PSC: Some govt officials still failing to fully disclose financial interests

Senior managers are required to declare their interests in order to prevent conflicts of interest.

Michael Seloane, the commissioner for the Public Service Commission. Picture: @OPSC_SA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The Public Service Commission (PSC) said that some government officials were still failing to make full disclosure of their financial interests and that this included directors-general and heads of provincial departments.

Senior management employees are required to declare their interests in order to prevent conflicts of interest.

The PSC on Tuesday released its quarterly bulletin for the period from 1 October to the end of December last year.

It said that the failure of senior management employees to fully disclose posed a serious risk to managing conflict of interest in government…

Commissioner Michael Seloane said that the financial disclosure response rate went up by a percentage point, with 9,792 or 98% of the expected 10,032 forms received, up on the 97% achieved in the previous financial year.

But despite the slight improvement, 169 senior management staff missed the deadline to declare, while 3,048 were found to have interests in private companies. Of these 638, or 21%, did not disclose this. A further 814 officials (8%) didn’t disclose motor vehicles while 361 (4%) did not disclose immoveable property.

"This includes heads of departments in both national and provincial departments."

Seloane said that ministers and MECs must act decisively against errant heads of department or directors-general, some of whom were repeat offenders.

"They say that the fish rots from the head, so if the head is not complying, what do you expect from people in lower positions?"

One thousand five hundred and eight officials were considered for potential conflict of interest but actual conflict of interest – doing business with the state – was found in only 11 cases. Three hundred and eighty-two officials were found to be moonlighting;

Just over half of them could not prove that they had permission to do outside work.

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