SITA, SAPS relationship on the mend
While the progress of IT projects within the South African Police Services (SAPS) fell short of expectations – the relationship between SITA and the SAPS had improved.
Following concerns raised by the SAPS on the service it had received from the agency – the SAPS has now told Parliament that service delivery efforts from SITA had improved.
Addressing Parliaments Portfolio Committee on Police last week, the SAPS acknowledged improvements in services SITA was providing to it – adding that increased interaction and improved consultation had boosted relations.
The SAPS and SITA have had a troubled relationship after the SAPS raised concerns on the level of service delivery from the agency earlier this year. This followed an investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on supply-chain related issues in several departments, including the SAPS procurement division in 2010.
According to SAPS major-general, Bonginkosi Ngubane, the department is on track to achieve several targets as per the annual strategic plan. . At a committee meeting in April it emerged that SAPS and SITA were not co-coordinating their work and the committee called on them to improve relations.
“For example, we have been able to deploy the 491 planned Mobile Connectivity Devices (MCD) for tracing stolen vehicles, firearms and missing or wanted persons. We are also on course with achieving the Fingerprint Exhibit Imaging target. The implementation process in this regard has been completed, we are just finalising the training of officials, and this will be concluded before the end of the financial year,” Ngubane said.
The progress report also indicates that SAPS is on course with the deployment of a pilot site in Pretoria for the Forensic Science Laboratory Integrated Case Management System. This would provide an automated solution for daily activities and optimise the chain-of-custody process. The Police service also reported that the e-Docket system will be rolled out from December.
The acting chairperson of the SITA board, Febe Potgieter-Gqubule said a review would be completed by the end of this month, after which the SLAs would be signed.
“Following the April meeting with the Portfolio Committee, we had two joint sessions with SAPS and agreed to review the business agreement to ensure proper alignment,” Potgieter-Gqubule said.
The SAPS said it welcomed the introduction of SITAs turnaround strategy presented and the committee noted the improvements made by the agency.
“But we would like more information on the projected cost of each of the 22 projects presented and how much has been spent to date. The R3.6 billion allocated to the SAPS sub-programme responsible for Technology Management Services is a great deal of money and we need to know exactly how the department intends to spend it,” Police Parliamentary committee chairperson, Sindisiwe Chikunga said.
The SAPS has been given until 15 October to provide the required costs breakdown and respond to other questions that could not be considered because of time constraints.