Public Protector addresses New York
public integrity summit
Friday, 08 June 2012
A united front underpinned by a sound integrity
framework, incorporating the rule of law, freedom of
expression, an unwavering commitment to public
accountability and transparency is fundamental for
addressing corruption and ensuring good governance, Public
Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela said in New York on Thursday.
During her address on case studies from the integrity front,
to the New York City Global Partners’ Public Integrity:
Anti-Corruption Strategies ,Economic Development and Good
Governance, the Public Protector said maladministration
and corruption were interrelated and that these were key
factors derailing service delivery in at local government
level in South Africa.
Noting that local government was at the frontline of
delivering basic services that are essential for the
realization of socio-economic rights guaranteed in the
Constitution and realization of the Millennium development
Goals, she advised that her office was part of South
Africa’s national integrity framework seeking to enforce
integrity in local government operations.
The Public Protector outlined her office’s mandate, powers,
functions and approach to investigations, explaining that
the office was an innovation that reinforced public
accountability, including the enforcement of integrity
beyond the traditional checks and balances in a democracy.
She said the impact her office continued to make in exacting
accountability in the exercise of public power and control
over state resources was due to sound constitutional
foundations, comprehensive legal framework and rule of law
ethos. These included the independence of the judiciary,
constitutionally entrenched public accountability and
freedom of expression, incorporating freedom of the media.
On the issue of corruption, the Public Protector highlighted
her office’s commitment to ensuring that remedial action
included clawing back funds lost to the state due to corrupt
practices such as overpricing and shoddy service by state
contractors. She mentioned that her office’s impact had been
particularly felt in the state procurement system
particiularly the leasing of office space and the question
of executive ethics, including conflict of interest. She
presented several cases to illustrate her point.
Highlighting that her office’s efforts were part of South
Africa’s National Anti-Corruption Strategy, the Public
Protector pointed out that the anticorruption work by her
office and others was contributing towards a level playing
field for business by eliminating market distortions created
by corruption and related forms of maladministration.
She highlighted the importance of a united front against
corruption and hailed the role played by integrity organs of
civil society such as Corruption Watch in ensuring civic
empowerment particularly in the areas of good governance and
combatting corruption. She opined that transparency and
public participation were essential for success in
combatting corruption and ensuring good governance.
She touched on other national efforts that seek to promote
good governance including an emerging good governance
movement led by her office, which will be hosting a national
good governance week, incorporating a conference for the
third time in October this year. She also mentioned her
engagements with business to ensure that those sectors that
regularly contract with government played an active role in
national efforts aimed at promoting integrity in government
contract or tender practices.
The summit, which brought together a hundred leaders from
around the world with established integrity operations as
well as those seeking to develop such systems in their
cities, ended today.
For more information, contact:
Manager: Outreach, Education and Communication
Public Protector South Africa
Tel: (012) 366 7035
Cell: 072 264 3273