Regulation for public servants' gifts

2012-03-28 13:29

Pretoria - The government is exploring measures to further regulate acceptance of gifts by civil servants, the Public Service Commission (PSC) said on Wednesday.

Addressing journalists in Pretoria, PSC director general Richard Levin said there was an urgent need to address the contradictions and ambiguities in the legislation relating to the receipt of gifts.

"There is a persisting argument that the issue of gifts from an Afrocentric perspective has grey areas. The [new] policy should incorporate all cultures and it should be fair."

He said that under the public sector integrity management framework, public servants were prohibited from accepting or soliciting any gifts, hospitality, or benefits in return for performing or not performing their official duties.

In addition, the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act prohibits the acceptance of gifts by public servants.

"We are now looking at the regulatory frameworks. If I attend a conference and I'm given a pack with items exceeding R350 in value, I am supposed to disclose that," said Levin.

"At this stage there are inconsistencies [in the regulation] and people do not know whether to accept or turn down gifts.

"There are different contradicting cultural perceptions around the receiving of gifts. You know that it's seen as being disrespectful to turn down a gift. We are looking at that dimension," said Levin.

Research by the PSC in 2008 on the management of and receipt of gifts revealed that the majority of public servants were in favour of a new policy observing Afrocentric cultural practices.

  • jackal666.daniel - 2012-03-28 13:35

    Good luck with that, I wonder who will declare their "gift" / bribe / tender first? lol

      watsongeorgejan - 2012-03-28 16:08

      Amen to that!

      Mark - 2012-03-28 17:27

      Regulating bribes - what next!

  • Bambanani - 2012-03-28 13:43

    its a good start,definately not all will declare but that doesnot mean we should let people continue solicit bribes in the name of gift while doing what they being paid for.

  • Lyndatjie - 2012-03-28 13:45

    My company does not differentiate between race creed or religion. ALL gifts are declared and a panel sits to decide wether it constitutes a bribe of sorts or can influence anybody in their decision making. We should seriously stop trying to stop processes because of culture - there is ALWAYS an intelligent way around it! Unless nobody WANTS to find a solution and would prefer this to remain open ended so that they can grease their palms with silver....

  • Johnathon - 2012-03-28 13:56

    I do not see why any Civil Servant should ever recieve a single gift. I always thought that to receive a gift you 1) Needed to be liked & 2) Performed some service well done. These gifts are only to desperately try and curry favour with officials to get them to reluctantly carry out jobs they are employed to do. No gifts ever please.

  • Twain - 2012-03-28 14:15

    What about straight-up bribes? Are those still okay?

  • rowan.maulson - 2012-03-28 14:26

    What is an "Afrocentric" culture of gift giving? This should be an easy policy. If the gift is worth more than Rx then it has to be declared. Why is this so difficult for these idiots to grasp?

  • Marion - 2012-03-28 14:32

    Gifts will always be given and received, and that should be permitted. However, it is the cost and the intention of the gift that must be closely controlled. A bottle of whiskey cannot be seen to constitute a bribe when given by the CEO of one company to the CEO of another. However, that same bottle of whiskey given to the guy doing a roadworthy test on a car is another story altogether.

  • hc12345 - 2012-03-28 14:38

    The government should put 2 new laws in place. 1: No Gifts 2: I you steal R5 public money, 10 years jail no parole!!!

  • Jeffrey - 2012-03-28 14:44

    they are try to find a way to share commission in the name of gifts

  • watsongeorgejan - 2012-03-28 16:02

    Soliciting a gift can't be afrocentric it smacks of demanding a bribe. Now, one can't ask for a bribe then turn around and say it would have been disrespectful not to accept it. The law is there, they shouldn't accept gifts (bribes) from people who are going to benefit in one way or anoter from any of their official activities. finish and klaar !

  • Shaylene - 2012-03-28 16:22

    Really? I would like to see people disclose their gifts valued more than R350, it will never happen....

  • ec.van.niekerk - 2012-03-28 23:12

    you have it all wrong !!! it not gifts ... is gratitude .... what ever corruption that's the only name for it ...

  • pages:
  • 1