Misuse second highest misconduct

2018-05-16 06:01
Commissioner Dr Henk Boshoff. André Damons

Commissioner Dr Henk Boshoff. André Damons

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The misuse of state resources has emerged as the second highest type of financial misconduct in the Free State government.

The Public Service Commission’s (PSC) Factsheet on Financial Misconduct revealed the trend in the Free State government with financial costs of over R11 million.

Commissioner Dr Henk Boshoff said according to findings, financial misconduct included the misuse and abuse of government-owned vehicles, such as: driving government-owned vehicles without authorisation, undertaking unauthorised trips, the conveying of unauthorised passengers, travelling to unauthorised destinations, negligent or reckless driving (which often led to accidents), and not following proper trip authorisation processes.

Boshoff said the PSC assessment was conducted during the 2017-’18 financial year.

“The broad aim of the project was to assess the extent of the misuse and abuse of government-owned vehicles in the province,” said Boshoff.

“Furthermore, the PSC is mandated to propose mea­sures to ensure effective and efficient performance within the public service.”

Boshoff said findings revealed that seven out of 12 departments of the Free State government had transport policies.

“This represents 58% of good practice. The fact that 42% of the departments do not have transport policies, is a weakness in the management of government-owned vehicles in the province,” said Boshoff in a statement.

He explained that investigation was aligned with the Constitution.

“In terms of Section 196(4)(a) of the Constitution, 1996, read in conjunction with Sections 9 and 10(1) of the Public Service Commission Act, 1997, the effective and efficient use of State resources is one of the Constitutional Values and Principles (CVPs) which the Public Service Commission (PSC) is mandated to promote.

“Government-owned vehicles are a critical resource and one of the most expensive capital movable assets that are meant to enable government departments to provide a range of services to the people who need them.”

He said a report into the findings of financial misconducts in the Free State government was presented in February to Sam Mashinini, MEC for police, roads and transport.

Boshoff said the report, containing measures to curb the abuse, outlines steps the Fleet Management Entity (FME, also known as the Government Garage) must implement, as it is responsible for the provision of motor transport to the departments.

“The expectation is that the action plans would have been developed by 11 May and the implementation of the re­commendations commence by 31 May.”

The report revealed there were 1 021 accidents reported to the FME and registered for the 2016-’17 financial year.

“This number is considerably high, given the fact that according to the FME, there are approximately 2 427 government vehicles under its care and leased to all the departments in the province.”

Accidents recorded by other departments are as follows: the Department of Social Development, 7% (67); the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, 5% (55); the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, 5% (46); the Department of the Premier, 4% (42); the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, 3% (33); the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, 3% (25); the Department of Human Settlements, 1% (17); and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), 1% (13).

An amount of R11 405 304,84 was spent by the FME in the 2016-’17 financial year for the repair of damaged vehicles.

The highest cost of repairs, R3 980 073,84, were incurred by the Department of Health, followed by the FME at R2 581 283,16.

Repairs by the Department of Police, Roads and Transport amounted to R1 407 155,66; by the Department of Education to R1 007 932,61; by the Department of Social Development to R524 295,25 and by the Department of Agriculture to R372 032,11. CoGTA and the Provincial Treasury were at R187 515,79 and R28 243,61 respectively.

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