GOVERNMENT

The public sector in the NACF has been particularly concerned to make the NACF a viable body. As part of Government's expressed commitment to fight corruption, Government is represented by the following Ministries:

Arts and Culture
Finance
Home Affairs
Intelligence Services
Justice and Constitutional Development
Public Enterprises
Public Service and Administration
Provincial and Local Government
Safety and Security

Website: www.dpsa.gov.za/macc/

The Public Service Commission serves as Secretariat to the NACF

Website: www.psc.gov.za

PERSPECTIVES ON ANTI-CORRUPTION INITIATIVES IN SOUTH AFRICA

Introduction

1. South Africa is a relatively new democracy that emerged in 1994 after decades of struggle. During the years of struggle, South Africa was a fragmented country and the majority of its people were subjected to a corrupt political, social, economical and moral regime. In 1994 the Government that was elected democratically by the majority of people, embarked upon a programme to reconstruct and develop South Africa to the benefit of all its peoples. The programme of growth, reconstruction and development was fraught with obstacles and legacies created by the apartheid regime. One such obstacle was the prevalence of corruption.

2. In recent years, government has stepped up its anti-corruption activities. Its efforts have become more systemic, with greater emphasis on instituting appropriate policy measures to prevent corruption. Anti-corruption has been a priority in the programme of Government for many years and even the 2005 Programme of Action reflects this. The report below summarises the most significant domestic and international initiatives.

Prior evaluations and assessments

3. South Africa’s anti-corruption progress is well documented in five published documents, namely the Country Corruption Assessment report (Department of Public Service and Administration/UNODC, 2003), the Towards a Ten Year Review discussion document (The Presidency, 2004), the Public Integrity Index (Center for Public Integrity, 2004) and the National Integrity Systems country study report (Transparency International, 2005) and the record of the 2nd National Anti-corruption Summit (National Anti-corruption Forum, 2005). The Country Corruption Assessment and the National Integrity Systems reports contain detailed information on legal and institutional anti-corruption frameworks as well as perception and experience-type survey information.

4. In addition to the information contained in the above reports, research institutions and media houses conduct smaller and incident-specific perception surveys.

Government’s action against corruption

5. In March 1997 government Ministers responsible for the South African National Crime Prevention Strategy established a programme committee to work on corruption. By June 1997 the Code of Conduct for the Public Service had become part of the regulations for every public servant. The programme committee’s work resulted in Government’s approval of a National Campaign against Corruption in 1998. The first step involved a Public Sector Anti-corruption Conference in November of 1998. Its resolutions addressed such issues as defining corruption, restoring a public service ethos, the role of civil society, the responsibilities of public sector managers, financial management and controls, and co-ordination of anti-corruption structures.

6. Fundamental to the fight against corruption was the involvement of all stakeholders. A National Anti-corruption Summit was convened in April 1999, involving government leaders, organised Business, organised religious bodies, the NGO sector, donor countries, the media, organised labour unions, academic and professional bodies and the public sector. The National Anti-corruption Summit created a powerful platform for the National Campaign Against Corruption in that it recognised the societal nature of corruption, and that the fight against corruption requires a national consensus and co-ordination of activities.

7. The Summit adopted a range of resolutions for implementation in the public, business and civil society sectors of the country. These resolutions relate to combating corruption, preventing corruption, building integrity and raising awareness. Progress with implementation of the resolutions has been very good. Government has honoured the commitments made at this Summit.

8. As a result of continuous consultation between the sectors in the period after the National Anti-corruption Summit, the National Anti-corruption Forum was created in June 2001 as the formal mechanism to bring the public, business and civil society sectors together to fight corruption in all aspects of our society. Government has consistently participated in this Forum and attempted to strengthen its work.

9. In the beginning of 2001, in line with Cabinet’s decision to fast track our anti-corruption work, the Minister for the Public Service and Administration created a unit to co-ordinate and integrate Government’s anti-corruption work at the level of policy and strategy implementation. Work started on establishing a strategy that balanced prevention, action against corruption and sustainable systems of prevention, information and communication. The Public Service Anti-Corruption Strategy was approved by Cabinet in January 2002, and implementation commenced in February of that year. This Strategy contains nine considerations that are inter-related and mutually supportive.

These are as follows:-

(a) Review and consolidation of the legislative framework

(b) Increased institutional capacity to prevent and combat corruption

(c) Improved access to report wrongdoing and protection of whistleblowers and witnesses

(d) Prohibition of corrupt individuals and businesses (blacklisting)

(e) Improved management policies and practices

(f) Managing professional ethics

(g) Partnerships with stakeholders

(h) Social analysis, research and policy advocacy

(i) Awareness, training and education.

10. The requirements of the Constitution, the Public Service Anti-corruption Strategy, the recommendations of the National Anti-Corruption Summit and various of Government’s policy decisions have been translated into a number of anti-corruption measures. These are as follows:-

(a) National Government has introduced and promoted various pieces of key legislation such as the Protected Disclosures Act, Promotion of Access to Information Act, Financial Intelligence Centre Act, Promotion of Administrative Justice Act and the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.

(b) Establishment of strong institutional capacity at national level to complement the basic police work, with such institutions such as the Public Protector, the National Prosecuting Authority, The Special Investigating Unit, the Public Service Commission, the Financial Intelligence Centre and the Auditor-General. These institutions, individually and collectively, are reaching levels of maturity and efficiency that have provided the country with strong anti-corruption capacity.

(c) The money laundering work of the Financial Intelligence Centre is compliant with the highest international standard for combating money laundering, namely the Forty Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering.

(d) The establishment of an Asset Register for Accounting Officers and mandatory financial disclosure of assets and interests for all Senior Managers.

(e) Various other improvements in public administration in the Public Service, including defining Honesty and Integrity as a key set of 11 competencies required of senior managers.

(f) The enactment of the Public Finance Management Act, including the requirement for departments to do risk assessments and develop fraud prevention plans. As part of implementation the whole supply chain management system has been reformed and pertinent anti-corruption measures have been established.

(g) Government commissioned a study into all agencies involved in anti-corruption work with a view to increasing efficiencies and impact. This study was completed in August 2001 and complemented by a study in 2002 on departmental anti-corruption capacity. In September 2003 Cabinet approved requirements for minimum anti-corruption capacity within all government departments. By November 2004, 67% of departments in the Public Service have established capacity in line with Cabinet’s decisions.

(h) Over the past five years the Specialised Commercial Crimes Courts have made a material contribution to the combating and adjudication of commercial crim, including corruption. These courts have been established in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth. The courts have gained strong business support and international acclaim as a best practice model. These courts deal with a variety of commercial crimes and corruption and statistics show that these courts finalise a greater number of cases and achieve higher conviction rates (above 94%) than normal regional courts.

(i) A national public service anti-corruption hotline system was established in 2004 (toll-free number is 0800 701 701).

11. Unlike examples elsewhere in the developing world, South Africa, like the majority of countries in the world, does not follow the model of a centralized anti-corruption commission. Rather, its capacity to fight corruption is spread across various departments and agencies. At the level of policy coordination, the Cabinet has established the Anti-corruption Coordinating Committee to integrate and coordinate Government’s anti-corruption work. This Committee consists of 14 departments and agencies within Government.

12. The ability for law enforcement and related oversight agencies to coordinate work at operational level has increased significantly. The use of multi-agency task teams to investigate and deal with allegations of corruption has proved to be particularly successful. Examples of such operations include the report on the Strategic Defence Procurement Package, the Joint Anti-corruption Task Team in the Eastern Cape, the High Flyers Project in the Western Cape and the project on the Top 200 criminals.

13. Regarding State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), Cabinet approved the protocol on Corporate Governance in September 2002. Amongst various good governance arrangements, the Protocol obliges SOEs to combat corruption through such mechanisms as risk management and fraud prevention plans (the PFMA applies to SOEs), to do full disclosures of losses as a result of fraud and theft and to implement codes of ethics for board members and staff. Regarding restructuring processes, a restructuring oversight mechanism has been established as well as a Governance in Restructuring Processes Policy, which sets out minimum requirements including conflict of interest declarations, confidentiality requirements as well as monitoring of transactions by an independent auditor. As part of its ongoing reform programme for public entities, Government has commissioned a study into the structure and governance arrangements of these entities and is currently considering proposals to improve the governance arrangements for these entities.

14. Related to the aforegoing is the Government’s initiative to reform the accounting profession, inter alia to address possible deficiencies that may lead to governance scandals as seen elsewhere in the world. The draft Auditing Bill was published for public comment in November 2004 and Government is currently considering the inputs.

15. In the area of local government, Government has introduced the Municipal Finance Management Act in order to bring greater accountability and transparency into municipal operations. This Act also introduces risk management and fraud prevention as statutory requirements in local authorities. Structures have been created with the Department of Provincial and Local Government to initiate and implement an anti-corruption campaign in local government. Implementation of the anti-corruption initiative is taking place within the ambit of Project Consolidate, Government’s initiative to support 136 municipalities.

Policy review, monitoring and evaluation

16. The Public Service Anti-corruption Strategy remains the blueprint for fighting corruption in the public sector and as indicated the Strategy has informed development of policy and legislation. The Strategy has now entered a policy review phase. In the 2004/05 financial year the Department of Public Service and Administration launched and completed an audit to determine the levels of departmental compliance with the minimum anti-corruption capability requirements that have been set by Cabinet. The Department also proposed a reorganization of the anti-corruption function within the Department and dedicated funding for a sub-programme dealing with anti-corruption monitoring and evaluation. In order to conduct the policy review and attend to other monitoring and evaluation needs, Government has, with effect from April 2005 established a sub-programme on anti-corruption monitoring and evaluation on the budget of the Department of Public Service and Administration.

The main “products” of this sub-programme are-

(a) In the 2005/06 financial year: A full-scale compliance audit of the Strategy was launched and will be completed by March 2006. This audit is fully funded from budgeted funds. In addition, planning for an assessment of the impact of the national anti-corruption framework and the development of indicators will commence later in this financial year.

(b) In the 2006/07 and 2007/08 financial years: A comprehensive impact assessment of the national anti-corruption framework will be conducted. This assessment will enable measurement against the country corruption assessment report that was published in 2003 but will be more comprehensive. The assessment will focus on the impact in all sectors of South African society.

17. In addition to the above projects, an approach to a sustainable and ongoing monitoring and evaluation is being developed, including a national research agenda, monitoring and evaluation methodologies for application at local levels using community development workers and other opportunities, as well as a media analysis service related to anti-corruption and governance.

The National Anti-corruption Programme

18. In March 2005 the National Anti-corruption Forum convened the 2nd National Anti-corruption Summit. This Summit was attended by 390 representatives from the civil society, business and public sectors and the Summit adopted 27 Resolutions. Flowing from the Summit’s Resolutions the National Anti-corruption Forum adopted a National Anti-corruption Programme during June 2005.

The Programme has four main objectives, namely to-

(a) Promote the Forum as a vehicle for an improved national consensus and leadership against corruption

(b) Promote the rights, obligations, sanctions and protection offered by the national anti-corruption framework and the implementation of this framework in all sectors

(c) Promote ethical practices in all sectors and activities

(d) Provide sufficient platforms for engagement on issues of corruption at national, provincial and local levels, in all sectors.

19. The joint element of the Programme consists of projects to the value of over R 6 million and the 29 projects within the public sector have a value in excess of R 5 million. Government has since provided sufficient funds for implementation of the main parts of the joint and public sector elements of the Programme. As was the case with the 1999-Summit, Government has put in place the resources to honour the collective agreement encapsulated in the Resolutions of the 2nd Summit.

Regional and International Cooperation

20. South Africa’s quest for addressing the scourge of corruption through partnership also extends to regional and international cooperation.

21. In October 1999 the South African government co-hosted the 9th International Anti-corruption Conference in Durban with Transparency International. This meeting was attended by over 1600 delegates from over 135 countries and was drawn from government, business, civil society and international organisations.

22. The ratification of international instruments and accession to international instruments are processes that are regulated in terms of Section 231(2) of the Constitution, which process includes that Parliament approves such ratification. South Africa has ratified the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Protocol against Corruption (2003), African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (2005) as well as the United Nations Convention against Corruption (2004). South Africa is one of the first countries to ratify the UN Convention and complies with the mandatory requirements of the UN Convention. Government played a prominent role in the negotiation of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.

23. As part of its journey to complying with global anti-corruption standards and playing a prominent role in regional and international anti-corruption processes, Government has also requested accession to the OECD Convention on Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. South Africa has been invited to accede. Accession to this Convention has material and political benefits for South Africa as a whole.

24. A SADC Regional Anti-corruption Programme was adopted by member countries to give effect to the SADC Protocol against Corruption. This programme is based on the South African Public Service Anti-corruption Strategy, which is indicative of the regional regard for Government’s anti-corruption initiatives.

25. African Public Service Ministers meeting at the 3rd Pan African Conference of Public Service Ministers adopted the Charter for the Public Service in Africa on 5 February 2001. The Charter includes a code of conduct for African public service employees, to which South Africa complies. Whilst South Africa was the Chair of the 4th Pan African Conference two years later, the Capacity Development Programme: Governance and Administration was adopted, which includes a project on ethics in Africa. At the 5th Pan African meeting in December 2005, South Africa hosted a workshop dedicated to fighting corruption in the region, which culminated in the Ministers taking very specific decisions on implementing regional initiatives. South Africa will continue to chair this important forum until 2007.

26. On 9 March 2001 the South African government signed a project agreement with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to support our national anti-corruption programme. Under this programme Government has been able to leverage partnership support for various distinct projects, including the Country Corruption Assessment, support to the National Prosecuting Authority, a courts integrity project as well as support for the Second National Anti-corruption Summit and an assessment of ethics training in educational institutions.

27. During 2002 the Government of the Republic of (South) Korea approached the South African Government to assist with organising the third meeting of Global Forum on Fighting Corruption and Safeguarding Integrity. This Global Forum meeting was successfully hosted in Seoul in May in 2003. South Africa has also been approached by the Government of Brazil to assist with organising Global Forum IV on Fighting Corruption and Safeguarding Integrity that took place in June 2005. South Africa will host Global Forum V in 2007.

28. Government has made a significant contribution to the United Nations Practical Handbook for Investigators and Prosecutors on Corruption and serves on the project team of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime that is developing legislative guidelines for countries to comply with the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

29. The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has requested the South African Government to assist with establishing a comprehensive anti-corruption framework in the DRC. Work in this area has been ongoing since December 2004 and forms part of support to stabilise and reconstruct the DRC.

Conclusion

30. Although South Africa has laid the foundations, it is still an anti-corruption construction site and will remain so as long as corruption plagues the global community.

31. Government is proud of its contribution to creating a sound and efficient anti-corruption framework. Through partnership, nationally in the Forum and regionally and internally with other partners such international public organisations, donors and partner countries, the current framework can be improved and the fight against corruption intensified. The policy review process is also expected to identify additional areas for attention and other areas for improvement.


PROGRESS REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SUMMIT RESOLUTIONS

[ move the mouse over a resolution to view a status report]

Resolution: Combating Corruption

• A review and revision of legislation

• Establishment of a whistleblowing mechanisms

• Speedy enactment of the Open Democracy Bill

• Establishment of special courts to adjudicate on corruption cases

• Establishment of Sectoral Coordinating Structures
broadly classified as Public Sector, Civil Society and Business)

• Establishment of a National Coordinating Structure to lead, coordinate, monitor and manage the National Anti-Corruption Programme

Resolution: Preventing Corruption

• Blacklisting of individuals, businesses and organisations who are proven to be involved in corruption

• Establishment of Anti-Corruption Hotline

• Establishment of Sectoral and other Hotlines

• Disciplinary action against corrupt persons

• Consistent monitoring and reporting on corruption

• Promotion of and implementation of sound ethical, financial and related management practices.

Resolution: Building Integrity and raising Awareness

• Promotion and pursuance of social research and analysis and policy advocacy to analyse causes, effects and growth of corruption

Enforcement of Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Codes in each sector

• Inspiring the youth, workers and employers towards intolerance for corruption

• Promotion of training and education in ethics

• Sustained media campaigns to highlight aspects of the strategies