Fraudsters are plain criminals: Schlettwein

22 Feb 2016 21:00pm
WINDHOEK, 22 FEB (NAMPA) – Public office bearers who claim to be underpaid and thus defraud public institutions, are criminals.
Addressing staff members of his ministry at their annual meeting marking the beginning of the year, Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein rubbished claims that such perpetrators are often unappreciated in their line of work and thus resort to defraud institutions.
“They are criminals. It has nothing to do with too little pay. It is being a plain criminal for those who were caught and those with court cases that are ongoing.”
Schlettwein noted that the Ministry of Finance should maintain its reputation as an institution entrusted with public funds, and valuable traits such integrity and accountability are non-negotiable towards enhancing service delivery.
“There will be no mercy when we find people who defraud. If we cannot show that our systems are safe and sound and accountable, then we are entering a dangerous and slippery slope that will be difficult to turn around.”
He added that public office bearers, especially within the finance ministry, should cultivate a new sense of pride and ownership towards their workplaces and offices.
“Things such as litter are just unacceptable. Do you even do that at your homes, where you leave litter in your living rooms? We have built staff houses, regional offices and a head office and we have to maintain them in order to accept our customers in an acceptable manner.”
Schlettwein advised his staff to do the best they can to ensure quality service delivery and not resort to punishment as a scapegoat and a defence mechanism.
“Improve accountability and integrity, and we have to be committed to reach certain goals that we have set to achieve.”