Audits, Financial Mismanagement and Accountability

These two reports go hand in glove – the Auditor Generals’ reports on government institutions (Only 22% of the 536 entities examined received clean audits) and the M & G report on Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s efforts to make the public service more accountable for their shortcomings and the DA’s efforts to pass a bill that would prohibit public servants doing business with government.

Here all the players calling for better controls are all on the same page, sort of, realising that it is essential to have clean government.  They just differ on the means of achieving that common goal.

The Direct Democracy Forum have their own opinions as to how clean government can be achieved.  Here are some of those ideas:

  • An upper house of parliament (the Senate) drawn from the streets that the governing party, viz. the majority in parliament, and the cabinet itself, must answer to.
  • A similar arrangement at local government level where elected councils and councilors are answerable to a representative body of ordinary citizens.
  • Directly elected representatives to all legislative chambers rather than the list based electoral system.
  • Shorter terms of office (4 years for Parliament and the President) with their terms of office overlapping.
  • Shorter terms for local government (Councilors, mayors and other top office bearers required to resign and stand for re-election each year).
  • Constituency power of recall of all directly elected officials and representatives.

These national and local senates would have similarly short terms of office with 50% of each body being replaced each year and 100% replaced over any two year cycle.

All of this is outlined in the DDF policies in the DDF website.

We are almost prepared to guarantee that such scrutiny and regulation would hold the attention of everyone intent on remaining in office, and encourage them to cooperate with their constituents to identify and meet their needs, and fulfill electioneering promises.  Without meeting those needs and fulfilling those promises their terms of office will be even briefer than expected.  No more 5 year terms of office and unfulfilled promises.   

And just for the record, no DDF administration will ever permit public servants, elected or appointed, to do business with government, nor to hold shares or non executive or executive or management positions in nor to receive rewards or remuneration of any sorts whatsoever from any business doing business with government.

The buck stops at the ballot box.