17 July 2019 - NW139
van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Home Affairs
What steps does he intend to take to deal with the perceived rampant and endemic corruption within his department which often leads to fraudulent documents being issued, putting at risk the integrity of the entire home affairs system, as well as the security of the State?
The Department has a Branch, Counter Corruption & Security Services which is mandated to prevent and combat fraud and corruption as well as to promote organisational integrity within the DHA. Because people who commit fraud and corruption are motivated by a number of things, the Prevention Unit of the Branch undertakes awareness interventions aimed at educating officials about fraud, corruption and the negative consequences thereof through awareness initiatives that also promote ethical behaviour.
At the same time, wrongdoing needs to be addressed hence reported allegations of fraud and corruption involving officials are investigated. Once the allegations have been proved to be true through investigations, the matter is referred to Labour Relations for instituting of disciplinary against implicated officials. Line function managers are informed of methods used to commit fraud and corruption that are uncovered during investigation so that these can be addressed.
The Unit also undertakes the following proactive measures in its fight against fraud and corruption by officials:
- Evaluation of Departmental processes in order to identify gaps that may contribute to fraud and corruption. Recommendations thereof are then sent to the relevant Branches for implementation, i.e. close the gaps.
- Two processes are earmarked for the current financial year, Ports of Entry as well as Passports.
- Vetting investigation of officials in order to determine their security competence in relation to the grading of their posts.
- Threat and Risk Assessments are undertaken in line with the Minimum Physical Security Standards as well Minimum Information Security Standards. This is to ensure that our facilities and document management are in compliance with prescripts. Recommendations from these exercises are referred to the relevant office managers for implementation.
The Department also launched Operation Bvisa Masina (Weeding out the rot), which is a collaboration with other Law Enforcement Agencies in fighting fraud and prevention. During the previous financial year, 17 officials and 12 non-officials were arrested as a result of this Operation.
The Department is also working at integrating its systems as the non-integrated systems have been flagged as contributing factors to fraud and corruption.