Journal of Public Administration - Special issue 1, December 2008
Volumes & issues
Special issue 1, December 2008
South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM)
9th Annual Conference
Theme : Consolidating state capacity : forewordAuthor H.G. Van DijkSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 1 –2 (2008)More Less
SAAPAM is an academic, independent, professional and non-profit association established in 1999 and registered with the Department of Social Development (Registration number 039-162NPO). At the time, the founders of the Association placed their faith in the future potential of the academics and practitioners of Public Administration and Management and the South African Public Service, sharing a common belief and vision of a high performing and leading edge, people-valued government in the provision of quality public service to all.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 3 –15 (2008)More Less
Public finance, the bedrock of stability for every nation, comprises the art of generating, custody of, spending and controlling public money. A part of the money generated goes into procurement of goods and services. Government procurement managers face a unique set of challenges. Firstly, speed and efficiency to deliver service are difficult to achieve because financial transactions must be fully documented and audited. Secondly, financial managers on a daily basis endeavour to adapt to new legislation and improved processes, all within the constraints of a limited workforce caused by retirements and transfers of employees. These challenges tend to slow the procurement and contracting process significantly. The result is that services are delayed and state departments encounter the phenomenon of under-expenditure.
Legislation on procurement aims at empowering the disadvantaged, and provides flexibility to individual public institutions to facilitate efficient service delivery. Yet, these laudable legislative objectives are grossly undermined by incidents of lack of accountability and under-spending. These challenges solicit critique on the public sector that departments are inherently inefficient and border on loose ethical and accountability milieu. This paper posits accountability as conceptual framework to analyze the process of procurement. Legislative implications on procurement are evaluated, and their practices, exposing attendant loopholes that frustrate efficient service delivery. Recommendations are offered to improve procurement.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 16 –25 (2008)More Less
Almost throughout the history of trade unionism in Botswana, the Botswana labour force is often picked out as one of the prime candidates for blame. Not only is it blamed for economic inefficiency, administrative malaise and managerial incompetence, but also for its presumed incompatibility with the social plans and strategies for fast development and industrialisation. On occasions, the government, managers and employers of labour have described the Botswana work force as ingrates, as a crippling deterrent against enterprise and industrialisation, as a monstrous obstacle to the legitimate pursuit of their interests. Others even think of unions and their leaders as populist fascists. Thus for many managers and employers, trade unionism in Botswana represents a clog to the wheels of industrial and social progress.
In this paper, an attempt is made to show that much of these views carry with them less than a grain of truth. In particular, it argues that the Botswana labour movement acts more as oil than a clog. More often, the Botswana Labour Movement has been in support of order rather than conflict, exercising a restraining influence. Only rarely does the Movement embark upon strikes or other forms of industrial action. Most importantly, the paper concludes that the predominant mood and temper of the organised working class of Botswana are not, have never been, and may never be revolutionary.
The implementation of performance budgeting in the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport in the Free State Province : an empirical studySource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 26 –36 (2008)More Less
The emergence and reform of performance budgeting in the Department of Public Works Roads and Transport (DPWRT) can be traced back to the fact that public managers are faced with challenges to ensure that expenditure plans are based on reasonable estimates of resources and that budget preparation, control and the distribution of funds are in accordance with the prescribed guidelines and strategic goals set by government. This paper provides a framework about how the DPWRT can attain sound budget performance practices and deal with the design and implementation of spending plans guided by sound fiscal policies that have to be costed, translated into budget programmes and prioritised through resource allocations to ensure the provision of improved services.
Is there a hole in the bucket? Identifying drivers of public sector corruption, effects and instituting effective combative measuresAuthor M.O. DassahSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 37 –62 (2008)More Less
Ethical behaviour and professionalism are cherished values in public service. Public officials, including politicians, are expected to demonstrate them in discharging their official duties. However, in many developing countries these values are honoured more in their breach than observance. Public sector corruption occurs when politicians and / or public servants improperly and unlawfully enrich themselves or those close to them by misusing the public power entrusted to them. Corruption has economic, political, and social costs. It is not an issue that is exclusively, or even primarily, a problem of developing countries. In fact, ethics and corruption are challenges not only for many emerging economies, but also for many countries in the rich world. However, nowhere are the effects of corruption more devastating than in developing countries. It is devastating for the public sectors of many African countries, robbing them of their integrity and undermining effective delivery of essential public services to citizens. Recent news reports indicate that the incidence of corruption in the South African Public Service is at an all-time high, with about 5200 cases pending. The abuse of parliamentary travel vouchers, popularly dubbed 'Travelgate' and the Shabir Shaik trial in the ubiquitous Arms Deal scandal that continues to haunt the government, threaten institutions of national integrity and the very foundations of the new democracy are but two worrying examples. Against this background, the paper examines the causes of public sector corruption, pointing to its drivers that are of a country-specific, rather than generic, nature. It also outlines the costs or effects of corruption. The implications of this analysis for combating public sector corruption in South Africa are clear : the public service might need to be reformed; a dire need exists to radically curb corruption by carefully examining local circumstances that give rise it in order to devise measures including, but not limited to, a new moral crusade to effectively contain it.
Author S.I. DintweSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 63 –76 (2008)More Less
The post-democratic South Africa saw a dramatic change of management and management approaches. The National Peace Accord, the African National Congress' Ready to Govern document and the constitutional dispensation paraded an intertwined alignment of government operations to new policies. Amongst these alignments is the accountability of the managers within the public service, and particularly the criminal justice system in this instance. Accountability is one of the hallmarks of democracy. In an effective democracy, the public servants serve and protect the interests of the society in accordance with the societal aspirations and legitimate expectations. Holding the public servants to account for their plans, actions and decisions ensure quality of the service rendered and alleviates unnecessary conflicts. Accountability also serves as a scrutiny instrument - a way of providing insulation against internal and external interference with the proper functioning of the public service. The pertinent question therefore is : Are the instruments of accountability in the public service, particularly the criminal justice system sharp enough to add value to the services rendered?
The nuts and bolts of ethics, accountability and professionalism in the public sector : an ethical leadership perspectiveSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 77 –88 (2008)More Less
The moral and ethical crises in South Africa have reached such proportions that social pressure and pressure from government and semi-government institutions have to re-consider where they stand regarding ethics, ethical behaviour, accountability and professionalism. There is an urgent need to stop the culture of corruption, lack of accountability and unprofessional conduct that have gathered momentum in the public sector. In practice this means that the ethical and accountable repair task that the public sector needs, must begin with as many individuals as possible making their consciences heard through every available forum. Therefore, to instill an ethical culture in the public sector it is important that there will be a real paradigm shift from a neutral stance on ethical issues to a situation where ethical behaviour at all levels is practiced by management and staff and become a way of life. The reality is that over decades there had developed a lack of ethical leadership to instill ethics, professionalism and accountability in the public sector. The lack of enforcement of legislation and mechanisms to punish unethical conduct, maladministration and corruption also need urgent attention. In this paper the legislative frameworks, conduct, ethical theories, acts of unethical conduct and mechanisms to safeguard acceptable ethics, professionalism and accountability as well as the need for ethical leadership will be examined.
Key challenges of improving intergovernmental relations at local sphere : a capacity building perspectiveSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 89 –98 (2008)More Less
Local government is the key role player of service delivery and development and has to fulfill its rightful role in intergovernmental relations. Without the full participation of the local sphere of government the essential contribution of locally articulated preferences namely, municipalities' participatory governance procedures, the role and function of ward committees and the integrated development planning (IDP) processes will be missing. Since 2000 a range of best practice in intergovernmental relations in all three spheres of government has emerged. The intergovernmental relations systems, processes, forums, and joint work had been improved remarkable over the last nine years. Steytler, Fessha and Kirkby, 2005:4 stated in their findings in the status quo report on intergovernmental relations concerning local government that intergovernmental relations are failing to facilitate effective co-operation of district and local municipalities to co-ordinate their constitutional mandates and to achieve effective service delivery.
In this paper the key challenges for improving intergovernmental coordination and relations with specific reference at local sphere will be addressed. A brief overview of intergovernmental relations and legislative requirements is given, intergovernmental relations in practice in the provincial and local sphere followed by a discussion about the challenges and recommendations to improve effectiveness of intergovernmental relations in district and local municipalities.
Author E.O.C. IjeomaSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 99 –112 (2008)More Less
Since 1994, the need to address the effects of globalisation in South Africa has been placed at the centre of the nation's agenda. Several measures have been undertaken through the introduction of a range of policy and strategic changes aimed at addressing some constitutional and socio-economic issues which could create bottlenecks for the young democracy, especially on the urgent need of re-integration of South Africa into the global terrain. The integration of South Africa into the global system after its first all-inclusive general elections, coupled with its first democratic government is of great importance towards a reflective public policy-making in the present globalisation era. The purpose of this paper is to provide a deviation from the current globalisation debate by exploring some constitutional frameworks and measures that may have been instrumental to a remarkable transformation of the South African public policy-making process from the previous apartheid regime to the present democratic government, and further profile how these changes may have impacted on South Africa's universal acceptance into the global community.
Enhancing local economic development in resourced areas in Africa - an investigation of the efficacy of public participation model / processes in the resourced Niger Delta regions of Nigeria : the case of Ogba communityAuthor I.U. IleSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 113 –120 (2008)More Less
The Niger Delta region in Nigeria is a well resourced region and accounts for most of Nigeria's foreign exchange earnings through the supply of petroleum oil to the international market. While it has been a source of economic benefit for the nation state - Nigeria, it has also become a source of poverty for the millions of local residents in the areas where crude oil has been discovered. Ogba community which provides the site of this investigation is no different. This is primarily because of the loss of local and economically productive livelihood through the continuous devastation of the environment as a result of the oil exploration activities and limited employment opportunities in this area.
The communities of the Niger Delta and Ogba community specifically and prior to oil exploration were self sufficient. Most were farmers, hunters and fishermen but these activities have been affected due to a range of environmental occurrences that have devastated forests, farmlands and rivers. With economic stagnation and increasing levels of poverty, this paper analyses the efforts of stakeholders particularly government in promoting local economic development through various approaches including the efficacy of public participation in both formal and informal networks with a view to improving the current practices, reflecting on its impact and make recommendations that could assist policy makers re-energise inclusive local economic developmental activities.
Enhancing local government systems and processes towards accountability : the case for external control agencies in UgandaSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 121 –135 (2008)More Less
The rationale for control and accountability in public administration and management is to ensure efficient and effective resource utilisation to foster public service provision, good governance and development. Thus, any movement towards more professional ethos in public sector management demands improved prudence in resource utilisation, increased responsiveness to the citizenry, transparency and, generally accountability. This paper presents and discusses the findings of a research study conducted to examine how the external control agencies of the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) and the Inspectorate of Government (IG) have enhanced local government systems and processes towards accountability in Uganda. It is demonstrated that local government systemic problems are complex and diverse, and that the accountability deficiency is more ingrained in the inherently weak systems and processes prevalent in local governments (LGs). It is argued that the mere crackdown on those who abuse public authority and misuse public resources do not necessarily improve accountability and public sector effectiveness. Instead, identifying the organisational-structural deficiencies and possible system reforms would be more appropriate to alleviate the problem. Commitment should thus, be put to undertaking system studies geared at improving systems and processes rather than mere inspections and monitoring exercises that encourage administrative tourism.
Examining South African intergovernmental relations impact on local government : the case of Eastern Cape Local Government Portfolio Committee oversight roleSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 136 –144 (2008)More Less
First and foremost, the paper is delimited to the examination of intergovernmental relations impact on local government with regards to the oversight role of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government and Traditional Affairs. However, there are critical issues raised in the paper that cut across spheres of government and this poses a challenge to Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act, 2005 (Act 13 of 2005). Critical to interrelations and interactions at play, is the role played by Parliament and provincial legislatures in overseeing policy development, implementation, budgeting and reporting across and within the three spheres of government hence the Portfolio Committees oversight functionality. The gist of the oversight functionality matter is to ensure inter alia that public resources are used for public gain. What remains a research inquiry in the whole Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) debate is "to what extent does the Portfolio Committee on Provincial Local Government hold municipalities accountable for their actions"? The paper departs from this premise of raising critical IGR issues in local government and their resolve with an attempt of contributing in consolidating local government to enhance state capacity.
Author H. KroukampSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 145 –155 (2008)More Less
The introduction of the SPS Bill in South Africa brought afresh speculations that the government was moving towards recentralisation after a period of 14 years of democracy. Assumptions are that the decentralisation policies adapted after the 1994 elections to enhance the quality and the effectiveness of public administration, have failed. Although developed and developing countries have shown a tendency towards decentralisation during recent decades, the present indications are that some governments are retracting these efforts and prudent steps are being taken towards centralisation. What was regarded as major advantages of decentralisation, are nowadays disputed issues.
The ombudsman institutions in the procurement of legal responsibilities in the Commonwealth : an overview of Canada, South Africa and UgandaSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 156 –168 (2008)More Less
As various reviews on the functioning of a modern administrative state continue to highlight the persistent maladies of bureaucratism in the public sector realm. The establishment of ombudsman institutions, the world over, is given credence by the need to foster improved performance in public administration and enhance governmental accountability to the public in ways that nurture the ideals of good governance. This paper examines the role of Ombudsman institutions in the procurement of legal responsibilities and the promotion of good governance, elsewhere in the Commonwealth, but with particular case reference to Canada, South Africa and Uganda. It analyses compelling literature on the Ombudsman institutions' orientation, matters of regulatory and jurisdictional type, appointment. It also interrogates whether there is a standard that guides Ombudsman offices across. It is argued that, despite the varying legislative and jurisdictional mandates, there are common denominators that underpin Ombudsman institutions, punctuated by similar systemic weaknesses. It is further argued that, however thorough, independent and threatening the Ombudsman institution can be, it can never prevent wrongs from public agencies unless there is an adaptive political culture and administrative system that cherishes goodwill. The Ombudsman can thus, only thrive under a democratic dispensation with vibrant civic competence.
The contribution of research at Higher Education institutions towards human resource capacity development in the public serviceAuthor L. LuesSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 169 –180 (2008)More Less
Considerable attention has been focused on human resource capacity (HRC) development in the South African public service and although significant strides have been made in recent years in some departments, the delivery of meaningful results in others is still lacking. With claims of HRC contributing to underperformance in service delivery, there has recently been an outcry from the public for this issue to be addressed. Concomitant to this, higher education transformation initiatives during the previous decade emphasised the contribution of research towards HRC development. Amongst the research fraternity, however, there are various research approaches towards HRC development, of which only a selected few have proven effective. With a global trend of resources for research becoming limited, higher education institutions (HEIs) cannot continue to afford themselves the luxury of trial and error. In terms of HRC development, it should be recognised that the current demand pivots around service delivery rather than basic academic principles. This paper debates the nature and extent of research at HEIs and how it should be directed in order to contribute to HRC development and service delivery.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 181 –196 (2008)More Less
The post-independence Africa adopted a command and control economy with state ownership seen as an essential instrument for achieving economic independence and planned development. The belief that a core category of essential goods and services, such as electricity, water, telecommunications, transport, education, should be served by state either for security reasons or purposes of economic redistribution strongly influenced this view. State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) were seen as vehicle to promote economic development, reduce mass unemployment and / or ensure national control over the overall direction of the economy (Khan, 2005: 5). With time, the SOEs developed an image of mismanagement and further faced the allegations of maladministration, lack of efficiency, poor performance and inadequate service delivery. Ultimately, most of them faced financial deficits and hampered the economy at the macro level. Consequently, many governments adopted divesture programmes, with privatisation as a panacea advocated through the 1980s and 1990s with the support and at times inducement of multilateral financial institutions. SOEs were now subject to competition with their previously monopolistic sectors being opened up to new competitors.
This paper explores various models of divesture used in Uganda by examining SOEs involved in delivery of education, water, electricity and telecommunications services previously operating in a monopolistic environment before the adoption of reforms. The researchers recommend major indicators such as turnover, percentage of government funding, product innovation, number of industry players and sustainability of the institution in order to improve the situation. The paper aims to contribute and enrich knowledge in the area of policy reform and public policy.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 189 –190 (2008)More Less
Articles in this special issue of the Journal of Public Administration focus mainly on service delivery in the South African public sector. The timing of this issue is opportune as the three spheres of government are currently reinventing themselves with a view to improving service delivery.
Author G. FerreiraSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 191 –202 (2008)More Less
The right to free collective bargaining, with a right to freedom of association and freedom from victimisation, has been protected by labour legislation in South Africa The Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA) (Act 66 of 1995) regulates collective bargaining in South Africa and all collective agreements are now binding and enforceable in terms of this Act. Prior to the LRA, state employees did not have access to the labour courts and statutory bargaining mechanisms and their conditions of service were regulated by separate acts such as the Public Service Act and regulations issued under this Act. Labour issues in the public sector are now regulated by the LRA. The process of creating public sector bargaining councils began with the creation of a bargaining council for the public sector as a whole, known as the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council, with functions and responsibilities identical to those in the private sector. The public service is the largest employer in the country, the single most important agent of development in the country and a very important role player in the labour relations arena in this country. This article explains the importance of collective bargaining in the public sector.
Author S. MadueSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 197 –206 (2008)More Less
In South Africa, the period between 1994 and 2001 has been referred to as the policy development and review era, whilst 2002 to 2006 was regarded as the implementation period. Yet, policy implementation remains problematic. The South African policy environment is experiencing fundamental challenges, more especially in the area of implementation. Although research in this area is substantial, it does not particularly assist in understanding how the policy implementation vacuum can be addressed, in terms of service delivery in the public service. Addressing the mismatch between policy intentions, policy practice and policy effects serve as the central theme of this paper. Moreover, the policy gap is viewed as what transpires in the implementation process between policy expectation and perceived policy results. The paper seeks to propose a model to address the policy implementation vacuum in the context of service delivery in South Africa.
Author D.M. MelloSource: Journal of Public Administration 43, pp 203 –213 (2008)More Less
The environment within which the South African public service renders a variety of services is always changing. Some needs may be justifiable and some may not meet the expectations of the South African citizens as their expectations increase while the human resource and financial capacity do not increase in the same proportion. A direct consequence of this situation is a backlog in service delivery, unresponsive service delivery and impatience on the part of consumers. Human resources, therefore, need to be managed for optimum service delivery. The public service needs to invest more in human resource and be able to retain skilled employees. This article attempts to define concepts that relate to human resources development. Furthermore, this article pays attention to the policy and institutional framework within which public services have to be rendered. The objectives of human resource development are also explained in this article. A number of challenges that impede human resources development are analysed. Lastly, the article focuses on interventions and recommendations that could enhance capacity building in the public service.