BRIEFING TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SAFETY AND SECURITY
RE: (1) CURRENT ACTIVITIES OF THE SECRETARIAT FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY; AND (2) FUTURE PLANS OF THE SECRETARIAT
11 OCTOBER 2000
ESTABLISHMENT OF SECRETARIAT
The Constitution provides for the establishment of a civilian secretariat in terms of Section 208 of the Constitution, which provides that:
"A civilian secretariat for the police service must be established by national legislation to function under the direction of the Cabinet member responsible for policing."
The South African Police Service Act (Act No 68 of 1995) ("the Act") is the national legislation, which gives effect to the constitutional requirement. Chapter 2 of the Act provides, inter alia, that:
The Minister shall establish a secretariat to be called the Secretariat for Safety and Security
~ A Provincial government may establish a provincial secretari at to be called the Provincial Secretariat for Safety and Security: Provided that the date on which a provincial secretariat will come into operation shall be determined by a provincial government in consultation with the Minister. ~ The Minister may, subject to the laws governing the public service, appoint a person to the office of Secretary who shall be responsible for-
· the performance of the functions of the secretariat, and
· the management and administration thereof
· The Secretary may, in consultation with the Minister, subject to the laws governing the public service, appoint the necessary personnel to assist the Secretary to perform,subject to his or her control and directions, any function of the secretariat. FUNCTIONS OF THE SECRETARIAT In order to provide for the concept of civilian oversight, the Act specifies that the functions of the Secretariat shall be as follows:
· advise the Minister in the exercise of his or her powers and the performance of his or her duties and functions
· promote democratic accountability and transparency in the Service;
promote and facilitate participation by the Service in the Reconstruction and Development Programme;
· provide the Minister with legal services and advice on constitutional matters;
· provide the Minister with communication, support and administrative services;
· monitor the implementation of policy and directions issued by the Minister and report to the Minister thereon;
· conduct research into any policing matter in accordance with the instructions of the Minister and report to the Minister thereon;
· perform such functions as may from time to time be assigned to the secretariat by the Minister; and
· evaluate the functioning of the Service and report to the Minister thereon.
BRIEF BACKGROUND The Secretariat came into being in January 1996 and Mr Azhar Cachalia, the first Secretary for Safety and Security was appointed by the former Minister in terms of the Act. The process of determining the post establishment and the filling of such posts in order to give effect to the legal mandate of the Secretariat began and posts were subsequently filled. During 1996, the then Minister assigned the overall responsibility for the co-ordination of the NCPS to the Secretariat. The Secretariat had undertaken various activities and initiatives under the direction of the Minister to perform the legal functions and to provide civilian oversight over the South African Police Service. A notable activity of the Secretariat was the drafting of the White Paper on Safety and Security, which was approved by Cabinet during September 1998. Whilst processes were being undertaken to implement the legal implications of the White Paper, the composition of Cabinet had changed after the 1999 general elections.
Since the coming into office of Minister Steve Tshwete, the Secretariat had undergone radical changes. Mr Cachalia, who held the position of Secretary, (on the level of Director-General) had vacated office. An acting Secretary, Dr Mark Shaw, was appointed as caretaker Secretary until the Minister appointed Mr MJ Rasegatla as the new Secretary. However, the position was downgraded from the level of Director-General to Deputy Director-General. As a result of the departure of Mr Cachalia and the Minister's direction that the Secretariat be downsized, the NCPC (National Crime Prevention Centre) was moved out of the Secretariat and is now located within the South African Police Service. In addition the Secretariat suffered severe movement of personnel, both in the form of resignations and transfers to the SAPS and other Departments. The factors contributed to a shift in functional performance and capacity to effectively fulfill the legal mandate of the Secretanat.
The Public Finance Management Act, which came into operation on the 1st of April 1999 provided for the principle of one Department - one Accounting Officer. This provision contrasted with the provisions of the White Paper as so far as institutional reform of the Department of Safety and Security is concerned. The White Paper proposed that the Secretary for Safety and Security become the Head of the Department of Safety and Security as well as its Accounting Officer.
On the other hand the Public Service Act reflects that the Head of the Department of Safety and Security is the National Commissioner.
DEVELOPMENTS SINCE THE APPOINTMENT OF THE CURRENT SECRETARY
Re.evaluation of the objectives of the Secretariat In defining the Secretariat's role, it was agreed that the Secretariat needed to meet the following
~ To enable the Minister to direct the South African Police Service effectively;
~ To promote democratic accountability, effectiveness and the transformation of the South African Police Service;
~ To develop a monitoring framework in consultation with the Provincial Secretariats
~ To support and assist the Minister in performing his Cabinet and Parliamentary responsibilities;
~ To initiate policy direction and processes; and
~ To provide legal and constitutional advice to the Minister.
Strategies to achieve the objectives Having agreed on the objectives, the following primary strategies have been identified:
1.Provide advice to the Minister on:
~ Policy matters;
~ Ad-hoc issues requiring intervention;
~ Executive (Cabinet) and Parliamentary matters;
~ Legal and Constitutional matters
2. Provide information to the Minister on:
~ Police implementation of policy;
~ Ministerial assignments;
~ Ad-hoc issues;
~ Police performance; and
~ Relevant developments in other Government Departments.
3. Provide strategic support services for the Ministry and the Secretariat:
~ Prepare the Minister for meetings;
~ Provide administrative capacity to the Ministry and the Secretariat;
~ Provide research capacity;
~ Provide information management services; and
~ Provide communication services.
In order to service the Minister's needs, it was decided to integrate the Ministry and Secretariat to bolster the civilian arm of the Department of Safety and Security.
Structure to carry out the strategies A revised organogram of the Secretariat has been developed as per Annexure A.
Filling of vacancies In order to re-invigorate the Secretariat to effectively function, the Minister had directed that the vacancies in the Secretariat be advertised and filled as soon as possible. This process has commenced and will be completed before the end of November 2000.
Plans to enhance civilian oversight through the Advisory Services component As the organogram reflects, the Advisory Services is made up of the following components:
1. Monitoring which comprises the following units:
1.2 Institutional transformation; and
1.3 Community Police relations.
Objective and strategies of Advisory Services A Chief Director will head the Advisory Services component and each unit of the component will meet the following broad objectives:
Monitoring Unit 1. To promote a culture of monitoring and performance evaluation within SAPS;
2. To-identify monitoring and evaluation priorities;
3. To carry out agreed monitoring and evaluation projects;
4. To manageloversee the monitoring activities of the Department of Safety and Security.
Communication To provide communication services to the Minister and the Secretariat.
Policy 1. To create a coherent policy framework of the Department of Safety and Security (DoSS);
2. To initiatelmanageloversee the policy priorities and process in the DoSS;
3. To identify the policy priorities for DoSS; and
4. To facilitate policy implementation within DoSS.
Legal 1. To provide advice and recommendations to the Minister on legal issues;
2. To provide research and constitutional advice;
3. To co-ordinate, monitor and review legislation and regulations; and
4. To monitor cost-effectiveness and conduct of litigation involving DoSS.
ð Private Security policy framework and the draft Bill
The Secretariat was the convenor and was instrumental in developing the policy document, which was approved by Cabinet. The draft Bill has subsequently been drafted in conjunction with the SAPS and was approved by Cabinet and submitted to the State Law Advisors for certification. The Secretariat was also involved in advising the Minister on the appointment of an independent Chairperson for the Security Officers Interim Board,
ð VIP Handbook
The Secretariat has developed a draft handbook for the VIP Protectors.
ð Regulations for CPFs
The Secretariat has developed draft regulations.
ð Firearm policy and Bill
ð Review of security legislation: South African Law Commission Discussion Paper
ð Rationalisation of legislation relating to Traditional Leaders
The Secretariat is involved in the process through the Department of Constitutional
Development of developing policy leading to the rationalisation of legislation. The SAPS is also involved in the legislative process.
ð Rape project
ð Youth violence project
ð Development of Rural Safety and Security Policy project
ð Community Policing Review
ð Developed a monitoring framework
ð The five monitoring projects which have been identified as:
· Policing Priorities and objectives 1999/2000;
· Monitoring Index;
· Monitoring briefs;
· Provincial briefs; and Monitoring reports