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Department of Public Works inspects 60 employees, recommends disciplinary action against 12 – Parliament hears

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Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille.

  • The Department of Public Works detailed its efforts to complete lifestyle checks.
  • Sixty of the department’s most senior employees underwent a lifestyle check.
  • Officials presented their findings to parliament on Tuesday.

The government has a poor record of lifestyle checks, but the Department of Public Works has checked 60 of its most senior staff.

Details tabled in Parliament on Tuesday revealed that 60 of the most senior staff at the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure were subjected to the first round of lifestyle checks.

Of the 60, 48 met the requirements and 12 were recommended for disciplinary action.

Officials presented progress on work to ensure the full functioning of the Ethics, Compliance, Infrastructure and Remediation Unit.

The Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) branch applied unsuccessfully for funding for key governance and compliance posts in 2017 and 2019.

In 2021/2022, the department’s charter for 2022/2023 envisaged the establishment of an Ethics and Consequences Management Unit within the GRC branch.

READ | Lifestyle audits of senior public works officers in full swing – De Lille

In the first quarter of 2022, a check of the capacity of the GRC branch was carried out.

Officials told MPs the funding was currently under review.

The GRC branch has developed an ethics department structure and has received guidance from the Department of Public Service and Administration on the role of ethics officers and ethics committees.

“Although funding for ethics posts has not yet been secured, an official in the GRC branch has been appointed to carry out the functions of an ethics officer, in addition to his current role, and has been recommended for appointment as an ethics officer from a regulatory perspective civil service. The vacancy should be advertised as soon as possible,” says the official’s presentation.

In July, the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, announced that the department was conducting lifestyle checks.

READ | Lifestyle audit: Govt slows to root out ungodly – Here’s how provinces compare

During the SIU’s lifestyle check, the SAPS Criminal Records Center was consulted – and out of 60 staff, 58 were found to have no criminal record.

Preliminary checks indicated that the other two officials may have criminal records.

In April, former Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodla, revealed a list of national departments and organizations that carried out lifestyle checks.

It includes the departments of communications and digital technologies, cooperative governance, environmental protection, forestry and fisheries, settlements and international relations and cooperation.


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