/ 20 April 2008

Reported cases of public-sector corruption on the rise

Cases of corruption in the public sector reported to the National Anti-Corruption Hotline (NACH) increased by 46% between 2004 and 2007, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Sunday.

DA spokesperson on public service Karel Minnie said this was according to a 2008 report released by the Public Service Commission (PSC), which focused on a mid-term review of the public service.

The report indicated that between the 2004/05 and 2006/07 financial years cases of corruption reported to the NACH, the anti-corruption hotline managed by the PSC, increased by 46%.

Government departments provided feedback on 35% of the cases referred to them by the PSC, Minnie said in a statement.

She said the many cases that remained unresolved compromised the effectiveness of the NACH, which she described as one of the safest ways for the public to report fraud or corruption involving government officials.

”Government departments’ continued failure to submit feedback on these cases lends weight to the PSC’s claim in January that there was evidence of a number of departments covering up investigations into corruption.

”The fact that no action has yet been taken against departments who are clearly protecting corrupt officials is an indictment of the African National Congress government’s Public Service Anti-Corruption strategy,” she said.

”Additionally, the PSC spent nearly R10-million during 2006/07 on public-administration investigations — including those reported to the NACH, This means that this money is effectively wasted year after year.”

The Public Service and Administration department could not immediately be reached for comment on Sunday. — Sapa