Our Policies/The Efficient Society/
Public Service Policy
At a glance
MODERNISING THE PUBLIC SERVICE
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The public service plays a critical role in the efficient delivery of quality services to the people of South Africa.
The role of government is not to deliver, but to ensure that delivery takes place as cost-effectively and as efficiently as possible. Its essential roles are making policy, prioritising expenditure, monitoring and regulating. Individuals, civil society and the private sector should be tasked with the actual delivery of services.
The current Public Service Administration systems are archaic: elaborate controls and inflexible bureaucracies; thousands of job classifications; rigid hiring and firing procedures; layers and layers of middle management; stifling bureaucratic rules and regulations; and myriad procedures that virtually ensure that no employee, no matter how incompetent, will ever be fired.
To be an efficient employer and to ensure public services of high quality, the government needs to reform its pay, recruitment and promotion policies, to make them more flexible and less centralised, and to place the emphasis on ability rather than years of service.
A good government will ensure that it develops sound policies. But getting the content of policies right is only half the job; the other half is making them work.
In this policy document, the DA sets out its proposals for making the public service efficient and effective by:
- Recognising and rewarding hard-working, capable public servants
- Empowering managers by eliminating excessive centralisation
- Abolishing the Central Bargaining Chamber
- Introducing activity-based and compliance costing
- Outsourcing services from competing suppliers
- Improving management training
- Implementing an effective AIDS treatment programme
- Getting tough on corruption
- Cutting out unnecessary red tape, and insisting on the compulsory use of Regulatory Impact Assessment Tests
- Providing one-stop shops where people can do all their government business at one place, at times convenient to them.
A public service modernised in this way will make a real difference to service delivery and the quality of life for ordinary South Africans.