Managers to be disciplined for non-disclosure of finances

OCTOBER 29, 2014

The Public Service Commission has called on all Executive Authorities to take disciplinary action against senior managers who consistently fail to submit their financial disclosure forms without valid reasons.

Briefing the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration at the Old Assembly on the compliance of senior managers with the financial disclosure framework, Commissioner Selina Nkosi from the Office of the Public Service Commission said while there has been a slight improvement in the number of managers who have submitted their forms on time, non-compliance was still not good enough.

“There is unwillingness on the part of certain Senior Management Service (SMS) members to declare their registrable interest as required by the Framework.

“To this end, a total of 1497 financial disclosure forms are outstanding.

“Executive authorities must take appropriate disciplinary action against all SMS members who, without valid reasons, fail to submit their financial disclosure forms on time,” she said.

The Public Service Commission was reporting on the Financial Disclosure Framework for the 2012/13 financial year for provincial and national departments.

The Framework assesses senior managers who have complied or failed to submit their registrable interests on an annual bases. Senior managers are, by law, required to submit their financial disclosures by the 30th of April each year.

In turn, members of the executive are required to submit the disclosures by 31 May.

According to disclosures that were submitted by 31 May 2013, 84% SMS members complied and submitted their financial disclosures on time, which was an improvement from data presented on the 2011/12 financial year (75%).

While the Public Service Commission was making a presentation on the 2012/13 financial year, Commissioner Nkosi said as of May 2014, or over the past year, compliance stood at 85%.

She said of the 5 425 SMS members in National Departments who were required to submit disclosure forms for the 2012/ 13 financial year, the Commission received 4413 (81%) by the due date of 31 May 2013.

This means that 1 012 disclosures from SMS members were outstanding.

Only 24 out of 45 departments achieved a 100% submission rate requirement.

In the provincial sphere, 3 517 (88%) out of 4002 SMS members disclosed their financial interests by the due date.

Some 12% (485) financial disclosures from SMS members were outstanding.

Commissioner Nkosi said the call for disciplinary action was driven by the fact that SMS members have failed to comply despite increased efforts to remind them to comply.

“Letters were sent to the Executive Authorities (EA) to remind them of their responsibility to ensure that the forms are submitted on time.

“The short messaging system was used to remind Directors-General and Heads of Department (HODs) to assist EA’s in ensuring that the forms are submitted on time.

“This is despite the fact that the submission of financial disclosure forms is not a delegated function, but an EA’s function.

“An advertisement was posted in the print media (newspapers) in order to attract the attention of a wide spectrum of the relevant stakeholders, including SMS members,” she said.

The Committee’s chairperson Peace Mabe said the levels of non-compliance were unacceptable. She said individual SMS members who have failed to submit their disclosures for three consecutive years would be summoned to Parliament Street to account. – SAnews.gov.za