- Justice Minister, Jeff Radebe’s proposal that a public service campaign be introduced to discourage a ‘negative culture of name dropping’ overlooks the real issues. Corruption Watch is responding to the findings of the inquiry into the Gupta wedding plane landing at Air Force Base Waterkloof on 30 April 2013.
David Lewis, Corruption Watch’s executive director, says Radebe’s findings admit to an extraordinary litany of fraudulent misrepresentation on the part of people acting on behalf of the Gupta family and employed in senior positions in the public service, the defence force and the police. These fraudulent misrepresentations potentially entail criminal liability and these should be investigated and, if criminality is found, they should be charged.
But how could this happen? How is it possible to ‘misrepresent’ if one speaks in the name of the President or a member of the cabinet without evidence of this, without evidence of formal authority? This incident speaks to a serious breakdown in administration at the highest level. How can the public be expected to accept that if a violation of security of this dimension could have been secured by misrepresentation, that the same does not occur in the issuing of licences or tenders or in the range of administrative decisions that are taken on a daily basis by public officials in their engagement with well-resourced private parties and firms. This is the level of mistrust that acts of corruption of this scale generates.
It would seem that mere mention of the Gupta family in the same breath as the names of senior members of the executive was sufficient to procure the most extraordinary privilege and to result in the most flagrant breaches of law and security considerations. We have to ask how it is that the Gupta name resonates so loud. Is it not because of their highly publicised relationship with the family of the President? It is not because their name does not already and on a regular basis open the door to extraordinary privilege? Are there other business people whose name secures similarly privileged access to public resources?
To refer to what has happened here as ‘name dropping’ is to trivialise a major administrative breakdown, and the doings of a family who clearly are capable of commanding extraordinary privilege based on their relationships with senior public figures, clearly including the President. That fact is clearly sufficiently well-known to enable or oblige senior public servants to act in flagrant contradiction of the law. This is the root of problem: starkly inappropriate relationships between senior people in public life and elements of the business community. This problem will not be resolved by the frankly silly proposal to make ‘name-dropping’ a disciplinary offence.
- David Lewis is executive director at Corruption Watch.
- Global IntegrityPlease note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.Opportunity closing date:Friday, February 8, 2013Opportunity type:Employment
The organisation has won an Ashoka "Changemakers" award and an “Every Human Has Rights” award from The Elders and Internews; its methodology for assessing the existence and effectiveness of anti-corruption mechanisms is described by the World Bank as "best practice."
Global Integrity is known in particular for its expertise in developing quantitative indicators to assess the existence, effectiveness, and citizen access to accountability mechanisms at the national, sub-national, and sector levels. Across all of its fieldwork at the national, sub-national, and sector levels in more than 100 countries, the organisation has designed, fielded, and published more than 80 000 quantitative indicators of accountability, transparency, and anti-corruption mechanisms.
Global Integrity is in the midst of a five-year collaboration with the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to generate original data on a range of governance issues across all 54 African countries; that data feeds into future iterations of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, which helps to shape the debate on the continent around governance reform priorities. To support that fieldwork, Global Integrity seeks to appoint an experienced French speaking Project Manager who’s already based in Cape Town to help recruit, coordinate, and manage a team of researchers across the continent.
The project manager will work alongside a colleague in our Cape Town office and report to Global Integrity’s Washington, DC office.
- Recruiting and managing virtual field teams of researchers in 54 African countries;
- Capacity building and training activities with the research teams;
- Performing detailed, intensive quality control over the resultant data points (in the thousands);
- Providing detailed feedback to researchers and guiding them to improve their research product with actionable advice and specific guidance;
- Designing and leading outreach and dissemination activities, including public workshops;
- Representing the organisation at conferences and events as necessary.
Ideal Skill Set
Global Integrity attracts employees from the most distinctive professional and academic backgrounds. There is no cookie cutter ideal candidate for any position at Global Integrity. We are instead more interested in an individual’s drive, professionalism, and entrepreneurial energy. For this particular position, the following factors will strengthen an applicant’s candidacy:
- Three to ten years of relevant project management experience in journalism, in-depth editing, international affairs, and/or international politics. Ability to discuss issues of governance and/or anti-corruption is a strong asset though not required, depending on the candidate’s experience and particular set of skills;
- 100% bilingual French-English (French native speaker preferred);
- Attention to detail, ability to perform on tight deadlines, and proven ability to communicate clear and concise feedback to researchers are a must;
- Experience working and communicating with virtual teams is strongly preferred, particularly in an editing capacity;
- Professionals that can leverage their own networks of African professionals towards this job’s recruiting requirements will be strongly considered;
- Graduate degree in a relevant area of study, including, but not limited to, journalism, public policy, international relations, comparative politics, or development studies;
- Comfort in a perpetual start-up environment requiring extensive “self-starter” and “problem-solver” skills with minimal bureaucratic safety nets or backstopping;
- Strong writing and verbal communication skills: this means the ability to write a press release, policy summary, or op-ed with minimal guidance and the ability to speak comfortably to an expert audience or on camera. Experience with news reporting or blogging (on any topic) is strongly preferred.
Our office environment (now spread between Washington, New York, and Cape Town) requires openness, collaboration and flexibility. Our staff has an uncommon diversity of responsibilities: from high-level strategy to online messaging to logistics issues (we book our own travel and fix our own computers), everyone contributes. You will develop new skills in this job; expect to learn and adapt constantly. We are very much a learning organisation.
We have a “no jerks” policy; you will be supported by results-oriented yet frequently cheerful coworkers whose primary mode of social engagement is based on trust and respect.
International literacy and cross-cultural sensitivity are considered core competencies.
Compensation: For these positions, Global Integrity will provide a total cost to company package (no fringe benefits). The salary will be dependent on a candidate’s experience and demonstrated skills, and we anticipate a final compensation package ranging between R250 000 - R350 000 depending on the candidate.
Apply online, refer to http://www.tfaforms.com/270922.
Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.
After reviewing submitted applications, we anticipate calling back a small number of potential candidates for individual interviews via phone or in-person (if possible). A final shortlist of candidates will ideally be interviewed in person in Cape Town in early-February. We are happy to answer additional questions directly (see Contact Information below), but all interested applicants must use the online form to apply for the position.
# Frequently asked questions
Q: I am not a South African citizen but I’m interested in applying for this position. Will you sponsor a work visa for me?
A: We are looking for candidates who have the ability to begin working immediately in South Africa without the need for additional work permits.
Q: I’ve read about the Indaba platform you use; it sounds exciting, but do I need to be a techie?
A: No; in fact, we’re building Indaba so that we can eliminate the need for dedicated programming and database management skills on staff. If you can use a mouse on a computer, you can use Indaba.
Q: You use the word “data” often in describing your work. Do I need to have statistical and/or econometric skills to apply for this position?
A: No, though familiarity with and/or command of basic statistical and econometric skills is welcomed. We tend to view the data we generate as an entry point to what are often highly political, qualitative discussions and policy choices around governance reform. We have less faith in the ability of multivariate regressions or factor analyses to shed meaningful light on those discussions in practice.
Q: Do I need to be an anti-corruption “specialist” to apply for this position?
A: No, though familiarity with issues of governance, transparency, and corruption are preferred.
Enquiries: Managing Director, Hazel Feigenblatt, e-mail: hazel.feigenblatt AT globalintegrity.org, Ph. 1 202 449 5160.
For more about Global Integrity, refer to www.globalintegrity.org.
For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies.
Want to reach the widest spectrum of NGO and development stakeholders in South Africa as part of your communication and outreach objectives? Learn more about how the NGO Pulse Premium Advertising Service can support your communication requirements. Visit http://goo.gl/MUCvL for more information.
Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) performance audits provide an impartial assessment of the compliance level of an NGO with international best practices and establish a framework towards continuous improvement.
The application of a voluntary standard of NGO accountability aims to assess performance and compliance levels against a comprehensive set of objectively measurable criteria, organised under different perspectives so as to be ‘readable’ by any stakeholder. Quantifying results enables progress measurements at regular intervals, and this can be translated into an internal management tool for continuous improvement purposes.
By applying such a system, the grantee can detect risks and weaknesses and correct them before it is too late. This should be paramount for those grantors preoccupied by the transparent, efficient and effective use of their financing.
Benefits of the NGO Benchmarking Performance Audit
Ensuring the transparency, integrity and performance of an NGO is of crucial importance to stakeholders such as donors, beneficiaries, contractors or local authorities. Second-party audits, where the auditors have a stake in the organisation they are auditing, do not always guarantee strict objectivity. A neutral third-party audit is the best way of providing an impartial, comprehensive understanding of an NGOs accountability.
The audit we conduct establishes a clear reference framework which can be used as the basis for future audits to measure how the NGO has improved. It can also be used to help position the NGO against other organisations working in the same sector or region.
The NGO benchmarking methodology
Our NGO benchmarking standard has been designed to provide independent assessment of an NGOs conformity to international best practice and to demonstrate its mastery of risk. We assess performance against 101 objectively verifiable indicators, which have been selected from international standards. We then group these into four key perspectives:
- Dimensions of best practices:
- Governing body;
- Strategic framework;
- Integrity management;
- Communication, Advocacy and public image;
- Human resources;
- Fund-raising, resources allocation and financial controls;
- Outcomes; and
- Continuous improvement.
- Contributors’ expectations;
- Management components; and
- Continuous improvement.
- Detailed scores for each perspective;
- Indication of strengths and improvement opportunities; and
- Recommendations, corrective and preventive actions.
Contact us to find out more about how NGO Performance audit services can provide a comprehensive neutral assessment of NGO accountability, transparency and effective continuous improvement.
For more information contact:
Manager: Internal Audit Services
For more about UBAC, refer to www.ubac.co.za.
I have attended many conferences, where various organisations provided attendees with well covered and attractive annual reports. These reports are also very often made available on their websites, making them accessible to a larger audience. This effort aimed at encouraging transparency and accountability is well-intended and applauded. It is essential that the nonprofit sector not only preach accountability, but also walk the talk, leading by example.
However, it is imperative that it is questioned to whom we are accountable-donors, funders and the general public. What about those whom these organisations are meant to serve? Is enough effort made to ensure that organisations account to them as well? After all, organisations do not exist merely for the sake of existing. Nonprofit organisations come into existence because of certain needs in a particular society. So it makes sense that those whose lived experiences and needs, lead to the birth of particular programmes and organisations are kept well informed on the work of organisations operating in their communities. Excluding them from the processes of transparency and accountability borders on the exploitation of their needs and suffering.
This may seem harsh, but considering that organisations are not funded to merely exist but to serve a particular group of people, it only seems fair that that group of people is aware not only of the operations of the organisations, but also how funds secured in their name are used.
It may seem an unfair burden to place on already overburdened and sometimes understaffed organisations. However, not doing so amounts to the same thing as a government accountable to the party in power, rather than the citizens of the state - something often called out by many organisations involved in advocacy work. Apart from the need to ‘walk the talk’, there is a need for the nonprofit sector to transform from being an industry that decides what is best for the poor and vulnerable to something that allows people to reclaim their dignity by exercising their agency. Accounting to those served would be a great start to achieving this. The sector provides valuable services to many in the country, as such, every effort should be made to ensure that it takes the steps required to literally ‘be the change it works to achieve’.
- Koketso Moeti can be contacted at email@example.com. Alternatively, refer to http://about.me/koketsomoeti.
Corruption and inefficiency in government contracting will probably always be with us. But by introducing greater transparency in the the contracting process, we can dramatically reduce this burden. This idea is at the heart of Open Contracting, a movement to advocate for publishing of government contracts.
The World Bank Institute is stewarding a growing network of civil society, business and government leaders working to promote Open Contracting. In order to ensure that the network is as smart and effective as it can possibly be, we are "opening up" Open Contracting by inviting wide participation to map out a success vision, and to set key performance indicators.
You are invited to be part of this innovative effort to crowdsource the development of the Open Contracting movement by answering 10 microsurveys over the next 10 weeks that will be administered by Keystone Accountability.
Each microsurvey will take you less than one minute to answer.
WBI will share the findings from the surveys in a report in early November 2012.
You can register your interest by following this link - www.keystoneaccountability.org/node/473.
Please also share this invitation with others who may be interested.
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has called on government to make public the full report into the landing of the Gupta plane at Waterkloof Air force base in Pretoria.
The Foundation’s Executive Director, Neshaan Bolton, points out that the report must also answer whether the rich Gupta family's alleged relations with some in power might have influenced the final decision.
Bolton says: “The question most people seem to be asking is ‘how is it is that they might or might have not been able to use names of senior officials in government to get approval to land plane’.
To read the article titled, “Make Gupta report public: Kathrada Foundation,” click here.Source:SABC News
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation says the government’s investigation into the Gupta scandal must reveal how one family came to wield such ‘immense’ influence, ‘which it so brazenly displays over and over again’, in such a short period.
The foundation welcomes the government’s commitment to get to the bottom of the ‘sordid saga’ involving a private jet loaded with wedding guests being allowed to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base.
In addition, it describes the incident as a matter of national concern which warrant ‘the widespread condemnation and careful attention of all democrats’.
Neeshan Balton, executive director of the foundation, recalls that the Guptas have previously used Joburg’s Zoo Lake as a private landing pad for their helicopters.
To read the article titled, “Solving the ‘sordid Gupta saga’,” click here.Source:Independent Online
Political analyst at University of the Witwatersrand, Professor Susan Booysen, says the Gupta scandal has weakened President Jacob Zuma politically.
Booysen points out that, “This has been a dismal year for Zuma. The PetroSA and Central African Republic scandals have given the impression Zuma is not well-suited to leadership. The ANC [African National Congress] will try to be protective and defensive but Zuma has been weakened.
Contrary to Booysen’s view, another political analyst, Steven Friedman, says it is not clear if the scandal has weekend him, politically.
Their comments come after the controversial landing of a Gupta family aircraft at Waterkloof Air Force Base - a national key point - for a wedding of Vega Gupta to Aakash Jahajgarhia, an Indian-born.
To read the article titled, “Guptagate puts Zuma in fix,” click here.Source:The Citizen
Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, has advised donors to direct non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to exercise more transparency and accountability for funds received from them.
In discussions with the Netherlands Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, Kikwete called upon donor countries to set the criteria for support to such NGOs, including transparency and democracy as is the case with governments.
He said it will be better if donors can direct NGOs to provide or make public their financial statements, revealing source of income and expenditure, adding that, “There has been a lot of complaints from the targeted recipients that most such NGOs do not operate in accordance with their objectives."
To read the article titled, “Kikwete Urges NGOs' transparency on donor funds,” click here.Source:All Africa
The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) wanted to give Gauteng motorists a timely warning that e-tolls will kick in soon when it made the widely criticised announcement.
SANRAL spokesperson, Vusi Mona, points out that, "We thought it's appropriate now just to remind Gauteng motorists that we will be switching on the system in two months' time, all things being equal."
In April last year, the High Court in Pretoria granted the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) an interdict approving a full judicial review before electronic tolling could be put into effect.
On 25 January 2013, the court granted OUTA leave to take the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein, and the hearing will take place in September 2013.
To read the article titled, “We wanted to warn motorists' - SANRAL,” click here.Source:The Citizen