PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

QUESTION NO.: 1496

Mr L S Ngonyama (Cope) to ask the Minister for the Public Service and Administration:

  1. Whether she has put mechanisms in place to enable officials in all government departments and entities to disclose information of unlawful or corrupt conduct; if not, why not; if so, (a) how was the programme managed, (b) how many disclosures have been made in (i) 2009, (ii) 2010 and (iii) 2011 and (c) what action was taken in each case with the information disclosed under the protection of the law;
  2. Whether all of the persons who made disclosures were fully protected and unhindered in their occupation; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?
NW1775E

REPLY


  1. (a) The matter that the Honourable member is raising is crucial for rooting out corruption, managing conflict of interest in the public service and promoting a professional public service rooted on sound values that promote public integrity. We will be reviewing the instruments we have at our disposal with a view to make them more effective and where necessary introduce new measures. For now, the government is implementing the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Strategy to prevent and combat corruption. A comprehensive legislative framework which includes the Protected Disclosure Act (no. 26, 2000) (PDA) and the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Act 12 of 2004) has been put in place. It also includes, amongst others, the development of an integrated anti-corruption strategy and the capacity to prevent and investigate corruption. In terms of the legislation, the following is applicable:
    • The Protected Disclosure Act, no. 26, 2000 was passed to encourage employees in both the public and private sector to disclose information about unlawful and irregular behaviour in the work place.
    • Section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004, provides that “Any person who holds a position of authority and who knows or ought reasonable to have known or suspected that any other person has committed an offence of theft, fraud, extortion, forgery or uttering a forged document etc. should report such knowledge of suspicion to any police official”.

    In addition to the above legislation, the Code of Conduct for the Public Service requires every employee to report corruption to the appropriate authorities.

    (b) During the last three financial years disclosures made to the NACH were as follows:


    (i) 1419 cases
    (ii) 1212 cases
    (iii) 1121 cases

    (c) The following achievements were made regarding the investigations of cases of alleged corruption through the NACH:

    • A total of 1 273 officials were found guilty of misconduct related to corrupt activities. At the provincial level, a total of 600 officials were found guilty of misconduct related to corrupt activities whilst 673 officials were found guilty of misconduct for corrupt activities at national departments.
    • A total of 226 officials were suspended and the cases are still pending.

    The following are the types of sanctions that were taken against the officials that were charged and found guilty of misconduct:

    • 603 officials were dismissed from the Public Service
    • 134 officials were fined (e.g. not receiving three months salary)
    • 16 officials were demoted
    • 330 officials were given final written warnings
    • 190 officials were prosecuted

    The successful investigation of complaints reported to the NACH and Complaints Rules have resulted in the recovery of R120 million from the perpetrators by various departments.

  2. The PDA makes provision for procedures in terms of which employees in both the public and private sector who disclose information of unlawful or corrupt conduct are protected from occupational detriment. The Act sets out a clear and simple framework which includes the following:
    • Providing strong protection for workers who raise concerns within their organizations.
    • Reinforcing and protecting the right to report concerns to public protection agencies such as the Public Service Commission, Public Protector and Auditor-General.
    • Protecting more general disclosure provided there is a valid reason for going wider and that the particular disclosure is a reasonable one.

    Yes, all departments are implementing the provisions of the Act and the DPSA has not received any reports to the contrary.


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