Those that can afford to pay, must pay. These were the words of Free State Finance MEC, Elsabe Rockman, who was speaking at the media launch of the International Fraud Awareness Week, held at the Monte Bello Estate on Thursday 9 November 2017.
Rockman was referring to public officials and councillors registered as indigent, which they refer to as “free riders”.
Rockman said that raising awareness and promoting knowledge are critical tools in the fight against fraud and corruption, however these tools must be balanced and strengthened by consequence management actions.
She said with the hope of weeding out “ghost workers”, headcounts had been concluded at 7 provincial departments, namely Agriculture and Rural Development, Cogta, Education, Economic and Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Health, Human Settlements and Provincial Treasury.
The headcount process is currently underway at the department of Police, Roads and Transport, Public Works, Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, as well as fleet management. The headcount is expected to be concluded by 15 November 2017.
The Free State Provincial Treasury is working in partnership with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), Standard Bank and the University of the Free State to raise awareness during International Fraud Week.
The annual fraud conference and the private sector seminar will be held from 16 to 17 November 2017. These events are held to encourage the community, business leaders and government officials to take steps in minimising the impact of fraud.
Provincial Commissioner: Public Service Commission, Dr Henk Boshoff, said that in the current period under review of 2015/16, the Free State achieved a submission rate of 100% of disclosure forms by the stipulated due date.
He added that it was a huge effort to achieve this, and they constantly had to remind MEC’s and HOD’s of various departments to declare their financial interests before the deadline.
Boshoff added that the National Anti-Corruption Hotline (NACH) currently has 53 Free State cases which emanate from 2014/15 to the 2017/18, with the top four types of cases being fraud, nepotism, procurement irregularities and misappropriation of funds.
Boshoff ended off by reminding people to report any cases by calling 0800-701-701.
Seithati Semenokane / Courant News