Some 2,000 civil servants are participating in the management of private companies in some way without prior permission from the finance ministry, the House ethics committee heard on Wednesday.
Its chairman, Disy MP, Demetris Demetriou, said according to the auditor-general, around 2,000 civil servants are either registered as managers, or secretaries, or own shares in private companies without permission from the finance ministry.
The committee asked the auditor to convey the information to the ministries concerned so that they can launch disciplinary action against them.
In some cases there could also be tax evasion.
Demetriou said it was not the offence that was important but adherence to the law on the civil service. MPs also asked for audits to be extended to the wider public sector since they suspected workers there also kept second jobs.
Permission is granted by the government when it was in the public interest or when the participation of the worker in a company was through inheritance or when there was no conflict of interest with their duties.
Main opposition Akel MP Andreas Pashiourtides said that apart from finding out how many participated in companies, it was important to know what business the company was involved in to determine whether there was conflict of interest.
Diko MP Pavlos Mylonas also demanded an audit into state universities.
The audit service has prepared a list with the names of the civil servants, which include teachers and army personnel.
According to daily Politis, between 2010 and 2021, the government had granted just 100 permissions to civil servants to participate in private companies under strict conditions.
Green party MP Alexandra Attalides said Cyprus had laws and regulations but apart from state officials, they were violated en masse by civil servants who did not take their obligations towards the state seriously.