PSC condemns lack of 'values and principles' in public sector

The Public Service Commission (PSC) Commissioner Michael Seloane has spoken out against corruption and other dubious activity within public service, saying the sector is driven by values and principles.

He was addressing a virtual media briefing on the PSC's Quarterly Bulletin in Pretoria on Tuesday, 15 September 2020.

"Maintaining an ethical status is the responsibility of every manager of the organisation. Managing ethical behaviour is one of the most pervasive and complex problems facing the public service today," Seloane said.

Seloane said the values of professionalism, transparency, accountability and responsibility are the centre of development.

"The Constitution envisions a public sector with high standards of professional ethics, which enshrine principles such as efficiency, responsiveness, fairness, transparency and accountability," he said.
"It envisions that abiding by these principles will lead to human dignity, equality and freedom for the people of South Africa"

PSC on irregular appointments in government

The PSC has been engaging with government departments, key societal stakeholders and citizens at large on Constitutional values and principles.

"To build a public sector that serves South Africans in the way that the Constitution intended, the PSC embarked on a programme to promote and evaluate the CVPs. These engagements focused on ensuring that the values and principles are understood, adhered to and find expression in public administration daily and in the public at large," Seloane said.

The commissioner further said the abuse of appointments of senior public officials into government positions, as well as procurement irregularities in the awarding of personal protective equipment for COVID-19, underscored as the red flag in the public service.

"Working for government entails public office and public service, which is different to working for private institutions and other entities."

Seloane said the values of professionalism, transparency, accountability and responsibility demand that public service officials fly above partisan politics and other narrow agendas.

"Precipitated by widespread public sector patronage and unprofessional behaviour in government, the country expects its public service to demonstrate high standards of professionalism and ethics.

It comes as President Cyril Ramaphosa placed the Commission's director-general Dr Dovhani Mamphiswana on suspension, back in August, for allegedly orchestrating the irregular appointment of his mistress.

"The president's suspension of the director-general does not in any way constitute a judgment on the part of the president," Ramaphosa's spokesperson Tyrone Seale said at the time.

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