Cape Town - Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo says her department is now checking on a monthly basis the central supplier database system to make sure civil servants were not conducting business with the State.
This was in addition to submission of the financial disclosure forms that public service employees were required to complete annually.
Dlodlo revealed this when she was responding to parliamentary questions from DA MP Mimmy Gondwe about measures her department has taken to ensure that there were absolutely no public service employees who are possibly conducting business with the State.
Civil servants are prohibited from conducting business with the State.
In her response, Dlodlo said her department received data on a monthly basis from the National Treasury covering all new registrations on the central supplier database (CSD) for that month.
“The CSD contains the registration of all people who wish to tender for business with the Government. This information is compared with the personnel salary system, to identify public service employees on the list of new registrations.
“If identified, the DPSA writes to the responsible department, requesting the department to confirm that the member is still employed, and if still employed, to take disciplinary steps against the employee and to report that to the DPSA.”
Dlodlo said her department monitored progress of departments regarding feedback on a monthly basis and assisted those departments identified to be in need of technical assistance.
“Technical assistance was also rendered in the form of adopted directives and legislation was introduced to criminalise this conduct.”
In January 2017, the department adopted a Directive on Conducting Business with an organ of State to guide departments with the implementation of regulation that prohibited employees from conducting business with the State.
In 2016, the Public Administration Management Act (PAMA) was updated and provided for the criminalisation of employees conducting business with the State. Dlodlo said the legislation extended the prohibition on public service employees conducting business with an organ of State to political advisers, but also to the public administration.
“Section 8 came into effect in April 2019, when the president signed a proclamation to that effect. In November 2021 this Section was tested in law, with two South African Police Service members being found guilty of conducting business with the State, and as such contravening Section 8 of the PAMA.”
Dlodlo also said the Department of Public Service and Administration, SAPS and National Prosecuting Authority have formed a task team that met regularly to update one another on progress regarding ongoing investigations and to unblock challenges.
She said her department had also amended the application for employment form (Z83) to make it compulsory for prospective employees to disclose if they were conducting business with the State.
“The use of the amended Z83 form is compulsory from January 2021, and misrepresentation is considered a misconduct that may result in the termination of an employee’s service,” Dlodlo added.
In September, the total number of civil service employees alleged to have conducted business with the state drastically decreased to 118 as at June 2021.
There were 38 employees from the national departments and 80 were from the provincial departments.
Dlodlo said at the time the National Treasury found 1068 employees alleged to have conducted business with the State at the end of March 2019.
The number consisted of 270 employees from national departments and 798 from provincial departments.
In April 2020, the number stood at 1539 with a total of 1111 employees being from provincial departments and 428 were from national departments.