Parliamentary Question: Dpsa: Public servants

1546

1961. Mr P J C Pretorius (DA) to ask the Minister for the Public Service and Administration:
(1) Whether there are any restrictions that apply to public servants preventing them from joining private sector entities with which they had direct work relations immediately upon them leaving the employ of the public service; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

Response:

The public service does not have any restrictions preventing public servants from joining private sector entities with which they had direct work relations immediately upon them leaving the employ of the public service. The absence of these restrictions is as a result of no regulation contained in the Public Service Act to prohibit such conduct.

This legislative gap has been identified by the Department of Public Service and Administration and the Department is working on addressing it. The absence of these restrictions has resulted in departments not being able to deal with conflict of interest’s cases that arise as a result of post-employment activities of former public servants.
1961. Mr P J C Pretorius (DA) to ask the Minister for the Public Service and Administration:
(2) whether he intends introducing a cooling-off period particularly for senior management that would apply between the period of leaving the employ of the public service and joining private sector entities with which they had direct work relations; if so, (a) when and (b) what will the nature of these restrictions be? NW2199E

Response

The Department of Public Service and Administration has drafted the Public Sector Integrity Management Framework (Framework) which aim to strengthen measures regulating conflict of interests and probity in the public service, including restricting public servants from joining private sector entities with which they had direct work relating after leaving the public service. The nature of the restrictions contained in the Public Sector Integrity Management Framework preventing public servants from joining private sector entities with which they had direct work relations immediately upon them leaving the employ of the public service stipulate that “any contract concluded with a service provider, employee/s who participated in the procurement process leading to the award of the contract to the service provider may not within 12 months (cooling off period) after the conclusion of the contract accept any employment with that service provider or provide any service to the service provider in cash or kind. The provisions also restrict the service provider from employing such public servants. In addition, the proposed measures include a provision for the Executive Authority to waive the cooling off period should there be no evidence of ‘javelin” throwing.

In supporting the implementation of the Framework, Ethics Officers will be deployed at departments to monitor the implementation of the Framework. Amongst other activities, the Ethics Officer will keep a register of names of officials participating in procurements processes of the department. The provisions contained in the Framework will be included in the Public Service Act and Regulations to support enforcement. The Special Anti-corruption Unit within the Department of Public Service and Administration will investigate cases of potential conflict of interests reported by the Ethics Officer and ensure that disciplinary actions are taken against officials.



The implementation of the Framework is expected to take place during 2012/2013 financial year.
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