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Employee perception of public sector compliance with corporate governance principles : case of the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, South Africa
Parker, Nazima Begum
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Greater emphasis has in recent years been placed on the fiduciary duties of managers vis-a-vis Chief Financial Officers, Accounting Officers and political representatives. The exposure has given rise to the shift in focus to overarching activities promoting social responsibility, ethics, discipline, transparency, fairness, independence and most importantly, accountability. Previous research (Burger & Goslin, 2005) focused on the rising incidence of mismanagement of public funds within government departments which has been credited to non-compliance in good governance or best practices. The rising interest by the media and the public on governanace and the role of public officials may be attributed to the various high-profile televised media releases; which includes the alleged alliance of Jacob Zuma with Schabir Schaik as emerged in the Schabir Schaik trail, the "Travelgate Scam", the 'Oilgate Saga' and the 'Arms Deal', which are but a few media reports. Corporate governance is thus understood as the method of control and accountability prevailent within the management and directorship of an organisation. The seven principles as propagated by the King Report on Governance, 2002 (referred to as the King II report), namely discipline, transparency, independence, accountability, responsibility, fairness and social responsibility is examined in this paper so as to establish whether there is an understanding and application of corporate governance within the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Western Cape Provincial Government or whether good governance is integrated throughout the Provincial Department in question. In addition, the paper presents the analysis and findings of the employee perception survey conducted on public sector compliance to corporate governance principles, within the above provincial department, who were utilised as the case-study for this paper. The survey findings has reveals that the application of corporate principles exist in terms of the perceptions of the employees within the Provincial Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport. However, the study further revealed that there exists opportunities for improvement. The paper will detail the recommendations for the said department to promote corporate governance.