Blow whistle on fraud and corruption, Gauteng Health urges employees

Department of Health 23/03/2020 - 08:57



Lesemang Matuka

The Gauteng Department of Health is calling on all its employees to adopt a zero-tolerance attitude to fraud and corruption by blowing the whistle anytime they encountered such incidents.

“Fraud and corruption derail the government’s efforts to provide the necessary services to the needy. We, therefore, urge all our employees to blow whistle on fraud and corruption incidents anytime they see such activities,” said the Head of Department (HoD), Professor Mkhululi Lukhele.


Prof Lukhele said in the 2018/19 financial year the Department dealt with 21 reported cases of fraud and corruption amounting to the loss of R148-million while irregular expenditure came in at R422 648 683.


“These are funds which could have been channelled towards service improvement to the benefit of millions of Gauteng residents,” the HoD added.


Emphasising the need to heighten awareness and tackling the scourge of fraud and corruption, Prof Lukhele said the prevention of fraud and corruption, as well as the recognition of exposure to fraud and corruption, is the responsibility of “each and every employee of the Department”.


“If you are aware of something wrong happening and you do not report it, it could mean you are also party to crime,” Prof Lukhele said.


“Some of the common types of fraud and corruption in the Department include procurement, recruitment, fraudulent qualifications, theft, tender fraud, counterfeit purchase orders, unethical behaviour and maladministration. Rest assured we are paying a special attention to them,” he said.


 

The Gauteng Department of Health has a zero tolerance on fraud and corruption. Upon receiving cases, we conduct assessments that could lead to a full investigation or, alternatively, refer the matter/s to Provincial Forensic Audit for further investigation.


 

The government’s Anti-Corruption Hotline also allows people to report corruption anonymously and this way, the identity of people reporting corruption remains protected, Prof Lukhele explained. 


 

To combat the element of fear and ensure the protection of whistle-blowers, the Protected Disclosures Act lists the Public Service Commission (PSC) as one of the institutions protected under the Act. The Act, dubbed the Whistle-blowers’ Act, makes provisions for employees to report unlawful or irregular conduct by employers and employees while providing for the protection of employees who blow the whistle.


 

To further protect whistle-blowers, the Gauteng Provincial Government also has an Ethics Hotline, an independent platform created for public servants and residents of Gauteng to report allegations of corrupt activities.  The Ethics Hotline’s reports directly to the Integrity Management, which serves as the Secretariat for the Gauteng Ethics Advisory Council.


 

What is Fraud and Corruption?

In South African law, fraud is defined as “the unlawful and intentional making of a misrepresentation which causes actual and or potential prejudice to another”.

What is Corruption? The misuse of entrusted power for private gain.

What can be reported?

  • Bribery
  • Nepotism
  • Embezzlement
  • Fraud
  • Omission of duties
  • Favouritism
  • Extortion
  • Conflict of interest
  • Insider trading
  • Abuse of privileged information, etc.   
  •  

     Four doors of legal protection that a Whistle-blower can use:

    • Door One: Legal advice: Shop steward, Employee’s attorney        
    • Door Two: Internal disclosure through the Protected Disclosures Act 26 of   2000
    • Door Three: Regulatory disclosures: Public Protector, AGS
    • Door Four: Wider disclosures: Police, MPs and even the media

     

Where to report Fraud and Corruption?

  • Gauteng Ethics Hotline: 080 111 1633
  • National Anti-Corruption Hotline: 080 070 1701
  •  Integrity@publicservicecorruptionhotline.org.za
  • Walk in” disclosures may be made at any of the following Offices of the Public Service Commission’s offices
  • Public Protector: 080 011 2040


 

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