Public Service Commission notes State Attorney probe

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Public Service Commission (PSC) says it has noted the confirmation by Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Adv Michael Masutha, on a proclamation for the Special Investigating Unit to investigate allegations of fraud and corruption in the Office of the State Attorney (OSA).

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed off the proclamation for the Special Investigating Unit to investigate allegations of fraud and corruption in the Office of the State Attorney.

This follows complaints about the manner in which the Office was handling state litigation. The PSC supports the decision to investigate fraud and corruption in the OSA.

In 2016, the PSC released a report on its assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of the OSA.

Various court cases and public concern in relation to the OSA prompted the PSC to undertake the assessment. In particular, the PSC made recommendations to improve the allocation of cases to attorneys at the OSA and to improve controls regarding payments made to attorneys and advocates.

The outcome of the PSC’s assessment was disseminated to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services and other stakeholders.

Minister Masutha responded to the PSC in April 2017 indicating that the PSC’s recommendations were being implemented.

In particular, it was indicated that the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development was considering implementing a Framework Contract through National Treasury that will guide the briefing of all private legal practitioners by the OSA and government departments who engage private attorneys. 

The PSC believes that such a framework will go a long way in curbing alleged fraud and corruption in the OSA.

The PSC’s full report can be accessed on the PSC website by clicking on the link http://www.psc.gov.za/documents/reports/2016/SA%20Report%20Final%2026%20May%202016.pd – SAnews.gov.za

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