Sustaining Integrity in Public Service

The public sector has been on the forefront in adopting concrete anti-corruption measures to eliminate opportunities for corruption, to make its detection easier and to deter potential corruptors. Anti-corruption efforts through a partnership and a holistic and integrated approach where systems integrity and people integrity complement each other will be furthered. The activities planned are as follows:

  1. Development of 3 Best Practice Guides on:
  2. Conduct of 30 follow-up exercises to sustain corruption prevention efforts
  3. Conduct of 15 Corruption Prevention Reviews focusing on corruption prone areas.
  4. Implementation of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Framework in 15 new public bodies.
  5. Development of a Manual for Integrity Officers
  6. Conduct of an accredited training for Integrity Officers.
  7. Workshop on Corruption Risk Assessments (CRAs) for Internal Auditors (IAs)
  8. Organisation of a Workshop on the role of Audit Committees (AC) in promoting public sector integrity
  9. Empowerment sessions for officers of the public sector especially new recruits of the public sector
    • IT Security and Control; and
    • Allocation of Stalls
    • Discretionary power in the public sector
  10. Conduct of three research studies on:
    • Direct Procurement in Ministries and Departments;
    • Licensing and
    • Discretionary Powers

Promoting Ethical Leadership

Enhancing ethical leadership is a vital component in enhancing trust in the fight against corruption. The development of the following guidelines will be initiated:

  1. Code of Conduct for members of the National Assembly and other Politicians
  2. Guidelines on “resisting influence” targeting councillors of local authorities
  3. Production of anti-corruption charter for community leaders

Fostering a Corruption-Free Generation – Youth Anti-Corruption Platform

To sustain youth momentum in the fight against corruption, it is planned to set up a Youth Anti-Corruption Platform involving all major stakeholders working with youth. The platform will be a consultative forum for the promotion of an anti-corruption culture among youth through concrete actions. It is expected to ensure coordination and long term sustainability of anti-corruption initiatives ranging from activities in secondary schools to those involving young working professionals. The proposed platform will meet on a regular basis for progress evaluation.

Some of the other activities to sustain initiatives and efforts to mould youngsters’ behaviour and attitudes to resist, reject and report corruption in daily social life and future professional life are:

  1. Development of a set of 3 A2 size posters portraying the right behaviour of pupils at home, from home to school and at school.
  2. Integrity clubs: Integrity Club Award, Setting up new clubs, empowerment of club members and sustaining clubs towards the organisation of anti-corruption activities in schools.
  3. Dissemination of anti-corruption clips comprising songs, choreographies and sketches amongst all stakeholders involved with the youth and on ICAC website, YouTube and Facebook page.
  4. Anti-corruption Public Speaking Competition for tertiary students
  5. Setting up of 4 additional Anti-Corruption Clubs at Tertiary Level to add on the two existing ones
  6. Research studies/ dissertations by tertiary education Students

Sustaining Civil Society Support and Engagement to Resist, Reject and Report Corruption

A successful and sustainable fight against corruption needs the collective action of the public and private sectors together with civil society organisations. This is spelt out in Article 13 of United Nation Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).

The civil society has been a key partner in the fight against corruption. In 2015, our initiatives will be geared towards promoting ownership of anti-corruption initiatives and formalisation of anti-corruption commitment by civil society organisations. The activities are as follows:

  1. Symposium for trade union federations to set up an anti-corruption trade union platform for collective action.
  2. Women Anti-Corruption Forum.
  3. Setting up of two additional Anti-Corruption NGO Focal Groups.
  4. Review Code of Conduct for Councillors and its implementation.
  5. Booklet highlighting recurrent corrupt behaviour in local authorities.
  6. Civil Society Anti-Corruption Symposium involving members from Social Welfare and Community Centres.
  7. Review of Best Practice Guide for NGOs.
  8. Setting up of 4 vigilance groups at the level of the community.

Consolidating Public Trust in Reporting Corruption

To enhance trust and confidence of the general public in the fight against corruption, a mass communication campaign around the themes: rebuilding trust in the ICAC and reporting corruption is being planned as follows:

  • production of three anti-corruption video clips to be aired on the MBC;
  • disseminated across social media and radio; and
  • strategic placement of posters derived from the concept at various public places in Mauritius.

The ethos of this campaign will be the aggressive targeting of the youth, bearing in mind the level of cynicism demonstrated in the National Survey on Corruption 2014 from the latter. To sustain this campaign, a newsletter to communicate to stakeholders about progress made in the fight against corruption and money laundering will be issued on a quarterly basis.

Addressing the Supply Side of Corruption through Public/Private Partnership

Tackling corruption requires both a demand and supply side approach. It is in this vein that anti-corruption platforms such as the Public Private Platform Against Corruption (PPPAC), Private Sector Anti-Corruption Task Force (PACT) and the Construction Industry Anti-Corruption Committee have been set up. These platforms will be sustained and activities will be centred upon the following:

  1. Development of an Integrity Pact in the Construction Sector
  2. Implementation of an Integrity Pledge in the Private sector
  3. Workshop for Businesses to disseminate best practices
  4. Development of a gift guideline in collaboration with the private sector

Empowering the Rodriguan Population

Anti-corruption activities are conducted in Rodrigues on a yearly basis in view of sensitising and empowering stakeholders on the importance of breeding and sustaining a culture of integrity. It is proposed to schedule a mission to Rodrigues comprising a team of two officers in the period of August/September. During their visits, specific stakeholders will be targeted namely private sector, public sector, education sector and civil society.

“Resource Guide” for Drafting of Anti-Corruption Strategy

After having signed and ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), Mauritius had undergone a peer review on the implementation of Chapters III (Criminalization) and IV (International Cooperation) of the Convention. Mauritius will have to shortly subject itself to a second cycle of review and demonstrate that it has successfully implemented measures under Chapters II and V of the said Convention which cover areas relating to “Preventive measures” and “Asset Recovery”.

Article 5 of UNCAC, which falls under Chapter II of the said Convention provides a mandatory obligation, for State Parties to develop and implement effective, coordinated anti-corruption policies that reflect principles of rule of law, proper management of public affairs, integrity, transparency as well as accountability. Although the Article, in itself does not impose an obligation on State Parties to adopt a “National Anti-Corruption Strategy”, the UNODC is currently working on a “Resource Guide”, that sets out key factors that may be taken into consideration by State Parties should they wish to adopt a “National Anti-Corruption Strategy”. The Resource guide aims at assisting towards formulating an Anti-Corruption plan which is to be implemented, monitored and evaluated.

The UNODC invited participants from various countries, including Mauritius to provide inputs to the draft “Resource Guide”, which is being authored by Messrs. Matthew Stephenson, professor of law at Harvard University and Richard E Messick Esq, anticorruption consultant from Washington DC. It is expected that the Resource Guide will be finalized and published by end of this year.

SIDS Conference on Anti-Corruption Reform

Mauritius, in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has been selected to host the next global conference on anti-corruption reform in small island jurisdictions. This global event is expected to be held from 17 to 21 August 2015. The participants will be members of the small island developing states (SIDS), which are also State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). It is expected that participants who will attend the conference will be from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Maldives, Sao Tomé and Principe, Seychelles, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as from the Pacific region namely from Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Vanuatu.

The overall objective of this high level conference will be to discuss the peculiar challenges faced by a small jurisdiction when combating corruption, facilitating the exchange of experiences and best practices on anti-corruption reforms in various areas such as asset declaration, whistle-blower/witness protection mechanisms, and anti-corruption in procurement, amongst others. Inputs collected at the conference will be taken on board at the Sixth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which is to be held in early November 2015 in St. Petersburg, Russia.