“Instilling ethics and values of integrity and good governance should be part and parcel of the culture of the public service because public servants are the trustees of public resources” - Jacqueline Wilson, Director of the Governance and Institutional Development Division
14 July 2008
Heads of Commonwealth African Public Services agreed on greater transparency and accountability
The heads of Commonwealth African Public Services who participated in a three-day meeting in Maputo, Mozambique, from 8 to 10 July 2008 have agreed on the need to strengthen the capacity of their countries’ public services to implement and enforce ethical practices through training.
They noted the importance of strong leadership, transparency and accountability, and supported the provision of information to the public and agreed to review the declassification period for secret information.
The 40 delegates, who were from Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia, recognised the need to introduce an integrated performance management system within the public service to enhance efficiency and accountability.
Eradicating corruption was a key area. It was also agreed that regular consultations with citizens is essential to ensure that the public service is responsive to the needs and expectations of citizens.
“Instilling ethics and values of integrity and good governance should be part and parcel of the culture of the public service because public servants are the trustees of public resources,” said Jacqueline Wilson, Director of the Governance and Institutional Development Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat, which co-organised the forum with the Government of Mozambique.
“Public service officials who work for the good of the citizenry through dedication and efficiency in providing public services will gain the confidence of the people. This will create a good relationship of trust and faith in the capacity of public service officials in the execution of their duties.
“Public services that are ethical are less prone to corruption because of the values of integrity. The public service should lead the way in setting an example for the private sector on good corporate governance for which a country’s competitiveness and attractiveness to both local and foreign investors are judged, among other factors.”
Next year’s forum, which will be held in Seychelles, will focus on ‘Managing and Measuring Performance in the Public Service in Commonwealth Africa’.