Journal of Public Administration - Volume 41, Issue 1, 2006
Volumes & issues
Volume 41, Issue 1, 2006
Source: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 2 –3 (2006)More Less
President Mbeki recently stated that some of the problems in education could not be ascribed to only the lack of experience or the lack of skills of educators. He intimated that in some cases the lack of commitment to the teaching profession may be a primary reason for the poor performance of learners in some schools. This statement clearly signifies the need for the public service to devote attention to this requirement for the improvement of service delivery. The lofty ideals contained in the eight Batho Pele principles seem not to have found its way to the hearts and minds of public officials. Lip service is paid to the requirements for the transformation of public service delivery, but the quality of service, as measured against expectations, illustrates the lack of achieving the set goals.
Paying lip service to local economic development (LED)? - a city of Tshwane metropolitan municipality case studyAuthor M.C. BreitenbachSource: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 4 –20 (2006)More Less
South Africa has been a democracy for ten years in 2004 and it has been eight years since government endorsed local economic development (LED) as part of its strategy to transform institutions and society. The blue print for LED is applicable on all spheres of government, from provincial governments right down to municipalities. It seems that uncertainty exists as to what LED is all about. To add to the lack of clarity, LED objectives duplicate national government objectives for the economy, which fall within the specific functional areas of national government departments. This article explores the progress made with LED, by the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality (CTMM). Assuming that it may serve as a proxy for LED activities by other municipalities, the article offers a critique on the LED programme at CTMM, with important suggestions on how LED may be improved. The most important is that municipalities should make a conscious effort to engage communities in their LED programmes and follow at least an international model such as the one suggested by the World Bank. Municipalities should also attempt to utilise valuable resources effectively by not duplicating programmes in the functional areas of economic development by national departments.
Author H.A. Van WykSource: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 21 –31 (2006)More Less
The days of the cash basis of accounting in the public sector are past. The cash basis of accounting does not provide accurate cost information with regard to resources consumed in the process of service delivery and without accurate cost information the decision-making process in the public sector is seriously hindered. The Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (PFMA) prescribes the adoption of the Generally Recognised Accounting Practice which prescribe accruals-based accounting. Public sector entities are therefore forced to change from the cash basis of accounting to accrual accounting to harmonise with the requirements of the PFMA and to improve their financial information with regard to the costing of resources consumed. The public service entities are currently in the process of implementing new accounting and reporting systems. The current accounting systems are to be modified to incorporate accrual accounting and the financial reporting models are to be upgraded to move closer to those used in the private sector. The management information will be accruals-based in the future and will require different management techniques such as accruals-based budgets and outcomes-based performance reports. The purpose of this article is to highlight the implications and difficulties of this transformation process.
The nature and causes of corruption : the perceptions of KZN public service managers and anti-corruption agentsAuthor A. Van Der MerweSource: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 32 –46 (2006)More Less
This article comments on the suitability of both the 2003 Country Corruption Assessment Report (CCAR) and Public Service Anti-corruption Strategy recommendations to combat public sector corruption in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Anti-corruption measures should be informed by the nature and causes of corruption. In a survey undertaken in the same year that the CCAR was published (2003) the responses of 21 government managers and 11 anti-corruption agents suggest that corruption is ubiquitous throughout KZN's public sector and is manifested mainly in the forms of fraud, theft, bribery and nepotism. This corruption - according to respondents - is motivated primarily by greed, a lack of ethics, inadequate checks and balances and difficult economic conditions. The study finds, in addition, that KZN public sector corruption is both a supply (initiated by officials) and demand (initiated by private citizens) driven phenomenon. The CCAR recommendations to curb public sector corruption appear to be generally sound, given the nature and causes of KZN public sector corruption. The merits of a public sector wage policy and a concerted ethics training programme should be considered to further curb corruption.
Author Michelle V. EsauSource: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 47 –60 (2006)More Less
With the focus of many discussions and debates centered on public sector service delivery this article examines Max Weber's bureaucracy in the 21st century. Many are of the opinion that Weber's bureaucracy depicts red tape, delays and rigidity. However, this author's intention is to demonstrate that the bureaucracy is indeed a rational organization that, if adapted to modern day political, social and economic conditions can contribute towards improved service delivery by the South African public sector. The article also makes reference to the complexities of the rational organization against the New Public Management theory. Here reference is made to public sector reforms which include, inter alia, the principles of Batho Pele and Performance Management Systems. The initial discussion focuses on Max Weber's bureaucracy as advocated in the 18th century. The discussion progresses to highlight the demands improved service delivery places on the South African public service today. Finally, the author concludes with the assertion that the rational organization is in fact suited to realizing government's objective of improved service delivery in the 21st century.
The establishment of the South African social security agency : the case of alternative service deliveryAuthor S.B. KomaSource: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 61 –66 (2006)More Less
The main purpose of this article is to conceptualise and contextualise both the establishment and role played by the South African social security system in relation to its efficacy in alleviating poverty in general and its administration in particular. Thus, the article attempts to provide a sound and critical commentary on the establishment of the South African Social Security Agency as a classic form of alternative service delivery in the South African context. It goes without saying that the current ongoing reforms taking place in the South African public sector environment, are to a lesser or greater extent influenced by international best practices in as far as the transformation and reform of the bureaucracy is concerned. The point of departure is that the creation of the South African Social Security Agency heralds a new dispensation in the domain of social security provisioning underpinned by service delivery values such as value for money, accessibility and service standards, efficiency and effectiveness.
Author P.S. ReddySource: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 67 –68 (2006)More Less
The failure of the centralised state particularly in developing countries to facilitate development has resulted in an alternative tool being introduced, namely decentralisation. The author seeks to present decentralisation not only as an integral part of development, but more importantly as one of the key components of good governance. Given the fact that the new local government dispensation in South Africa has a developmental focus, the author found it both appropriate and convenient (he was based at the Community Law Centre at the University of Western Cape) to use his host country as a case-study as he 'believes that it offers a new and original attitude to local government". The book is basically a reproduction of the author's doctoral thesis in public law. Apart from the Introduction, the chapters of the book focuses on Institutional Principles for Decentralised Development; South Africa's Choices for local government, Autonomy in South African local government; Supervision in South African local government; Cooperation in South African local government; General assessment and institutional model for developmental local government. A notable feature of the book is the positive linkage developed between the theory and practice of development and decentralisation, thereby ensuring that it will appeal to more than an academic audience as it also highlights possible lessons that can learnt by other countries on the continent.