Seven finance officials dismissed

The finance minister has warned treasury staff against engaging in corruption.

17 July 2017 | Local News

Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein last week warned his staff from engaging in fraudulent activities.

This follows the dismissal of seven ministry officials who were found on the wrong side of the law in January this year.

“I am worried that this year we have discharged seven officials because of unethical behaviour, three from management. That is a bad statistic. That is worrisome,” said Schlettwein who was addressing his staff in Windhoek.

He warned would-be fraudsters that their actions would eventually catch up with them. “That is only those that have been caught, [but] the good thing is that we've caught them. Maybe the wheels of justice are turning slowly, but they are turning and they will catch up with those cheating the system.”

He encouraged ministry staff to come clean and not look away at incidences of corruption. “If you suspect bad behaviour, report it, the better we deal with it the better our system will be,” said Schlettwein.

He also used the opportunity to implore his staff to use ministerial funds prudently. “We work not only with our own money, but the money of others. Don't do with public money what you will not do with your own money,” said Schlettwein.

Recounting an experience, he said that it was not fair that ministry officials were using government funds to merely pay for goods and services procured.

“If you go to buy a printer cartridge, you will go around to several shops and compare [prices]. We bought cartridges with our eyes closed, we bought cartridges that were three times the market price. That cannot go on and no one must tell me that they did not know better,” he said.

“It is not a difficult thing to improve at, let us behave in a way that is high-value for money and ethical behaviour.”

Schlettwein also took issue at ministry officials who ask for kickbacks to accelerate payments made to service providers and referred to a text which was sent to a local newspaper recently.

“If the public complains, we must make sure that our system detects this unethical behaviour. I hope and I am confident that it is not one of you,” Schlettwein warned.



OGONE TLHAGE

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