Departments can go after officials who leave and join other departments while facing disciplinary action
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The government has warned that officials who move from one department to another while facing disciplinary action will still be pursued.
The Department of Public Service and Administration has amended employment regulations allowing a department to go after an official even if he or she has joined another one.
This emerged from Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi when he was replying to a written question in Parliament from DA legislator Mimmy Gondwe. This was after an official in his department, who was facing disciplinary action, joined the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.
Motsoaledi said the department would not relent in pursuing action against the official in question. The law was on its side, now that the new department would be able to institute disciplinary action against the employee.
“The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) is assisting departments in the following ways to deal with the disciplining of employees who left one department to join another: Departments have, in terms of Section 16B (4) of the Public Service Act, 1994, a responsibility to ensure employees guilty of misconduct are disciplined. Section 16B (4): If an employee of a department (in this subsection referred to as ‘the new department’), is alleged to have committed misconduct in a department by whom he or she was employed previously (in paragraph (b) referred to as ‘the former department’), the head of the new department-may institute or continue disciplinary steps against that employee; and shall institute or continue such steps if so requested-by the former executive authority if the relevant employee is a head of department; or by the head of the former department, in the case of another employee,” said Motsoaledi.
He said the matter would no longer fall through the cracks as the law made it clear what would need to happen if an official joined another department.
The head of the department can take up the matter and ensure that the department of sport, arts and culture pursues disciplinary action against the official.
“The head of the Department of Home Affairs can follow the above prescripts to ensure that the disciplinary process is instituted by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. To further discourage employees with pending disciplinary cases against them from moving around within the Public Service, the DPSA amended the Application for Employment form (Z83) to make it compulsory for prospective employees to disclose all pending disciplinary cases on the form. The use of the amended Z83 form is compulsory from January 2021, and misrepresentation is considered a misconduct which may result in the termination of an employee’s service,” said Motsoaledi.