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ETHICS FRAMEWORK FOR MEMBERS OF THE GAUTENG PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE: “Workshop on the Code of Conduct for Public Office Bearers: The Joint Committee on Ethics and Members Interest” PRESENTER: DR RALPH MGIJIMA 1
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW • Good morning Honourable Members and Councillors. • I am Dr Ralph Mgijima, the Integrity Commissioner (IC) for the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. I would like to thank the Chair of the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members Interest for giving me the opportunity to present to you on the Code of conduct for Members of the GPL. • In this presentation I will cover the following areas: Ø The Privileges and Ethics Committee Ø Code of Conduct and Ethics for MPL’s Ø Functions of the IC Ø Review of the COCE and New Developments
THE PRIVILEDGES AND ETHICS COMMITTEE The Gauteng Provincial Legislature has a Privileges and Ethics Committee; which is chaired by the Deputy Speaker and its mandate centres around two areas: • Breach of Privilege and Contempt by MPL’s • Breach of the Code of Conduct and Ethics for Members 3.
THE PRIVILEDGES AND ETHICS COMMITTEE: Cont… BREACH OF PRIVILEGE AND CONTEMPT • The Privileges and Ethics Committee must: • investigate and report on charges of breach of privilege and contempt against Members; (dealt with according to The Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act (Act No 4. Of 2004). • The Rules of the GPL set out the procedure that must be followed in instances where a complaint relating to contempt has been lodged with the Speaker of the Legislature. • The specific provisions of this section are the following: (a): That upon receiving a complaint in relation to contempt, the Speaker will either deal with the matter or refer the matter to the Privileges and Ethics Committee. (b): If the matter has been referred to the Privileges and Ethics Committee, the Secretary to the legislature must prepare a report (memo) outlining the facts, legal principles and practices which have relevance to the compliant. 4
THE PRIVILEDGES AND ETHICS COMMITTEE: Cont… • The Committee investigates the complaint, or the committee holds an enquiry • When the Privileges and Ethics Committee has completed its investigation; it must table a report on its findings and recommendations for consideration by the House. 5.
THE PRIVILEDGES AND ETHICS COMMITTEE: Cont… In addressing matters pertaining to the breach of the COCE: • The Privileges and Ethics Committee is supported by an Integrity Commissioner (IC) • The IC investigates cases of breach of the COCE and submits reports and recommendations to the Privileges and Ethics Committee. • The Privileges and Ethics Committee considers the reports of the IC and tables its recommendations to the House. • The House adopts the recommendations and sanctions as recommended by the Committee
: CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICS FOR MPL’S GENERAL: • The COCE outlines the minimum ethical standards of behaviour that South Africans expect of elected representatives, including: upholding propriety, integrity and ethical values in their conduct. • It serves as a code of good practice. • It provides the Legislature with a set of values to guide the conduct of Members in their capacity as public representatives. • It seeks to regulate conflicts of interests. • The COCE also prescribes the minimum standards for disclosure and provides for the establishment of a Register of Interests. 5
APPOINTMENT OF THE INTEGRITY COMMISSIONER The COCE for the Members of the GPL provides for the appointment of an IC • The Speaker calls for nominations of persons from Members of the public to fill the position of IC. • The requirements for the position of an IC are : integrity and honesty, knowledge of law, public policy, politics and socio-economic issues. • The COCE states that the Speaker, after consultation with the leaders of the parties represented in the Legislature, shall appoint a person to be the IC. (but the convention has been a multi-party interview panel). • The Speaker presents the appointment of the IC to the House for adoption by a two-thirds majority. • The removal of the IC due to misconduct or abuse of power, shall be subject to the same procedure. • The IC is appointed for a five year legislative term. • The IC may not remain in office for more than two legislative terms. 7
FUNCTIONS OF THE IC • To promote and ensure the implementation of the COCE for Members. Ø The COCE for Members have universal principles • To keep a register of Members Interest. Ø Electronic Submission • To render advice to Members to prevent situations of real Conflict of Interest. Ø Scrutiny of the register (Experian/CIPIC/ Who owns Who) Ø Annual One on one consultations v v • Functions and supportive role of IC Register counselling and analysis Capacity building sessions/orientation workshops for members. Ø Researchers and academics. 5
FUNCTIONS OF THE IC. Cont… • Investigations: Ø Receipt of complaints Ø Self Initiated
KEY REQUIREMENTS OF THE CODE. REGISTER OF MEMBERS’ INTEREST • Section 16 of the COCE provides for the Disclosure of Registrable Interests: • In terms of this function Members are required to submit their respective declarations of interest to my office within 30 days from the date of the opening of the legislature each year. • Although not specifically stipulated in the old COCE, Members will be required to update their declarations of interests forms at any time during the year when these interest change. • 8
KEY REQUIREMENTS OF THE CODE. Cont…. • In terms of section 20 of the COCE all Members, including MEC’s are required to register the following financial interests in the Register of Members’ Interest. • Shareholdings and financial interests in companies and other corporate entities (i) The number, nature and nominal value of shares of any type in any public or private company; (ii) The name of that company; and (iii) The nature and value of any other financial interests held in a private or public company or any cooperate entity 7
KEY REQUIREMENTS OF THE CODE. Cont…. • Ownership of land or property (i) A description and extent of land or property; (ii) Area in which it is situated; (iii) The nature of the interest; (iv) Properties outside the state. • Pension (i) The source of the pension; and (ii) The value of the pension. • Any other benefit or of material nature (i) The nature and source of any other benefit of a material nature; (ii) The value of that benefit; 10
KEY REQUIREMENTS OF THE CODE. Cont…. • Employment outside the Legislature: (Approved by Party) (i) The type of employment; (ii) The name, and type of business activity, of the employer; and (iii) The amount of remuneration received for such employment. • Consultancies (i) The nature of the consultancy or any retainership of any kind; (ii) The name, and type of business activity, of the client concerned; and (iii) The amount of any remuneration or other benefits received for such a consultancy or retainership. 11
KEY REQUIREMENTS OF THE CODE. Cont…. • Directorship and partnerships (i) The name and type of business activity, of the corporate entity or partnership; (ii) The amount of any remuneration received for such directorship or partnership • Gifts and hospitality received by a Member from a source other than a family member or permanent companion (i) A description, value, and source of a gift with a value in excess of R 500. 00 and or gifts from a single source which cumulatively exceed the value of R 500. 00 in any calendar year; (ii) and; Hospitality intended as a gift of any kind. 12
KEY REQUIREMENTS OF THE CODE. Cont…. • Foreign travel (other than personal visits paid for by the Member, business visits unrelated to the Member’s role as a public representative and official and formal visits paid for by the state or the Member’s party). (i) A brief description of the journey abroad; and (ii) Particulars of the sponsor. • Sponsorship (i) The source and description of direct financial sponsorship or assistance from non-party (ii) sources; and The value of the sponsorship or assistance. 13
KEY REQUIREMENTS OF THE CODE. Cont…. CONFIDENTIAL SECTION OF THE FORM: • Information disclosed with regard to immediate family (spouse, permanent companion or dependent child) is kept in the confidential part of the Register, unless a member at his own discretion decides it can be disclosed to the public. • The following information should be recorded: • The value of the financial interests in a corporate entity other than a private or public company. § The amount of any remuneration for any employment outside the Legislature. § The amount of any remuneration for any directorship or partnership. 14
KEY REQUIREMENTS OF THE CODE. Cont…. § Details of foreign travel when the nature of the visit requires those details to be confidential. § Details of private(s) residences such as the value of the property and bond indebtedness relating to residential property should be disclosed in the confidential section, § The value of any pensions. 15
SHARED EXPERIENCES: CANADA Mandates of Ethics Commissioners: • IC’s/Ethics Commissioners in Canada are independent • Separate Budgets • The IC’s/Ethics Commissioners deal purely with Conflicts of Interest • Some of the IC’s are called Conflict of Interest Commissioners • Common features of the Canadian model: Conflict of Interest Regime: • Independent commissioners; written rules of conduct, disclosure requirements; advice and prevention based approach. • The IC’s/ Ethics Commissioners reports directly to Parliament through the Speaker and on some matters reports to Standing Committees. 11.
REVIEW OF THE COCE • The Privileges and Ethics Committee is finalising the review of the COCE: • Fundamental Areas of Review: • Prohibition against doing business with the State • Independence of the IC: Decision Making; Administration and Management of the Office; Budget • Disclosure of Registrable Interest: Inclusion of Trusts; State Contract; Shareholding; Indebtedness • Review informed by: Ø Ambiguities and outdated requirements. Ø Discussions and interactions within the Privileges and Ethics Committee. Ø One on One Sessions with IC. Ø Interactions with Co-Chairpersons and the Registrar of the Joint Ethics Committee of National Parliament. Ø Proceedings of a stakeholder meeting convened by National Parliament attended by the Sedibeng Municipal District and the Privileges and Ethics Committee of the GPL 6 and IC (20 March 2015).
GAUTENG ETHICS SECTOR FORUM • The Privileges and Ethics Committee of the GPL has proposed the establishment of a Gauteng Ethics Sector Forum. This forum will serve as a Sub-Committee of the Gauteng Speakers Forum The launch of the Forum is envisaged to take place during the third quarter of this year. The Broad purpose of the Forum will serve to: • Strengthen collaboration in the legislative sector for on-going learning and sharing of best practices • Improve synergy of the Privileges and Ethic Standing Committees across the Gauteng Legislative Sector Membership of the Forum: The Gauteng Provincial Legislature Privileges and Ethics Committee The Integrity Commissioner: GPL Speakers of Municipalities in the Gauteng Province. • The Forum will not serve as a decision making body in the resolution of ethical dilemmas. Accordingly, its role will be to serve as a resource and to provide recommendations (only) to
PROPOSED LEGISLATION: INTEGRITY ACT • A Province wide Integrity and Conflict of Interest Act is presently under consideration • Such an Act would take into consideration the following gaps: Ø Sentiments of the Gauteng Ethical Sector Forum Ø Ethical Framework for Leadership of Provincial Government Entities Ø Lobbyists Registration Ø Executive Members Ethics Act Ø Expenditure Review (Travel; Accommodation; Hospitality)
THANK YOU QUESTIONS 14