The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, has received the findings of the Department of Community Safety’s Docket Archive Store (DAS) Assessment Project.
This assessment highlighted, amongst others, that the Integrated Case Docket Management System (ICDMS) is not being effectively used. The total cost of implementing ICDMS in SAPS stations and courts was R613.5 million in 2017.
The assessment took place between July and September 2019 and monitored the standard operating procedure (SOP) of eleven stations in the province, which were predominantly murder and gang stations. The purpose of the assessment was to determine the state and management of DAS with the aim of ensuring a safer Western Cape.
Minister Fritz said, “Our number one priority is the safety of every resident in the Western Cape. It is for this reason that we want to make sure that the South African Police Service, and its systems, work optimally.”
The ICDMS generates e-dockets which are predominantly used by detectives. The purpose of the ICDMS is to ensure that dockets are not lost or tampered with. It assists in the management and administration of criminal cases, and inquests and enquiries on cases from when they are opened to when they are closed. It is intended to include information from external stakeholders including the Department of Home Affairs, Social Development (DSD), Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ), and the National Prosecuting Authority.
The findings of the assessment included:
- 90.9% of officials appointed for DAS were not vetted before handling sensitive information;
- 72.7% of detectives are not fully trained to use the ICDMS;
- 62.9% of dockets are lost in the DAS with no disciplinary action taken;
- 14.3% of dockets are lost in court; and
- None of the 11 stations have linked their ICDMS with external stakeholders such as DSD and DOJ.
Minister Fritz said, “As it stands, there is a mismanagement of information from the moment a SAPS official collates a docket, right through to when a person is released on parole. This was also alluded to by Minister Ronald Lamola yesterday when he said that his Department would begin working with Social Development, Home Affairs, SAPS and others to gather the relevant information on the offenders, victims and communities, in terms of parole. The various government institutions involved in arrests, prosecution, conviction and parole need to ensure better information sharing so that parole is not granted to undeserving persons. The systems that guide these processes need to be streamlined and better coordinated.”
In 2017, the ICDMS had been rolled out to 1153 or 80% of SAPS stations nationally and to 509 of the 627 courts in South Africa at a total cost of R613.5 million. Minister Fritz said, “If used correctly, the ICDMS can be a powerful tool used to ensure that when a case reaches a prosecutor, it includes all the necessary information to ensure that a culprit does not get off lightly due to a lack of evidence.”