BRANCH: MASTER OF THE HIGH COURT MARCH 2005
REPORT TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE 2005
IS BUDGET IN LINE WITH PRIORITIES?
The current budget proved to be sufficient to meet the operational costs during the current year. There are priorities that were identified for the year but could not be realised due to other factors that were not budget related.
THE BUDGET FOR THE ENSUING YEAR
The budget for the 2005/6 financial year is expected to fall short in achieving the priorities that have been identified.
- The establishment of a proper structure for the Service Point administration is expected to cost an additional R46million
- Training to support the new appointees is estimated to cost R28
- Data verification in the Guardians Fund could cost as much as R40 million
HAVE WE ACHIEVED OUR PROMISES THAT WERE MADE TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE LAST YEAR?
The salaries of the Assistant Masters and Estate Controllers have been upgraded to align them with the evaluation made by the Efficiency Advisory Services of the Department
2. UPGRADING OF OFFICES
Efficiency Advisory Services attended to the upgrading of the Kimberley and Bloemfontein Offices.
The other offices will receive attention during the current restructuring
3. CHIEF MASTER
The post of Chief Master has been advertised and will be filled as soon as the post of Director-General has been filled.
The recent appointments made have further advanced the transformation process in this regard.
5. TRANSFORMATION AND RESTRUCTURING OF THE MASTERS
- The successful implementation of the Bhe decision was accomplished by the compiling of a comprehensive procedure manual, pamphlets to inform on the process, intensive training interventions of Service Point personnel, a train the trainer workshop, excellent cooperation with Court Services, the office of the CFO, SM, the Law Commission and others
- A consultant was appointed to work with Efficiency Advisory Services to attend to the development of norms that would lead to the scientific restructuring and right sizing of the Masters establishments as well as an efficient management structure for the Service Points.
- During the last report, mention was made of the deficiency in the present structure in the office of the Chief Master. It is submitted that the confusion could be obviated by means of an amendment to the Administration of Estates Act by the creation of positions of Deputy and Assistant Chief Master Positions in the office of the Chief Master. Such amendment will not give rise to any additional costs.
6. ANT-CORRUPTION INITIATIVES
- A seminar was conducted with the assistance of the Public Service Commission and anti-fraud interventions were put in place in the Guardians Funds.
- A close working relationship has been established with the Department of Home Affairs.
- Risk Officers have been appointed in all Masters Offices.
- The Committee of Inquiry has finalised its report and the recommendations are with the Minister for consideration
- A policy document has been developed and submitted to the Minister for consideration.
- A Black Liquidator is being appointed in every Insolvent estate. The Branch has been very successful in achieving its priorities in this respect.
8. GUARDIANS FUND
- The development of the first phase of the Guardians Fund Electronic System has been completed and rolled out to the offices.
- All historic data have been captured and verified in part.
- A huge challenge remains in respect of the following:
1. The accounting package to complete the Electronic System to enable the system to provide the accounting reports required by the Auditor-General. And the PFMA.
2. The verification of the data. Initial indications are that the verification process could amount to as much as R40 million.
9. FILLING OF VACANCIES AND PHASING OUT OF TEMPORARY UNITS
- Every existing vacancy has been advertised and is in the process of being filled.
- The question of the reliance on Temporary Units will be addressed in the restructuring process as outlined above.
MrJS Baloyl @ 0123151699