BathoPele Policy Analysis
The citizens of South Africa faced many problems in the past some ofwhich still exist up to date. The government ended up formulating theBatho Pele white paper which was published in 1997.This policy wasintended to implement changes on the way the government addressed theissue of public service. Its primary purpose was to help improveservice delivery to the citizens of the given country. This paperfocusses more on how the government provides services, and theimprovement the government advocates to uphold satisfaction among theresidents on the services offered.( Kaisara, G & Pather 2011)This policy paper states that public utilities are not a privilegefor sure people in the country but are expectations for everyone asequality helps enhance civilization and democracy.
Each state should address the specifics of the problems it hasencountered, and not import a set of reforms designed initially forone country and adopted by another one. In fact, new publicmanagement has been implemented selectively.Some states have takensome parts and not others, or adopted and then adapted the reforms ina variety of ways. Others have focused on their immediate needs, suchas providing agencies a single estimate of revenue for the year, andSouth Africa, which is focusing intensively on accountabilityissues as part of the effort of nation building. There are a lot ofchanges taking place in the public service currently. Governments arecoming up with ways of reinvention, justification, reforming andredesigning initiatives to help improve the departmental efficiencyin proper service provision to citizens. The need to changeto a value-driven community management that incorporates improvedmanagement but more fundamentally addresses the right and entitlementof clients, taxpayers and citizens are evident.
The Batho Pele paper is guided by many principles which help show thecore areas that the law is meant to address and change. Thesepolicies are included in the constitution so as to guide governmentofficials in the ways they relate to the public. The system requiresthis official to be polite, transparent and answerable to the qualityof services they provide to the citizens. The first of this principleis consultation. Before an individual service is offered, residentsshould be consulted about the choice of service they want and thelevel and quality of service to be offered. South Africa has made theinvolvement of citizens in policy development an essentialrequirement in the public service sector.
Thus, participation and consultation constitute a significant part ofthe decision making for the government officials. Definition ofconsultation by the department reflects misalignment with thedefinitions included in the white paper. Ultimately, the measure towhich this policy achieves consultation depends on the implementationof the principle and the engagement to the public. The systemencourages departments to develop standards though for someimplementation is a problem. The main reason for not havingconsultation criteria in some departments is that the standards havebeen developed but not approved thus not applicable. Other issuesthat arise include the departments having financial constraints dueto inadequate budget planning and also a lack of knowledge on who isresponsible for the creation of service standards.
Budgeting for the implementation of the Batho Pele White Paper policyis not done correctly. Many studies show that funds were not setaside, but budgets got incorporated into existing operation budgets.Consultation events include the training of staff members, workshops,and meetings, making of publications and printings for marketing andadvertising. The need for a real budget to enable this is not putinto consideration thus contributing to the bad implementation of thepolicy. Consultation involves meetings with stakeholders i.e. thecitizens and coming up with mechanisms of delivering quality service.Feedback is important as it plays a significant role in the finaldecisions by the Department. Barriers like budget constraints,language barrier, and low literacy level which causes reducedparticipation come into light as factors affecting this principle.Thus departments should ensure they win the interests of the publicand also confidence in these policies.to counter this. There is needto create a working consultation method which focuses on improvingplanning and strategizing, provision of translation, availability ofmore funds and establishments of particular units in the task forceto deal with the discussion.
Services standardis a principle in the bath people paper which states that a citizenshould be told of the level and quality of services in provision soas to know what to expect. Improving service delivery is the primarykey to achieving a better public service department. Inventivenesshas been put in place to monitor service standards so as to increasethe client’s satisfaction. During the implementation of the policy,it is evident that most departments don’t have service standardsset in place and in occasions where they are available, theirformulation is done in a poor manner. Most departments have the willto refine their service standards but the problem is that there is achallenge on how to develop this criterion in the first place. Theconfusion arises about which organization should be responsible formaking sure service standards are implemented. Accessibility ofservices on offer is a fundamental principle in the implementation ofthe paper.
Departments are required to set targets on how accessible servicesare to the citizens of the country. A Special program should be putin place to ensure even the physically socially and culturallydisadvantaged people have access to the services. Before the year1994 when South Africa gained its independence, the colonialgovernment denied access to information as a way of avoidingopposition from leaders who did not support racial supremacy.As timeprogressed, people came to view information as the central pillar ofachieving transparency accountability and also as a way ofparticipating in governance. This led to the transparency principlethat required departments to tell citizens how they are run, costsinvolved and also who was in the chance of the government bodies.Some other principles in this paper include efficiency and economicaluse of resources fair, equal and none biased service provision.Accountability by the public administration, excellent human resourcemanagement and high-level career development practices and theability of the department officials to represent the South Africanpeople with the government practices being based on ability,objectivity fairness, and the need to redress the unfairness in thepast service conditions (Nzimakwe, Mpehle 2012).
The principles stated above focus more on the human values than inoperational structures.in other terms Batho Pele is the conduct thegovernment has regarding its people. These policies recognize thevalue of human life, and thus the policy can only be achieved throughrespect for individual choices among the citizens(Bozalek Henderson &Green 2014). For this plan to work, core departments must consistadopt the plan and not only the public service sector. A regularcheck by use of surveys and interviews is necessary so as to check ifthe policy is working. Many factors influence the way departments toconduct their duties. Some of this factors are as stated below. Thefirst is the two capital deal between the tho majorcities,unacessibility of offices due to the distance between the maindepartment and the regional and subsequent departments.they arecommected by poor infrastructure thus highly unaccessible. Citizensand the government officials are badly informed about the state ofaffairs.Information is power but that is not evident currently asofficials who have the knowledge are not available to the commoncitizens.confidentiality and lack of openess in thepublic serviceleads to division between officials thus hinderingdevelopment.Furthermore,employees lack the proper determination andmotivation.They are ignorant of their job requirements regarding theprovision of information to the public and how available theinformation is.
The presence of bad registries,low quality records management andlack of supervision causes lack of capacity in themanagement.Financial resources and also human resources should bereadily available even to the public as it leads to incorrectinformation when not provided.this causes bad decision making whenpeople are making enquiries due to wrong information.Governmentofficials thus raise the expectations of the people by providing alarge volume of correspondence ith the public.
The municipal service commission was given the mandate of monitoringhow the implementation of the Batho Pele White Paper was being doneand to ensure the people were feeling the desired effects of thepaper. The evaluation of this policy started in the year 2000 byconducting research about the public service department’scompliance with the framework of the system.so as to have informationon this the PSC collected data in three phases.In the first period,letters were sent to head of departments asking them to provideannual reports to the citizens as indicated by the paper. The secondphase foresaw the conduction of interviews with the officials thatdid not comply with the above directive. The last stage was thereview of critical documents such as the annual reports of citizens,the white paper, and the Hand Book. Thus as a conclusion from thesereports, standards set and procedures put in place to implement theBatho Pele policy helped ensure efficient implementation of the plan.
There is also a lack of good job descriptions thus some workers donot know the roles they should play in the specified department.Factors like an inadequate oversight by managers, bad feedback oninquiries and the ineffective management of paper flow contribute alot to the failure of the policy. Other responses take long to becommunicated as they need legal opinions which take a lot of time toacquire. Training of personnel is necessary for some critical jobs,and therefore appointment of consultants is made. Time management isa major factor in policy implementation. A specific timeframe shouldbe put in place so as to control the pace in which the adoption ofthe policy framework is being carried out. Work should be equallyallocated so avoid complaints among the employees due to overworkingissues, and appreciation should follow for work well done.
It is evident that the introduction of a program that focuses onservice delivery is not achievable if not related to other managementchanges within the public service sector. Civil servants should firstsee themselves as servants of the people so as to be able to carryout their duties professionally. Implementation of this policy isachieved due to the availability of new management tools. In essence,these devices include the assignment to specific directors ofresponsibility for providing precise results for a indicated level ofresources and for gaining value for currency in the consumption ofsuch remedies(Karodia Ndlovu & Kader 2014). Personalresponsibility for results matched with managerial authority fordecisions about how resources should be utilized. Allocation ofadministrative accountability and power to the lowest conceivablelevel and transparency about the results accomplished and resourcesspent.Fraud and corruption are also factors that lead to the papernot working.The loss that occurs to a culture that toleratescorruption includes loss of revenue, loss of trust, loss ofcredibility and thus end up dividing peo[le from each other.
The Batho Pele policy is realistic as if focuses on the completeoverhaul of the public service department in South Africa so as toput in place a service philosophy that consists of norms, values, andtraditions that give main concern to the residents being attended. Amajor issue in developing countries is to change the perception ofindividuals from knowing about something to doing that thing. Thesuccess of Batho Pele is not as high as people expected. Between 1999and 2000 the public service commission carried out a research to seehow successful the implementation of the white paper was in thepublic service sector and the country (Gildenhuis & Roos 2015).They arrived at a conclusion that the industry did not have thenecessary skills to adopt and implement the principles of the BathoPele paper. Demand for improved service units was evident, but thebudget did not allocate enough funds for that purpose. Thus the paperis a mere listing of principles with no indication of how they areimplemented and adopted into the everyday lives of citizens.Integration between performance and strategic management plans didnot work. The department tasked with implementing the paper had noconsultation with the public about the standards of services to beoffered thus ended up failing in its task. Staff time wasunderutilized, and the department performance didn’t match theexpectations.
As much as the policy tries to change service delivery to citizens,problems are surrounding it as it still operates in the overcentralized rule-bound way gotten from the previous government thusmaking it hard to hold the oversight individuals to account. Suchproblems are because processes like decision making are stilldiffused. The focus is put more on inputs rather than on the output,the value for money is not encouraged, rewards for innovation andcreativity which enhance the morale of the works is not done, andlastly self-centered behaviors are evident among department officialswhereas the aim of the public service is to serve people. We continuewitnessing the acknowledgment from many institutions about theinclusion of the public in governance. It is clear that thegovernment is yet to come up with applicable policies to improve onthis agenda. The government is still putting into place regulationsto tackle this old practices, and implementation of major reforms isbeing conducted.an argument arises that internal management changesshould first be done before trying to introduce new policies onservice delivery.
This argument, however, ignores the fact that the provision ofservices is a matter of great concern thus leading to the tackling ofboth problems at the same moment. As a conclusion, the Batho Pelewhitepaper seeks to introduce a new way of delivering service tocitizens by putting pressure on the approach, systems, attitude,behavior and procedures in the department and reorienting them forthe customer. The policy puts the citizens first. There aresimilarities between the Batho Pele policy and other policiesmentioned in the paper as all them put more focus on how to satisfythe needs of customers. Many countries, i.e., the USA, Britain havesimilar policies.Implementation depends on the availability of fundsand also the presence of a healthy body that cannot be influenced byexternal factors so as to enable full adoption.This policy is moresuccessful in some countries while in others the output is yet to beseen.thus for such a plan to work, all departments of the governmentmust come together to assist each other and share responsibilities toreduce the workload associated with the amendments.
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