Cabinet decisions: Communi-cations Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane briefs reporters on the cabinet meeting held on Wednesday. Picture: GCIS
Cabinet decisions: Communi-cations Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane briefs reporters on the cabinet meeting held on Wednesday. Picture: GCIS

The Cabinet has approved a new performance-management and development policy for heads of government departments in its bid to strengthen discipline.

The measures, aimed at getting officials in the public service "in line", would be introduced in April 2018, Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said.

President Jacob Zuma signed the Public Administration Management Act in 2015, but government department and state entity officials have been slow to end their business interests with government suppliers or to declare business with the state.

The performance-management and development system would hold heads of departments to higher accounting standards in terms of their
performance as well as the ethics of their conduct outside their place of work, Kubayi-Ngubane said.

"Cabinet approved measures to strengthen the management of discipline of public servants in relation to officials conducting business with organs of state," she said.

The Public Service Commission must assess compliance with the requirement to disclose all financial interests and also to establish whether the involvement of senior managers in any activities of the companies could lead to conflicts of interest

"It gives effect to the public service regulations of 2016, which prohibit public servants from conducting business with the state."

The newly approved measures would also give effect to the Public Administration Management Act and ensure compliance across the board in the public service, she said.

Public Service Commissioner Michael Seloane said financial disclosures for the 2016-17 financial year were submitted to the Public Service Commission, which would scrutinise the forms in terms of public service regulations.

"In terms of this regulation, the Public Service Commission must assess compliance with the requirement to disclose all financial interests and also to establish whether the involvement of senior managers in any activities of the companies could lead to conflicts of interest," he said.

The Public Service Commission had started scrutinising all the financial disclosure forms received to determine the full disclosure of interest and the prevalence of conflicts of interest among senior managers, Seloane said.

"The outcome of the scrutiny process will be communicated to the respective executive authorities and heads of departments with specific recommendations on further steps to be taken if necessary," he said.

The scrutiny would also involve the assessment of performance of other remunerative work outside the normal employment in the public service, as well as the extent to which public servants received and declared gifts during the past financial year.

The information relating to interests disclosed is compared with information in databases of organisations such as the deeds registry office, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, the electronic national administration traffic information system (eNaTIS) and the central supplier database from the Treasury.

magubanek@businesslive.co.za

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