Heads of Uncooperative Public Entities to Be Fined or Imprisoned

Chief executive officers (CEOs) and managing directors (MDs) of uncooperative public enterprises could be fined or imprisoned for failing to submit data or information as requested by the Ministry of Public Enterprises. The public entities were given a timeframe of five working days to provide the information and have until May 8, 2015, for the said data to be with the ministry.

This was the stern warning issued by the Minister of Public Enterprises, Leon Jooste, at a media briefing last week Thursday where he expressed disappointment with most public entities that choose to disregard his requests. “It has been regrettable that when information or data is requested from public enterprises such requests tend to be ignored with not even a courtesy of an acknowledgement thereof. Please let us bear in mind that the delay in sharing information or data can have serious consequences for the economic development of the country,” cautioned Jooste.

As an example, Jooste mentioned a recent request sent out to all public enterprises for crucial data pertaining to each public enterprise for purposes of establishing a database and to take stock of and devise ways and means of addressing corporate governance failures and lack of statutory compliance.

“I particularly wish to bring this to the attention of the CEOs and MDs of those defaulting entities that the provisions of the State-Owned Enterprises Governance Act are still in force until the amendments are promulgated and that those provisions stipulate penalties of a fine, imprisonment or both for refusing to provide information that is requested,” stated Jooste.

The minister said he does not wish for CEOs or MDs to be imprisoned but if it is the only alternative left the ministry would have no option but to invoke such a provision in the interest and to the benefit of the country and people.

In the same vein, he assured that his ministry is working towards establishing a salary framework for top officials of all public enterprises. “That is why we need to collect enough information so that we can have a guideline on how we are setting the salary standards in relation to the position depending on their previous benefits, and this shall be done in accordance to their performance,” explained Jooste as he was responding to questions raised regarding exorbitant salaries of CEOs and MDs in the public enterprises.

Source : New Era