Northern Cape HOD’s dodging performance assessments

Boitumelo Babuseng, MPL

DA Provincial Spokesperson on Economic Affairs

Non-compliance with regards to the performance assessments of Heads of Department’s (HOD’s) in the Northern Cape is deeply concerning.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) reports that only five out of the nine qualifying HOD’s have been assessed for the 2011/2012 financial year. Furthermore, not all of the province’s HOD’s have submitted their Performance Assessments for the 2013/14 financial year.

On top of this, one particular HOD, who has been serving in this senior position within the Northern Cape administration for the past eight years, has never once subjected himself to a performance assessment. The DA is aware that this truant and recalcitrant HOD is none other than Mr Sello Mokoko, HOD of Provincial Treasury. Mr Mokoko is also responsible for conducting performance assessments of his staff, yet he fails to set a good example by blatantly dodging his own assessment.

This is preposterous, considering that Provincial Treasury is meant to be the epitome of good governance and accountability.

Submission to a performance assessment is integral in creating a climate of consequences and accountability in government. Each HOD, whether national or provincial, is required in terms of the Senior Management handbook, to sign a performance agreement within the first month of each new financial year and file it with the PSC in order to:

“monitor, review, account for and improve performance.” Each HOD is then also required to undergo an assessment before an evaluation panel, of whom the members are appointed by the relevant Executive Authority, to advise on the performance of the HOD.

It is difficult to understand how such a straightforward and essential requirement has been so utterly neglected by a number of MEC’s and HOD’s, especially MEC John Block and the otherwise seemingly competent Mokoko. It is also hard to fathom why Block, has not deemed it necessary to take any action to rectify this glaring oversight.

Performance agreements serve as yardsticks by which the performance of HOD’s can be judged. Compliance should be 100% and non-negotiable.

HOD’s continued employment, salary progression and bonuses should also be determined in terms of their assessment outcomes. Those HOD’s that do not bother to subject themselves to assessments therefore show great contempt for the principles of accountability and good governance.

The DA is of the view that if our public service performance management and development system is to work effectively, far more diligence is needed from ANC administrations in the evaluation of  HOD performance in future. Moreover, the DA is of the view that Mokoko should be disciplined for his unruly behaviour. The DA will be following up this matter with written questions to the MEC of Finance.