LAW: One in Four Civil Servants Fear for their Lives When Blowing the Whistle
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AT LEAST one in four professional civil servants in South Africa fear for their lives when blowing the whistle on corruption and unethical business practices.
This is in comparison to one in ten in the private sector harbouring such fears. In addition, at least 28% of public servants say they have been threatened and intimidated when speaking out against wrongdoing.
These are some of the startling revelations contained in the inaugural AEPF Ethical Practices Survey 2017.
The survey was conducted among professionals working in the finance, internal audit, accounting, risk management, governance and fraud management within both the public and private sectors.
The full report will be released on Monday, 11 September 2017, by the Anti-Intimidation and Ethical Practices Forum (AEPF), a body dedicated to encouraging whistleblowing and the eradication of corruption and unethical business practices.
The research was conducted among the members of participating professional bodies and the report compiled by The Ethics Institute on behalf of the AEPF. It also found that 91% of those working in the public sector and 92% in the private sector agreed that it is their personal duty to report unethical behaviour.
However, only 45% of professional civil servants actually "feel comfortable" doing so as compared to 75% in the private sector. The wide-ranging report also examines aspects such as prioritising ethics as well as some startling perceptions about leadership across all three spheres of government.
Chair of the AEPF, Dr. Claudelle von Eck, who is also the CEO of the Institute of Internal Auditors SA (IIA SA) said the report shone a light on South African professionals trying to do the right thing amid maladministration and corruption.
"The report has many fascinating elements that will assist us as professional entities moving forward as to how to protect our members while also enhancing the need for greater ethical practices in our jobs and, to a greater degree, South African society."
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