As South Africa marks Public Service Month in September,
I’m reminded of the words of famous American administrator and attorney Jack Lew who said:
“I think there’s no higher calling in terms of a career than public service, which is a chance to make a difference in people’s lives and improve the world”.
This time of the year also serves as a reminder to us, public servants, on what it means to serve communities, improve the world and make a difference in people’s lives.
It also gives us an opportunity to reflect on the impact government has on the lives of ordinary South Africans.
During this month, public servants should take heed of what more we can to improve the public service and change the negative perception that people often about us.
We need to roll up our sleeves and clean various service delivery points,
visit schools, hospitals, police stations and courts.
We also need to talk to citizens and address the bottlenecks and red tape in the delivery of services.
We need to ensure that systems and infrastructure are working and use the limited public resources efficiently to the benefit of citizens.
Rooting out corruption To ensure that citizens get the most out of the allocated resources, we must uproot corruption in the public sector, a task the Public Service Commission (PSC) is busy with.
Among other things we, at the PSC, are responsible for the implementation of the Financial Disclosure Framework.
In terms of the framework, all senior managers in the public service have to disclose their fi
nancial interests annually. Such disclosures promote both transparency and accountability in order to detect and prevent conflicts of interest.
The PSC has made a concerted effort to ensure that senior managers submit their financial disclosure forms timeously by advertising reminders in mainstream media.
Due to 2014 being an election year in the country, the due dates for the submission of financial disclosure forms for the 2013/14 financial
year were extended by the Minister for Public Service and Administration.
An electronic disclosure system (e-Disclosure) was introduced and senior managers were encouraged
to submit their financial disclosures either manually or through e-Disclosure.
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