'Senior govt officials involved in corruption'

A huge number of government officials are involved in corruption, according the Public Service Commission.

CAPE TOWN - The Public Service Commission on Wednesday said corruption in the public sector is increasingly taking place at senior level, showing the urgent need for more ethical leadership.

The commission, which monitors the public service, briefed the Parliament’s portfolio committee on corruption trends.

The commission’s Director General, Richard Levin, said few departments file all their financial disclosures before the deadline each year.

He said figures suggest that officials are not following basic levels of compliance.

Levin said closer inspection of the disclosure forms show just how many senior managers are involved with companies which do business with government.

“These numbers are a cause for concern. We’re saying that within one or two departments, we have 20 percent of officials [involved] with a lot of companies. We don’t believe it’s attainable.”

The commission recommended that heads of departments and senior managers, who fail to disclose conflicts of interest, be charged with misconduct.

President Jacob Zuma’s administration has committed itself to fighting corruption.

Since the introduction of the national anti-corruption hotline, managed by the Public Service Commission, a total of 1,499 officials had been charged with misconduct for corrupt activities at national and provincial government levels.

(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)