Scopa, Hawks to crack down on irregular expenditure in government

2016-12-13 22:04
Themba Godi (Netwerk24)

Themba Godi (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) will continue clamping down on irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure at government institutions with co-operation from the Hawks, the committee said on Tuesday.

The committee was determined to bring transgressors to book, it said, as people needed to understand that the fiscus was not officials' pocket money.

Chairperson Themba Godi on Tuesday said the committee wanted to ensure that the fight against corruption took place in Parliament, where it rightfully belonged.

Since October the committee has invited the Hawks to be part of its meetings to determine if there was any criminality involved in some of the fruitless expenditure that sometimes amounted to millions.

So far, Godi told media on Tuesday, they had identified cases at various public institutions. These included the international relations department, he said.

"We have identified a case at basic education which we have referred to the Hawks," he said.

Two cases had also been identified at a state information technology agency as well as at the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), he said.

No longer at mercy of accounting officers

"There are cases at Sassa that we agreed on today. There are...decisions that were taken that are just all wrong, that have financial implications. There are a number of cases and the chairperson of the board had indicated to us that they had referred them to the Hawks," Godi said.

Parliament had to act where there was lack of consequence management, the committee chair said.

The committee said it would no longer wait for heads of department to decide if and when they were going to report cases to authorities, he said.

It would also no longer be at the mercy of accounting officers as the Hawks would be able to pick up criminality, he said.

Its meetings were not going to follow the usual pattern anymore.

If and when an issue was referred to the Hawks, an inquiry would be launched and the Hawks would then determine if there were charges to be filed and an investigation would be opened, Scopa said.

So far the level of co-operation and responsibility between the two was comfortable, the committee said.

Read more on:    hawks  |  corruption

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