Why the Public Protector does not want to engage in a public debate with her deputy over parliamentary oversight

The Public Protector, Adv Madonsela does not wish to engage in a public debate with her deputy on the issue of parliamentary oversight.

Adv Madonsela has already indicated that this issue will be deliberated on with the staff member concerned and other staff at the next Think Tank meeting. Think Tank is a committee comprising, the Public Protector, Deputy Public Protector, executive and senior managers as well as investigators. The discussions will be guided by the Public Protector’s Constitutional mandate, institutional vision and vision and commitment to operate as a purpose driven team.

Further, the content of parliamentary oversight has been referred to a roundtable discussion in Parliament and in preparation for that the Public Protector team will be once more given an opportunity to deliberate on the matter.

The Public Protector has already expressed her view that her decisions are subject to the Constitution and law only and any staff member who has a different view is welcome to use available internal structures to air their views. The Public Protector does not see any value to discuss this issue in the public platform when there have been no internal discussions.

To address the challenges, the Public Protector told the committee that her office planned to meet with state lawyers to dialogue about the issue, with a view to finding solutions that would include a proper understanding of her constitutional mandate and her jurisdiction.

Her office would also conduct an internal assessment process to check the level of compliance with its own customer service charter and train its workforce in a bid to enhance efficiency, she said. Another engagement with agencies within the integrity sector aimed at avoiding duplication of work was also on the cards.

On the issue of resources, the Public Protector told committee members that over and above the R199 million budget allocated to her office this year, she would require a further R77 million to finance unfunded posts in the office’s approved organizational structure.

The structure has 556 posts, of which only 317 are funded. Of the 239 unfunded positions, 174 are of investigators. The figures exclude the 100 trainee investigators that were recruited at the beginning of this year in a dib to bolster the office’s investigative capacity.

The Public Protector explained that her staff was struggling to deal with the growing workload, adding that this had a bearing on meeting the office’s constitutional mandate. She, however, thanked Parliament for its continued support, which resulted in her budget increasing by nearly R60 million in the last three years to the current R199 million.

For more info:

Kgalalelo Masibi
Spokesperson for the Public Protector
Tel: (012) 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399
E-mail: kgalalelom@pprotect.org
Toll Free: 0800 11 20 40

Published Date: 
Friday, May 10, 2013