The National Anti-Corruption Forum (NACF) has failed to convene a single meeting in four years, the DA said on Tuesday.
“This dereliction is indicative of the ANC government’s hollow commitment to fighting corruption in the public service and elsewhere,” DA shadow minister of public service and administration Annette Lovemore said.
She was reacting to a reply received to a DA parliamentary question.
“I will write to the portfolio committee on public service and administration requesting that that the Public Service Commission – under which the NACF falls – appear before Parliament to account for this grave dereliction of duty.
“The PSC is answerable to Parliament in terms of section 196(5) of the Constitution and must account for this corruption-mongering state of affairs.”
The NACF consists of business, civil society, and government representatives. Each sector is represented by 10 members.
Lovemore said the Public Service Commission had failed in its constitutional mandate.
“An average of about 250 public servants are found guilty of corruption each year, following internal disciplinary processes. However, the minister of police has stated in another parliamentary reply that he only deals with approximately 90 cases of corruption a year.”
She said that according to police statistics, at most only one-third of public servants found guilty of corruption, internally, were ever reported to police.
“These statistics do not speak of a high level of public sector commitment to rooting out corruption,” she said.
Attempts made at meeting
Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) spokesperson Dumisani Nkwamba said the NACF had not been able to meet since December 10 2012, despite several attempts being made to convene.
“These attempts did not yield any positive results due to the unavailability of key representatives from the various sectors – government, business and civil society. As a result, the NACF was not able to implement any joint programmes, as was agreed to at the last summit held in December 2011,” he said.
The DPSA had not budgeted funds for the forum, as the PSC served as the secretariat to the NACF, Nkwamba explained.
“As secretariat, the PSC is responsible for all logistical arrangements and support to the work of the governance structure of the NACF. In the 2006/2007 financial year government provided the secretariat with R4.5m to implement projects listed under the national anti-corruption programme which was drafted by the NACF.
“The two other sectors sponsored their own sector-specific projects and contributed to the December 2011 summit, held at the Sandton Convention Centre.”
Nkwamba said the NACF had not been replaced by any other body.
“As government we recommit to engage with our partners, civil society and business sector, to reinvigorate the NACF. The fight against corruption requires the involvement of all sectors of society and therefore, we cannot be content with the state of affairs regarding the forum.”