Corruption 'destroys the economy'

ACC's Noah lashes out at irresponsible, unbudgeted expenditure

16 October 2019 | Crime

Board of directors of state-owned entities came under fire yesterday when Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) director-general Paulus Noa questioned irresponsible, unbudgeted expenditure with no proper explanation.

Noa also said the current state of affairs in government ministries, where allocated budgets are overspent without a feasible explanation, creates a sense of unethical management.

He said this during the official induction and training of members of the newly appointed integrity committees for government agencies, ministries and organisations yesterday.

Noa said corruption is not only limited to theft, but is also perpetrated through maladministration and misconduct.

He added that negligent decisions, which ultimately result in unbudgeted expenditure, are also corruption that destroys the economy.

“How many times have you read about the auditor-general reporting about a certain amount of money that has been spent, but there is no explanation? Or a certain ministry has overspent its allocated budget without an explanation,” he said.

Noa emphasised that corruption and lack of integrity undermine government's efforts to achieve key national development goals and aspirations and are an impediment to the fulfilment of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

The role of the integrity committees include being the ears and eyes of executive directors and chief regional officers and to act as ethics and integrity champions, Noa said.

They will advise on matters of ethics and identify and report unethical behaviour and corrupt activities to the executive director.

The integrity committees are also expected to develop and implement awareness programmes to educate staff members on ethics and integrity, good governance and anti-corruption measures.

Noa also commended the media for exposing corrupt practices in state-owned entities and government ministries.

“Now you ask yourself: Are these enterprises not having boards of directors or management? It is horrifying! If it was money from someone's own pocket, you… would never see the ACC coming after you, but if it is taxpayers' money you must explain,” he said.

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JEMIMA BEUKES