Journal of Public Administration - Special issue 1, April 2009
Volumes & issues
Special issue 1, April 2009
Author C. MilneSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 969 –990 (2009)More Less
Representative bureaucracy, together with addressing inequalities, is the foundation of the public service reform of affirmative action policies in South Africa. Currently, affirmative action policies focus on passive representation and targets. However, the discourse on affirmative action appears to be concerned with the language of empowerment and therefore diverges from the original policy language. This article analyses the Personnel and Salary Information System (PERSAL) data from 1995 to 2008 to assess where the public service of South Africa stands in attaining the targets set in affirmative action policy. The article concludes that the language of representative bureaucracy underpins the policies. However, the spirit of these affirmative action policies, which could in terms of the discourse on affirmative action, can be seen to be the move to empowerment, perhaps through active representation.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 991 –1010 (2009)More Less
This article examines the issue and concept of administrative capacity in South Africa's public service. It critiques the use of the term capacity on conceptual grounds, by outlining three perspectives, two of which have been pre-eminent in the post-apartheid transformation of the public service. These are the possession of capacity and the acquisition of capacity, which function on the availability of sufficient resources (typically human/personnel) to implement programmes and deliver services. In contrast to these two perspectives, a third interpretation of capacity is pursued, which emphasises the influence of organisational and operational conditions on capacity. This article will argue, and illustrate using empirical data, that this third interpretation of capacity can offer useful contextual insights and give greater dimension to conventional and more narrow resource-based definitions of administrative capacity.
Author L. AbrahamsSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 1011 –1026 (2009)More Less
Electronic governance is a sophisticated coming together of a wide range of information and communication technologies with non-technological measures and resources, in order to enhance the quality of service delivery to the public, to promote interactive communications between government and citizens or government and business, and to address development challenges, in any particular society. As a national policy department, the Department of Public Service and Administration is responsible for public policy on electronic governance in the South African public service. How has it performed? In order to respond to this question, a number of contributing factors to successful e-governance are briefly examined. The individual features are then tied into a conceptual framework against which to situate the strengths and weaknesses of public policy on e-governance. The article takes as its starting point the 1998 report of the Presidential Review Commission. It then reviews key policy and strategy documents from the period 1999 to 2009 against the e-governance conceptual framework, in order to interpret lessons to be learnt.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 1027 –1045 (2009)More Less
A major challenge facing South Africa immediately after the 1994 democratic transition, which continues to the present day, is the professional development of the public officials and managers who are tasked with driving the developmental agenda of government. Despite recognition of the importance of training public officials to meet the mandates of transformation and public sector reform, there have been few attempts to directly link the transformation agenda of public sector reform to management development strategy. The imperative to make links between the reform agenda and management development has been left in the hands of various government training institutions or external providers and has been ad hoc at best and absent at worst. This article reviews government management development strategy over the period following the 1994 democratic elections. The primary argument is that public service management development strategies have tended to respond to global trends, national priorities and reform agendas, rather than follow a proactive sustained plan to create effective, performing, developmental public managers over time. This is reflected in a constant restructuring of government management development institutions, changing leadership and shifting mandates. Developing leadership and management capacity for a developmental state may require building upon recent developments with a more consistently strategic approach.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 1046 –1066 (2009)More Less
The South African government machinery has historically been organised as the public service and the local government service. This created a perceived lack of alignment at the levels of policy and service delivery, which was seen as a reason for poor government performance in addressing development challenges. The Department of Public Service and Administration therefore proceeded to create the legislative and institutional basis for a single public service. South Africa has a complex set of development goals to which the public service must respond and this requires thorough-going public sector reform, with due attention to major reform trends elsewhere in the world. While the efforts to construct the single public service attempted to incorporate some of these trends, it appears to have fallen short with respect to constructing a development paradigm for government services.
Ten-year review of public service transformation under the stewardship of Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi : annexure AAuthor Demetrios ArgyriadesSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 1067 –1075 (2009)More Less
It was 31 January 2009, first day of class. At John Jay College, CUNY, I teach a course on Ethics for Public Service Professionals. I walked into the classroom to find twenty-one students waiting to meet their professor: eighteen women and three men. Although over the years the ratio of men to women has steadily declined, the preponderance of ladies had never been so marked. Of course, the subject-matter may also have been a factor - for female students, in general, have shown themselves more vocal, as well as more articulate on questions of ethics than males. Still, I took this growing imbalance of women to men as telling confirmation of a significant trend: the rapid feminisation of the public service profession.