An analysis of the intended and unintended consequences of the demilitarisation of the Finance Management Division in the Department of Defence

Phillips, Salwa (2016-12)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : When the researcher joined the Finance Management Division (FMD) of the Department of Defense in 2009 it was clear that there was a sense of dissatisfaction amongst some of the staff members. She discovered that in 1998 the Finance Management Division of the Department of Defense was demilitarized, or civilianized. The decision to demilitarize the FMD was based on new legislation such as the Constitution (The Constitution, 1996), the Public Finance Management Act (Republic of South Africa, 1999) and the Defense Review of 1998 (Republic of South Africa, 1998) that required oversight and control over civil funds. On the surface the decision was sound, and all factors were considered before the actual demilitarization programme was implemented. However, based on discussions with colleagues that were demilitarized, various factors emerged following implementation of the programme that were not intended, and that had a negative effect on the members. These discussions interested the researcher and led to this research project, and the research questions, which aim to determine the objectives of the demilitarization programme, the intended and unintended consequences, and how effective the programme was. The objectives and intended consequences of the demilitarization programme were easily identified. The unintended consequences, however, only became apparent after implementation of the programme. Members were appointed under the Public Service Act, and not under the Defense Act. This change meant that demilitarized members forfeited certain benefits, financially and otherwise. When the then Minister of Defense, Ms. Sisulu, announced a significant increase in the salaries of uniformed members in 2009, the loss in earnings became even more pronounced, and members were even more aggrieved. The researcher conducted interviews with 25 participants, where members were asked about their experiences and perceptions around the demilitarization programme. Several interesting conclusions could be drawn from participants’ feedback. On the whole, the members were aware of the objectives and the intended consequences of the programme, and in most cases supported it. Twelve of the participants even felt that in some cases service delivery and safety measures within the Finance Management Division have actually improved as a result of the demilitarization programme. However, the magnitude of the negative effects that demilitarized members experienced overshadow the overall effectiveness of the programme and detract from the image of the Department and how it treats its members. Whenever the demilitarization programme is mentioned, the negative financial effects that the members suffered come to mind. This was obviously not the intention of government or the Department of Defense. All of the participants believe that government should take swift and decisive action to finalize the aggrieved members’ disputes, especially since the Defense Review of 2014 (Republic of South Africa, 2014) advises that the Finance Management Division should remilitarize. One would hope that if this suggestion is indeed approved, that the Department will use the lessons learnt from the demilitarization programme to ensure a participative and smooth transition.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Toe die navorser in 2009 by die finansiële afdeling van die Departement van Verdediging aangesluit het, was dit duidelik dat daar 'n gevoel van ontevredenheid onder sommige van die lede was. Sy het ontdek dat die finansiële afdeling van die Departement van Verdediging in 1998 gedemilitariseer, en onder siviele beheer geplaas is. Hierdie besluit was gebaseer op nuwe wetgewing soos die Grondwet (Die Konstitusie), die Wet op Openbare Finansiële Bestuur (Republiek van Suid Afrika, 1999) en die Verdedigingsoorsig (Republiek van Suid Afrika, 1998), wat toesig en beheer oor burgerlike fondse vereis het. Dit was op die oog af 'n gesonde besluit, en alle faktore is in ag geneem voordat die werklike demilitariseringsprogram geïmplementeer is. Volgens gesprekke met gedemilitariseerde kollegas, het verskeie faktore wat nie bedoel was nie en wat 'n negatiewe uitwerking op die lede gehad het, ná die implementering van die program na vore gekom. Hierdie gesprekke het die navorser geïnteresseer en het tot hierdie navorsingsprojek gelei, en na die navorsingsvrae, wat daarop gemik was om te bepaal wat die doelwitte van die demilitariseringprogram was, wat die bedoelde en onbedoelde gevolge was, en hoe doeltreffend die program was. Die doelwitte en beoogde gevolge van die demilitariseringprogram kon maklik geïdentifiseer word. Onbedoelde gevolge was egter eers ná die implementering van die program duidelik. Lede was onder die Staatsdienswet aangestel, en nie onder die Wet op Verdediging nie. Hierdie verandering het meegebring dat gedemilitariseerde lede sekere voordele, finansieel en andersins, verbeur. Toe die destydse Minister van Verdediging, me Sisulu, 'n beduidende toename in die salarisse van lede in uniform in 2009 aangekondig het, het die verlies aan inkomste nog meer opmerklik geword, en lede nog meer gegrief. Die navorser het onderhoude met 25 deelnemers gevoer waarin lede vrae in verband met hul ervarings en persepsies rondom die demilitariseringprogram gevra is. 'n Aantal interessante gevolgtrekkings kon uit terugvoering wat van die deelnemers ontvang is, gemaak word. In die geheel gesien, was die lede bewus van die doelwitte en die beoogde gevolge van die program, en het dit in die meeste gevalle ondersteun. 'n Aantal van die deelnemers het selfs gevoel dat dienslewering en veiligheidsmaatreëls in die finansiële afdeling in sommige gevalle eintlik as gevolg van die demilitariseringsprogram verbeter het. Die omvang van die negatiewe gevolge wat deur die gedemilitariseerde lede gely is, oorskadu egter die algehele doeltreffendheid van die program en doen afbreuk aan die beeld van die Departement en hoe sy lede behandel word. Wanneer ookal die demilitariseringsprogram genoem word, word die negatiewe finansiële gevolge wat die lede gely het weer in herinnering gebring. Dit was duidelik nie die bedoeling van die regering of die Departement van Verdediging nie. Al die deelnemers is van mening dat die regering vinnig en beslissend moet optree om die geskille van die gegriefde lede tot 'n einde te bring, veral omdat die Verdedigingsoorsig van 2014 (Republiek van Suid Afrika, 2014) die (her)militarisering van die finansiële afdeling aanbeveel. Indien hierdie voorstel wel goedgekeur word, sou 'n mens hoop dat lesse wat die Departement uit die demilitariseringsprogram geleer het, gebruik sal word om 'n deelnemende en gladde oorgang te verseker.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100181
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