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Cape Town - A government assessment report has painted a grim picture of the public service, with almost all departments failing to meet minimum service delivery requirements.
The report points towards serious “anomalies” in government, according to Minister of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, who released it in Parliament on Wednesday.
The Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT) showed that 80 percent of departments were non-compliant in service delivery improvement requirements such as submitting plans to the Department of Public Service and Administration.
The report focused on management performance assessments for all 156 national and provincial departments for the 2012/13 financial year.
The departments were assessed against 29 management standards, including “service delivery improvement” and “fraud prevention”.
They included governance and accountability, human resources management and financial management.
The Department of Science and Technology was praised as the best performing national department, while the Department of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities was the worst.
In the provinces, the Western Cape and Mpumalanga were found to be well managed.
The MPAT measured departments against each of the management standards and awarded level one (red), level two (orange), level three (yellow), or level four (green) scores.
A department which scores at level one or two for a particular management area is non-compliant with the minimum legal prescripts in that area.
Level 4 means a department not only complied with regulations, but operated “smartly”.
The Eastern Cape was the worst, with only 20 percent of departments scoring level 3 or 4, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 23 percent, Gauteng at 26 percent and North West at 29 percent, while only 39 percent of national departments scores were at level 3 or level 4.
In KwaZulu-Natal, 81 percent of department scores were at level 3 or 4 in “strategic management” which means they were in compliance.
Chabane said the report gave a detailed account of “problems bedevilling the administration”.
“We are doing these assessments because we believe some of the weaknesses in management practices are the cause of some service delivery problems, for example the textbook delivery problems, the occasional shortages of anti retrovirals in some provinces, and undermining of our small business development policy through non-payment of suppliers within 30 days,” said Chabane.
Less than a quarter of senior managers in the justice department had completed financial disclosures properly and on time.
The Department of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities was condemned for its “management of diversity”.
It failed to submit a report dealing with disabled people and their access to the workplace.
The State Security Agency was dismissed for its management of strategic planning, risk management, pay sheet certification, and “irregular and wasteful” expenditure.
The Department of International Relations and Co-operation was red-flagged for failing to implement systems and policies “to promote ethical behaviour and discourage unethical behaviour and corruption”.
On the key performance area of disciplinary cases, almost all departments scored a level 1 rating or were non-compliant.
Only the departments of science and technology, mineral resources and performances monitoring and evaluation scored level 4s.
Monitoring and Evaluation Department director-general Sean Philips said the MPAT was developed in close co-operation with the Auditor-General to avoid duplication.
DA spokesman on Public Service and Administration Kobus Marais said the report revealed a “national public service in dire straits”.
“An urgent turnaround strategy is required to rectify the poor state of management in government,” said Marais.