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Published by Seyfferdt Publishers, 2019-10-29 03:00:47

Public Administation N6

SEY264

Keywords: SEY264

N6

Public

ADMINISTRATION

DAHccEoTrdsiynlglatbous

Nanette Lötter

PUBLIC
ADMINISTRATION

N6

Compiled by

NJ Lotter

Published by

Printers Code: SEY0000000264

Fourth Edition 2017

Seyfferdt Publishers
PO Box 44
Bapsfontein
1510

Tel: +27(0)10 590 8525
Fax to email: +27(0)86 218 4414
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.seyfferdt.co.za

© SEYFFERDT PUBLISHERS
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored
in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written
permission of the publisher.

ISBN 978-1-928263-51-7

Typeset by: Colourtech Design & Printing

Cover designed by: Colourtech Design & Printing

Printed and bound by: Colourtech Design & Printing

PREFACE AND

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Public Management N6 was first written many years ago out of necessity, when
the syllabus for the Public Management N4 to N6 programme was first intro-
duced into colleges. It was almost entirely rewritten in about 2014, to bring it
into line with the current public management environment. Since then it has
been revised several times, and amendments made to ensure relevance. Ques-
tions for students and suggestions for assignments have always been part of
the book, but have now been expanded substantially.

One needs always to keep in mind that the main purpose of textbooks for ter-
tiary (mainly TVET college) students is to provide them with a solid grounding
in their chosen vocational field. For Public Administration, according to the De-
partment of Higher Education and Training syllabus, it is to introduce students
to the generic management functions of public institutions and government in
general. It is, in other words, to ensure that students understand the necessity
and functions of public procedures and methods, control and responsibility,
managerial, auxiliary, instrumental and line functions, as well as government
relations and professional ethics, at N6 level. Obviously, these functions have
as background the public service and governmental structures, but the govern-
ment of the day should not really be the main focus – governments change,
ministers are redeployed, government institutions change character, change
their names, and so forth, depending on the needs of the country, and the poli-
cies of the government of the day. Lecturers are therefore very much at liberty
and encouraged to provide enrichment material for their students by keeping
them up to date with examples from the media, from government department
websites, from actual visits to government departments or even to provincial
or national parliaments. Make sure your students see how the management
functions work in real life – your own college is a good starting point!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the lecturers and colleagues
who have, over the years, made inputs and suggestions that I have used in my
textbooks to make them more relevant. In particular, Seyfferdt Publishers have
been very instrumental since about 2014, in assisting me with a modern, well-
designed and published book, which it was not previously, and for taking over
the burden of printing, marketing and providing my books to colleges.

iii

And last but certainly not least, I would like to thank Ms Eunice Nyathela, a
lecturer at Sedibeng TVET College, for her suggestions for additions to the
latest edition of this book, specifically in regard to work study officials and
consultants (under the section on Persons responsible for developing and revis-
ing new procedures and methods), computer aided drawings (under Graphic
techniques), the GCIS (as another Notification function), and the updating of
the names of two of the government departments. Your contribution is much
appreciated!
NJ Lötter
T

iv

Contents

Module 1: Procedure and Methods. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

1.1 Generic administrative and management functions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 Procedures and methods. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

1.2.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.2.2 Development of work procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.2.3 Necessity for formal procedures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1.2.4 Reasons for having written procedures and methods. . . . . . . . 7
1.2.5 Factors necessitating revision of procedures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

1.2.5.1 Needs of people. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.2.5.2 Progress made in technological fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
1.2.5.3 Scientific progress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
1.2.5.4 Development of the administrative/management

sciences. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1.2.5.5 Out-dated methods and procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1.2.6 Factors that resist procedural change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
1.2.6.1 Why do people resist change? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
1.2.6.2 Methods to combat resistance to change. . . . . . . . . . 13
1.2.7 Persons responsible for developing and revising new
procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
1.2.8 Techniques for analysis in the study of procedures and
methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
1.2.9 Aids for revising procedures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
1.2.9.1 Employing private consultants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
1.2.9.2 Training public officials in work study methods. . . . . . 20

Module 2: Control and Responsibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

2.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
2.2 The nature of state control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
2.3 Kinds of control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

2.3.1 Internal control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
2.3.1.1 Formal control measures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

v

2.3.1.2 Informal control measures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
2.4 The control process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

2.4.1 Setting standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
2.4.2 Measuring performance against standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
2.4.3 Evaluating deviations from standard of performance . . . . . . . . 32
2.4.4 Taking steps to rectify the matter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
2.5 Public accountability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
2.6 The Public Protector (Ombudsman) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
2.6.1 Appointment, powers and functions of the Public Protector . . 34

Module 3: Managerial Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
3.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
3.2 The nature and contents of public management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
3.3 The nature of administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
3.4 Personal characteristics of a manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
3.5 The functions of public managers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Module 4: Auxiliary Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
4.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
4.2 Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

4.2.1 Parastatal research institutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
4.2.2 Private enterprises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
4.3 Provision of legal services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
4.4 Documentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
4.5 Conducting of public relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
4.6 Notification functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
4.7 The collection of information and the maintaining of information
services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
4.8 Provision of infrastructure and stock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
4.9 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

vi

Module 5: Instrumental Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

5.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
5.2 Personal matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

5.2.1 Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
5.2.2 Decision making . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
5.3 Non-personal matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
5.3.1 Offices, classrooms, workshops, laboratories and other

workplaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
5.3.2 Furniture and equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
5.3.3 Motor vehicles and other transport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
5.3.4 Uniforms and protective clothing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
5.3.5 Stationery and related materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
5.3.6 Appropriate technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

Module 6: Line Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

6.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
6.2 Objectives and functions of public institutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

6.2.1 Different ideologies, different opinions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
6.2.2 Number and extent of activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
6.3 Functional activities of public institutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
6.3.1 Keeping of law and order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
6.3.2 Protection functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
6.3.3 Education services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
6.3.4 Health services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
6.3.5 Regulation of labour affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
6.3.6 Agriculture, forestry and water affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
6.3.7 Transport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
6.3.8 Public works and land affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
6.4 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

Module 7: Government Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

7.1 Place of governmental relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
7.2 Nature of the content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

vii

7.3 Relationships between central, provincial and local authorities . . . . . 76
7.3.1 Relations between local authorities and the provincial
government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
7.3.2 Relations between central government and local authorities . 77
7.3.3 National supervision of provincial administration . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Module 8: Integrity, Values and Professional Ethics of the Public
Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

8.1 Ethical behaviour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
8.2 Code of Conduct for Public Servants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
8.3 Batho Pele (“People first”) Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

TERMINOLOGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85

BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

Please note that any reference in this text to the male gender (“he”, “his”, “him”)
also refers to the female gender (“she”, “her”).

Note
We have made a few minor changes to this edition (2017) and
want to request lecturers and students who are still using the
previous version to apply the changes in the book they are using.

1) P. 14 – we added two paragraphs. The paragraphs are
entered in yellow blocks with the same colour as this note.

2) P. 18 – we added one more technique (CAD).
3) P. 55 – we added one paragraph.
3) P. 71 – we changed “6.3.6 Agriculture, Forestry and Water

Affairs to”: “Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.”
4) P. 72 – second paragraph, line three, after “water affairs” we

added (under the Department of Water and Sanitation) in
brackets.

viii

Public Administration N6

Module 1

Procedure and Methods
Lear

Module 1
ning Objectives Learning Objectives

After completing this module, the learner should be able to:
z provide a schematic presentation of the generic

administrative and management functions;
z describe the development of work procedures;
z explain the necessity of formal procedures;
z explain the reasons for written procedures and methods;
z explain factors necessitating revision of procedures;
z describe factors for resistance to change;
z indicate the persons responsible for developing and revising

new procedures and methods;
z explain the techniques for analysis in the study of procedures

and methods;
z explain the use of aids in revising procedures.

1 .1 Generic administrative and management
functions

In the N5 Public Administration programme, Thought processes and actions
we were introduced to the generic needed to achieve an objective
administrative and management functions
of policy making, organising, financing and
staffing or human resources administration.
These are four of the six main thought
processes needed to achieve an objective.

As you can see from the diagram 1 above,
there are two remaining thought processes,
that is, determining work procedures and
methods and control functions that have not

1

Module 1: Procedure and Methods
yet been dealt with. These two will be dealt with in the Public Administration
N6 programme. Thereafter we will consider role of management itself as the
seventh management function.
However, these functions are not all that we need to carry out successful and
effective administration and management in public institutions. We shall also
investigate the auxiliary and instrumental functions and the functional activities
(or line functions), without which no government department can be effective.

Schematic representation of functions

Finally, we will look at government relations: in other words, the relationships
between the different levels of government.

1.2 Procedures and methods

1.2.1 Introduction

In the N5 programme we saw that there are certain functions that must be
carried out before any actual work can commence: policy must be formulated,
organising must be done, the financing function must be carried out and
personnel must be appointed. Only once all of these functions have been carried
out, can the work begin.

2

Public Administration N6 Module 1

It is essential in any organisation that work should be carried out as quickly, as
cheaply and as effectively as possible. This is why it is necessary to have formal
work procedures: so that work can be done in the most efficient and effective
way possible.

In this chapter an attempt is made to explain why it is necessary to have such
procedures, why it is necessary to revise these procedures constantly, and what
factors sometimes get in the way of the revision of procedures.

1.2.2 Development of work procedures

Definition: A work procedure is a fixed step-by-step sequence of
activities or course of action, with definite start and end points,
that must be followed in the same order to correctly perform a
task.

When a person is faced with a new task that he must complete, he/she will
have to find a way, or devise some method for completing that task. Through
the ages men have found effective ways or methods of completing tasks, and
these have become the accepted best way, or
the standard procedure, for the completing of
these tasks. For example, there are particular
procedures according to which an accountant,
a lorry driver or a doctor should do his/her
work to achieve the best possible result, and
to be able to achieve that result every time.

In any civilised country, there are procedures according to which the government
and the public administration are run: there are specific methods for carrying
out the legislative, the executive (or the governing) and the administrative
functions. Often, these procedures form part of the quality assurance system
in an organisation, and may be called standard operating procedures or SOPs.
If sufficient time, effort and money are invested to develop and implement
effective SOPs, the operations of the organisation may be done in a better and
more cost-effective way (Grusenmeier, n.d.).

Some work procedures are very detailed and some are more simple, as shown in
the examples below. Detailed procedures leave less room for error or deviation.

3

Module 1: Procedure and Methods

Examples of work procedures

We know that accountability is important in the public sector, and that actions
done or not done must be accounted for. This is why there are procedures
laid down for actions that must be taken when, for instance, someone has a
grievance or is found guilty of misconduct. A grievance procedure may look like
the following, which indicates the time that should not be exceeded for each

Grievance procedure

step.
While there are procedures laid down and specified in writing for the public
sector, the following must be kept in mind:
zz It is often necessary to devise new procedures as the work progresses, and
zz It is necessary to review procedures constantly and to revise them when

necessary.
4

Public Administration N6

The responsibility for improving work procedures often rests with the worker Module 1
himself, just as much as with the supervisor. Sometimes a specific official is
appointed to improve work procedures, or in government especially, there may
be such an official who is available to a variety of departments. Such an official
may be known as a work study officer.

Government and public administration are made up of fixed activities
which are characteristic of civilised countries. There should therefore
be a constant effort to develop appropriate work procedures
to carry out legislative, executive and administrative functions.

Services which are provided by the government should be provided in a way

that is:

zz fair

zz reasonable

zz can be accounted for Imagine what it would be

There are two types of work procedures like in Parliament if there were
in the public service: no specific procedures accord-
ing to which business could be
1. The procedure which must be carried out: everyone would
followed when the government do as he/she pleased, and NO
decides on a NEW course of action;
here the government might decide to business or work would be
create a new institution, for instance, done at all!

or it might wish to entrust a new

matter to an existing state department.

2. The procedure which must be followed when dealing with the day to day
transactions of the public sector; these are fixed procedures which are laid
down for the situations where two or more people must carry out a task.
We can see from this that organising and setting of work procedures must
go together, and that the personnel function is also closely linked to the
function of setting work procedures.

Setting of work procedures and organising should go together: rules and
procedures regulate human conduct. There is a link between the setting of

procedures and the utilisation of personnel.

5

Module 1: Procedure and Methods

1.2.3 Necessity for formal procedures

As already mentioned, most activities will need two or more people to carry
them out. Therefore it is necessary to have specific procedures for exactly HOW
the work must be done. These procedures will determine the manner and speed
with which a service is rendered or a product supplied.

Each individual may have his own way of carrying out a task, but these ways are
not necessarily the most effective ways.

Frederick W. Taylor (1856-1915) was an American
mechanical engineer who wanted to improve in-
dustrial efficiency. He started the scientific manage-
ment theories by devising a system called scientific
management. Taylor was one of the early observers
who paid a great deal of attention to this problem
of work procedures and methods. He noticed that
there were differences between individuals and
their methods of carrying out tasks. He noticed that
the labourers who were loading cast-iron bars onto
a train were only able to handle less than 11 791 kg
per day. He felt that a good labourer should be able
to handle 40 815 kg per day, provided that the labourer were to use a better
procedure. Taylor stipulated that four changes in the work situation must take
place, namely:
1. Only well-built men should be selected for the work
2. Work procedures must be set out in detail
3. Top wages must be paid
4. There should be sufficient rest periods so that the workers should not suffer

any lack of energy

Taylor put these stipulations into practice, and the result of the experiment was
that the production increased threefold. As the work force had been reduced
with only the physically strong men retained, the cost per unit of loading the iron
bars was lower, while at the same time the wages of the workers were increased.

The fact is that streamlined work procedures can lead to:
zz better flow of work
zz better utilisation of labour
zz reduction in costs of goods and services
zz increased productivity.

6

Public Administration N6 Module 1

Test your knowledge 1 .1

1. Why is accountability necessary in the public sector?
2. There are two important matters to be kept in mind when work procedures

are specified: a) it is often necessary to devise new procedures as work
progresses, and b) it is necessary to review and revise procedures when
needed. Name three (3) persons and/or institutions that are responsible
to carry out such tasks.
3. There are two types of work procedures: those that must be followed
for a new course of action, and fixed procedures used for day to day
transactions. Give an example that you can think of for each of these
types of procedures.
4. Name four (4) outcomes of streamlined work procedures.

1 .2 .4 Reasons for having written procedures and methods

Work procedures can be rationalised on a continuing basis and explained in
printed manuals and codes. In other words the procedures can be written for
workers to read whenever the need arises. These manuals have many advan-
tages, as explained below:

ADVANTAGES OF HAVING WRITTEN WORK PROCEDURES
1. To prevent having too many different work procedures. Each individual

may have a different way of doing a task.
2. People like consistency and perform much better when things are done

correctly, on time, the same way, every time.
3. People need consistency to achieve top performance. This means that

they do not have to wonder about how the job should be done: there is a
written procedure to ensure it will be done the same way every time. This
should ensure better productivity.
4. To ensure that the work is done as efficiently and effectively as possible.
5. There should be less variation and better quality control.
6. To ensure that the objective is always to reach the goal and to prevent
differences of opinion about how to reach the goal.

7

Module 1: Procedure and Methods

7. To ensure that the work assignment is clear and understandable for all
workers.

8. Well-written procedures facilitate training. Having complete step-by-step
instructions helps trainers ensure that nothing is missed and provides a
reference resource for trainees. All new employees can also be trained in
the same way.

9. A well-written procedure can be very useful for an employee who has to
take over someone else’s job for a short or longer term, or for doing jobs
that they do not have to perform often.

10. If staff members are involved in drawing up the procedures they will
probably be supportive of them and will find them useful and acceptable.

11. There is uniform action in situations where more than one institution is
involved – every department does things in the same way.

12. Codes and training manuals which set out the procedures in a proper
manner are essential to ensure that all new personnel receive appropriate
training. All new staff will then be trained in the same way.

13. Work procedures will be examined and revised if and when necessary in
an orderly manner.

14. Authoritative codes are provided for local and other work places: officials
in these places are always kept aware of changes in policy or procedures.

15. Having well defined procedures and insisting that they be followed can
help keep employees safe at work and may provide some legal protection
if an injury occurs.

We should also, of course, always remember that work procedure manuals
should not be too strict and rigid, because we are working with human beings
and human conduct, and not with robots. If work procedures are too inflexible it
often leads to an excessive amount of “red tape” (excessive adherence to official
rules).

Example of a written procedure:

OPENING MEETING FOR INTERNAL AUDIT
1. Distribute attendance list.
2. Introduce auditing team.
3. Explain purpose of audit.
4. Outline plan, scope and time frames.

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Public Administration N6 Module 1

5. Appoint knowledgeable escorts for the auditing team.
6. Confirm that audit team has latest version of documents.
7. Confirm time of closing meeting and establish people to be present.
8. Go through and clarify auditing documentation and determine signatures

required.
9. Promote active participation.
10. Respond to any questions

1.2.5 Factors necessitating revision of procedures

The administration of any country is in a continual state of movement or change.
If we take into account however the factors which necessitate change, we may
be able to anticipate situations where specific changes in work procedures are
needed. In this way we can prevent procedures from becoming obsolete (out-
dated), even in the case of standardised work procedures which are laid down
in manuals.

There are five specific factors which we will study
which necessitate changes in work procedures:
zz Needs of the people
zz Progress made in the technological field
zz Scientific progress
zz Development of the administrative and

management sciences
zz Outdated methods and procedures

1.2.5.1 Needs of people

It must be kept in mind that human society
is a dynamic entity. This means that there
are constant changes taking place in society,
wherever two or more people must function
together. New relationships develop and old
relationships change between individuals and
between groups of people all the time.

Public authorities are involved in social aspects of community life: for example
in the provision of housing, health services or education. According to Cloete
(1992), factors which must be taken into account here are:

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Module 1: Procedure and Methods

zz Changes in public attitude
zz Changes in the views of the government of the day
zz Population change

These factors cause public activities to change often. If the activities change,
then organisational structures and work procedures of the public sector must
also change. Acts and bills must be changed by Parliament to ensure that the
activities of the public institutions satisfy the changing needs of the people. One
need only think of the changes in the Education or Health Departments which
have come about because of changes in the views of the government, as well as
pressure by interest groups which reflect public attitude.

1.2.5.2 Progress made in technological fields

Work methods and procedures are often
forced or encouraged to change because
of the rapid technological progress seen
this century. A simple example here is the
development of high-tech office equipment:
the photocopier, the fax machine and the
computer have meant that older technology
has become obsolete: how many learners today know what a telex machine was,
or have typed on a mechanical typewriter?

Technology then (up to around 1980) and now
1.2.5.3 Scientific progress

During the twentieth century especially, the progress made in many fields was
phenomenal, and the twenty-first century is continuing along the same trend. A
huge number of changes have taken place in the physical and social science fields.
The mushrooming numbers of students these days at universities, universities of
technology and colleges bears witness to the need to learn and to keep up with
progress in all scientific and other fields. People are constantly being pressurised
to obtain higher educational qualifications, skills and experience. Groups of

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officials, such as nurses, prison officials and public servants are increasingly
being required to obtain higher skills and qualifications: it is almost impossible
these days to be appointed to a post if you do not have a tertiary qualification
and computer skills.

1.2.5.4 Development of the administrative/management sciences

Training and development of supervisors performing administrative and
managerial functions in the public sector have been receiving increasing priority.
The field of public administration is drawing more and more researchers. This
leads to the upgrading and renewal of the systems and procedures in the public
sector.

New discoveries have been
made in scientific fields. People
are realising more and more that
administrative work in the public
sector requires particular skills
which cannot necessarily be
learned only through experience.
This has led to the appointment
of suitably educated and trained
managers and officials whose
task is to keep procedures up to date.

1.2.5.5 Out-dated methods and procedures and the prevention of
deviations

Administration of the country is done by various institutions. Some of these
institutions have many branches, divisions, subdivisions and sections. This is
why overlapping and duplication takes place. Changes are implemented in each
particular institution as the need arises. Sometimes the authorities forget to
make consequential adjustments in similar fields or sections and the result is
different sections doing the same or similar work. For example in South Africa
it is fairly easy for overlapping to take place in the activities of local, provincial
and central levels of government, for instance. There are many instances where
a certain amount of duplication and overlapping is necessary for the proper
performance of a department or many departments. In a college or university,
for example, one might find human resources personnel and finance clerks, at
both the central or head office and on campuses. The staff in each place may
carry out similar tasks, but one assists the other to ensure that all activities run
smoothly overall.

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Module 1: Procedure and Methods

Duplication: this is the action of copying or replicating an action.
Overlapping: this is where one duty extends over and partly covers
another.
At times, duplication and overlapping can be counter-productive, resulting in
wastage of human and financial resources.
Resistance to change can lead to duplication and overlapping. When an official
becomes accustomed to a particular way of doing things, he may want to stick to
his way even though circumstances around him may have changed completely.
The danger of obsolescence can be eliminated by the continued emphasis on
the need to adapt and improve as well as the appointment of officials who are
specifically given responsibility for eliminating obsolescence.

ACTIVITY 1

There are many advantages to having written work procedures. In groups of
four, design a motivational talk to explain why written procedures are impor-
tant, giving examples. Design a poster or a PowerPoint presentation to sup-
port your talk. Each group should then present their talk to the class, or to
invited teachers.

1 .2 .6 Dealing with factors that resist procedural change

1.2.6.1 Why do people resist change?

It is natural for people to stick to familiar theories and ways of doing things long
after they should have changed, because things “have always worked that way”,
and by sticking to “that way” people have kept out of trouble.
People generally don’t look for changes, possibly as a result of mental and
physical laziness, or because they are afraid of the unknown. In general, they
resist change and prefer to support established organisational and procedural
arrangements. Officials also fear to make mistakes, and if they have kept out of
trouble with old methods, they will tend to want to stick to these methods.

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Public Administration N6 Module 1

An official who has a negative attitude
towards change will regard every
suggestion as a threat to his personal
position rather than as a welcome
improvement.

Resistance to change is complicated
because officials in the public sector
are not normally as subject to the
threat of dismissal as employees in
the private sector might be. In some
cases officials resist change and
improvement because they are scared that their promotion possibilities (based
on quality of their work) will be jeopardised.

Buying new equipment and machinery is an expensive and complicated process
and this, too, might inhibit change as technology is needed to help implement
change.

Line staff might resist changes brought about by “special” staff or advisers.
Sometimes these people are seen as spies or critics, and sometimes these
“special” staff members make impractical suggestions because they do not have
to implement the change themselves. The suggestions might look good on paper
but are not always practical.

If there are poor organisational and procedural arrangements, it is often because
the policy which was made at political level was poor in the first place. Politicians
in power may refuse to amend policies and leave the officials powerless to
make changes. If officials are involved in party politics they may appeal to party
politicians to intervene and put a stop to improvements – especially when the
improvements look as if they might lead to a reduction in the work force.

1.2.6.2 Methods to combat resistance to change

If changes are to be made, however, the best results will be achieved if:
zz improvements are brought about on the initiative or at the suggestion of

the officials concerned;
zz the officials concerned are included in the process of deciding on changes

and improvements; and
zz the officials concerned are encouraged to make suggestions. Changes

should be made and implemented only after all the steps have been taken
to make changes acceptable to the officials and their political superiors.

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The person implementing change must be connected with the department,

otherwise any such attempt will be seen as criticism and interference, even though

it may be an honest effort to improve the system. It often happens that people

are brought in from outside – consultants, It is not the strongest or
for example – to try and improve procedures the most intelligent who
and processes, but when they are perceived will survive but those who
as having little idea of what the organisation is can best manage change.
actually about, the result is often resistance to

organisational and procedural improvement. Charles Darwin

The aim should always be to obtain the co-operation of the officials in
question and an impression of criticism and fault-finding should be avoided.

1.2.7 Persons responsible for developing and revising new
procedures and methods

Everyone in an organisation has to accept responsibility for the development
of new procedures and methods, but according to Botes et al. (1992) we may
identify the following people specifically:

zz Every employee or official in administrative offices. They should always be
on the look-out for better procedures and methods and employees should
be encouraged to develop improved procedures and methods.

zz Supervisors and line managers – should determine whether procedures
and methods meet modern requirements.

zz Managing or executive directors should encourage staff to look out for
cheaper, faster and more efficient procedures and methods.

zz Personnel officers and accountants – should establish shortcomings and
locate problems.

zz Clients often have very good suggestions which should not be ignored.

zz Work study officials or organisation and methods officers – in the Human
Resources directorates of government there are officials known as work
study officials whose task is to determine the resources needed for
different work procedures in the time required to do the job as well as
the number of workers needed to obtain the most efficient methods of
getting the job done. Usually, work study officials study mostly production
work, while organisation and methods officers study office work and
office workers.

zz Consultants – are sometimes contracted by government to perform the
tasks of the above mentioned work study or organisation and methods
officers where these are not available. However, such consultants are
often very expensive and government departments should make use of
such people only when absolutely necessary.

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Public Administration N6

Test your knowledge 1 .2 Module 1

1. There are five (5) specific factors that can necessitate changes in work
procedures. Name these five factors and give an example, for each factor,
of a work procedure that needs to be changed.

2. People often resist change. Write a short report on:

a) reasons why people resist change, and
b) methods to combat such resistance.

1 .2 .8 Techniques for analysis in the study of procedures and
methods

There are various facilities and techniques that can be used for analysing and
improving procedures and methods. We will briefly consider the various types
of techniques and the way in which they are used.

The approach most often used is the analytical approach, which means
that a logical sequence of questions is applied to all work situations.
In order to make a critical analysis possible, one question is repeated:

WHY?

Aim What is currently done? Why? What else?

Place Where is it done? Why there?

Time When is it done? Why then?

Organisation Who does it? Why them?

Method How is it done? Why is this way?

Botes et al. (1992)

There are certain specific analytical techniques that may be used effectively to
assist in improving procedures and methods of getting work done, for instance:

Graphic techniques Visual techniques Mathematical techniques
Linear techniques Exact techniques Simulation techniques

z Graphic techniques

Graphic techniques are diagrams that use graphic symbols to depict the
nature and flow of the steps in a process or a procedure. These are used
to represent the actual flow of work in order to find any deficiencies and
shortcomings and are known as flowcharts.

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Module 1: Procedure and Methods
Benefits of using flowcharts:
zz They promote understanding of the process.
zz They identify problem areas and opportunities for process improvement.
zz They provide a way of training employees.
zz They can depict customer-supplier relationships.
There are a number of different kinds of graphic techniques or flowcharts, some
of them quite similar to each other. Some examples are:
Basic flowchart

Process chart
This is a graphic representation of the sequence of events, activities and tasks
that occur during a work procedure in order to complete part of a greater pro-
cedure. Symbols are used to represent activities, for example, a triangle might
represent operation, and an arrow could represent transport or movement.

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Public Administration N6 Module 1
Work process charts, flow process charts and flow diagrams
These are graphic presentations of the sequence of processes for different ac-
tivities. In work process charts, only the major events are recorded. Flow process
charts shows the flow of a product graphically, where the flow may be recorded
for a factory, for example, showing what happens at each handling point. A flow
diagram will give a rough indication of the flow of an object through an institu-
tion. However, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between these, as charts
and diagrams are developed in response to particular needs. Some examples are
given below, for your information.

Examples of graphic techniques (Source: Wikipedia, 2014)

String or wire models and scale models
These indicate the real position of buildings, machines or furniture according to
scale so that planning and lay-out can be performed.

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Wire model Wooden scale model String model

Man-machine process charts

Show work-load and usage ratios between workers and machines.

SIMO charts

When very fast hand reactions are required to determine workload, measurements
of thousandths of a second are used. SIMO stands for simultaneous motion cycle
chart.

zz Visual techniques
Visual image techniques are used when a real situation must be duplicated,
for example scale models, files, photographic methods, sketches and video
recordings.

zz Mathematical techniques
Sometimes it is necessary to determine output by means of mathematical
calculations.

zz Linear techniques
A linear technique, or line drawing technique, is an attempt to depict on a
two dimensional surface, usually paper, that which the eye sees; in other
words, making a drawing of what you see. This would involve drawing a
process as closely as possible to what you see.

zz Exact techniques
If a process is depicted exactly as it is, without deviation or error, according
to exact measurements and standards, it may be termed an exact technique.

zz Simulation techniques
Simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or
system over time. A model must be developed that represents the main
characteristics or function of the system or process.

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Public Administration N6 Module 1

z Computer aided drawings (CAD)
Computer aided drawings are drawings and models created by using special
computer software.

Examples of Computer aided drawings

ACTIVITY 2

Work in groups of two (2). Each group should choose a specific graphical tech-
nique. Show the class by means of a presentation, how the chosen technique
can be used in a practical way to show how a process works. Explain also the
benefits of using your technique. Make use of posters or any other aid/s to
make your presentation vivid and interesting.

1 .2 .9 Aids for revising procedures

Frederick Winslow Taylor’s (see
1.2.3) theories and practices
related to the improvement of
work procedures were devel-
oped and applied by the private
sector with great enthusiasm.
These theories were introduced
into the public sector especially
after the Second World War
(1939 – 1945).

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Module 1: Procedure and Methods

The objectives of his management theories were to:
zz streamline work flow
zz improve productivity
zz prevent loss of man hours.

The implementation of Taylor’s theories resulted in the appointment of func-
tionaries or officials whose task it was to examine the organisational systems
and work procedures by using standardised techniques, and then to suggest im-
provements.

In South Africa, “organisation and methods” officers were appointed at central,
regional and local levels of administration. Today these functionaries are known
as “work study officers”, “efficiency officers”, and “management advisory offic-
ers”.

Once the decision has been made to appoint functionaries to study work meth-
ods and procedures, it becomes necessary to decide whether to employ private
consultants to undertake this job, or to train staff in the public sector itself. This
decision is not as easy as it may seem and there are advantages and disadvan-
tages to each of these options.

1.2.9.1 Employing private consultants

Advantages:
zz This choice is sometimes made because the private sector is ahead of the

public sector in specific fields in the development and application of specific
techniques and aids to improve work performance.
zz The private sector may employ specialists who have specific skills and
knowledge which the public sector does not have and which it often cannot
afford to employ on a permanent basis.

Disadvantages:
zz Problems can arise due to the fact that these private consultants are not

familiar with the way that public institutions work.
zz They may know very little about the political considerations which are part

of the activities of the public sector and they may not realise the political
sensitivity of certain matters.
zz The control function (which of course relates to public accountability) is
strange to them, and the way they do things does not always suit the social,
economic and political objectives of public institutions.

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zz Another very important factor is that the private consultants demand
very high salaries and this high level of remuneration gives rise to much
dissatisfaction among career officials in the public sector.

Generally speaking, public institutions today make as little use as possible of pri-
vate consultants, and only call such people in when large scale obsolescence has
taken root and where public officials themselves need to be trained to overhaul
the system (Cloete, 1992).

1.2.9.2 Training public officials in work study methods

As we have seen, it is preferable, as far as possible, to use public officials who
have been trained in work study methods. First of all it is important to make sure
that the official who is to be trained has the right personal qualities to do this
particular job. Personal qualities will include the following:

The public official should be:
zz a good communicator;
zz a people’s person;
zz able to understand matters quickly;
zz an analytical thinker;
zz a person with integrity and high ethical standards.

The main reasons for appointing work study officials are:
zz to eliminate wastage of time in man-hours
zz to make the flow of work quicker and more efficient
zz to increase productivity.
Work studies are often done nowadays by human resources departments, often
to determine the amount of work that is being done in order to know whether
more officials need to be employed – or whether fewer are needed – and also
to determine the level at which certain posts should be pegged. It does happen
that posts have been wrongly graded, sometimes because of levels of confiden-
tiality, or level of skill required in a particular post.

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Module 1: Procedure and Methods

Work study has two main parts:

METHOD STUDY TIME AND MOTION STUDY

Method study is the determining, Time and motion studies imply using
observing, recording and analysing techniques to determine how long
of the work that is being done, or the it takes a person to do a particular
work that needs to be done. It also task while sticking to an established
includes the developing and imple-
menting of better and more produc- standard.

tive work procedures.

A variety of administrative aids and techniques have been developed as a matter
of course to help the work study official to be able to do his job effectively (See
1.2.8 for a description of these).

Nowadays much use is made of computers in carrying out work studies, particu-
larly by means of systems analysis and electronic data processing, and highly
developed computer skills are more and more in demand in the public service.

Test your knowledge 1 .3

1. A person to be trained in work study methods should preferably have
certain characteristics. What qualities would be advisable for such a
person to have?

2. What are the main reasons for appointing work study officials?

3. Explain the difference between method study and time and motion
study.

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Public Administration N6

ACTIVITY 3 Module 1

Study the cartoon above, then discuss the following in groups or as a class.
1. Is it a good thing to employ private consultants to assist in the public

sector?
2. There may well be situations when it is best to bring in a private

consultant. Can you think of such situations?
3. What would be the best way to go about changing procedures, for

instance, without using private consultants?
4. If you were a private consultant, how would you feel about taking on a

task for a public sector department?
5. How can public sector departments best be assisted to manage without

making use of private consultants?

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Public Administration N6

Module 2

Control and Responsibility

Lear

Module 2
ning Objectives Learning Objectives

After completing this module, the learner should be able to:
zz describe the specific nature of state control;
zz explain the kinds of control for public institutions;
zz describe the steps in the control process;
zz explain the nature and manner of public accountability;
zz explain the nature and use of the ombudsman (public

protector).

2.1 Introduction

The main requirement of public administration is that the population comprises
the highest authority and that everything that political office-bearers do should
be to the benefit of the citizens individually and collectively.

The population cannot exercise the legislative, The objective of control
executive and judicial functions itself to is to ensure that ACCOUNT
satisfy the needs of the public. For this reason is given in public for every-
legislative, executive and judicial institutions thing the authorities do or
were created and staffed with functionaries
(officials and experts with the necessary neglect to do.
authority) to perform the respective functions.

Control must be exercised to ensure that functionaries use their power to further
the well-being of the community.

Every citizen should be able to see what is done or not done to further their
individual and collective efforts.

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Module 2: Control and Responsibility

Control is done through meetings of the legislature (parliament) which are open
to the public. To ensure that executive authorities answer for their deeds during
sessions of the legislature, it has been necessary to introduce means of detecting
any wrongful action that they might have taken.

Control consists of TWO parts:
zz INTERNAL CONTROL (within government departments)
zz GIVING ACCOUNT (in public, for everything done or not done by

government departments)
In South Africa, the legislature (the decision-making body of
government) is known as Parliament. The true test of democracy
in a country is the extent to which the Parliament can ensure that
government remains answerable to the people.
Parliament and its committees (portfolio committees) have powers
to summon any person or institution to give evidence or to produce
documents and to report to them. There is a portfolio committee
for each government department, e.g. the Portfolio Committee
on Higher Education, the Portfolio Committee on Environmental
Affairs, the Portfolio Committee on Health, to name but a few.
The Constitution of South Africa (1996) gives Parliament the power
to conduct oversight of all institutions of state, at both provincial
and local government level. Parliament can therefore monitor and
oversee all government actions, including the implementation of
laws, application of budgets, and management of government
departments.
Source: Parliament of the Republic of South
Africa, 2015

Parliament building, Cape Town, South Africa
(Source: World Congress for freedom of
scientific Research, 2013)

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2.2 The nature of state control

Control means taking steps to remain in control of affairs. Control measures Module 2
must be implemented to ensure that control is maintained.

According to Botes et al. (1992) there are several reasons WHY it is necessary to
exercise control over executive institutions.

Reasons for exercising control over executive institutions
zz Public institutions are established on the initiative of the government in

order to meet the needs, demands and requirements of the community.
In this way the chief political authority, or the government-of-the-day,
maintains its control over the policy, finance, organisation, procedures
and management of public purposes.
zz Funds made available by Parliament are public funds which are kept in
trust until they are spent for specific purposes.
zz Man is exposed to many temptations. He can (and does) steal money,
embezzle funds, accept bribes and do particular favours for particular
people. Corruption in the public service is unfortunately very common,
and leads to much wastage and loss of public funds, which in turn leads
to lack of growth and sometimes even chaos in certain sectors.
zz Control must be exercised over action to ensure its legitimacy and
legality.
zz The state seeks ORDER, WELFARE and PEACE as a means of attaining
the aim of the state – ensuring the survival of man. Thus there must be
constant investigations to see whether the objectives are maintained.

2.3 Kinds of control

The control process in the government takes
place in different forms. Government actions
(internal and external) are controlled both BE-
FORE and AFTER they take place. As already
mentioned, there are portfolio committees
that exercise an oversight function over all
government ministries and their departments.

In the case of the budget, however, which is in Parliament’s watchdog: SCOPA
essence is the taxpayers’ money that is

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Module 2: Control and Responsibility

spent by government departments to provide services, the body that exercises
oversight is the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, or SCOPA. Every year
the Auditor-General tables reports on the financial management and accounts of
the government departments and other state institutions, such as state-owned
enterprises. SCOPA can call any head of any state department to come before
it to account for expenditure, and it does this regularly. It can then recommend
that the National Assembly take corrective action.

The example below shows how the control function is exercised both before and
after they take place for the budget of the country, although in fact all projects
are controlled in this way.

Control before Control after

Internal control Preparation of the budget Checking and auditing of
External control
by internal officials within every aspect of expenditure

departments. by internal auditors.

Deliberation and debating Auditing by Auditor-General
in parliament. and investigation by Stand-
ing Committee on Public
Accounts (SCOPA).

Source: Parliament of the RSA, 2015

2.3.1 Internal control

Definition: Internal control is a process effected by an organisation’s
management or board of control and other personnel, designed
to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of
objectives related to the efficiency and effectiveness of objectives,
the reliability of financial reporting, compliance with applicable
laws and regulations, and safeguarding of assets.

Internal control is part of the work of all political executive office bearers in
charge of executive institutions and the officials attached to public institutions.
Internal control can be divided into the following:
zz Formal control measures
zz Informal control measures

2.3.1.1 Formal control measures

A number of formal methods may be used to control activities in a government
department, with the following as perhaps the most important:

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Public Administration N6 Module 2

z Written reports

This is probably the best known tra-
ditional control measure in the pub-
lic sector. The written report provides
physical, visible evidence of whatever
has taken place, or is taking place. The
fact that an official might have to sub-
mit a report also encourages him to
work more carefully and precisely. In
almost every public service post, report writing skills are required.

z Investigation and inspection

The advantage of an inspection or an investigation is that it takes place in
the actual work environment, with the result that it can readily be estab-
lished whether any action did in fact serve a useful purpose. The disadvan-
tage is that it very often results in negative fault-finding, and it takes place
after the deeds have been done.

z Auditing

Auditing is a systematic examination and verification of an organisation’s
books of account, transaction records and other relevant documents, as
well as a physical inspection of the organisation’s inventory and assets.

This is one control measure which will probably always be used. It is usually
concerned only with the legal correctness of transactions. It is also often
useful when used in such a way as to prevent any wrongful transactions
from taking place.

z Cost accounting, cost comparisons and cost analysis

These are useful aids to evaluate standard transactions objectively at the
operational level. Control is exercised before the programme of work is
approved and implemented. Cost comparisons can also be useful for pur-
poses of control where a number of organisational units provide the same
services and supply the same goods.

z Statistical returns

These are useful control measures in
the sense that they can measure pro-
ductivity. Figures reflecting costs can,
together with other statistical returns,
provide objective criteria for purposes

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Module 2: Control and Responsibility

of assessing results and for compiling work programmes involving the al-
location of personnel and resources. One should be careful that the use of
statistics does not become simply a compilation of tables and a jumble of
meaningless figures.

2.3.1.2 Informal control measures

There are certain informal control measures that are indispensable in an organi-
sation, and that are often even more important to a successful venture than the
formal control measures are. These measures are the following:
z Supervision and leadership
z Emphasis on morale and esprit de corps (feeling of devotion and pride in

the group one belongs to)
z Sense of duty, will to work, diligence, national pride, self development and

professional pride and integrity.

Test your knowledge 2 .1

1. Five main reasons for exercising control in government departments
have been identified. List these five reasons.

2. Another/other reason/s for exercising control in the public sphere may
include:
a) to ensure that functionaries use their power to further the well-
being of the community
b) to ensure that account is given for everything that is done or not
done
c) to make sure that executive authorities answer for their deeds
d) all of the above.

3. Name five formal control measures and give an example of where each
of these could be used.

4. Sometimes the informal control measures can be even more important
than formal control measures in an organisation. Name three (3) informal
control measures.

2 .4 The control process

According to Botes et al. (1992) the control process consists of clearly identifi-
able actions and processes. These actions and processes include:

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Public Administration N6 Module 2

zz setting standards,
zz measuring performance against standards,
zz evaluating deviations from the standard of performance, and
zz taking steps to rectify the matter.

2.4.1 Setting standards

Results have to be measured against standards. These standards must be quali-
tative and quantitative.

Qualitative: qualitative results are results that can be observed rather than
measured in numbers (e.g. a staff member is able to take the minutes of a
meeting successfully; completing work that is neat, efficiently done)

Quantitative: concerned with the amount (e.g. able to type 20 words per
minute; completing a specific amount of work by a particular time)

There are certain requirements for standards.

Standards must: a) be accepted by everyone
b) be realised within a given time limit
c) suit the abilities of employees

2.4.2 Measuring performance against standards

In the public service, we need to be able to measure whether performance is in
line with what is expected, in other words, in line with the standard required.
In order to measure performance against standards, certain instruments are
needed:
zz Written reports

„„ most common
„„ ratification (the official way of confirming something, like a decision

made in a previous meeting) and validation (proving that something is
based on fact) are easier to accomplish
„„ allows power to be delegated to regional offices
zz Personal inspection
trained managers should do inspections to obtain first hand information.
Be careful of “snoopervision”!

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Module 2: Control and Responsibility

zz Auditing

Submit audited reports. Measuring finances remains the most important
way of judging quantitatively to see whether activities are progressing in
the desired direction or not.

zz Statistical reports

Statistical reports are used in addition to financial auditing. For example,
salaries make up 30% of the budget. If salary expenditure increases as a
component of the budget while the number of staff remains constant, an
investigation should be launched.

zz Keeping of daily files

To determine whether the correspondence that officials send to the public
still conform to departmental requirements.

2.4.3 Evaluating deviations from standard of performance

After comparing results to standards, steps must be
taken immediately when there is any deviation from the
standard performance. There are three possibilities:

The standard was exceeded:

This could be due to: standards which were too low

better procedures and methods

upgraded technology

The standard was equalled:

This does not necessarily imply that the full capacity of the department, division
or section was utilised.

Steps must be taken to raise the standard a little to encourage officials to im-

prove performance. w

The standard was not equalled:

This means that the initial forecast was too optimistic or that events in the de-
partment, division or section led to underachievement. This could happen due
to stay-aways, strikes, personnel being ill, power failure or shortage of staff,
amongst other things.

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Public Administration N6 Module 2

2 .4 .4 Taking steps to rectify the matter

Deviations should be rectified by: adjusting standards to the abilities of per-
sonnel
correcting the shortcomings that caused the
performance deviations.

ACTIVITY 4

Individually or in groups, choose ONE particular activity/service that is under-
taken by a public institution, for the community (e.g. clinic services; provision
of water or electricity; garbage collection; maintenance of public roads; provi-
sion of a school; etc.). Apply the four (4) steps of the control process to the
activity you have chosen, to illustrate how this process should work.

Suggestion: this could be done in the format of an assignment, using any suit-
able media to enhance the end result. Alternatively, a presentation could be
made to the class.

2 .5 Public accountability

One of the cornerstones of civilisation is that each public functionary is account-
able for everything he does. He can be called upon to answer for his deeds in
public. The most important aspects of accountability are:
Accountability by the legislative authority
Supremacy of the legislatures is one of the foundations of public administration.
Therefore the legislatures should enforce accountability on the part of all of the
executive institutions (government departments) and functionaries.
z Section 89 of the Constitution provides for the possibility of impeachment

(formal accusation of wrongdoing) and removal from office of a President
and Executive Deputy President who perform unsatisfactorily.
z Section 92 of the Constitution provides for ministers to be accountable
individually and collectively to the President and to Parliament.

33

Module 2: Control and Responsibility

zz Section 141(2) provides for the impeachment and removal from office of
provincial premiers.

zz Section 133(2) provides that members of the Executive Council of each
province are accountable individually and collectively to the Premier and
to the provincial legislature.

The control function of legislatures is inhibited (restricted) because it became
necessary to delegate judicial and legislative power to executive functionaries.

Accountability by courts of justice

Court hearings do not take place behind closed doors (although there are ex-
ceptions). All details of any irregularities are investigated in court and may be
reported in newspapers. Courts may only point out the guilty party, but can-
not rectify incorrect behaviour. Once a sentence has been handed down, the
responsible government department (e.g. the Department of Correctional Ser-
vices) will implement the decision.

Accountability by the public media

People are usually interested in reports by the public media, i.e. newspapers,
radio, television. Reports on irregular conduct are usually broadcast with great
prominence in newspapers and on radio and television, so that it is impossible
to miss them.

2.6 The Public Protector (Ombudsman)

The Public Protector’s Office is set up to investigate complaints against govern-
ment departments, agencies or officials. The services of
the Public Protector are free and available to all citizens,
and should one make a complaint, one’s name will be
dealt with confidentially as far as possible (SouthAfrica.
info, 2015).

2.6.1 Appointment, powers and func-
tions of the Public Protector

zz The Public Protector is appointed by the President on recommendation by
the National Assembly, in terms of the Constitution, for a non-renewable
period of seven years.

zz The Public Protector has the power to recommend corrective actions and
to issue reports.

34

Public Administration N6 Module 2

zz The Public Protector is subject only to the Constitution and the law, and is
independent of government and any political party.

zz No person or organ of state may interfere with the functioning of the office
of the Public Protector.

zz The Public Protector can report any matter to Parliament which can then
debate the matter and ensure that recommendations are followed.

zz The Public Protector can summons people to give evidence under oath
when necessary.

The Public Protector can investigate the following:
zz abuse of power
zz unfair, discourteous or improper conduct
zz undue delay
zz the violation of a human right
zz any decision taken or situation caused by a government authority
zz maladministration
zz dishonesty or improper dealing with public money
zz improper enrichment
zz receiving of improper advantage.

Who/What can the Public Protector investigate?

As an entity that is independent of government and political parties, the Public
Protector can investigate:
zz government at any level, be it national, provincial or local
zz any person performing a public function, e.g. the head of a government

department, a policeman, a municipal official, etc.
zz any state-owned corporations or companies such as Eskom, Telkom, South

African Airways, etc.
zz statutory councils such as the Council for Scientific

and Industrial Research (CSIR) or the Human
Sciences Research Council (HSRC).

The Public Protector will not investigate private acts by
individuals, private companies, doctors or lawyers who
do not work for the state, or judgments by judges or
magistrates (SouthAfrica.info, 2015).

Advocate Thuli Madonsela, South Africa’s third
Public Protector, 2009-2016 (Photo: GCIS)

35

Module 2: Control and Responsibility

Test your knowledge 2 .2

1. Each public functionary is accountable for everything he does, and the
three most important aspects of accountability are: accountability by the
legislature; accountability by the courts of justice; and accountability by
the public media. Explain briefly the concept of accountability by the
legislature.

2. What is the term of office of a public protector in South Africa?
3. Name four (4) powers or functions of the public protector.
4. Mention five (5) types of deeds/misdeeds that can be investigated by the

public protector.
5. The public protector may investigate:

a) the general manager of a supermarket chain for fraud
b) a private person, if he/she has committed an act of dishonesty
c) the chief executive officer of a public hospital, if he/she has used

hospital funds to take a trip overseas
d) the parent of a school child who has attacked the child’s teacher for

unfairly punishing the child.

36

Public Administration N6

Module 3

Management functions

ning Objectives Learning Objectives

After completing this module, the student will be able to:
zz explain the nature and content of public management;
zz describe the nature of administration including management

as the seventh function;
zz define the personal characteristics of a manager;
zz explain the functions of a public manager.
Lear

Module 3

3.1 Introduction

For many years it was policy to keep the idea of managerial philosophy away
from public administration. The reason could be found in the fact that manage-
ment philosophy examines the utilisation of production factors in order to make
a profit. This was in contrast to administration and management in the public
sphere, which is aimed at providing services. It was widely believed that the
principles governing the making of profit could not be used in an area where
profit making is not a consideration.

Fortunately it was realised that administration as an organised institutional
group action can be managed, and that the same generic processes that are ap-
plied to organisations which are geared towards making a profit can be applied
to those which provide services.

3.2 The nature and contents of public
management

Public management is a distinct activity that only takes place in the public sec-
tor: public management can be seen as the seventh function of administration.

37

Module 3: Managerial Functions

3.3 The nature of administration

As we have seen, it has been generally accepted that administration in the public
sector consists of the following six functions:
zz policy making
zz organising
zz provision and utilisation of personnel/staffing
zz financing
zz determining of procedures
zz exercise of control
However after thorough reflection and consideration the conclusion was reached
that a seventh function was missing, namely public management.

Public management is important as it facilitates (or makes easier/possible) the
course of events in the institution. No institution, for example a government
department, commission, club or even a business enterprise, can exist without
the presence of the seven generic functions.
The various generic functions are handled by separate divisions or sections in
most government departments and municipal institutions.

38

Public Administration N6

Function Handled by Module 3
Policy making
Minister, director-general and departmental
Organisational and procedural management committee
determination and revision
Financing Management, organisation and work study
section (or management services)
Human Resources/Personnel/
Staffing Department of Treasury, Finance division of a
Control department, or Town Treasurer in the case of
Managing a local authority

Human Resources division and the Public
Service Commission

By managers, guiding officials and auditors

By supervisors, managers, heads of depart-
ment

The higher an official is promoted in the hierarchy, the more specialised his
work becomes. This implies that each generic administrative function also has a
management dimension.

Management is a leadership phenomenon,
and it is found in all forms of industrial and
commercial institutions. It has become a
generally accepted requirement that for
any organisational action, while functions
should be delegated to different levels in an
organisation and teamwork is essential, there must be only one leader who is
responsible for the final decisions, coordination of actions, evaluation of results
and taking of corrective action.

As far as management style is concerned, we can identify the following differences
between private and public management (Botes et al., 1992):

Private business management Public management

Decisions made on behalf of Decisions are aimed at improving
share-holders are aimed at maxi- public welfare of the politically
misation of profit. aware community.

2. Budgets indicate ever-growing Budgets must show balanced
profits. spending.

3. Complies with the stipulations of Applies the stipulations of the law.
the law.

39

Module 3: Managerial Functions

Private business management Public management

4. Uses own capital or capital of Must use tax funds to the advan-
shareholders. tage of the public.

5. Decisions are dictated by the mar- Decisions are directed by the chief
ket. political authority.

It is important to note the following:

A private business owner will do all that he can to get the most he can
out of the community in order to increase his own profits. All of his ef-
forts at advertising and marketing are aimed at building up as much
wealth as he can so that he can ensure the survival of his enterprise.

A public manager will use all the means he has to give the best service
he possibly can to his community.

All public managers are faced with two main tasks:
1. They are entrusted with the functional obligations or activities (the core

business, e.g. teaching and learning in the department of education) of the
department which need to be fully executed, and
2. they must make provision for the administration (policy making, organising,
staffing, etc.) necessary to allow the functional activity to run smoothly.

Public managers must accomplish a meaningful reconciliation between the func-
tional and the administrative domains.

Administration involves all the actions necessary to keep the institution in op-
eration.

Management is involved with aspects such as the application of policy and ac-
tions defined by programmes and the putting into operation of all the functions
necessary.

While administration is institutionally directed, management is operationally
directed.

Botes et al. (1992) explains that administration ensures that an institution com-
bines all the necessary ingredients –

40

Public Administration N6 Module 3

policy
organisation
personnel
procedures
finance
control
– to reach its aims,

while management mobilises the individual skills of competent managers to
make the administrative tools operational by applying intellectual activities such
as:
z planning
z work programming
z directing and guiding
z motivating and inspiring personnel
z controlling executive action.

Test your knowledge 3 .1

1. Name five (5) differences between a public manager and a private
business manager.

2. Public managers are faced with two main tasks. Name these tasks and
describe what they entail.

3. “Each generic administrative function has a management function.”
Explain what this statement means.

4. What is the seventh administrative function?
5. Choose the correct answer from the choices given below: Administration

involves all of the actions and processes necessary to keep an institution
in operation. These actions include:
a) directing and guiding
b) determining of procedures and organising
c) work programming and motivating
d) staffing and financing
e) a) and c)
f) b) and d)

41


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