Public sector procurement : South African ethical and legislative aspects

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • SDG 12
  • Abstract:

    One of the noblest functions of government is securing for its citizens their individual and collective well-being. This can be achieved through honouring and safeguarding human dignity and the constructive mediation between individual freedoms and collective action. When government succeeds this assures the social and ecological integrity of the community. In every vocation, there is both the need and call for the people within that vocation to conform their behaviour to certain ethical standards. Ethics is the code of conduct these professionals have adopted in order to regulate the practice of their profession. However, ethics also reaches a level of unstated moral principles and a sense of what is right and wrong. A need exists for ethical and transparent public sector procurement management on all spheres of government in contemporary South Africa. Evidence hereof is found in official documents, court cases and in the popular press. Prescriptions governing ethical behaviour in public sector procurement peculiar to South Africa and the basic normative criteria are, interalia, aspects reviewed and proposed in this article to strengthen the need for the determination and implementation of an ethical basis to ensure effective and efficient public sector procurement. Firstly, this article will focus on describing and explaining the nature and meaning of public sector ethics. Secondly, prescriptions’ governing ethical behaviour in public sector procurement management in South Africa since democracy, 1994 with special reference to the local sphere of government is provided. Thirdly, a brief overview of existing general public procurement guidelines as established by the South African Revenue Service is discussed. Fourthly, basic normative criteria are proposed to establish effective, efficient and economical public sector procurement followed by a conclusive summary.