The Department of Military Veterans (DMV) will have Parliamentary oversight keeping a close watch as it “cleans” the military veterans database, long a source of concern among associations and organisations representing the interests of old soldiers.
According to a Parliamentary Communication Services statement, the Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) at its meeting on Thursday welcomed progress made by the DMV in “cleaning” the military veterans database and it will be held to account on its three month commitment to complete the work.
The JSCD said “cleaning the database is critical in the context of shrinking resources even before they are diverted to servicing an extended unverified database”.
“We acknowledge the work the department has done so far, albeit sluggishly, to cleanse the database. We give the DMV a further three months and hope to receive a report on conclusion of the process,” Cyril Xaba, committee co-chair, said in the statement.
The DMV called in the assistance of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to validate the South African citizenship of those on its database which Xaba said was “a welcome development to ensure a qualitative and credible end product”.
“The department’s proposal to have an information technology system that safeguards the database upon completion of the clean-up is also welcomed. Despite this, the committee is concerned the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) is unable to offer the required technological software and urged it and the DMV to urgently find the safeguarding software to ensure the database’s validity.”
Regarding consequence management against DMV officials implicated in fraudulent and irregular activities in the provision of benefits, the committee instructed the DMV to present a detailed report by 17 November, on progress in implementation.
“We must at all times be strong on consequence management to ensure money appropriated to the department reaches intended beneficiaries,” Xaba said.
The committee committed to working with the dMV to ensure military veterans who contributed significantly to the service of our country are accorded the necessary respect and support as per the DMV mandate of the DMV, Xaba added.