Dept gets rid of dishonest staff

2008-05-07 00:00

Cape Town — More than 200 officials from the department of Home Affairs have been suspended or dismissed for dishonest activities in the past six months, according to Public Service and Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi.

Briefing journalists on the work of the government’s Governance and Administration cluster, Fraser-Moleketi said the suspensions and dismissals were part of phase one of the Home Affairs turnaround strategy, now completed.

Among the achievements of the first phase were that all key risk areas in the department have been categorised and prioritised and a new operating model for the department has been determined.

A new organisational structure has been designed in line with the operating model and top posts have been filled and a budget structure determined, Fraser-Moleketi said. She said a programme to stabilise the department’s existing operational infrastructure including the network, is under way, aimed at developing real time, online capability and enhanced security.

Turning to other Home Affairs achievements, Fraser-Moleketi said good headway has been made in improving Home Affairs civic services. “The turnaround time for the processing of an application for an ID has been reduced from 186 days on average to 103 days.

“The track-and-trace system to assist citizens to track progress with the processing of their ID applications by sms has been fully rolled out. A single service provider now delivers and collects IDs, which has improved efficiency and security. A high tech printer for the e-Passport has been purchased.”

Fraser-Moleketi said an online fingerprint verification project has been rolled out to 40 offices.

“Online verification allows temporary ID certificates to be issued on the spot as opposed to the seven-day waiting period previously applicable. Preparations are under way to issue pilot smart ID cards by the end of the year.

“Changes … have been effected to reduce fraud and protect the integrity of the national population register,’’ she said.

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