Anti-corruption strategies in the South African public sector : perspectives on the contributions of complexity thinking and ICTs

Habtemichael, Faniel Sahle (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2009-03)

Thesis (PhD (School of Public Management and Planning ))—University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

Among the multitude of problems that contemporary South Africa is faced with, is corruption. Corruption in contemporary South Africa has spread to a systemic level, as evidenced through national and international research, official government statements, and the media. The leakage of billions of Rand from government coffers to greedy individuals is alarming. Allegations of corruption are increasingly implicating top government and party officials. Some of government payrolls are invaded by ghost workers; government accounts are charged by over- and under-invoicing, phantom billing and ghost beneficiaries. Resources are diverted and leaked in the process of supply chain activities. Against these, ICTs are not well placed, despite their capabilities to counter administrative corruption. The dissertation focuses on exploring the answers to the following questions in the South African public sector. i. What is corruption and why is it still increasing, despite the availability of ICTs that can effectively assist in tracking and tracing irregularities in the financial system? ii. How sufficiently and effectively are ICTs designed to minimise susceptibility to corruption in financial transactions, HR issues, and the activities (elements) of the supply chain? iii. How cohesive and integrated are the sub-systems and systems in the anticorruption industry (organisationally, nationally and internationally) in order to close the loopholes for corruption? iv. Is there a nationally centralised database system that is used as a frame of reference in administrative decision making? v. What general problems are there in the anti-corruption system? 6 In the effort to move from the conceptual to the empirical level, these problems provide the main stimulus for exploring the status and role of information technologies in the anti-corruption system.

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