Protector finds improper conduct in depts

2013-04-24 20:19
Thuli Madonsela (File: Beeld)

Thuli Madonsela (File: Beeld)

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Pretoria - The public protector released five reports on Wednesday, finding evidence of impropriety and abuse of power in some government departments.

The main report related to a complaint by former National Consumer Commission (NCC) head Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi against the department of trade and industry (DTI).

The report was named "There are no Heroes".

"There are no heroes because basically nobody decided to be the bigger person, so to speak," Thuli Madonsela said.

"In the end, an institution became dysfunctional."

Mohlala-Mulaudzi had made a number of complaints to the public protector about DTI and its director general Lionel October.

October had laid counter complaints against the former commissioner.

Following her investigation Madonsela found that in some instances the conduct of the DTI constituted a violation of the NCC commissioner's operational independence, unfair labour practice, an act of abuse of power and maladministration.

She also pronounced Mohlala-Mulaudzi guilty of maladministration and misconduct for failing to sign performance agreements with her staff at the NCC.

There were allegations of irregular procurement of office space against Mohlala-Mulaudzi, but a separate investigation was currently underway into the irregularities, Madonsela said.

Reflecting on the work done on the reports Madonsela said some had taken a long time to complete.

"Many of the delays owe to failure to get information expeditiously," she said.

In her other reports Madonsela found the Eastern Cape education department and the Government Employees Pension Fund had acted improperly which constituted maladministration.

This was after it had failed for the past 14 years to recalculate a woman's pension pay out.

The department was ordered to do this and pay the money within 30 days with interest.

The Ngwathe local municipality in the Free State was also ordered to pay a service provider within 30 days.

This was after it was found that the municipality acted improperly by not paying a building contractor for work he had done five years ago.

The Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board came under fire when Madonsela found that the CEO should never have been appointed.

This was because he was a domestic partner of someone working for the state at the time of his appointment.

Maladministration

The final report on the department of correctional services found it improperly contracted service providers.

The department failed to implement a procurement system which was fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective, she said.

The department's conduct was improper and amounted to maladministration.

The improper tenders were found during an investigation into another case involving the department.

A small business owner wanted to supply department employees with sports clothing.

The businessman's application was declined because the department did not need additional service providers. The department's decision was justified, said Madonsela.

However, she found the process of engaging with him failed as he was not given written reasons, or informed on how to appeal the decision, despite his request. This failure was a violation of the complainant's right to administrative lawful action.

Concluding her findings, Madonsela said her team had played its part by investigating these matters.

"The next move belongs to the government, the media, the people and Parliament," she said.

"I have done all I could to comply with section 182 of the Constitution which mandates me to investigate, report and take appropriate remedial action."

- SAPA
Read more on:    thuli madonsela
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