SA DOL blames vacancies and suppliers for loss
SA DOL Deputy Director General of Corporate Services, Lerato Molebatsi, said regular personnel assessments at leadership level were receiving priority attention. The current 7.2% vacancy rate would be reduced.
A process is underway in partnership with the private contractor Accenture to deal with capacity issues in the department and its public entities, she said. The Compensation Fund is among the labour authorities suffering from years of inadequate management and staffing.
SA parliamentarians called for an end to the continuous process of reengineering and refocusing, saying it was time for implementation.
The SA Department of Labour will “strengthen its supply chain management processes and appoint well trained personnel” after a meeting of the SA Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) in May 2012.
DOL Director General Nkosinathi Nhleko said an appropriately staffed department and competent workforce was critical to addressing ‘lapses in governance structures’.
The watchdog committee, Scopa, had expressed concerns over the SA DOL annual reports and financial statements. After a clean audit last year, that followed six years of negative audits by the Auditor General (AG), the SA DOL financial statements were again heading for criticism.
The committee warned of lack of officials keeping to proper controls and adhering to Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) prescripts.
“When there is good leadership things could be turned around,” said the parliamentary committee members. Themba Godi, chairman of Scopa, said the healthy audit last year was a good starting point, but not an end.
He cautioned Labour Department officials not to try and justify what was wrong, but to acknowledge what was wrong. “Trust is good, but control is better. Prevent and detect when things go wrong. We want the department to have in place a strong risk management team,” cautioned Godi.
Scopa members had earlier raised concerns on the Department’s aspects of procurement and contract management not following guidelines, raised issues on irregular expenditure, irregular personnel compensation, wrongful remunerations, the lack of performance of programmes, adequacy of management, and high vacancy rates in the Department.
SA Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant had earlier told the SA parliamentary committee that steps had already been taken to address the key points in the department following the appointment of Nhleko and Deputy Director General of Corporate Services Lerato Molebatsi.
She said more senior positions would be filled. Asset management was also receiving priority at higher level. Sheqafrica.com had reported on SA DOL budgets, and compensation problems earlier this year.
The SA Labour legislative process had also suffered from staff changes, including a new minister, alleged lack of representation and consultation, as well as impracticalities in the Construction Regulations amendment, as reported on Sheqafrica.com in May 2012.
Labour Department Chief Financial Officer Bhekithemba Maduna told Scopa that systems were being tightened to deal with lapses in financial management, saying that stringent measures and sanctions would be taken to deal with deviations from processes and policies.
PHOTO; SA DOL Director General Nkosinathi Nhleko is among the recent senior appointments that Labour minister Mildred Oliphant relies on to fix leadership, financial controls, policy and vacancy issues in the department.
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