Journal of Public Administration - Volume 42, Issue 5, 2007
Volumes & issues
Volume 42, Issue 5, 2007
Source: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 247 –261 (2007)More Less
To address the many and varied problems that still face African economies it is now generally accepted that they need greater access to international markets to grow in a sustainable way through trade rather than the current dependence in many cases on aid. This increased access would allow them the opportunity to develop strong and sustainable private sector enterprises that could compete effectively in world markets. It is also expected that such increased market activity would enable them to enjoy a fuller share of the myriad of benefits of globalisation. However, before this can become a reality African governments and related public administered infrastructures have to ensure that domestic manufacturers and agricultural produce providers have appropriate and affordable access to the sophisticated technical infrastructure that is required for to prove compliance to the increasingly stringent technical demands of developed country markets. Given the continuous call by developed nations for greater access to developing country markets in organisations such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), while simultaneously setting increasingly demanding technical requirements in both the public and private sector for granting similar access to their own, it is vital that a role for African public administration be clearly enunciated. In this article the above issue is deliberated and particular proposals are made, which may assist African governments to impose public administrative measures to facilitate processes to improve trade access and sustainability in general. Specifically, aspects relating to compliance to international standards, policy formulation and implementation and capacity building are investigated.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 262 –271 (2007)More Less
The changes been brought about by public sector reforms influenced inter alia financial arrangements to ensure efficient and effective service delivery and consequently good governance practices. One are specifically earmarked is the introduction and the application of new accounting practices. Government departments on the national and provincial sphere in South Africa provide various services through the utilization of resources at their disposal. Currently government expenditure are allocated and assigned to departments and not to the services that are provided by government departments. The cost effectiveness of these services cannot be assessed, controlled and managed under the current accounting structures that are focused on departmental budgetary control. During the latter part of 2006 an empirical study was undertaken with a questionnaire been developed and distributed among Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and senior finance staff of all the departments of the Free State Provincial Government. Separate questionnaires, with the same content as above, were also sent to Senior Auditor General Officials and External Auditors involved in auditing Free State Provincial Government departments to determine whether costing will be useful to enhance good governance practices. The research revealed that while most public sector accounting guidelines and legislation are in place, government departments are still using cash accounting and not accrual accounting as required by Generally Recognized Accounting Practices (GRAP1). The current accounting information system thus seems to be unsuitable for accrual accounting and effective cost management of services. The consequence of this situation is that the outsourcing of services is frequently occurring and decisions are taken on a tender basis without comparing the tender prices with actual costs of the services being outsourced. Due to the fact that cash accounting is still applied in provincial government departments, the heads of departments do not have accurate cost information to determine the costs of services. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the need for effective cost accounting systems on the provincial sphere of government and in the public sector in general to ensure good governance. Attention will be focused on the need for cost accounting and the current state of cost accounting in the government sector ensure that the changes envisaged with public sector reform programmes lead to good governance practices.
Author L. VermeulenSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 272 –284 (2007)More Less
Human capital remains an institution's vitality and strength and public institutions should co-ordinate human action for public interest and institutional effectiveness. It is important for managers to not only take cognisance of human resource challenges, but to also address them in order to apply human resources as a competitive advantage. When departments perform well, it is primarily due to the human capital's inspiration, enthusiasm, skills and reliability, combined with good leadership (World Public Sector Report, 2005:v). It is therefore imperative to take cognisance of the pivotal role that human resources play in an institution's effectiveness, productivity and performance. Public sector institutions are confronted with a number of challenges of which one of the largest is to retain good employees. Due to the fact that skilled, competent staff is in high demand in the public sector, it is important that strategic managers give precedence to talent management. Talent management processes should ideally be linked with and relate to other developmental practices in the institution to subsequently assist in increasing the visibility and significance of succession planning. The paper will explore the relevance of retention guidelines and succession planning to address the challenge of talent management. Best practices will be viewed with the aim to make recommendations for use as strategic management tools in talent management towards retention of such talent, as well as improved organisational performance which will ultimately be in the public interest.
Author S. Vyas-DoorgapersadSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 285 –299 (2007)More Less
Corruption erodes respect for the law and deters honest people from entering the public service. To overcome this scenario, the anti-corruption measures for ethical and good governance were discussed during the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm. In an era of globalisation, bribery is considered as a tool of developing networks and contacts for better opportunities. Corruption therefore is severely affecting the organisations and ordinary peoples' lives. This article is a reflection of form and extent of corruption at global level. Through comparative analysis of diverse countries, the challenges to combat corruption are discussed. Through the Global Corruption Barometer, Corruption Perceptions Index and Global Corruption Reports, the paper identifies the anti-corruption strategies adopted by various countries. In line with the global concern regarding combating corruption, the conventions that apply in Africa are: United Nations Convention against Corruption (2003), African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (2003), Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol against Corruption (2001) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol on the Fight against Corruption (2001). These conventions provide a comprehensive approach to identify problems related to corruption, measures to prevent corruption and measures related to international co-operation against corruption. The global and African experiences warned South Africa to take adequate, relevant and timely measures to fight corruption. On June 19, South Africa became the 37th signatory and first African country to join the OECD's Anti-Bribery Convention (1997). The article concludes with the recommendations to reform the public service, educate the public, maintain ethical and professional employee culture and stresses on national integrity systems in order to sustain good governance.
Realising the full potential of public service reform philosophies : with particular reference to the Nigeria's Servicom and South Africa's batho pele principlesSource: Journal of Public Administration 42 (2007)More Less
Nigeria and South Africa have established themselves as strong continental players in the African region and wield a lot of power and influence. Both countries have played and continue to play important roles in international forums but have similarly sought to self improve their governance processes through initiatives that focus on enhancing public service efficacy. It can be argued that this is of primary importance because the improvement of public service delivery will significantly contribute to and propel the countries towards their desired changes and assist them in the attainment of their development visions. The adoption of the Service Compact with all Nigerians (Servicom) and Batho Pele philosophies signal a realisation that the public service could do better, and needs to do better, in order to serve the public adequately. The Servicom philosophy has five principles namely; conviction, renewal, consideration, avowal and dedication. While South Africa's Batho Pele Principles consists of eight principles namely, consultation of users of services, setting of service standards, increasing access, ensuring courtesy, providing more and better information, increasing openness and transparency, remedying mistakes and failures and providing value for money. This article is a critique of these philosophies, their content and its comprehensiveness as well as implementation. It also points outs critical issues for consideration in an attempt to strengthen these initiatives.