PSC: Public servants have duty to report irregularities to higher authorities

The Public Service Commission (PSC) said that it had noticed many instances where employees involved in irregularities claimed that they were 'too afraid' to defy their bosses and ended up bearing the brunt of the unlawful conduct.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The Public Service Commission (PSC) has reminded public servants that the law places a duty on them to report irregularities to higher authorities when they are forced to act unlawfully by executive authorities or senior managers.

The entity responsible for investigation, monitoring and evaluation of the public service said that it had noticed many instances where employees involved in irregularities claimed that they were “too afraid” to defy their bosses and ended up bearing the brunt of the unlawful conduct.

The Public Service Commission said that in most cases, the executive authorities and managers who issued unlawful instructions claimed ignorance or go “Scot-free’ while public servants took the fall.

It said that there are many laws which placed a responsibility on employees to abide by the legislative framework by reporting such instructions.

PSC Commissioner Michael Seloane was speaking during the release of the Pulse of the Public Service quarterly bulletin, covering April to June this year.

"Through ethical leadership, we will be able to influence a positive culture change and improve the image of the government. Leaders need to demonstrate ethical leadership by making ethical decisions and taking disciplinary actions," Seloane said.

The commission also implored bosses to only issue instructions to public servants which were within the law.

There are currently numerous corruption and fraud-related cases before the courts and the Special Tribunal involving senior public servants whose defenCe is that they were only following orders.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.