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SSA to establish vetting units within depts to combat graft

The State Security Agency head Arthur Fraser on Thursday told Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) that many officials at state-owned enterprises (SOEs) refuse to be vetted.

State Security Agency head Arthur Fraser in Parliament ahead of Scopa meeting on 7 December 2017. Picture: Lindsay Dentlinger/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The State Security Agency says it will establish a unit within Treasury to vet officials involved in procurement.

It also plans to introduce an online component to its vetting process next year to speed up the process.

Agency head Arthur Fraser on Thursday told Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) that many officials at state-owned enterprises (SOEs) refuse to be vetted.

The State Security Agency’s top boss says trade unions are particularly resistant to its members undergoing security clearance.

Arthur Fraser says the heads of institutions also often override the decision of the agency or conduct their own clearance process.

The agency will be deploying vetting field units within departments to beat the backlog.

“We accept that we have not been able to live up to our mandate on vetting, but it’s been due to personnel constraints and the volume of the people we need to vet.”

MPs say it’s imperative that procurement staff are vetted to stem corruption at SOEs.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)