Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, says his department will work with Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) to ensure that stats are used to improve the performance of many departments.
Minister Radebe said many departments do not yet have the appropriate information management processes and systems in place to generate reliable data. He said the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) has observed this through evaluation.
Addressing the media before tabling his department’s budget vote in Cape Town on Tuesday, Minister Radebe said the DPME will implement initiatives to build capacity in government in order to address this challenge.
He said one of the strategic priorities of the DPME is to evaluate the impact of government programmes on society at large.
Minister Radebe said the DPME has a total of 39 evaluations completed, covering around R50 billion of government expenditure.
He said many evaluations have registered significant impact even before they were made public. As a result, major improvements in the effectiveness of government programmes should be seen.
“We are in the process of launching a call for evaluations for 201617. During 201415, six evaluation reports were completed and submitted to Cabinet. We aim to initiate at least eight evaluations during the current financial year,” he said.
Minister Radebe said the first completed evaluations are making a significant difference, referring specifically to the first evaluation on Early Childhood Development (ECD), which he said has resulted in a new ECD policy being developed and gazetted in March 2015.
“Among others, the focus will be on improving the quality of Grade R to maximise its impact on poor children and in poorly performing provinces, and strengthening the training and development of Grade R teachers. This has the potential to make a major difference to our children,” said the Minister.
He said the evaluation of Grade R showed the importance of improving the quality of education provision and not just expanding coverage.
“The Department of Basic Education is making significant efforts to improve quality of provision through improving the qualifications of Grade R teachers,” said the Minister.
Trade and investment
An evaluation of the Business Process Outsourcing Scheme of the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) was undertaken to investigate whether the Business Process Services (BPS) Incentive Programme offered by the dti is achieving its key objectives of job creation and increasing foreign direct investment.
The programme aims to attract investment and create employment in South Africa through off-shoring activities.
“At its inception in 2011, it was envisaged that it will result in the creation of a total number of 15 149 jobs over three years.
“Key findings indicate that since the start of the incentive scheme, over 9 000 jobs have been created and that the BPS sector is a key sector for attracting investment and creating new jobs, especially in the 18 – 35 age group, where job creation for young people is most needed.
“The evaluation has resulted in a redesign and re-launch of the scheme to strengthen identified challenges,” said the Minister.
National and provincial departments
Minister Radebe said the DPME has introduced various tools to drive and instil monitoring and evaluation practices within the public service.
He said the department has introduced the Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT) as a way to focus on monitoring management practices within national and provincial departments.
“As at September 2014, all national and provincial departments participated in the assessment of management practices undertaken by the DPME. The preliminary results indicated that 29 performance areas out of the 33 areas measured have shown an improvement in the scores, in spite of raising the bar in some of the standards and putting more focus on content in the moderation process,” the Minister said.
Paying service providers on time
Minister Radebe said paying service providers on time is one of the areas where the DPME conducted a comparative analysis of national departments between 2013 and 2014. The analysis showed that there has been an improvement in the average number of invoices paid within 30 days.
“… Delays in payment still remain a major challenge, with significant impact on small business, on growing the economy and on employment creation,” said the Minister.
He said provincial departments reveal a marginal improvement of 5% in the average number of invoices paid within 30 days.
“Provinces reported 241 332 invoices worth R13.4 billion, which were paid after 30 days and 356 079 invoices worth R21.8 billion, older than 30 days, which were not paid.
“This is a 52% regression in the average number of invoices that are older than 30 days, which have not been paid,” said the Minister.
He said national departments reported 155 572 invoices worth R3.8 billion, which were paid after 30 days. However, at the same time, 62 887 invoices older than 30 days – worth R2.1 billion – had not been paid.
Minister Radebe said the payment of suppliers within 30 days still remains a major challenge, with significant impact on small businesses, which also contribute to growing the economy and creating employment.
“We have thus undertaken to establish a special unit to monitor the 30-day payment rigorously and unlock bottlenecks.
“It is our endeavour that we bridge the divide between small businesses and monopoly capital, hence the creation of the department focused on small business support, which in turn must help redress the historic imbalances of apartheid,” said Minster Radebe.
Source : SAnews.gov.za