Home Affairs fails to fill critical IT posts

November 4, 2011 12:13 pm 0 comments

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The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has revealed that it is yet to fill 16 priority IT posts.

In its presentation to Parliament, the department noted that the priority positions had been allocated to support its mandate to deliver services to the public.

According to its performance report, the DHA revealed it had only filled 42% (178 of 417) of newly created posts for the 2010/11 financial year – and that none of the 16 vacant seats for IT professionals had been filled for the 2011/12 financial year.

At the same time, the department noted that it had increased its workforce – a shift which had led to a significant reduction in the use of consultants in areas where they were not necessary.

Over the years, the DHA has been plagued by poor service delivery as it struggled to clear its system of duplicate IDs and clean up its National Population Register.

Earlier this year, the department announced that one of its key projects, the smart ID cards initiative, would be implemented in the 2012/13 financial year.

Despite failing to meet its IT targets for the 2010/11 financial year – the department earlier noted that service delivery at all its offices had increased with a reduction in average turnaround times for IDs from 127 days to less than 45 days, over the past three years.

The department also claimed that its  customer contact centre had become “efficient” with 95% of calls answered in 20 seconds and 90% of calls resolved on first contact.

According to the report, the department had refreshed 2462 IT devices – exceeding its target.

The DHA currently has 280 offices across the country – 40 of which have the live capture technology. The electronic solution is expected to be rolled out to over 167 offices throughout the country by the end of this year. In 2012, the department hopes to have completed the introduction of the solution to 207 offices.

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