State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said she would rebuild the image of the State Security Agency after it had suffered reputational damage in the recent past. Picture: African News Agency/ANA

Parliament - State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo on Thursday said she aimed to rebuild the image of the State Security Agency after it had suffered reputation damage in the recent past.

"One of our key priorities is the rebuilding of the image of the agency which has suffered some considerable damage in the recent past," she said in her budget vote speech to Parliament.

To this end, the department would appoint someone with the right skills to help clear the backlog of disciplinary cases against staff, she said.

Dlodlo did not quantify the number of outstanding cases.

She said the department had embarked on a skills audit, which should be completed in four months and would by the end of September appoint a head of research and development to ensure that it recruited the right members in the future.

"In the next two months, we will ensure that we establish the following governance structures: a Ministerial Advisory Committee on appeals, a Ministerial Advisory Committee on declassification, an Advisory Board for the intelligence academy and the appointment of Commissioners for the ICCS," Dlodlo said. 

"This work will go a long way in addressing the issues identified in the last audit outcomes in the Auditor General’s report. 

"Honourable chairperson, my predecessor had announced a number of interventions such as enhanced collaboration with the Anti-Corruption Task Team, in addition to measures to deal with corruption within the agency itself," Dlodlo said.

"To this end, I have thus requested Minister Mchunu for the DPSA (Department of Public Service and Administration) to assist us to develop an ethics and integrity framework for the agency. 

"We are confident that such a framework will lay a solid foundation for a credible and ethical environment and the appointment of ethics officers in the agency.

"In the next eight months, we will be reviewing and updating some of our policy and legislative instruments to strengthen our capacity to carry out our mandate. Among others is the review of the White Paper on Intelligence and the Minimum Information Security Standard," Dlodlo said.

African News Agency/ANA