Public Service Commission - News

Public Service, Civil Society and Private Sectors Share International Experience on Anti-Corruption

Among others, one resolution of the 1999 Anti-Corruption Summit Resolutions, called for the building of integrity systems and the creation of awareness of anti-corruption issues in the pubic, private and civil society sectors. Following on this, the PSC, in partnership with the University of Pretoria's Centre for Business and Professional Ethics, organized a five-day course on Corruption Prevention at the university.

The course took lasted for a week starting from July 16 2001 and was officially opened by Dr Richard Levin, Deputy Director-General of Good Governance and Service Delivery Improvement. Coordinated by Dr Sandi Baai, Director of Professional Ethics Promotion, the course programme was designed for senior managers from the three sectors (public, private and civil society). It was aimed at helping managers develop to prevent corruption.

John Boyd, Manager of Corruption Prevention at the Criminal Justice Commission and Howard Witton, a professional ethics consultant and officer of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet in Queensland, Australia, conducted a professional course in corruption prevention and professional ethics. They have been involved in anti-corruption initiatives for many years and their presentations were based on their experiences in Australia, which bear some similarities to South Africa. Representatives from the Public Service Commission and the University of Pretoria's Centre for Business and Professional Ethics also made presentations on corruption prevention.

The five-day course was an excellent platform for participants to exchange ideas on combating corruption and to compare the South African and Australian experiences. Presentations were conducted in the following areas:

  • Understanding of corruption in the South African context;
  • Detecting and preventing corruption;
  • Professional Ethics reasoning and decision making;
  • Identification of project areas involving practical application of professional strategies.

The ideas generated during the interaction, coupled with the course material, will help participants to plan future strategies in professional ethics more confidently. Asked about their impressions, the Australian facilitators said that although it is still early days, South Africa is definitely progressing very well on the anti-corruption front.

PSCnews spoke to Mr Marvin Perunal, Investigating Officer at the Department of Correctional Services' Anti Corruption Unit about the course. He found the five-day course to be an eye opener. "The challenge for me is to put into practice the knowledge that I gained," he remarked. "The course also gave me the opportunity to meet my counterparts from the three sector - public, private and civil society. The presentations which made were relevant to corruption within the government sector."

Dr Baai said that another course on corruption prevention would be organised in the near future for junior officials in the public service.

Article compiled by Humphrey Ramafoko



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