About 9,000 public servants are still allowed to do business with the state

Cross-checking among different databases within the government allowed the Department of Public Service and Administration to establish that 11,516 public officials were registered with the central supplier database and were in a position to conduct business with an organ of state.

By the end of February 2,536 of these individuals had resigned from the public service, Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi said in her budget vote speech in the National Assembly this week.

The department matched the information on the Central Supplier Database, which contains the information of all registered government suppliers and which is operated by the office of the chief procurement officer within the Treasury, with the government’s personnel data.

“We are currently following up with departments to assess if there are any remaining public servants who have not resigned from the companies they were associated with,” Muthambi told MPs.

The public service regulations were amended in August 2016 in a bid to curb corruption in the public service.

The amendments prohibit public servants from conducting business with any organ of state or from being a director of a public or private company conducting business with an organ of state.

Public servants were given the option of ceasing to do business with the government or resigning from their government jobs over a transitional period of six months.

With effect from February 1 2017, the Treasury amended the registration process for prospective government suppliers to be registered on the Central Supplier Database in order to prohibit public service employees from being registered.

During the registration process all suppliers are matched against the Persal system, to establish if they are public service employees or not. “If a match is obtained, the person is flagged and is then required to provide proof that he/she is not a public service employee,” Muthambi explained.

The minister said her department planned to reduce the period it took to resolve disciplinary cases from the baseline of 134 days in April 2015 to 90 days by April 2019.

Of the 10,754 cases analysed as at March 31 2017, the median number of days taken to resolve disciplinary cases was 61. Six of the nine provincial administrations were below 90 days. The median for national departments was 91 days.

Muthambi said that during the 2016-17 financial year, five provinces and 35 national departments achieved a 100% submission rate of financial disclosure forms by the due date of the end of May.

This was the highest submission rate by both the national and provincial departments since the inception of the financial disclosure framework in 1999. In the year to end-April 2016, 92% of senior managers filed their disclosures on time.

LINDA ENSOR – Tiso Black Star Group

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