DPSA Productivity Assessment Reveals Mixed Results, Highlights ...

19 days ago
Dpsa vacancies

In a presentation to the Management Committee (MANCO) meeting, Mr Ismail Davids of the branch Government Service Access Improvement (GSAI) in the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) shared the findings of a 5-year Organizational Productivity Assessment conducted from 2017 to 2022. The assessment, which utilised the MPSA-approved Public Service Productivity Measurement Instrument, painted a mixed picture of the DPSA’s productivity over the period.

The quantitative assessment revealed both positive and concerning trends. On the positive side, the DPSA’s personnel costs as a percentage of total expenditure remained relatively low for a public service department, increasing by only 28% between 2017 and 2022. Additionally, there was a satisfactory correlation between the achievement of organisational targets (around 80%) and total expenditure (around 90%), and the department exhibited exemplary leave management practices with no unauthorised expenditure during the assessment period.

However, the assessment also highlighted several areas of concern. Most notably, the DPSA experienced a drastic decline in labour productivity in the 2019/20 financial year, with labour productivity only reaching around half of the department’s full potential. The vacancy rate averaged 14.4% over the 5-year period and was also consistently higher than the unofficial “standard” of 10% for the public service.

The qualitative assessment further revealed issues with employee discipline, with a sharp increase in grievances from 2019 to 2021. Additionally, the DPSA’s investment in employee skills development was found to be generally low, encompassing hard skills related to digital transformation and soft skills such as teamwork and values alignment.

In response to these findings, Mr Davids presented a series of recommendations to address the identified concerns. These include conducting a root cause analysis of the declining labour productivity, re-evaluating the vacancy rate target to a more ambitious 5%, and implementing targeted skills development programs to bolster the capabilities of DPSA employees.

The Director-General approved the final report in December 2023, which is expected to serve as a roadmap for the DPSA to enhance its organisational productivity and better fulfil its mandate of “Growing South Africa together for a capable and ethical Public Service, leaving no one behind.”

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