This year’s annual Integrated Public Service Month (IPSM) commemorated during the month of September was a service delivery improvement mechanism that is an integral part of the Batho Pele Revitalization strategy. The month long program also focused on honoring public servants in all three spheres of government.
Government marked this year’s IPSM under the theme: “The Year of Charlotte Maxeke – building the capacity of the state through a resilient workforce that responds to the coronavirus pandemic”.
The context of the IPSM was premised on the government ‘s annual priorities as outlined during the State of the Nation Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa of defeating the coronavirus pandemic, accelerate economic recovery, implementing economic reforms to create sustainable jobs and drive inclusive growth as well as fight corruption and strengthening the state.
Particular focus during the 2021 celebrations were on celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the country’s Constitution – reflecting on the constitutional responsibility and mandate for public administration and public service delivery that must be governed by the democratic values and principles enshrined in the Constitution.
This included the specific basic values and principles governing public administration presented by the Department of Justice and the Public Service Commission with emphasis on local government elections in strengthening our democracy.
We also reflected on the Public Service Charter as a signed commitment to affirm our commitment to upholding the values and principles of public administration enshrined in section 195 of the Constitution and other laws, policies and frameworks.
The DPSA facilitated presentations on how the charter is lived in the public service and recognition of Charlotte Maxeke in her selfless in serving the people of South Africa.
On building the capacity and capability of the state through professionalisation and development of effective internal control systems, we looked at the national treasury in terms of the procurement bill. We also focus on how it is intended to assist in arresting the scourge of corruption.
The Auditor-General addressed the institutional performance and the role of leadership on accountability. On this subject, the DPSA focused on the ethics and integrity frameworks including discipline management and code of conduct.
Senior Managers were deployed to the frontline across the country through the Khaedu program paying focused attention to service delivery challenges in the frontline centres, monitoring vaccine rollout and developing reports that will be used to consolidate the requisite rapid response.
The DPSA, COGTA and PSC deliberated on frontline service delivery improvement and ways in which the role of Thusong Service Centres can be moved to the next level and integrating service delivery in the context of the District Development Model.
The topic of government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic transformation, reform, innovation to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery to the public through frontline service delivery monitoring – was addressed across all streams looking at how institutions have planned and are managing their digital transformation to improve service delivery.
On a daily basis, thousands of people in South Africa interact with frontline public servants throughout the country. The quality of their experience is often shaped by the impression people have about the public service- their satisfaction or non-satisfaction of the service rendered.
However, the month long campaign was also an opportunity to focus more deeply on the overall state of the public service, while planning. As we rebuild and ignite renewed hope, we will look to public servants to lead the way.
The services we deliver to people and communities daily are key to changing lives, and we will need the support of dedicated public servants to ensure that we can build back better and stronger.
As government we are determined that the abuses and malfeasance suffered by our country due to unethical behaviour is eradicated. We are therefore, working to reinforce the checks and balances within our democratic dispensation that are meant to prevent the abuse of power where it occurs.
The recently launched Public Administration Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit aims to curb corruption and fraud among public servants by implementing norms and standards on ethics, integrity and discipline management in the civil service.
It will also provide further protection for whistle-blowers in the public service, and contributes to building a culture of ethical leadership, while helping to professionalise public administration.
As government, we call on public servants to adhere to the highest ethical standards. Public servants are crucial in ensuring that we undertake measures to ensure sound governance and administration.
We call on public servants to be the vanguard of our path of rebuilding, renewal, transparency, accountability, justice and the rule of law.