PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

QUESTION NO.: 2231
Date.: 24 Aug 2012

Ms M C Mohale (ANC) to ask the Minister for the Public Service and Administration:

What steps has she taken to ensure the integration and harmonisation of the anti-corruption hotlines that her department and the Public Service Commission have established?

NW2806E

REPLY


The Department of Public Service and Administration does not have a dedicated Anti-Corruption Hotline and is dependent on referrals from the Presidential Hotline, as well as that of the Public Service Commission. The Public Service Commission has a broader mandate to deal with anti-corruption through, inter alia, its management of the National Anti-Corruption Hotline (NACH) as mandated by Cabinet in 2004.

The National Anti-Corruption Hotline is a tool designed to enable concerned members of the public and government employees to report any form of suspected corruption. Callers or whistleblowers are guaranteed anonymity. More importantly, the NACH is also regarded as a tip-off tool in terms of reporting allegations of corruption. A tip-off in this regard is regarded as an incident where the caller calls the NACH whilst an act of corruption is occurring so that the necessary investigations can take place.

In 2010 the DPSA recognized a need to provide norms and standards for the establishment of such call centres and hotlines; and has since designed and consulted on an enabling framework which aims to provide clear guidelines to line departments on how to develop a Citizen Complaints and Compliments Management System, which includes the management of services related to call centres as well as hotlines for reporting fraud and corruption.

DPSA is cognizant that once line departments through sector departments; as well as the Offices of the Premiers have established such call centres and hotlines; harmonization and re-routing of complaints via the Batho Pele Gateway Portal Call Centre will occur. The department is currently exploring the modalities of how this will function with the assistance of SITA. DPSA is also currently planning to conduct an audit of existing call centres in the public service and how anti-corruption matters are referred to hotlines or call centres for service delivery related matters.

In the medium to long-term the DPSA is crafting a plan on how to tackle corruption order to deal with corruption in the public service. The medium to long-term approach is to create an environment where corruption does not exist; and to have an anti-corruption system that makes public servants accountable, as indicated by the National Planning Commission. The plan includes:

  • Reviewing the architecture of Public Service Anti-corruption Unit (PSACU) by appointing the Head, putting the unit on a professional footing and attending to the structural needs. Capacitating PSACU, especially the investigative arm will be an immediate priority;
  • Dealing decisively with the current cases, the referrals from the Presidential Hotline, SIU and other anti-corruption agencies;
  • Undertaking a review of the Public Service Act policies and regulations, especially those that relate to corruption;
  • Improving cooperation and coordination with other anti-corruption agencies including the ACTT and the DPSA is essential;
  • Creating a system of detection by strengthening vetting, the implementation of e-disclosure across the public service and building a national repository for all corruption related cases, while ensuring interconnecting government databases; and
  • Inculcating an ethics and execution culture throughout the public service will reduce the public perception that government is corrupt.

I hope that these will go a long way in assisting us to create a corrupt free public service.


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