Ministers come out in support of DG’s under fire

2010-12-05 13:44

A number of ministers have thrown their support behind their directors-general who did not submit declarations of interests by the due date this year.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) this week accused about half the country’s directors-general of failing to meet the deadline.

But a round of enquiries to the ministers of the DGs whose names appear on a name-and-shame list revealed a range of responses – the DG has left the department, or just joined, or records prove the documents were only a few days late.

The list, published earlier this week in a PSC “Fact Sheet on the Financial Disclosure Framework for the 2009/2010 Financial Year”, includes the names of eminent DGs, among them National Prosecuting Authority chief Menzi Simelane, Defence secretary Mpumi Mpofu, Bobby Soobrayan (Basic Education), Ayanda Ntsaluba (International Relations and Cooperation) and Nonkululeko Msomi (Justice and Constitutional Development).

It ironically also includes DGs who deal with the rules: Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (Palama) chief Solly Mollo and Public Service and Administration DG Kenny ­Govender.

“As accounting officers, DGs should set the example in ethical behaviour in departments,” the PSC warned.

City Press was told that some of the DGs on the list, including Palama chief Mollo, did in fact submit their declarations timeously. But others disobeyed the declaration deadlines.

Public Service Regulations oblige all members of senior management to disclose the details of their registrable interests for the preceding 12 months not later than April 30 each year.

Senior managers who assume duty after April 1 are required to make such a disclosure within 30 days after their assumption of duty, covering the preceding 12 months.

The declarations must be submitted to the PSC no later than May 31.

DG Msomi and NPA chief Simelane “complied with the public service regulations and did not flout them,” said Justice Department spokesperson Tlali Tlali.

Records reflected that both Simelane and Msomi’s declarations were submitted and received by the PSC on 17 June 2010.

Defence spokesperson Ndivhuwo Wa Ha Mabayathe said Defence DG Mpofu was employed by government for only six months during the time under review and had “sought legal and administrative advice on how to deal with the ­matter”.

Her disclosure is being finalised and “the submission will be done”.

International Relations and Cooperations spokesperson Malusi Mogale said DG Ntsaluba did in fact declare his financial interests “on time as per the Public Service Act.

The forms are dated March 29 2010,” he said. But he did not say when the declaration was submitted to the PSC.

The minister of energy signed Energy DG Nelisiwe Magubane’s declaration on 25 April 2010, said spokesperson Zodwa Batyashe, and it was delivered and signed for by a PSC official on May 5.

“It is therefore unclear to us,” said Batyashe, “ how it was not captured in time and how the DG’s name landed on the list.”

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