Transcript Document

Corruption, Human Rights and Development
– the case of the PSAM in South Africa
United Nations Conference on Anti-Corruption
Measures, Good Governance and Human Rights
Warsaw, Poland, 8/9 November 2006
The Context of the Eastern Cape
• PSAM dedicated to promoting the effective use of public resources
and the realisation of socio-economic rights in South Africa,
particularly in its Eastern Cape province
• South African constitution contains commitment to progressively
realise socio-economic rights within available resources, has
excellent enabling legislation to ensure effective use of resources
and to combat corruption
Excellent legislative framework – but
weak implementation
• Lack of separation between implementation and oversight
arms of government – the executive and legislature
• Tendency to rely on ex-struggle loyalties and to treat
accountability as personal favour
• Failure by CSOs to use constitutional & legislative
provisions to participate in governance processes
• Tendency to concentrate on macro/policy level and to
neglect practical issues at site of service delivery
Resulted in widespread acts of corruption, conflicts of
interest and instances of failed service delivery
(particularly in provinces)
Realisation of Socio-Economic
Rights – Eastern Cape
• Since 1994 there has been an increase in
access to basic services (water, electricity,
housing etc) for majority of population
BUT many socio-economic challenges remain
• 72% of EC population continue to live in
poverty [HSRC 2004]
• 42 % of EC citizens are illiterate [EC Treasury 2005]
• Infant mortality rate has increased from 61
deaths per 1000 live births in 1998 to 72 deaths
per 1000 births in 2002 (highest rate in South Africa) [HST 2002]
Why focus on sub-national expenditure?
Provinces are the site of service delivery and
administer the bulk of public expenditure in South
• Available expenditure (2006/07) - R 396 billion
• Provincial govt. • National govt. • Local govt. –
R229.3 billion
R146.8 billion
R 19.7 billion
PSAM expands rights-based approach
to include right to social accountability
• Social accountability defined as the right to obtain
justifications and explanations for the use of public
resources from those entrusted with their management
(whether government officials or private service
• Those responsible for public resources have an
obligation to explain/justify how decisions/actions have
contributed to the progressive realisation of citizens
(socio-economic) rights – and to take steps to correct
ineffective use/abuse of resources
• Corruption (defined as misuse of public power and
resources for private benefit) breaches the
accountability obligation and results in the violation of
socio-economic rights
PSAM Initial Focus - Monitoring of
Survey of Officials’ Experiences and Perceptions of
corruption in 2001
• 48% of officials believed it was understandable to accept gifts in
response for doing their jobs
Monitored Eastern Cape government between 1999 and
• Tracked a total of 691 cases of misconduct, corruption,
maladministration and conflicts of interest. Only 72 (10%) resolved
• Total amount involved for all cases = R6.9 billion
Amount recovered / properly accounted for = R325 million (5%)
Shift of focus - monitoring accountability
Methodology for monitoring social
accountability systems
PSAM Monitoring Results
Conducted detailed monitoring of the
performance and realisation of rights by Eastern
Cape Departments of Health, Education, Welfare
and Housing between 2000 and 2006.
Evaluation of following 5 accountability systems:
Planning and resource allocation system
Expenditure management system
Performance management system
Integrity system
Oversight system
Will provide snapshot of findings
System 1. Planning & Resource
None of the 4 departments strategic plans or budget documents:
• Included an accurate analysis of citizens’ needs (including
epidemiological trends, number of people without housing, access
to clinics, schools, nutrition, social grants etc)
• Included accurate information on the departments’ own
organisational challenges and operational capacity
• Examples
• The Dept of Health failed to produce business plans for almost
40% of its HIV/AIDS budget between 2000-2004.
• The Dept of Housing failed to identify the number and location of
citizens requiring housing between 1996 and 2006
• The Dept of Education failed to plan for the salaries of its excess
staff (of an average of 11 000, mostly teachers) between 20002005
System 2. Expenditure Management
• The lack of effective planning resulted in the inability of the
4 Depts to report effectively against plans. As a result their
managers, the Treasury and oversight bodies were unable
to monitor their spending effectively
• This resulted in over/under-spending
• The Dept of Health failed to account for 73% of its
(provincial) HIV/AIDS budget between 2000 – 2003 (R90.2
m), 26% of budget was unspent (R33 m).
• The Dept of Housing failed to spend R928 million or 29% of
its housing budget between 2000 – 2004
• The Dept of Education overspent its budget by R1.1 billion
between 2000 - 2004
System 3. Performance management
All 4 Departments:
• Failed to maintain proper risk management and internal audit
• The EC Dept of Housing has consistently failed to monitor quality of
new houses built – the AG found in 2002/2003 that 90% of houses he inspected did not
conform to national norms and standards
System 4. Integrity system
All 4 Departments:
• Lacked effective systems to monitor and enforce disciplinary
proceedings – including adequately staffed disciplinary units, the
appointment of presiding officers and proper maintenance of
disciplinary databases
System 5. Oversight
All 4 Departments displayed an inability and/or unwillingness to
address problems raised by the Auditor-General (AG)
• Each year since 1996 the AG has raised the same issues relating to
poor financial controls
• In 2002 the AG pointed out that not a single Public Accounts
Committee resolution had been implemented between 1995 – 2002
• AG issued ‘disclaimer’ audit opinion for 77% of the total EC budget
between 1996 – 2006
• ‘Disclaimer’ issued when there is a lack of accurate financial records
and failure to properly record all financial transactions.
• Whilst this does not mean these amounts were lost/stolen the
province could not properly account for the use of R174 billion out of
R225 billion.
• In this context it is impossible to establish whether these funds
resulted in effective service delivery.
System 5.Oversight (Cont)
Auditor-General’s Audit Opinions on EC budget between 1996 – 2006
Financial Year
(R 000s)
Disclaimer amount
(R 000s)
Number of
Percentage of
budget unaccounted
10 out of 12
12 out of 13
11 out of 13
10 out of 13
8 out of 13
4 out of 13
2 out of 13
3 out of 12
3 out of 13
5 out of 13
PSAM Impact
Sustained advocacy has contributed to:
• Increased public & oversight committee awareness of
importance of accurate financial reporting by government
departments in EC – especially around audit disclaimers
• Establishment of a declarations of interest register for the
EC executive and Legislature in 2004
• Creation of disciplinary databases in key EC service
delivery departments in 2005 – Health, Education
• Improved civil society participation in EC governance
processes – eg established a Human Rights Working
Group (which meets quarterly)
• Strengthened parliamentary oversight committees –
briefings (with findings & recommendations) to committee
Lesson – need multiple approaches to rights-based
monitoring & corresponding advocacy strategies
Macro level - Policy Monitoring & Analysis
(national/international)- focus on development of
constitutional provisions, legislation & policies eg
finance regulations, trade policies, macro-budget
allocations Advocacy strategy – lobbying policy-makers
Meso level - Accountability Systems Monitoring
(sub-national) – focus on implementation of
accountability & service delivery systems at site of
oversight of delivery Advocacy strategy – high profile
(critical) engagement on system implementation
Micro level - Social auditing (local) – focus on
verifying project implementation eg building of
health centre or school in village Advocacy strategy –
engagement with officials and service providers
• Balance support for supply and demand aspects
of accountability. Strengthen capacity of dutybearers to produce requisite information,
explanations & justifications and strengthen
power of rights-holders to demand, access &
analyse this information
• Provide support for dissemination of evidencebased monitoring tools to ensure practical policy
• Provide more support for meso-level monitoring
of accountability systems in LDCs
Recommendations (Cont)
• Expand rights-based approach by recognising social
accountability as a fundamental right to obtain
explanations and justifications for the use of public
• Entrench an ethic of justification by elaborating clear
criteria to ‘justify’ decisions relating to use of public
resources – long term goal to build a society in which the
right to social accountability justiciable
• Examples of criteria
Decision-makers should consider all serious
objections/alternatives to decisions taken and have
plausible answers to objections and reasons for
discarding alternatives
Decision-makers should be able to demonstrate a
rational connection between the argument, evidence and
information informing their decisions and the decision