Ethics board chair urges CS to think about conflicts

| 13/05/2013

SIPL Chair.jpg(CNS): With no legislative power and major concerns about the levels of potential conflicts in government, the chair of the Standards in Public Life Commission has urged civil servants to develop and internalise a working definition of conflict of interest that they might apply in their duties and personal activities of conflict. In the last of a week of lunchtime presentations to public sector staff about good governance, Karin Thompson reminded them that the perception of conflict of interest could be as dangerous as the reality and pointed to the fine line between public and private lives for government employees.

Thompson said that embracing transparency helped government agencies to better get their messages across to the public.

The commission chair has been raising the alarm and pointing to red flags across the public sector, in particular boards, since she took up the post three years ago. But with the draft legislation gathering dust, the commission has not been able to do anything at all about sanctioning the acts of civil servants who cross the boundary when it comes to conflicts of interest and using their position for personal gain.

Other speakers during the week included the governor, the auditor general, the commissioner of police, and the new team of designates that will lead the Elections Office from 1 July this year.

The talks were organised by the Commissions Secretariat to raise civil service awareness of key issues related to governance in the lead-up to the General Election on 22 May.

Commission for Standards in Public Life website 

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Category: Politics

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    "With no legislative power…"

     

    Please, everyone resign if you cannot do anything about the conflicts. It would be the ethical thing to do.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Progressives will get the necessary legislation done. Just like they did before with the FOI law.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes 15.16, they just love laws!! But they never give them any teeth so mainly just a waste of time…

      • Anonymous says:

        Mmmm…McKeeva and Joey seem to be feeling the bite of the Anti-Corruption Law.  

  3. Anonymous says:

    In the real world civil servants and board members think of themselves as above the law and untouchable.

    There is already a Code of Conduct that all public servants are supposed to be bound by that is set out in the Public Service Management Law section 5. The Code of Conduct says that public servants who breach the Code of Conduct can be disciplined or dismissed.

    That Code of Conduct prohibits conflicts of interest of all types.

    However the highest levels of the civil service simply don't obey the Code of Conduct themselves and they certainly don't enforce it.

    The simple truth is that a few at the top need to get fired for not obeying and not enforcing the Code of Conduct, but as the top is just as bad or worse than the rest nothing will happen unless we have a new governor who will force change.

  4. Anonymous says:

    it would be interesting to know who is on the Ethics board.

  5. harsh reality says:

    The current behavior of Civil Servants and Board Members in the Cayman Islands is rivaling that of Hati, Kenya and the Republic of Congo! If these Board Members are in conflict there should be no excuse for why they have not been removed and penalized!

    We were front and centre at the "Global Offshore Alert' forum recently held in Miami and i can assure you it was not for all the right reasons( Corruption) SMH. Cayman has been cast into a very bad lighting on the international stage and it seems as though all the fat cats can do is "forums and speeches" about better governance and over seeing themselves(what a joke – Dont leave cake with fat people). I wish all the young deliquents who lack guidance had this same oppportunity of being "reasoned with and warned" about their in adherence to the law before being cast into prison! We seem to have legislation with teeth to hinder the minority but nothing to hinder the white collar criminals! They are no better than the common thief but as always the timid, docile, subservient Caymanians will do nothing about it! Just a bunch of winers and complainers! Why dont you ask your politicians what they intend to do about these types of misconduct and dishonesty? NOTHING! Because these individuals are their high society friends whom they enjoy the closest of times with! In 15 years Caymanians will be the Urban menance to their own society and their kids will saturate the prisons, for which expats will be blamed! But aske yourself this – Can expats vote? Can they past legislations? Can they prosecute the corrupt? NO! Let this truely resinate and tell me if you disagree with me!

  6. Anonymous says:

    What a joke. We recently had a very senior Caymanian pollce officer who owned a major construction company and people, inside and outside of government, were complaining silently about it for years. But then when he got into trouble, because he was "one of our own" he received massive public support and got off scot free. That is the sort of thing Dan Duguay was commenting on at the Offshore Alert conference covered by the Compass but not, so far, by CNS.

     

    CNS: We have one journalist and no financial backers. The downside of this is that we do not have the money, staff or resources to cover conferences abroad. The upside is that we are not answerable to financial backers.

    • Anonymous says:

      So……Who is the senior police officer and what is the name of the construction company? If ou are going to write an comment and what you are saying is the truth, then why hold back?

      • Anonymous says:

        Because CNS, rightly, does not publish names and information that might open them to legal action one presumes.

    • Anonymous says:

      BTW is it true that Compass has been bought?

       

      CNS: Yes, apparently this is so.

      • Anonymous says:

        WHO has the compass been bought by????

         

        CNS: We haven't yet been able to confirm who funded the takeover.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The new government needs to get the legislation off the shelf and get it passed.

    • PPM says:

      The PPM have said that they will get it done. Dont count on the UDP or PNA because 1. They wont be there to do it, and 2. They dont want it!

    • Anonymous says:

      To finally do that the new government needs to be what they old governments were not.  But wait. Are you not still voting for the old government?  Look up the definition of insanity.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Section 19 of the Anti-Corruption Law seems clear enough on what conflicts of interest means.

    • Anonymous says:

      But you have to be able to read to understand it, let alone prosecute in relation to it!

    • Anonymous says:

      It is equally clear that there is no will to enforce it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Conflicts of interest seem to be an alien concept to unregulated Caymanian board members…the rot starts from the top, now that the premier has been replaced maybe a new wind will blow .

      • SSM345 says:

        "legislation gathering dust, the commission has not been able to do anything at all about sanctioning the acts of civil servants who cross the boundary when it comes to conflicts of interest and using their position for personal gain."

        I wonder why? Our situation is on the brink of a TCI fiasco.