Public servants mum on business links

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Johannesburg - Gauteng leads the pack when it comes to senior public servants who have private financial and business interests.

This is according to the latest Public Service Commission (PSC) report, released yesterday, on financial disclosures by senior management employees.

The richest province is followed closely by the Eastern Cape, one of the poorest.

The Northern Cape and Western Cape are the only two provinces that complied 100 percent with financial disclosure requirements. All officials in the two provinces declared their financial interests by the due date.

Of the Eastern Cape’s 621 senior managers, 508 disclosed their financial interests, compared with 641 of Gauteng’s 648 officials at this level.

Limpopo has 494 senior managers, of whom 472 disclosed details of their interests.

Of the country’s 9 009 public servants, 6 721 – about 75 percent – disclosed their interests.

Those who failed to disclose their interests face disciplinary action in terms of the disciplinary code and procedures contained in the senior management services handbook.

“The PSC is concerned that there are some departments, at national and provincial levels, that did not submit a single financial disclosure form to the commission by the due date of May 31, 2012,” the report says.

The report shows that 17 national departments did not submit a single financial disclosure form to the PSC by the deadline.

The PSC, which falls within Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s scope of operations, has tried, since 1999, to manage and monitor conflicts of interest among public servants.

“To this end, the PSC has developed a financial disclosure framework for the senior management service,” the report reads.

The requirements had to be met each year.

The process also reflects senior managers’ involvement in private interests, through, for example, directorships and partnerships in private companies and close corporations.

The PSC relied on the Companies and Intellectual Commission database in assessing senior managers’ involvement in private business interests.

Sisulu told a breakfast hosted by her department last week that officials in public administration would be required to declare the financial and business interests of their immediate relatives.

“It is common cause and it has come as a serious concern, from the public and members of Parliament, that we need to do something about the permissive environment that allows corruption in government.”


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