09 May 2007

Civil servants now have guidebook on integrity


PUTRAJAYA: One of the pillars of the prime minister’s ideology has been to bring more integrity into the public service.

Yesterday, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi launched a book to guide the civil service as it moves towards more transparency and accountability.

National Integrity System: A Guiding Framework examines the role of a country’s "integrity pillars" like the executive, parliament, judiciary, auditor-general, public and private sectors, the mass media, enforcement agencies and civil society.

The book also discusses the implementation of integrity practices in the public service, such as monitoring public officials, managing conflicts of interest, promoting transparency, access to official information and protection of whistle-blowers.

Co-produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Malaysian Institute of Integrity (IIM), the book compares integrity and accountability systems in Malaysia with examples from other countries and provides checklists on steps to enhance integrity in various sectors.
"This book shows our seriousness about integrity. The guidelines can be used by all parties so we are in step with each other. It should be read, understood and implemented because it fulfils the government’s desire to improve integrity in the civil service," Abdullah said at the book launch.

In October 2005, UNDP and IIM commissioned the former managing director of Transparency International, Jeremy Pope, to lead the project team in preparing the book. The team included members of UNDP and IIM.

Its aim was to provide a framework to implement the National Integrity Plan.

Abdullah also launched Corporate Social Responsibility: Our First Look, a compilation by the IIM of articles by academicians and industry professionals.

Also present at the launch were Chief Secretary to the Government and IIM president Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan and Dr Richard Leete, UNDP resident representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

Earlier in the day, Abdullah chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Management Integrity. Several ministers, members of IIM and heads of government departments and agencies attended.

They discussed ways to improve accountability and integrity practices in the government administration.

The discussion touched on disciplinary action, combating corruption and other management processes.

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