatively unknown or have not yet been integrated in mainstream negotiation planning exercises in public management processes in many developed countries.
In lesser developed countries, the current state of affairs with regard to the use of such electronic support software is not good. In order to improve the positive impact of negotiations outputs, the success of such decisions in government need to be significantly increased. The experiences of different nations where electronic decision support tools have been used or are in use, to achieve a better success rate with public sector decisions and implementation, are important in this regard. This is especially relevant for decisions in negotiation situations within complex public management related networks.
The adoption and use of more user-friendly but effective electronic decision support systems for this purpose, has the potential to maximise more successful results if they are applied appropriately and effectively. However, these tools will not necessarily guarantee success in negotiations, because it does not divest the decision-maker of taking decisions. IT only allows such a person to take better informed decisions, hopefully more aware of the main implications of those decisions.
Selected new negotiation support software packages are identified, and the application of one elementary electronic decision support tool for this purpose, the WinSquared negotiation support software package, is illustrated in this paper. It can be used to increase the systematic nature and scope of qualitative information available to negotiators about strategic choices regarding issues, problems, options, strategies, costs, benefits, risks, probabilities and/or priorities. The package deals systematically with the main variables that can influence negotiation outcomes, and prompts negotiators for assessments of those variables, allowing the negotiator to devise the most appropriate negotiation strategies and tactics on the basis of those assessments. Its quantitative capabilities are, however, weak and it does not provide effective issue analysis and negotiation outcome support.
Complex decisions with multiple decision objectives that may be contradictory, need to be prioritised in terms of different, potentially also contradictory decision criteria. The interests, preferences, resources, constraints, personality profiles and negotiation styles of the negotiation parties need all to be considered in a systematic way and factored into decisions about the contents of negotiation proposals, strategies and tactics.
Author S. PillaySource: Journal of Public Administration 37, pp 103 –122 (2002)More Less
In almost all Western bureaucracies in recent years there has been a tremendous growth in the use of market type mechanisms and prescriptions for the ailments and shortcoming of public service delivery systems, policy instruments and norm based, as well as management ethos. These mechanisms are aimed at a national level to combat inefficiency, waste and redundancy in government, through the separation of operation from policy. The principle thrust of this reform comes from the emphasis on "outputs".
Empirical evidence would appear to support the notion that there is an inevitable convergence of public management governance principles and practices taking place throughout most bureaucracies. This has largely been driven by the new public management (NPM) initiative, which attempts to bring the entrepreneurial model from the private sector into public agencies to improve efficiency and cut costs.
Undoubtedly the public service understands that technology can play an important role in increasing public access and enabling governments to deliver services in new and innovative ways. Technology will not only assist decision-makers to manage data, but also to identify problems and align service delivery. In this way technology serves not as a silver bullet, but a golden arrow, pointing the direction and improving government's ability to do the right thing and to do things right.
This paper attempts to provide an understanding of the importance of information technology and communication to public management, provide a perspective on the role of new technologies in the formation and implementation of public policies, evaluate the role of the public and of new technology and their implications for democracy vital to the appreciation and understanding of contemporary public management with a strong emphasis on the uses and flows of information in and around public institutions.
Guidelines for designing a training programme for officials in the financial management category in the South African Public ServiceAuthor D.J. FourieSource: Journal of Public Administration 37, pp 123 –139 (2002)More Less
The promulgation of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act 1 of 1999), shifted the emphasis away from a rule driven and highly centralised system of expenditure control to the management of public financial resources by the head of a department. This change brought about new training priorities and it is required from public officials to develop the necessary skills and competencies to manage public finances effectively. The development of new skills and competencies created opportunities for training providers to offer training programmes, but due to a lack of knowledge regarding the training needs, providers are offering training programmes, which do not meet the financial management requirements of the public sector. Furthermore the training programmes are also offered in an unco-ordinated manner. In this article attention is devoted to the effect of a co-ordinated training programme. Due to the poor human resource development, which was inherited from the former regime and which is not only fragmented but lacks co-ordination, a process of identifying the training needs in public financial management and an analysis and interpretation of the survey undertaken, is proposed. Finally, to ensure that the government receives value for money the article suggests an approach to be followed in the designing of a co-ordinated training programme.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 37, pp 140 –165 (2002)More Less
The Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, 1996 makes provision for national legislation to determine the local political structures in respect of a number of categories of municipalities. The enabling legislation, namely, the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 restricts the options for local government in both the metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, thereby ignoring the fundamental objectives and values of decentralisation which are applicable, particularly in a democratic society.
This article examines the characteristics of strong and weak spheres of local government, various models of local government under different political systems and the local political structures in the selected developing and developed countries within the context of decentralisation.
Flowing from the foregoing, some macro structural proposals are made for the sphere of local government in South Africa which should promote the objectives and values of decentralisation and foster intergovernmental relations.
Author C. BauerSource: Journal of Public Administration 37, pp 166 –183 (2002)More Less
This article looks at the organs, mechanisms and bodies available in South Africa to ensure ethical public administration by its public officials. Ethics is internationally recognised as fulfiling a prominent part of public administration and pursuing ethical conduct in South Africa with its different value systems. The South African Government has introduced a number of measures to control unethical behaviour on the part of public officials and political office-bearers, of which the Office of the Public Protector, the Heath Special Investigating Unit and the Code of Ethics will be discussed in this paper. Measures to combat corruption or unethical behaviour should not be viewed in isolation from one another but should rather be utilised as a united front to ensure ethical public administration.