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PARI and The Ethics Institute welcome the Public Service Commission (PSC) Bill as a step towards ensuring the vision of public administration that is professional, effective, impartial and developmentally directed (Section 195 of the South African Constitution). The Bill primarily seeks to enhance the conditions for the impartiality and independence of the PSC, and to strengthen the Commission in playing its constitutionally mandated role in relation to local government and public entities.

However, we note two major gaps in the Bill. First, we suggest that further provisions are needed to effectively bolster the independence of the Commission – this includes providing an appropriate framework and processes for the appointment of the head of the PSC

Second, government’s Professionalisation Framework envisions the PSC playing a role in supporting the appointment of senior administrative staff in the public administration towards the development of a stable, productive political-administrative interface. The Bill is silent in this The new Public Service Commission Act should provide an empowering framework for the PSC to play a role as a check and balance in appointment processes (even if the details of this role are outlined in regulations or other instruments).