Regional News of Friday, 20 July 2012
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has organised a two-day workshop at Dodowa in the Greater Accra Region on the Code of Conduct for Public Officers.
It was aimed at sensitising heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDA's) on the code.
The initiative, in partnership with the Public Services Commission formed part of CHRAJ’s mandate to fight corruption and promote integrity.
Mr. Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ said the code was very critical to increase the probability of public officers to behave in an acceptable manner.
He said it calls public officers to a greater purpose of committing to specific sets of moral principles and standards.
In addition, it clearly states the expectations of the citizenry and the basic guidelines for fulfilling these expectations.
Mr. Quayson observed that, system failure is one of the conditions that bring about corruption saying, “As far public service ethics is concern, corruption is a symptom of system failure.”
“It spawns in condition where even the fine laws do not make it beyond the statute books and where weak public institutions fail to enforce the rules or provide adequate control and oversight,” he noted.
To understand corruption and tame it, he said it was important to address the factors influencing ethical behaviour in both public and private institutions.
“There is no question that the public denunciation that has dominated the airwaves these past months is a manifestation of public distrust of the public officer,” he said.
Mr. Quayson emphasised that the strength of any public service system lied in the extent to which it earns and holds the trust and respect of the citizens.
He said respect could be earned from the confidence that people had in the integrity of public institutions and the services it provides.
He said public office had come under siege and therefore it was critical to do everything right to redeem the image starting from the top management.
He advised public officers to play their part in earning respect and maintaining public trust.**