Public Officials To Undertake Code Of Conduct Compliance Test

Accra, Aug. 5, CDA Consult – The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has tasked all Public Officials complete a Code of Conduct Compliance form as part of comprehensive measures to instill discipline and fight corruption within the Public Service.

Heads of Public Institutions are to immediately contact CHRAJ for copies of the form to administer, Mr Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner, CHRAJ stated at a validation of Integrity Compliance Tools workshop in Accra.

He said in the broader terms of implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) by public sector organizations and institutions, all heads of institutions and leadership at all levels are mandated to take responsibility for their areas of oversight.

They are also to ensure that measures are taken to combat corruption in their institutions, including implementation of roles specifically assigned to their institutions under NACAP.

He said the Public Officials Code of Conduct Compliance Form focuses on the background information about the Official and the Institution, measures the level of understanding of the generic Code of Conduct, and whether Public Institutions has developed an In-House Code of Conduct.

It also seeks to examine Public Officials’ appreciation of the Conflict of Interest Policy, the Gift Policy, Declaration of Assets and Liabilities of the Public Official, and whether the Institution has established an Ethics and Compliance Office, and Breaches.

Mr Quayson explained that Heads of Public Institution as part of the broader measures to fight corruption are mandated to educate their employees on the generic Code of Conduct for public officers and regularly sensitize staffs on the generic Code of Conduct.

Public Entities are also obligated to develop an In-house Code of Conduct out of the generic Code, set in place mechanisms to enable staff to disclose conflict of interest situations, and provide assistance to persons that may appear to be in conflict of interest situations.

The CHRAJ Deputy Commissioner said Heads of Public Entities are obligated to sensitize staffs on the gift policy in the Code of Conduct for public officers, set-up a Gift Register for disclosing gifts given, received or declined by Public Officials and provide mechanism for staff to disclose gifts received, given or declined.

He said Public Officials are also mandated to draw the attention of Staffs with the rank of a Director and above to the asset declaration requirement, and set in place mechanisms to ensure that officers who are required to declare their assets and liabilities do so.

He said Public entities are also to set up Ethics and Compliance Office and yearly submit compliance report to the National Ethics and Advisory Committee.

Mr Quayson said Public Institutions are also to provide mechanisms for dealing with breach of the Code of Conduct, roll-out confidential mechanisms for reporting breaches (conflict of interest, gift policy, assets and liabilities declaration, and acts of corruption).

The two-day seminar was attended by Senior Public Officers from Ministries, Departments and Agencies which was also used to update the skills of the officers on the Public Service Integrity Programme.

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