Journal of Public Administration - Special issue 1, March 2012
Volumes & issues
Special issue 1, March 2012
Institutionalisation of knowledge management and parliamentary role of servicing democracy in South Africa : an opinion based on keynote addressAuthor S. FikeniSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 541 –543 (2012)More Less
do not recall any other provincial parliament in South Africa that has ventured into the subject of knowledge management as many parliamentarians or even managers tend to reduce knowledge management to a function of an Information Technology (IT) or Information Communication Technology (ICT) expert who is visualised as sitting in a quiet room working on a computer databank. This is, as subsequent discussion will reveal, a misnomer that is dangerous for any complex organisation such as parliament. The Gauteng Legislature is a trailblazer, a pioneer and pathfinder in this sense and I am almost certain other legislatures will follow suit in an effort to institutionalise knowledge management. The chosen theme captures the essence of the goals of this important intellectual gathering themed Towards Creating a Knowledge-Based Legislature for Enhanced Law-Making, Oversight and Public Participation. Each one of the core functions of the legislature is knowledge intense hence the inevitability of institutionalising the science, practice and art of knowledge management for optimal performance in fulfilling the constitutional mandate.
Author K. KondloSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 544 –554 (2012)More Less
This article argues two issues - first, that the transformation of knowledge and knowledge production is still pertinent and yet an unresolved issue. The reconstruction of knowledge management as a discourse and practice in the legislatures cannot be fulfilled without the transformation of the knowledge base. The legislatures, through their oversight and public participation, have an opportunity to engender a people-connected knowledge production and knowledge management regime, but are not doing so. The article singles out knowledge production and argues that it is the foundation which needs to be 'decolonised' if ever knowledge management is to be an emancipatory praxis which connects with the tacit and explicit knowledges of marginalised communities serviced by legislatures. The article uses as the points of reference the various forms of public participation used by the legislatures, e.g. sector parliaments and publichearings. Knowledge management is inferred in the article to include knowledge production, codification, deployment and storage; it involves all the practices of embedding knowledge in organisational cultures and activities. The article furtherargues that the kind of knowledge currently used in parliamentary oversight functions should be not be taken for granted as if it is complete and uncontested. Legislative forums of public participation should be used as knowledge production forums to complement and expand the codified hegemonic knowledge paradigms dominating the field of knowledge management. The knowledge emanating from 'marginalised communities', based on their languages and experiences could be an enriching contribution to the diversification of the content of what is known and also the terms of validation of what constitutes knowledge.
Author J.C. PauwSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 555 –566 (2012)More Less
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, puts Money Bills in an exceptional position. Only the member of the executive responsible for finance may introduce a Money Bill; and specific acts must be passed to prescribe a procedure for the amendment of Money Bills. Progress in this regard has been slow. One reason is that legislators as well as technocrats doubt whether legislators have sufficient expertise to play a meaningful role in the legislation of public finance. This article makes the case that legislators are in principle knowledgeable, and that they should consequently not leave the contents of financial legislation entirely in the hands of technocrats. Legislators, as representatives of the people, are competent to amend Money Bills. They can acquire the necessary knowledge and information know-how. Eleven disciplines of knowledge are identified. Knowledge-enhancing attitudes and values are crucial to the mastering of these disciplines. The knowing-how and knowing-that that specifically relate to legislating Money Bills pertains to revenue, but even more to allocation between the various departments. Provinces are advised to retain some elements of the National Money Bills Amendment Act, but to simplify it a great deal at the same time.
On the path to acquiring independent information for enhancing law-making, oversight and public participationAuthor K. MansuraSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 567 –578 (2012)More Less
Access to reliable, timely information is integral to the effective and efficient functioning of the legislature in a democracy. Members of legislatures need information as they monitor and evaluate issues, develop policy options, predict consequences, and influence government decision-making.They need information in order to monitor the success of on-going programmes and/or to identify areas of weakness. The concept 'information' can be idefined as 'data that has been verified to be accurate and timely; is specific and organised for a purpose; is presented within a context that gives meaning and relevance; and that can lead to an increase in understanding and decrease in uncertainty'. A piece of information is valueless if things remain unchanged after the information has been received. Hence, the value of independent information lies in its ability to affect decision-making in the legislature.
The legislature transacts business largely on the basis of information received from various government departments in plenary sessions and committees. In the legislative environment we must accept that the government has a large volume of information and brings this information to the legislature to influence it to take certain decisions. It is for this reason that all papers, reports and documents received are formally tabled in the legislature. In terms of access to information, the capacity of government far exceeds that of legislatures. How then can legislatures use other sources of information to level the playing field?
Source: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 579 –591 (2012)More Less
Knowledge is not easily measured or audited. As such, organisations have to manage knowledge effectively to take full advantage of the skills, experience and expertise inherent in their systems and structures as well as the tacit knowledge that their employees possess. Knowledge management should not be confined to education and research institutions only. Government departments, legislatures, public entities and agencies deal with invaluable information and knowledge that needs to be systematically packaged and well preserved.This article sets out to present an overview of knowledge management in the South African legislative sector, with special reference to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. In this article, the authors argue that the Gauteng Provincial Legislature has registered considerable progress in the field of knowledge management. It has set a precedent for other legislatures (including the National Parliament) to effectively embrace knowledge management in their quest for improving their efforts to carry out their constitutional mandates.
Entrenching knowledge management in legislative business : lessons for consideration in the legislative sectorAuthor R. DagadaSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 592 –604 (2012)More Less
South Africa is a constitutional state and thus the Constitution of the Republic is the supreme law of the country. All laws in South Africa should derive from this legal construct and be coherent with the constitutional framework. In South Africa, there are three major organs of state - Executive, Parliament and Judiciary. The Executive (cabinet) is responsible for articulating policies, coordinating them into laws and overseeing implementation thereof once the legislature has approved them. Other than approving the Executive's policies, Parliament (legislatures) also represents the public, approves laws, and monitors the work of the Executive. The judiciary's authority is predetermined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. The role of the judiciary is to exercise judicial authority over the Republic. Knowledge Management is essential in all these organs of state. However, for the purpose of this article, the focus shall only be on the legislative sector.