THE government is embarking on a review of its stringent but outdated cost-cutting measures to deal with challenges with their implementation.
According to the National Treasury, over the years implementation challenges have been raised by a number of state institutions.
The cost containment measures were first introduced in 2013 to cover the procurement of vehicles for members of the executive, curtail and regulate certain goods and services items such as travel and subsistence.
Its data also shows that savings have been realised during the implementation of the cost containment measures even though there have been some challenges reported which it says are worth to review.
”The National Treasury is embarking on a process of reviewing all the cost containment measures (some outdated) for effectiveness and applicability. Part of this review process involves stakeholder engagement to obtain comments and inputs on each of the instructions applicable issued,” reads a circular recently sent to accounting officers and authorities of government departments, constitutional institutions, public entities listed in the Public Finance Management Act and heads of provincial treasuries.
The National Treasury requested that all accounting officers and authorities, deputy directors-general, chief executive officers, chief financial officers, and other officials as key stakeholders to participate in its survey by providing responses and comments dealing with cost containment measures.
The review of cost-cutting measures comes as the government has also moved to curb its payment for leave when employees change jobs.
”A phenomenon has emerged whereby employees who receive an employment offer from the same or another department within the public service choose to resign from their current position prior to starting work in the new position without taking a break from their previous employment,” the Department of Public Service and Administration noted.
It stated that upon resigning employees demand payment for any unused annual leave credits that are still available at the time.
A two-decades-old Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council resolution provides that if due to the employer’s service delivery needs leave is not taken such leave must be paid out at the end of the 18-month period.
Now public servants who resign from one department and are appointed in the same or another department without a break in service will be deemed to continue employment in the public service.
This means that since such an employee is deemed to continue employment in the public service no pay-outs of annual leave benefits will be effected and will retain their annual and sick leave credits.
They will also continue with their annual leave benefits, among others, in the same or new employing department.
State employees have been warned that adherence to their code of conduct requires that they notify the employer when they receive an employment offer from the same or another department within the public service resulting in a transfer or appointment without a break in service.
”Failure to inform the employer would constitute a breach of the code of conduct, potentially leading to sanctions as per the disciplinary code and procedure,” the department stated.