Last year, the National Department of Public Service issued a circular for all public servants working at level 11 up to complete an online document disclosing all assets and income as part of their anti-corruption work. Consequentially, Psychology Professionals in the Public Service are now required to complete this disclosure procedure, with disciplinary action for those who do not complete the procedure. This raises serious concerns for our division members for the following reasons:
- The security of the financial information of psychology professionals. There is no guarantee that the security of this data is in place with the e-Disclosure system.
- The system will be overseen by individuals at institutional level, but who and how beyond this institution is not noted. The possibility of abuse of this financial information within the public health service system is concerning.
- The over-inclusive invasion of the privacy for psychology professionals is concerning. In the past employees are asked to sign that they have no conflict of interest, and must observe the public code of conduct. The onus should be on psychology professionals to observe those codes, and only in the instance of potential misconduct should other information be required, by normal proceedings of the law and public statutes to throw light on investigations of that misconduct.
This matter was addressed by the Division of Psychology in Public Service (PiPS) Executive and discussed at the Executive Meeting (7th September 2017) and at the PiPS AGM (19th September 2017). A position paper was written up (see below) to state that the PiPS ExCo supports psychology professionals in Public Service who choose not to complete the eDisclosure document.
Subsequently, The Public Servants Co-ordinating Bargaining Council noted receipt of the letter and acknowledged that the matter is currently on the Agenda of the PSCBC Council for discussion.