The leaks coming out of children and family development haven't exactly been good for the troubled ministry's top bureaucrat Lesley du Toit. Last year, for example, the deputy minister was caught instructing bureaucrats not to use government email to promote Bike to Work Week - a provincially-funded exercise program that has become an annual tradition for the civil service. And, in another memo, she admitted her decision to transform the ongoing transformation process at children and family development could cause "further confusion." So it will come as no surprise to our readers that Ms. du Toit has moved to prevent the press from getting their hands on such documents in the future.
According to an internal announcement, obtained by Public Eye via a freedom of information request, the former South African child rights reformer asks members of her leadership team to "ensure that any email from me to you individually or collectively is considered secure and may not be accessed by your (executive assistant) or anyone else." From now on the leadership team will also "shred documents after meetings if they are not needed." And the ministry's "leadership binders" are now to be "kept under lock and key." Whatever could Ms. du Toit be trying to hide? The following is a complete copy of that email.
MCFD Leadership Team
Announcements: Message from the Deputy
Title: Message from the Deputy
Body: Dear all
Following on the leaks last week I would like you to ensure that any email from me to you individually or collectively is considered secure and may not be accessed by your ea or anyone else. I will work with Karen and Nikki to ensure these emails are marked secure in some way. I am now seldom going to email you collectively.
I would prefer that your ea's cannot access your email at all but at this stage I will leave that to your discretion.
From now on my office will put together the leadership binders for po staff. As this will be more difficult for reds I would ask that you update your own binders. We will shred documents after meetings if they are not needed. Other than that your binder is to be kept under lock and key and returned to Liv 3 days before a leadership meeting if you are in po.
The secure site may not be accessed by ea's or anyone outside the leadership team.
I'm sorry that we have to work this way. Thanks for your help on this.
Created at 10/20/2006 9:48 AM by Nikki McCallum
Last modified at 10/20/2006 9:48 AM by Nikki McCallum