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Integrity must prevent corruption in government institutions

Integrity must prevent corruption in government institutions

Niël Terblanché

THE integrity mechanisms for all Offices/ Ministries/Agencies (OMAs) and Regional Councils aimed at curbing corruption will in the future be monitored more than 400 specially trained officials working within these institutions.
The Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of the Prime Minister embarked on the joint induction and training of members of the newly established Integrity Committees across government Offices /Ministries /Agencies (OMAs) and Regional Councils (RCs). By the end of the training program, over 400 staff members from 35 OMAs and 14 RCs are expected to start work as anti-corruption agents.
According to a statement issued by the Anti-corruption Commission the integrity training is the first training program to capacitate Integrity Committee members with the aim to create awareness on the concept of integrity, ethics, and anti-corruption. The training encomasses the mechanisms that the government has set in place to prevent and fight corruption and other forms of unethical behaviour, to enable Integrity Committee members to sensitize staff members about the danger of corruption, code of conduct, and values in their respective institutions.
“The establishment of the Integrity Committee forms part of the actions identified in the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2016-2019 to ensure that there is governance oversight on ethics and integrity management at institutional level.”

The ACC said the establishment of Integrity Committees is in line with the revised Public Service Staff Rule (PSSR E.X/II-) on Code of Conduct, Integrity and Ethics, and Anti-Corruption initiatives. This Policy was revised to assist OMAs & RCs in re-instilling ethics and integrity in the Public Service; to support and strengthen anti-corruption initiatives in the Public Service; to set institutional arrangements to support expected ethical behavior and conduct; to promote and strengthen a culture of integrity, trust and highest standard of ethics.
“In essence, the goal is to mainstream corruption prevention in the routine operation of OMAs and RCs. Integrity Committee complement the government’s efforts in enhancing integrity and transparency; increase efficiency in service delivery; and prevent maladministration, corruption and other vices at institutional level.”
According to the statement the Integrity Committee members are expected to work as ears and eyes of the Executive Directors and Chief Regional Officers and to act as ethics and integrity champions. The committee members will also work closely with Executive Directors and Chief Regional Officers to facilitate integrity pledges, both on institutional and individual levels within their respective offices; establish internal systems for reporting corruption; implement anticorruption plans and boost the education and awareness on anti-corruption strategies and measures within their respective offices; advise the Executive Directors, Chief Regional Officers and staff members on matters of ethics; identify and report unethical behaviour and corrupt activities to the Executive Directors and Chief Regional Officers.
Committee members are further expected to conduct corruption risk assessment regularly at the institutional level; promote the values of integrity and ethical behaviour, transparency, and good governance within their respective offices; and ensure that the Public Service Staff Rule on ethics and integrity, procedures and practices are implemented.
The ACC encouraged OMAs and RCs to treat this program the same as the organizational core functions.
The program is seen as an excellent platform to eradicate the opportunities for corruption and unethical behaviour in government institutions.

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