Ethics in the public service and declaration of assets in the spotlight |10 September 2020
A workshop on ‘Ethics in the Public Service and Declaration of Assets’ was organised yesterday by Transparency Initiative Seychelles (Tis) at Nayopi Restaurant and Business Centre.
The workshop was attended by various representatives from the public service. Explaining the rationale behind the workshop, consultant Cheryl Dine said: “One of our projects for this year is to raise awareness on the declaration of assets and ethics in the public service. As part of this project, we are organising a workshop to gather ideas and opinions on how possible gaps can be addressed in the Public Officers’ Ethics Act and the Public Persons (Declaration of Assets, Liabilities and Business Interests) Act.”
After this workshop, Tis will compile all the information and share them with the government to see how we can improve on the legal framework in regards to the Public Service and Declaration of Assets.
“Currently we see some overlaps/gaps in the two acts that might need to be improved on,” she said.
Talking to the press, the chairperson of Tis, Chrystold Chetty, stated that the word ‘transparency’ is now often used in our vocabularies and all leaders are using these words in their addresses. “People are more aware about being transparent and the timing of this conference is just right. Slowly people are becoming more aware about their rights to have access to information. The public is asking for more transparency. In Seychelles, we are still at the infancy stage and the public officers mainly have to understand that everything in the government are public properties and they need to know what is happening. I would even go further to say that even the private sector should become more transparent and inform the public better on their services.”
“Generally public officers did not bother to give information to the public before, but now things are changing,” noted Mr Chetty.
To help the public officers there were sessions on The Moral Psychology of Ethics and Transparency by Jimmy Petrousse, Public Officers’ Ethics Act, 2008; Public Officers’ Ethics Act, 2008 by a representative from the Public Officers’ Ethics Commission and Public Persons (Declaration of Assets, Liabilities and Business Interests) Act, 2016 by a representative from the department of Legal Affairs.
The Ombudsman of Seychelles, Nichole Tirant-Ghérardi, also attended the session.
To recall, Tis is an independent, apolitical and non-partisan association, whose objects include awareness raising and the promotion of constructive dialogues and debates on the situation of corruption, good governance, transparency, accountability and integrity in Seychelles, among other things.