PRESENTATION TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION AN AUDIT OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE 16 AUGUST 2006
OUTLINE OF THE PRESENTATION • Background • Objectives of the Audit • Methodology • Limitations • Analytical framework • Key Findings • Demographic reflections • Recommendations • Conclusion
BACKGROUND • This project stems from the commitment and mandate of the PSC to evaluate critical transformational policies such as Affirmative Action (AA), as these support broader governance objectives. • The periodic assessment of AA presents the Executive and Parliament with timely information to take corrective action and perform their oversight role. • This report builds on the State of Representativeness in the Public Service (2000) and the Report on Disability Equity in the South African Public Service (2002) which provided a largely quantitative overview of progress in the first five years of democracy. • The South African State, in addition to implementing various transformational policies, has also had to transform itself over the past 10 years, so as to reflect current demographics and become more responsive to the needs of the majority. • AA cannot be viewed simplistically as only changing race, gender and disability profiles. It is fundamentally about making these changes in order to deliver more effectively.
BACKGROUND (CONTINUE) • There is a dynamic relationship between achieving AA on the one hand and transforming the state and society on the other. Transformational policies are difficult to implement when these deal with sensitive issues rooted in historic conditions that have caused race, gender and disability imbalance. • At the heart of this transformational process is the recognition and willingness by decision-makers to move beyond their personal interests and views, and show commitment by taking transformational decisions. Furthermore, the commitment from civil servants, irrespective of race to gender, to implement government policy is critical. • This audit shows that progress in achieving AA has been varied, both at national and provincial levels.
OBJECTIVES OF THE AUDIT • Determine the extent to which government departments have complied with policy and legislative requirements and measures, taking into account national and provincial demographics. An assessment is made of constraints and/or barriers that are being experienced in meeting the regulatory requirements (compliance). • Audit the effectiveness and efficiency (efficacy) of the systems, processes and procedures used to monitor and evaluate the implementation of AA in the entire human resource management chain (monitor and evaluate the implementation of AA). • Audit the extent to which AA practices empower the designated groups to fulfill their employment obligations. This includes an assessment of human resource management practices starting from recruitment, selection, induction processes and retention programmes. The process of assessment should take into account the work already done by the PSC on recruitment and selection and other related reports (empowerment). • Present a comprehensive analysis based on the above of the success and failures of AA and recommend requirements for further implementation.
METHODOLOGY The scope of work of the project focused on the following: • Review of human resource management practices, policies and procedures with a view to produce a conceptual framework document that defines the empowerment aspects of affirmative action. • Gathering and collation of qualitative and quantitative data. • Analytical review of the empowerment practices a means to achieving AA in the public service. • Review human resource management processes with specific reference to job seekers from designated groups. • A quantitative and qualitative analysis of AA to determine whether requirements as laid down in policy are implemented, monitored and evaluated. • A trend analysis and comparison of the implementation of AA in Government to measure compliance, efficacy and empowerment across Government. • A comprehensive account of the success and barriers of AA using empowerment, efficacy and compliance perspectives as units of analysis. • Benchmarking of best and worst practices.
METHODOLOGY (contnd) The following data gathering methods were used: • Desktop Literature Review – to determine elements of the human resource value chain that are relevant to AA policies and procedures. • Personnel Data Review – statistical data to determine compliance to numerical targets. • National Affirmative Action Survey – empirical data collected by means of questionnaire. • Audit Sample – whole of public service. Responsiveness of departments • 15 National departments submitted late. • 19 provincial departments did not submit at all – biggest transgressor was Limpopo.
LIMITATIONS • In terms of the quantitative analysis the study relied on the survey questionnaire and the data as on 30 April 2005 from VULINDLELA. One of the problems when dealing with the comparison of change over time was the manner in which the various levels are defined. • The VULINDLELA system provided data according to salary levels, but departments responded by presenting data according to occupational categories as per their employment equity reporting requirements to the Department of Labour. This meant that the data between the two sources needed to be reconciled. • A further problem related to the delays in returning information, and given that extensions were provided, the information from certain departments was not used, and in some cases information was of poor quality. • For purposes of this presentation, therefore, and to give as up to date reflections on the demographics of the public service as possible, data that has been obtained from Vulindlela as at June 2006 will be used.
ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK • AA is implemented through programmes designed in terms of the adopted policy framework, namely the White Paper on Affirmative Action (WPAA). • The WPAA sets out mandatory requirements that departments should comply with to implement AA programmes. • The WPAA sketches the accountability, monitoring, coordinating and reporting responsibilities of various role players within AA programmes. Compliance and efficacy aspects of this audit was predicated on these policy requirements. • The compliance element of the audit focused on the extent to which government departments conforms to prescribed policy and regulatory requirements. The audit focused on compliance in terms of indicators derived from the WPAA. • The assessment of the efficacy element of the audit focused on determining the effectiveness of the systems, processes and procedures used to monitor and evaluate the implementation of AA. A set of indicators was therefore developed to measure the quality of the AA implementation process. • The focus on empowerment was an attempt to go beyond the compliance and effectiveness elements of the audit in order to understand the substantive issses that lie beneath the numbers. It attempted to measure the extent to which AA practices empower the designated groups to fulfil their employment obligations. Empowerment indicators were identified based on the provisions of the WPAA.
KEY FINDINGS Compliance Aspect of Affirmative Action • Whilst overall progress has been made with the settingof AAtargets, there are significant challenges regarding compliance with the policy requirements on AA. National departments perform very well in terms of compliance with AA target requirements as compared to provincial departments. • Improvement is still required in the areas of employee profiling, conducting AA surveys and allocation of responsibilities. Progress has been made in the initial administrative processes such as setting of targets and developing AA plans. The actual implementation processes critical for the attainment of targets and objectives in AA plans remain a serious challenge. • Only 28% of national departments conduct AA surveys. AA surveys were only conducted in provinces such as the Free State, Eastern Cape, Western cape, North West and KwaZulu-Natal. • The periodicity of conducting management reviews in national departments was uneven. Most departments in Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and the Free State do not perform management practice reviews at all. • The integration of AA accountability into performance management systems was found to be uneven across national and provincial departments.
KEY FINDINGS (CONTINUE) Compliance Aspect of Affirmative Action(contnd) • In many instances it was found that the process followed in national and provincial departments in developing and implementing the AA programmesis inconsistent and not necessarily aligned to the guidelines provided in the WPAA. • At the time of the study there appeared to be no consensus by the various role players regarding the responsibility for the implementation of AA.This uncertainty about roles and responsibilities and the absence of formal lines of accountability for the implementation of Affirmative Action is one of the barriers for the successful implementation of Affirmative action. The absence of a mechanism to enforce compliance with AA policy and other human resource policies and regulations is a perennial challenge facing the Public Service. • Most departments did not identify barriers to fulfill AA requirements. At the time of the study, more than 60% of departments did take action to overcome barriers by developing recruitment strategies and forging links with organizations for designated groups (people with disabilities).
KEY FINDINGS (CONTINUE) Compliance Aspect of Affirmative Action(contnd) • Technical requirements that facilitate the implementation of AA revealed discrepancies between the extent of administrative compliance and actual implementation. In some cases there is administrative compliance (Western Cape and Free State) yet progress is limited. In other provinces administrative compliance is lacking (Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape) yet performance in changing the demography is good. • Provinces demonstrated high levels of administrative compliance, yet performed poorly at the level of implementation. The development of AA plans and setting of targets in isolation cannot be viewed as a singular indicator of progress with implementation of AA in the public service. Department specific and province specific incremental targets are critical if AA is to change the demographics of the public sector to be in line with the demographics of the country.
KEY FINDINGS (CONTINUE) Implementation of Affirmative Action (Efficacy Aspect) • Most departments have specific criteria, such as giving preference to applicants for employment based on race, gender and disability, for recruiting and selecting people from designated groups. Departments, however, experience difficulty in managing data on AA appointments, recruitment and selection. • Most departments do conduct reviews of the implementation of the AA policy. However, departments are still preoccupied with routine administration of personnel transactions and do not provide advice on key strategic areas such as human resource planning. HR components still do not link their daily work with the business strategies of the departments that they serve and as a result key transformation areas such as AA suffers. • Most national, but less than half of provincial departments, have designed programmes aimed at training managers to implement AA. • The policy requirements on the lines of accountability in departments (leadership for AA) as outlined in the WPAA appear not to be adhered to.
KEY FINDINGS (CONTINUE) Empowerment Aspect of Affirmative Action • Although most national and provincial departments have conducted orientation and induction programmes for new recruits and designated groups based on specifically designed strategies, more than one third of the departments tend to adopt generic orientation programmes. • Most national departments have personal development plans for their employees and implement these through their performance management systems. However, at provincial level only 49% of departments reported to have personal development plans. There is a high level of disparity across the provinces on the mechanisms and approach used to implement personal development plans. • In general there is a challenge for departments on career guidance and counseling in that such programmes are not properly implemented or the benefits are not discernable. • A total of 51% national and 44% provincial departments have mentoring and coaching interventions. Line managers are assigned the role of being mentors but in many instances such programmes are administered on an ad hoc basis. • Most departments have recognition and reward mechanism in place to ensure that employees from designated groups are recognized and valued when they perform exceptionally well.
KEY FINDINGS (CONTINUE) Empowerment Aspect of Affirmative Action (contnd) • No or inadequate records of promotion and succession are kept at both national and provincial departments. • National departments either use personal development plans or departmental strategic objectives to identify training needs, whilst conducting skills audits is a mechanism mostly used at provincial departments to identify training needs of employees. Since the identification of training needs is generic, it was difficult to determine the success of such training in the absence of predetermine AA training objectives. • Better career opportunities, better working environment and better pay/package are cited as reasons by employees from designated groups to transfer to another institution. • Most departments reported that they have incorporated issues of reasonable accommodation such as access to work areas, modification of facilities and flexible working hours especially for people with disabilities.
DEMOGRAPHIC REFLECTIONS PUBLIC SERVICE (JUNE 2006) • Cabinet set a target of 30% representation of women in senior management positions, 75% black in senior management positions and 2% for people with disabilities in the Public Service by March 2005. • These targets have since been reviewed and Cabinet has approved that women must occupy 50% of posts at senior management level. The target that 75% of senior managers must be black has been maintained. This must be achieved by 31 March 2009. The 2% target for employment of people with disabilities remains unchanged and must be achieved by 31 March 2010. • As indicated demographic statistics drawn from Vulindlela as at June 2006 is presented.
DEMOGRAPHIC REFLECTIONS PUBLIC SERVICE (JUNE 2006) • PUBLIC SERVICE (OVERALL) • Africans 843 259 – 74% • Asians 41 004 – 4% • Coloured 100 514 – 10% • Whites 140 973 – 12% • GENDER • Female 607 262 – 53.9% • Male 518 488 – 46%
DEMOGRAPHIC REFLECTIONS (CONTND) • PUBLIC SERVICE (SMS) • Africans 3 923 – 55% • Asians 554 – 8% • Coloured 549 – 8% • Whites 2 063 – 29% • GENDER • Female 2 084 – 29% • Male 5 005 – 71%
DEMOGRAPHIC REFLECTIONS (CONTND) • NATIONAL DEPARTMENTS - SMS OVERALL • Africans 2086 – 54% 189 257 – 68% • Asian 292 – 7% 7 929 – 3% • Coloured 293 – 7.6% 29 644 – 11% • White 1190 – 31% 50 403 – 18% • GENDER • Female 1 182 – 31% 96 292 – 35% • Male 2 679 – 69% 180 941 – 65% All persons with disabilities – 0,2%
DEMOGRAPHIC REFLECTIONS (CONTND) EASTERN CAPE • SMS OVERALL • African - 228 – 68% 104 167 – 87% • Indian - 27 – 6% 637 – 0.5% • Coloured - 34 – 8% 8 355 – 6.9% • White - 90 – 20% 6 315 – 5.2% • Gender • Female - 121 – 27% 79 123 – 66% • Male - 318 – 63% 40 351 – 33.8% All persons with disabilities - 0,07%
DEMOGRAPHIC REFLECTIONS (CONTND) FREE STATE • SMS OVERALL • African - 153 – 52% 44370 – 80% • Asian - 5 – 2% 70 – 0.1% • Coloured - 16 – 5% 1868 – 3% • White - 120 – 41% 8860 – 16% • Gender • Female - 83 – 28% 33754 – 61% • Male - 211 – 72% 21 414 – 39% All persons with disabilities – 0,06%
DEMOGRAPHIC REFLECTIONS (CONTND) GAUTENG • SMS OVERALL • African - 343 – 50% 87 019 – 74% • Asian - 62 – 9% 3 122 – 2.6% • Coloured - 41 – 6% 4 151 – 4% • White - 242 – 35% 22 247 – 19% • Gender • Female - 214 – 31% 79 488 – 68% • Male - 474 – 69% 37 051 – 32% All persons with disabilities – 0,10%
DEMOGRAPHIC REFLECTIONS (CONTND) KWAZULU-NATAL • SMS OVERALL • African 327 – 55% 130 823 – 82% • Asian 118 – 20% 180 014 – 11% • Coloured 10 – 2% 2 869 – 2% • White 138 – 23% 8 167 – 5% • Gender • Female 181 – 31% 105 317 – 66% • Male 412 – 69% 54 556 – 34% All persons with disabilities – 0,12%
DEMOGRAPHIC REFLECTIONS (CONTND) LIMPOPO • SMS OVERALL • African 324 – 88% 112 427 – 97% • Asian 11 – 3% 188 – 0.1% • Coloured 2 – 0.5% 143 – 0.1% • White 31 – 8% 2 694 – 2% • Gender • Female 119 – 32% 64 912 – 56% • Male 249 – 68% 80 540 – 44% All persons with disabilities – 0,22%
DEMOGRAPHIC REFLECTIONS (CONTND) MPUMALANGA • SMS OVERALL • African 196 – 84% 51 485 – 90% • Asian 6 – 3% 267 – 0.4% • Coloured 1 – 0.4% 361 – 0.6% • White 29 – 12% 4 781 – 8% • Gender • Female 68 – 29% 39 972 – 63% • Male 164 – 71% 23 029 – 37% All persons with disabilities – 0,07%
DEMOGRAPHIC REFLECTIONS (CONTND) WESTERN CAPE • SMS OVERALL • African 53 – 15% 12 670 – 18% • Asian 18 – 5% 589 – 0.8% • Coloured 106 – 31% 43 109 – 61% • White 170 – 49% 13 966 – 20% • Gender • Female 77 – 22% 44 933 – 64% • Male 270 – 78% 25 401 – 36% All persons with disabilities – 0,26%
DEMOGRAPHIC REFLECTIONS (CONTND) NORTH WEST • SMS OVERALL • African 200 – 75% 57 074 – 90% • Asian 13 – 5% 303 – 0.4% • Coloured 10 – 4% 868 – 1.3% • White 44 – 16% 4 756 – 8% • Gender • Female 87 – 33% 39 972 – 63% • Male 180 – 67% 23 029 – 37% All persons with disabilities – 0, 11%
DEMOGRAPHIC REFLECTIONS (CONTND) NORTHERN CAPE • SMS OVERALL • African 64 – 47% 6 040 – 35% • Asian 11 – 8% 75 – 0.4% • Coloured 41 – 30% 8 360 – 50% • White 21 – 15% 2 619 – 15.3% • Gender • Female 35 – 26% 10 640 – 62% • Male 102 – 74% 6 454 – 38% All persons with disabilities – 0,13%
RECOMMENDATIONS Compliance • All departments should engage in a concerted effort to employ people with disabilities. This will require collaboration with organizations for people with disabilities. • The monitoring of targets should be conducted as often as possible especially with regard to senior and middle management and people with disabilities. • The responsibility for implementing AA needs to be allocated across all levels of management, so that responsibility is shared. • Regular updates on progress with regard to AA be provided to the Portfolio Committee of Public Service and Administration. • Employee profiling is critical, and PERSAL should develop a function to produce these profiles at all levels. • Departments should set and monitor AA targets. • AA plans should include conducting of AA surveys for the review of management practices.
RECOMMENDATIONS (CONTINUE) Compliance (contnd) • AA targets must be incorporated into performance management systems and an appropriate proportion of the overall score for performing on these levels be agreed upon. • A protocol should be developed whereby Departments can approach either DPSA, DoL or SAMDI for support in implementing AA. The Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration should play a greater role in holding executing authorities accountable for compliance with the AA policy. Implementation • Given that departments experience difficulties in managing data on AA appointments, the area of M&E of AA should receive management attention. • There needs to be broad support for M&E and this requires on-going consultation with stakeholders. • Training on the implementation of AA should be regarded as mandatory across all levels. • Departments should develop capabilities to monitor and evaluate their performance on all HR policies, programmes and projects. • PSC should build a partnership with the DoL to establish an index of AA which will form the basis for forward M&E of AA.
RECOMMENDATIONS (CONTINUE) Empowerment • It must be mandatory that AA criteria are applied to all adverts for new employees so as to attract and ensure mainstreaming of persons historically disadvantaged. • Departments need to ensure that the work environment is made disability friendly, so as to attract persons with disabilities. • The induction period for new employees needs to be treated with the requisite seriousness from the part of employees. Each individual case there must be personal development and support plans agreed to. • Departments need to also offer services such as career advice and counseling as it can be assumed that matters of career pathing, linked to training will emerge as affirmed employees seek new opportunities. • Induction programmes should be strengthened to ensure that they are not just a once-off generic set of activities. • Performance discussions need to be held more frequently, and the measurement of work done incrementally. This will allow for better management of designated staff. • Affirmed employees, like all others need to be recognized and rewarded.
RECOMMENDATIONS (CONTINUE) General Recommendations on Affirmative Action and Human Resources • Departments should address during their HR Planning processes and methods how they will meet affirmative action targets. • Departments should build clear knowledge base and intelligence on key issues such as skill demand and supply factors in the labour market. • Departments should focus more on the advancement of women in senior management and people with disabilities across the board. • Each department should define roles and responsibilities and assign these to a designated official with delegations and performance targets and measures. • The affirmative action roles, responsibilities, powers and functions of central HR units and their head and line managers respectively should be clearly defined and communicated effectively. • The HR function in departments should be repositioned in a way that creates a balance between their strategic and administrative outlook. This requires that strategic HR competencies such as HR Planning, organisational development, change management, business process improvement, strategic information management and M&E be sourced, harnessed and retained.
CONCLUSION • The audit has highlighted challenges in the implementation of affirmative action from three key dimensions namely compliance, implementation and empowerment. • Areas of success and challenges in the implementation of affirmative action have been made and recommendations presented. • It is hoped that national and provincial departments, particularly those with poor performance in this area will make a concerted effort to implement the recommendations contained in the report.