Former Ipid boss Robert McBride is set to make a return to the public service as head of a strategic government anti-corruption technical unit. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Former Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) boss Robert McBride is set to make a spectacular return to the public service as head of a strategic government anti-corruption technical unit.

The Department of Public Service and Administration (PSA) on Saturday confirmed McBride was among the candidates being considered for the position and the process would be finalised in the coming weeks.

Once the process is finalised PSA Minister Ayanda Dlodlo will make the announcement.

But a source who is familiar with the matter told Sunday Independent McBride has been appointed.

McBride will head the Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit (Ethics Unit) established in terms of the Public Administration Management Act promulgated in 2014. He will be at the helm for a year while the position is being advertised and the unit hires staff. It will be similar to the former anti-corruption unit established in 2010, but could not take off, according to a source.

The unit’s functions include providing technical assistance and support to institutions in all spheres of government in the management of ethics, integrity and disciplinary matters relating to misconduct in the public administration.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga says McBride’s career has been “rehabilitated”.

“Maintaining McBride where he was within Ipid would have required a great deal of work and now that he has been appointed, this means the president is using his executive authority to send a message that despite the parliamentary committee not retaining McBride, I think he was on the right course.

“Now McBride is being appointed at that executive level where he will be mostly accounting to the president.

“I think it is a very positive message on anti-corruption in government departments. Of course, it would have been better if he was maintained within Ipid. I still think he could be very effective, and on the side of the president, it’s a very strong signal,” he said.

The Ethics Unit will develop norms and standards on integrity, ethics, conduct and discipline in the public administration and build capacity within institutions to initiate and institute disciplinary proceedings into misconduct and also strengthen government oversight.

It will also co-operate with other institutions and organs of state. Dlodlo will have to report to Parliament twice a year on the unit’s activities.

The Sunday Independent