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Opinions of Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Columnist: Nkunim, Yaw

Public Integrity Unit (PIU): CPP Thinks Aloud

Integrity is of critical essence in any successful human endeavor. Be it spiritual, social, economic, political or personal endeavor, integrity is pre-requisite for sanity. Lack of integrity makes both personal and natural life stressful. It leads to systematic chaos. Integrity is of such critical value that its presence automatically breeds reliable order and progress in development. This wholesomeness of moral and ethical principles of character must be generated across board for the progress of the new nation. Ghana is currently, seriously challenged with general integrity.

Integrity is a guarantee for peace, justice and progressive development. The twin philosophies of peace and justice are the solid foundations of any true development. Peace cannot prevail without justice and vice versa. Our peaceful nature is one of our cherished acclaimed accolades. We must work hard to make it a major component of our new nation brand. The justice delivery system is relatively and fairly good, though yet to be the best we can attain. We must however pride ourselves in the individual legal luminaries that abound in Ghana. Obviously equal to, and may even surpass any in the world. It is the institutional system that needs attention.

Underneath peace, justice and security is a disciplined nation. We must be disciplined with consistency in all facets of national fiber. Discipline in our training systems, both educational and professional must be a priority. Without discipline, enforcement of structural systems and order cannot be successful. Both leadership and the populace must demand responsible discipline from each other. While enforcing systematic order, leadership must be disciplined to exact same from the populace.

It is leadership of integrity to publicly honor outstanding quality service to the nation. In the same breadth, leadership with integrity must punish deviant behavior. Both honor and punishment inevitably contribute to the same course of nation building. It is the same principle for wealth creation. As we work out opportunities for wealth creation, attention must equally be given to avoidance of waste. Both must go hand in hand.

To secure systematic order and culture for the new nation, we need public integrity. Public integrity is a crucial element for the sanity of national fiber. In this regard, public integrity cannot simply be wished. The importance of this crucial element makes it imperative to be generated. A catalyst for generating public integrity must therefore come through a well-organized and carefully crafted program.

We must set up a Public Integrity Unit. Whether a commission or authority, it must have the powers of enforcement. Its funding should not be additional budgetary burden to the national purse. There are some para-statals, ministries or agencies that can easily be realigned or restructured. Consequently, the budget for such ministry, agency or para-statals can then be allocated to the Public Integrity Unit, P.I.U.

The P.I.U must be adequately resourced to enable staff of this unit keep their integrity all the time. Integrity is the essence of its foundation and must therefore resonate as such, at all times. Public confidence and cooperation is critical to the success or otherwise of this proposed unit. The core function of the P.I.U is to instill and maintain integrity in the public structure. It is a long arm to increased productivity of the nation. Its terms of reference must be crafted by the state while the P.I.U subsequently ensures terms of reference developed for various sectors of the public are firmly and consistently sanitized.

The detailed strategy for achieving its terms of reference should be left to staff and management of this important organ of state proposed. It must be a lean outfit as much as possible to enhance its integrity. For its information and enforcement duties, the Public Integrity Unit must have a strong and authoritative link with the Police Service, Parliament and Chief of staff of the President. It must be independent as much as possible. Integrity must be the first and major requirement for prospective staff. It may be possible to restructure the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) to create the Public Integrity Unit. The PIU must efficiently and effectively bite. It must have public trust, confidence and respect.

It must earn public cooperation at all cost. For this, staff and especially leadership or management of the unit must be carefully and strategically recruited. To offer integrity service, they must be of impeccable integrity. He who calls for equity must first come with clean hands. If successfully crafted, the Public Integrity Unit may be the antidote for the organized chaos within our public sector. CPP is ready with leadership of integrity. Forward ever! Nkunim woho mayen!! God bless Africa!!!.