Journal of Public Administration - Volume 43, Issue 4, 2008
Volumes & issues
Volume 43, Issue 4, 2008
Author C. ThornhillSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 521 –522 (2008)More Less
Determining policy is the responsibility of the corps of senior officials in a public institution and the views and policy directions provided by the political office bearer involved. Naturally there are many other stakeholders involved in the process, e.g. community organisations; research institutions; labour unions and related interested parties. Ultimately the final decision regarding the exact nature, content and extent of a policy will be formulated by senior managers and approved by the minister / MEC or other political office bearers before being introduced to the legislature. This over simplification of the policy formulation process is provided simply to illustrate that a draft bill or white paper is the product of a joint effort between the appointed officials and the elected political head of the institution. This could be accepted as the two components which are also held accountable for the implementation of the policy.
Author H.F. De WetSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 523 –544 (2008)More Less
The income distribution in South Africa is one of the most skewed in the world. According to Whiteford and Van Seventer (1998: 17) the Gini co-efficient for South Africa in 1996 was 0,69. For countries at the same level of development as South Africa the Gini co-efficients fluctuated between 0,42 for Costa Rica and 0,61 for Brazil. The welfare significance of the national government's financing of provinces can be measured by the construction and analysis of a provincial welfare budget. The welfare budget will, inter alia, show whether the problem of a skewed income distribution amongst provinces is addressed. For purposes of such welfare analyses inter provincial equity boils down to the equalisation of personal incomes amongst provinces. This might also lead to inter racial group equity. The latter is not addressed in this article though. by addressing inter provincial equity, the assumption is made that income disparities amongst population groups will also be addressed. In 2000 the white population in South Africa represented only 10,5 percent of the total population but earned 47,3 percent of the total annual income. This article therefore is limited to an attempt in constructing and analysing a welfare budget for the nine provinces in South Africa.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 545 –558 (2008)More Less
It is argued in this article that audit committees are key contributors to improved corporate governance in the public sector. Management in the public sector is increasingly required to ensure that an effective system of internal control and sound governance is applied in their responsibility areas. Increased accountability is a requisite for a good democracy and for improved service delivery. The audit committee is a legislated accountability instrument in the public sector and it is argued that if these committees function effectively they will contribute to improved corporate governance. When measuring the perceived effectiveness of audit committees in national government departments from an external audit perspective, areas for improvement of these committees are identified. This provides an indication of how successful the public sector has been in implementing this Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act 1 of 1999) requirement.
The contribution of public private partnerships to economic growth and human capital development : a South African experienceAuthor D. FourieSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 559 –570 (2008)More Less
Service delivery is the primary function of government and in this process the government has a responsibility to ensure that citizens have access to their fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution. Due to the limitation of financial resources at its disposal the state has been compelled to find alternative service delivery mechanisms in order to fulfil its mandate of ensuring that services meet the expectations of the people. In this regard Public Private Partnerships has been identified as an instrument in addressing the massive infrastructure and service delivery backlogs. Attention will be devoted to the establishment and examples of PPPs and the effect of PPPs on the process of budgeting. Finally the challenges regarding the utilisation of PPPs in service delivery will be highlighted.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 571 –580 (2008)More Less
The enactment of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 [hereafter referred to as the Constitution] concretised the foundations for shattering the apartheid paradigm of oppressive, suppressive, unaccountable and unjust political, social and public administrative systems and practices. The constitutionally mandated Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (Act 3 of 2000) and the constitutionally embedded right to just administrative action cemented a paradigm designed for a dignified, democratic, fair and accountable, as well as, a non-racist and non-sexist approach to the exercise of public power. Support and implementation of these mandates are provided by the people-first policy explained in the White Paper on Transforming Public Service Delivery, the Public Service, and State Institutions Supporting Constitutional Democracy as well as the Legal Aid Board as a judicial institution. Regular administrative justice summits enabled by the political will of state and non-state actors could add value to the role of existing legislative, policy and institutional measures.
Confronting management dilemmas : the introduction of single public service legislation in South AfricaAuthor V. NaidooSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 581 –591 (2008)More Less
This article examines provisions in the draft legislation to introduce a single public service in South Africa. It will argue that critical commentary citing the proposed legislation's centralising tendencies are reflective of tensions that have been described in the literature on New Public Management. This tension is created on the one hand by instituting measures that delegate greater authority and discretion to public service managers over human resources and organisational conduct, whilst concurrently introducing centrally determined measures to ensure that managers are held accountable. With this in mind, this article will argue that the human resource management reforms introduced in the single public service legislation amounts to a dilemma of sorts, where the theoretical possibility is created of bureaucratic constraints, necessitated by accountability needs, being levied in conjunction with the increased authority delegated to line department managers over Human Resource Management (HRM) and related organsational matters. This article will indicate that this management dilemma extends to how the legislation will need to confront the problem of management vacancies in the South African public service. Overall these observations initiate real avenues for carrying out new empirical research on the evolution of public sector reform in South Africa.
Author W. WebbSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 592 –606 (2008)More Less
Reforming the public service has been the main pre-occupation of most governments for more than two decades. The public service should be more efficient and effective, provide for greater accountability and simultaneously reduce costs to the taxpayer - all at the expense of the traditional bureaucracy. In this article the main tenets of administrative reform are described as experienced by most public services. This modernisation process has been accompanied by expectations, both amongst political leaders and citizens. However, in this publication the author proposes a more subdued approach to the fuss and fanfare created around public sector reform. It is argued that discarding the bureaucracy - and replacing it with business-like practices - does not necessarily solve the problems concerning efficiency and effectiveness. Focusing on corruption and its inhibiting consequences for service delivery, the author indicates how strategies to prevent corruption have taken on the character of the wider reform agenda. It is argued that instead of reducing corruption, new opportunities for corruption have been created. Among many purposes, public sector reform serves to legitimise governments. Political leaders engage in rhetoric to serve their selfish interest by proving to citizens that something is being done to fix the ills of the bureaucracy. This article proposes that public sector reform should be approached with caution and careful consideration.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 607 –628 (2008)More Less
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) introduced its Service Charter in 2005, to be fully effective from the beginning of the 2008 tax year. The intention of this Charter is to set out specific service delivery targets which SARS aims to achieve. To get an indication of the progress made by the SARS on its service quality journey, firstly a questionnaire was administered with the aim of establishing the perceptions of tax practitioners towards the service quality of specific services mentioned in the Service Charter. Secondly, reforms subsequently introduced by SARS were analysed in relation to the findings of the survey and positive correlations were found.