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SA Parliament: Home affairs committee given more proof to dispel allegations of illegularities at GPW

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Parliament, Thursday, 18 June 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs received further information that dispels the allegations of impropriety at the Government Printing Works (GPW).

The committee visited the entity yesterday following various allegations of irregularities that were made by an anonymous whistle-blower at the entity.

The committee was briefed on the allegations against the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Alinah Fosi by the Public Service Association and the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union.

The visit followed a briefing last week by the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, on the Public Service Commission (PSC) investigation into the entity. The committee was informed that the PSC had investigated the allegations that related to compliance with administrative processes and allegations relating to criminal intent have been referred to the police.

The PSC report found no evidence to support the allegations of maladministration. The Chairperson of the committee, Adv Bonagani Bongo, said the committee could not fault the findings of the PSC because they are enjoined by the Constitution to promote the values and principles set out in Section 196 of the Constitution.

Section 196 of the Constitution reads, in part, “the Commission is independent and must be impartial, and must exercise its powers and perform its functions without fear, favour or prejudice in the interest of maintance of effective and efficient public administration and a high standard of professional ethics in the public service.”

Adv Bongo encouraged the people who doubt the findings of the PSC to go to the dully empowered institutions to raise their matters. Regarding the trip to France, the committee is satisfied that the trip was for security printing meeting and was duly approved and included the Chief Executive Office, General Manager for Human Relations and the Director Security Printing.

This is contrary to the allegations that Ms Fosi had taken the trip with her friends. The meeting also heard that there was no evidence backing the claim that there was interference in the processes leading up to the Strategic Planning which was held in Bela Bela.

Meanwhile, the committee was furnished with a proof of Ms Fosi’s qualifications which dispels the allegations that she doesn’t have the necessary qualifications for the job. “There is no evidence that Ms Fosi doesn’t have qualifications to lead GPW. We have been provided with documents which show that she has a Master’s Degree, and she has been in the public service for 26 years and 16 of those years she has been in a senior management position,” Adv Bongo said.

Adv Bongo emphasised that while the committee is satisfied with her qualifications, the committee is not empowered to dictate to the Minister or anyone who must be employed or not employed.

On the performance of the entity, the Annual Report showed that the GPW grew its revenue by 6% to R1.497 billion. Also, the GPW did not receive any allocation from the National Treasury.

“We welcome the continued good financial performance by the GPW and we encourage them to speedily address the vacancies at senior management, especially in the finance division,” added  Adv Bongani Bongo.

The committee said the good performance by the GPW was one of the reasons why the committee has recommended that the entity must be given the responsibility of printing all the secured printing work of the government.

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