Women the biggest govt crooks

2010-09-25 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Women are nearly twice as likely to be involved in financial misconduct within government as men.

This is according to the Civil Service Commission, after it received reports of 1 203 financial offences.

These offences were committed in the 2008-09 financial year in both provincial and state departments nationwide.

According to the commission, 35% of all offenders were men and 65% were women.

Altogether 35 national departments admitted that financial misconduct took place in their departments, while 110 provincial departments also suffered such offences.

The commission said the government has only lost R100 million as a result of these offences.

Derek Luyt of the Public Service Accountability Monitor said it is difficult to trust the accuracy of the report if one takes into account the Auditor-General’s reports about poor financial management in state departments.

He believes there may even be a greater number of such offences.

“The commission’s report did not try to determine how many cases were not reported by civil servants, nor did it determine how much might have been left out of the count,” said Luyt.

According to the commission, the greatest number of offences (121) reported at a national level were committed in the Justice and Constitutional Development Department.

KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo are the provinces where the most offences were reported at a provincial level during this period.

Fraud comprised 53% of all recorded offences, and this includes fraud involving social grants, false travel claims and petty cash fraud.

Women civil servants are the biggest offenders when it comes to fraud involving social grants.

The commission’s report acknowledges that the large number of offences lower people’s opinion of officials.

He believes departments should improve their risk management and strengthen their investigating units, as well as applying the recommendations of the standing committee on public accounts.

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