Home South African Govt to start implementing lifestyle audits from February

Govt to start implementing lifestyle audits from February

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A unit established by the Department of Public Service and Administration has already trained 42 ethics officers on the risk-based verification of financial disclosures (lifestyle reviews).

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THE PUBLIC Service Commission (PSC) has announced that the government will start implementing lifestyle audits for its employees from February and has encouraged ministers, premiers, MECs and heads of departments to lead by example.

On Tuesday, the PSC released its quarterly bulletin, The Pulse of the Public Service, which states that the introduction of the lifestyle audits is part of the efforts to ensure integrity in public administration.

According to the bulletin, lifestyle audits in the Public Service will commence in February 2022 and the public administration ethics, integrity and disciplinary technical assistance unit will provide technical assistance to national and provincial departments to implement the guidelines on the implementation of lifestyle audits in the public service.

The unit, which is in the Department of Public Service and Administration, has already trained 42 ethics officers on the risk-based verification of financial disclosures (lifestyle reviews).

”The concept of lifestyle audits should be understood as reassuring that the living standards of public servants are congruent with their declared financial incomes,” the commission said.

It explained that as part of ensuring that South Africa does not become a failed state, the government has the responsibility to ensure that public servants live according to their reported incomes.

”Lifestyle audits will also help strengthen the already existing financial disclosure framework that helps us in determining conflict of interests. In order to inculcate a sense of commitment to integrity and accountability in public administration, the executive authorities (ministers, premiers and MECs) and heads of departments should lead by example and subject themselves to the lifestyle audit process,” the PSC said.

The PSC has undertaken to be the first to undergo lifestyle audits of all its commissioners and employees to lead by example.

The commission noted that lifestyle audits did not question people’s right to wealth and noted that the majority of public servants are honest and people of integrity as some could have acquired their riches through honest means such as inheritance, a wealthy partner and as a successful business person.

Political Bureau

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