Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK

THE Cabinet is yet to catch sight of the revised ministerial handbook, reinforcing perceptions that the government is not willing to act on its rhetoric against wasteful state expenditure.

The handbook is meant to set guidelines for spending by ministers, deputy ministers, executive mayors, chief justices and other public office bearers.

It first piqued public interest when several Cabinet ministers purchased what were deemed luxurious — and expensive — ministerial vehicles at the taxpayer’s expense in 2009.

The ministers invoked the 2007 handbook in their defence.

In 2014, the Department of Public Service and Administration said it was conducting a review of the handbook.

The full contents remain a jealously guarded state secret although the Mail & Guardian published extracts in 2011.

Department of Public Service and Administration spokesman Dumisani Nkwamba said on Wednesday an interministerial committee had completed the review.

"The revised handbook will be scheduled for presentation to the Cabinet following the required processes.

"It has to be discussed in detail," Mr Nkwamba said.

He also said the extent of the changes made to the handbook, as well as the timing of publication of the original and revised handbooks, would depend on when the Cabinet wrapped up its processes.

Right2Know spokesman Murray Hunter said: "It’s impossible to hold the executive to account without the handbook.

"The fact that it (the review) has taken so many years suggests that it was never taken seriously."