Home Affairs claims improvements


The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) claims its turnaround strategy has improved service delivery levels by 300% and claims success, but it is still struggling with integration and automation of its IT systems.

ITWeb reports the department, however, concedes that service delivery has not been improved in all its offices. It says performances were based solely on the work of employees at its head office.

“The performance of the employees was monitored and the 300% improvement in service delivery reflected the percentage by which the targets were exceeded,” says the department.

The DHA’s transformation programme was introduced several years ago. The programme focuses on four strategic areas, namely service delivery and processes, information and communication technology, service culture and human resources, and financial management.

As part of the programme, the department introduced major ICT projects such as “Who am I online”, improved document management systems, integrated movement control systems and the clean up and expansion of its national identification systems.

The cancelled smart ID card project was also one of its key projects.

“One of the biggest challenges for the department is the duplication and non-integration of systems. We are working towards building a system platform that is paperless, integrated, reliable and secure,” says the department.

The department claims it has made progress, saying it has improved process and has managed faster average turnaround times. Security processes have improved and the introduction of the track-and-trace system and the client service centre were successful.

Passport woes

Despite previous assurances, which proved to be untrue, Vusi Mkhize, deputy director-general of civic services at the DHA, says the passport backlog has now been cleared.

“The passport backlog has been dealt with. It was caused when approximately 20 000 passport applications had to be returned to certain offices for data to be re-captured. But this has been dealt with now,” he explains.

Without going into detail, Mkhize emphasises that the department will put mechanisms in place to improve accountability and to determine if personnel carry out their responsibilities. There will be consequences if employees do not comply with the standards that have been set by the department, he adds.

Financial issues

Corruption continues to be a concern, the department notes. While stating that the extent of corruption has decreased, the DHA concedes it is a struggle to deal with corruption.

“Measures are in place to deal with corrupt officials. Approximately 120 members of staff have already been dismissed. The department is currently developing a strategy and have employed specialists to deal with incidents of corruption,” said the DHA.

Weaknesses in management and governance processes are also a concern and will be addressed. The department says it is committed to tightening weak financial management processes and will introduce controls.