No business ban for public servants

2011-11-18 12:39

Public servants will not be banned from doing business with government departments, Public Service and Administration Minister Roy Padayachie said today.

The department had drafted a framework to deal with, among other issues, conflict of interest among public servants, he said in written reply to a parliamentary question.

“The framework, however, does not propose to ban public servants from having business interests, due to constitutional considerations,” Padayachie said.

He was asked by ANC MP Roy Ainslie whether he intended introducing legislation prohibiting public servants from doing business with government departments.

Ainslie also wanted to know what progress the department had made in introducing legislation preventing conflicts of interest which might arise as a result of such transactions.

Padayachie said the public sector integrity management framework introduced conditions that would restrict public servants from having business interests and from performing remunerative work outside the public service.

The department had completed consultations on the draft framework and the next step was to submit it to Cabinet for approval during the fourth quarter of this financial year.

Once approved by Cabinet, the framework would be necessary to amend the Public Service Act to introduce these new clauses to introduce limitations and restrictions, he said.

Replying to another question, Padayachie said all senior public servants who failed to declare their financial interests were deemed to have contravened the Public Service Act and the Public Service Regulations.

It was the duty of heads of departments (HoDs) to ensure that disciplinary actions were taken against these employees.

In a case where a head of department failed to take action, the law required that the executive authority responsible for that particular department act against the HoD, he said.

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