Best practices to regulate gifts in the South African public sector

Show simple item record Jones, V. Bezuidenhout, Hannes C. 2015-08-03T05:18:33Z 2015-08-03T05:18:33Z 2014-08
dc.description.abstract Gift-giving and the acceptance of gifts in the South African public sector is a controversial issue. The bestowal of a gift may generate a negative public perception of corrupt behaviour. Gift-giving and the framework that governs it varies from country to country, together with what can be regarded as acceptable. There is a delicate balance between what is interpreted as a mere gift or donation, or whether the objective of the bestowal is to seek a benefit, create a relationship or to generate an understanding of quid pro quo, or sense of beholdenment, which will benefit the giver privately. This is deemed a bribe, irrespective of what it is called. As corruption is rife in the South African public sector the abuse of public power for private gain is a problematic issue that needs special attention. The current existing legislative framework in South Africa is fragmented and does not provide public servants with clear, comprehensive or adequate guidance relative to the acceptance of gifts. The multiple ambiguities in legislative instruments make it unfeasible and impossible for an auditor or enforcement agency to establish links between gifts and corrupt practices; the overlaps create loopholes, of which corrupt officials take advantage. It is therefore deemed imperative that the existing South African legislative instruments, which currently govern and manage the acceptance of gifts, be assessed and evaluated, in an endeavour to establish best practices in supervising gift-giving to public officials. It is crucial for South Africa to fight corruption, and an essential element of this is the necessity of strengthening the controls which prevent and identify corrupt activities in the Public Service. Through comparisons drawn it is apparent that the legislative framework regarding the acceptance of gifts should be reviewed, and possibly consolidated into one guideline or code, then implemented nationally in the Government sector. This would result in clarification, with a single, consistent and universal set of rules across the government sector, with which public servants must comply. A possible solution has been proposed, whereby if an unsolicited gift is received it is shared or distributed between all employees; if everyone benefits equally, it may lessen the perception that the gift was intended to influence the action of a single employee. en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2015 en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Jones, V & Bezuidenhout, H 2014, 'Best practices to regulate gifts in the South African public sector', Administratio Publica, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 68-92. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 1015-4833
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Association of Teachers in Public Administration en_ZA
dc.rights Association of Teachers in Public Administration en_ZA
dc.subject Gift-giving en_ZA
dc.subject Gifts en_ZA
dc.subject Corruption en_ZA
dc.subject South African public sector en_ZA
dc.title Best practices to regulate gifts in the South African public sector en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA

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