Modise to be questioned on defence performance agreements

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Performance agreements in government’s wider South African defence sector, notably the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and the Department of Defence (DoD), take the form of two models – a balanced scorecard and an “excellence model”.

They are used in the SANDF, a document seen by defenceWeb has it, to manage and measure performance at organisational levels. The SA Army has gone the balanced scorecard route with the other three services – SA Air Force (SAAF), SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) and SA Navy (SAN) opting for the excellence model.

Just how far and high performance measurement goes is, Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow defence and military veterans minister Kobus Marais maintains, not public knowledge. What is, according to him, is that performance measurement should be across the board. He would like middle and senior management measurement obligatory, including for PSAP (Public Service Act personnel) – the so-called “civvies” of the DoD and SANDF.

This, he told defenceWeb, should be essential especially where bonuses are performance dependent for personnel appointed in terms of the PSA.

Marais is of the opinion all uniformed personnel in top management of both the DoD and SANDF must be subject to proper performance agreements, from the single four-star general down to the three-, two and “many” one-stars. If not, no basis for accountability and to determine competencies exists. “Promotions will happen and bonuses be paid subjectively, which offers a real opportunity for patronage, mediocrity and appointment of not fit-for-purpose persons.”

He is adamant fit-for-purpose employees only should be sought and appointed in and to the SANDF and DoD always remembering not all technically competent people make good senior and top management. “The same applies to soldiers, in fact all uniformed personnel”.

“All must be evaluated in value for money and target achievement terms, to name only two. At the same time measurement for compliance with constitutional and strategic management objectives is essential. Room must be made for failure with corrective interventions and fit-for-purpose personnel top of the list,” he told defenceWeb.

As is his wont and allowed in terms of Parliamentary regulations, Marais will ask Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise for chapter and verse on performance agreements in her areas of responsibility. Among others, she will be requested to elaborate on the extent and number of performance agreements ‘finalised, signed and measured’ in the DoD/SANDF.