Police, justice departments under scrutiny in 'conflict of interest' report

2017-05-09 19:49
Themba Godi. (Netwerk24)

Themba Godi. (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - The departments of police and justice and constitutional development are some of the biggest affected by employee conflicts of interest, the standing committee on public accounts has heard.

The office of the Auditor General told the committee on Tuesday that it had compiled a report indicating the levels of employee conflict of interest within all government departments for the 2015/16 financial year, and prior.

The report contained information about the fraudulent behaviour of certain employees, who either did not declare potential conflicts of interest in business dealings with the state, or gave false declarations.

The departments of trade and industry and public works also recorded high values of reported deals, AGSA national director Eugene Zungu said.

The four departments with the highest contract values for deals with conflicts of interest were:

Police: R14 872 320

Justice and Constitutional Development: R5 998 747

Trade and Industry: R5 594 490

Public Works: R4 802 630

Others mentioned in 2015/16 include:

Public Enterprises R1.4m;

Correctional Services R1.3m;

Statistics South Africa R760 000;

Higher Education and Training R150 000 and

Sport and Recreation R50 000.

A similar report initiative had been compiled in 2008. This was the first since.

'Going rogue'

Scopa chairperson Themba Godi noted the irony that the two worst performing departments were the ones responsible for maintaining law and order.

"The ones that must ensure that the law is enforced, are the ones who have gone rogue," Godi said during the meeting.

Godi told News24 after the meeting that it was sad that those departments had individuals within them who had not declared their business interests.

"What it means, is that somebody decided to go and compete for a tender in government, knowing very well that it may be against the law.

"But on top of that, somebody else, a manager who should have scrutinised that individual, did then not take action or perform oversight."

When asked about the high police numbers, he said: "It tells us we have a police service with quite a high number of unethical police officers, yet they are supposed to be the primary enforcers of law in society."

He said the Hawks, too, have outstanding disciplinary cases it must settle so that it can assist Scopa with investigations.

He said Scopa will now be asking for those departments to make implicated individuals appear before the committee in the coming weeks, along with their managers, to account for their conflicts of interest.

Read more on:    parliament  |  themba godi  |  corruption  |  politics

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