Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) supports National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel’s call to prohibit public servants from doing business with government and to seriously penalise defaulters.
Manuel reiterated a call by Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu that public servants must be banned from doing business with the state and benefiting from government contracts.
Sisulu’sdepartment is looking at amending the Public Service Act to legislate that civil servants cannot do business with the state.
CESA unreservedly supports the call for the banning of public servants from doing business with the state including deals/tenders with another department or municipality.
Its view is that that the Public Protector should investigate instances where official’s award tenders to companies and thereafter resign to join those companies.
“What is at stake is not the rights of state employees to do business, but rather the integrity of the state procurement system. The current public procurement environment in the construction sector is highly complex and conducive to corruption and manipulation,” warns CESA President Naren Bhojaram.
The problem is further compounded by the lack of accountability and punishment for procurement irregularities and wasteful expenditure.
“The country has good rules but no-one is playing by them”, he adds.
CESA believes that it is irresponsible and foolhardy to place employees in positions where they can (or are tempted to) manipulate procurement and other procedures to unfairly benefit themselves at the expense of the state/taxpayer.