Govt digitisation gathers pace

Tyson Ngubeni
By Tyson Ngubeni
Johannesburg, 29 Sept 2014
A centralised disciplinary case management system aims to address government's case backlog.
A centralised disciplinary case management system aims to address government's case backlog.

In a bid to speed up the resolution of disciplinary cases, that are either under way or have stalled, government has set up a central digitised database from across provinces and departments to bolster its modernisation efforts.

According to the Department of Public Services and Administration (DPSA), all future cases in all spheres of government will be registered and stored so their lifecycle can be monitored - this includes details of who has been fired, suspended or has received a warning.

Speaking during the Governance and Administration Cluster briefing yesterday, Collins Chabane - DPSA minister - said government was faced with cases where "employees were suspended for long periods without their cases being resolved," but it now aimed to manage cases centrally.

Chabane said disciplinary cases were the responsibility of various national and provincial departments and, as such, previously there was not a central database where cases were managed. Meanwhile, Cabinet has approved the establishment of a pool of human resources practitioners and legal experts from various departments to assist in dealing with the backlog of cases.

"The specialists are state employees and there will be no extra cost to the state in speedily resolving the outstanding cases," said a DPSA statement.

Home affairs momentum

According to home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba, his department will continue to focus on "cleaning up the National Population Register" by timeous registration of births on its digitised system. He added smart ID card rollout has also gathered pace over the past few months as government looks to opening up dedicated ID offices at malls in a bid to further drive uptake.

"So far, we have issued over 800 000 smart ID cards, of which 640 000 were issued this financial year. The department has set out to increase its footprint throughout the country and has moved to offer specialised services at its offices," said Gigaba.

He noted government has also rolled out E-disclosure - a Web-based system that enables senior managers to declare their financial interests electronically. "The system uses modern technology and intelligent financial systems to help prevent corruption and maladministration in the public service," he added.

According to Gigaba, around 77% of senior managers used the system in the 2013/14 disclosure period.