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Hubert Khobane
 
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Law tightens on corrupt officials…

07 June 2014, 15:15

Law tightens on corrupt officials……

Corrupt municipal officials found guilty of financial misconduct will no longer be re-employed in any municipality for more than 10 years as of July 1st.

This comes after new tightened regulations means to crack down on corruption and financial misconduct against municipal officials, including city managers and executives of municipal entities, which were gazetted yesterday.

But any disciplinary process instituted before July 1st and not yet completed will be finalized in terms of the applicable regulations when the process began or may by agreement in writing between an affected official and municipal council, be finalized in terms of the new ones.

According to the new regulations published by the Treasury municipalities can no longer ignore fraud allegations brought against officials including councillors.

The new rules on financial misconduct procedures and criminal proceedings have also handed powers to councils to institute investigations on allegations of financial misconduct and decide the fate of those found guilty by the disciplinary board.

Last year the Co-operative Governance Department tabled the regulations in Parliament proposing a ban on municipal senior managers found guilty of misconduct.

It followed the damning auditor-general’s audit of the 278 municipalities that found a clean bill of financial health in only nine of them – and none of them being metros, such as eThekwini, Johannesburg and Tswane.

The auditor general’s report highlighted procurement violations – 94 % of the R9.82 billion in irregular expenditure related to the flouting of procedures, such as those requiring three quotes for the inviting of competitive bidders to submit tenders.

Also highlighted was the lack of consequences of wrongdoing – including senior managers and councillors doing business with their municipalities, or failing to disclose their financial interest.

Similar regulations, also proposed last year recommended senior managers found guilty of misconduct are dismissed without notice, if the council had complied with the Labour Relations Act.

According to the Government Gazette, municipalities must keep records of allegations of financial misconduct - name and position of the person against whom allegations were made and steps to recover unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

This new regulations welcomed by the SA Municipal Workers Union.

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