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Fraud, Corruption & Whistleblower

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It is the policy of Newcastle municipality that fraud, corruption, theft, maladministration or any other dishonest activities of a similar nature will not be tolerated. In addition, these will be investigated and followed up by the application of all remedies available within the full extent of the law.

The councillors of Newcastle municipality will, at all times and for the duration of their term of office, uphold high-levels of integrity and ethics in the execution of their political, fiduciary and oversight responsibilities and will always maintain a zero tolerance level for fraud and corruption.

Fraud Risk Management will be practised by Newcastle municipality through a robust fraud risk assessment and application of appropriate prevention and detective controls as a response to a fraud risk assessment. The prevention and detective controls include the existing controls and checking mechanisms as prescribed in existing policies, procedures and other relevant prescripts to the activities of the municipality, and systems of internal control.

It is the responsibility of all employees including management of Newcastle municipality to report all incidents of fraud, corruption, theft, maladministration or any other dishonest activities of a similar nature to immediate supervisors or designated ethics and fraud officers. If the employee/s is not comfortable reporting such matters to his/her Manager, he/she should report the matter to his/her Manager’s superior, with final recourse to the Municipal Manager. Employees may also report incidents by using the municipal hot-line reporting facility, if they wish to remain anonymous or for any other reason.

All Managers are responsible for the detection, prevention and investigation of fraud, corruption, theft, maladministration or any dishonest activities of a similar nature, within their areas of responsibility.

Newcastle municipality will take appropriate legal recourse to recover losses or damages arising from fraud, corruption, theft or maladministration.

The efficient application of Municipal Finance Management Act, instructions contained in the codes, circulars, policies and manuals of the municipality, is one of the most important duties of every employer/employee in the execution of their daily tasks and under no circumstances may there be a relaxation of the prescribed controls.

Every employee has a part to play in this important endeavour and we look forward to working as a collective in achieving these aims.

tollfree

WHISTLE-BLOWING
REPORTING PROCEDURES AND RESOLUTION OF REPORTED INCIDENTS

It is the responsibility of all employee/s of Newcastle municipality to report all incidents of fraud, corruption, theft, maladministration and other suspected irregularities of this nature to their immediate supervisors. If the employee/s is not comfortable reporting such matters to their immediate supervisor/s, he/she should report the matter to his/her Manager’s superior, with final recourse to the Chief Financial Officer or Municipal Manager.

It is the responsibility of the Managers and councillors to report all incidents of fraud, corruption, theft, maladministration and other suspected irregularities of this nature to the Municipal Manager and Chief Financial Officer.
This reporting must take place as follows:
a) Telephonically immediately after discovery of such an incident;
b) This telephonic report must be followed by a detailed written report to be submitted within 24 hours of the discovery of such an incident.

It is the responsibility of the Municipal Manager to immediately report all incidents of fraud, corruption, theft, maladministration and other suspected irregularities of this nature to the Anti-Fraud and Corruption Committee, Audit Committee and Councillors.
This reporting must take place as follows:
a) Telephonically within twenty four hours of receiving the report from the Manager in regards to an incident;
b) This telephonic report must be followed by a detailed written report to be submitted within seven days after discovery of such an incident.

If the matter could lead to the laying of criminal charges, the Municipal Manager will report within 24 hours to the South African Police Services. Where an employee is alleged to have committed an act of fraud, corruption, theft, or maladministration the immediate supervisors and heads of departments must institute disciplinary proceedings, within a reasonable period, in terms of the disciplinary code and procedures of the municipality. As soon as disciplinary hearings concerning charges of financial misconduct are completed, the outcome must be reported within 48 hours to the Municipal Manager:
a) The name and position of the employee against whom proceedings are instituted;
b) The disciplinary charges, indicating the nature of the misconduct the employee is alleged to have committed;
c) The findings of the disciplinary hearing;
d) Any sanction imposed on the employee; and
e) Any further action to be taken against the employee, including criminal charges or civil proceedings.

The Municipal Manager is also required to ensure that losses or damages suffered by the municipality as a result of an act committed or omitted by an employee must be recovered from such an employee if he/she is liable in law. The Municipal Manager must determine the amount of the loss or damage and, in writing request that employee to pay the amount within 30 days or in reasonable instalments. If the employee fails to comply with the request, the legal process will then be initiated by the Municipal Manager.

1. PROTECTION OF WHISTLE BLOWERS
The Protected Disclosures Act, 26 of 2000 makes provision for the protection of employees who makes a disclosure that is protected in terms of this Act.

12.2 Any disclosure made in good faith and substantially in accordance with any procedure prescribed by the employee’s employer for reporting is considered a protected disclosure under this act. An employee making such a protected disclosure is protected from being subjected to an occupational detriment on account of having made a protected disclosure.

12.3 An employee who suspects or reports suspected dishonest activity or such activity which he/she has witnessed should be afforded the opportunity to remain anonymous should he/she so require.

12.4 Allegations made by employees who are false and made with malicious intentions, should be discouraged by Managers. Where such malicious or false allegations are discovered, the person who made the allegations must be subjected to firm disciplinary action. Such disclosures are not protected by the Protected Disclosures Act.

This is how the hotline works:
Dial the Toll Free Hotline from any telephone. This number can be dialed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.. You may call anonymously but ensure that you give all the information and details to the person who answers the telephone.

Who operates the hotline:
The National Anti-Corruption Hotline Umgeni Water Hotline is operated by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

The calls are answered and the information recorded by persons not employed by the Municipality ensure that confidentiality is maintained at all times. Even if you decide to supply your name, the information and your identity will remain confidential.

Before making that vital call:
Please collect your thoughts and structure your information. The operator will take the details of your call down and prepare a report for the investigators who will take appropriate action. Sometimes, however, there is too little information to act on and vital clues are lost.

To maximize the benefit from your call please talk about at least the following:
• What happened?
• Who is involved?
• How did they do it?
• How much is involved?
• When did it happen?
• Where can investigators get further evidence?

The operator will assign you a reference number. If you wish to have specific feedback on action taken, please phone the hotline again, quote your number and ask for available feedback.

Newcastle Municipality has adopted a proactive stance in the prevention of fraud, and is appreciative of the commitment and support of staff in reducing the risk of commercial crimes occurring within the organization.
Toll Free Number: 0800 701 701

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