Public corporate governance with specific emphasis on accountability

Bosman, Estelle (2013-03)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.


Corporate governance systems have evolved over centuries, often in response to corporate failures or system crises. From the early 1990s in South Africa, corporate governance began to reach prominence, prompted by losses from fraudulent activities within corporate entities such as Masterbond, Fidentia and Enron. Corporate governance is aimed at curtailing such fraudulent behaviour. In 1994, the elected democratic majority government of South Africa found that there were no standard rules or principles in place to either control or govern the delivery of services and the carrying out of policies. Government then made corporate governance a significant part of their strategic vision of restructuring. A protocol on corporate governance was published to provide guidance, specifically to the public sector in South Africa. In line with the protocol, policies and procedures were put in place in order to assist the public sector to meet corporate governance standards and best practice. It is apparent that the lack of systematic accountability can cost the public sector and the taxpayers of South Africa millions in terms of redoing work, inefficiency, workplace conflicts and misunderstandings. This in turn leads to ineffective work practices and leadership. This research study set out to establish how accountable the public sector is, specifically the Western Cape Government, concerning the protocol and the policies and procedures that are in place. The study aimed to evaluate the accountability of project coordinators within the Western Cape Government, specifically on construction projects. The literature review in the research report identifies the roles and responsibilities, stipulated in the policies and procedures, that the public sector needs to adhere to in order to be accountable. A scorecard was compiled to cross check the accountability of staff within the Western Cape Government in line with the policies and procedures in place. A construction project was used as an example on the scorecard and the outcome thereof is published in the report. This research report reveals the shortcoming of governance and specifically accountability within governance and determines how it could be addressed.

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