Workshop on Enhancing Integrity and Effectiveness in the Inspection Function

Effective inspection plays a pivotal role in ensuring compliance with rules, laws, regulations, policies, and procedures, ultimately fostering public trust in government entities. It is essential to note that numerous public bodies in Mauritius have a direct or indirect role in inspection, making it a matter of public interest to promote trust in this enforcement function by ensuring fair and transparent inspections, free from corrupt practices. However, we must acknowledge that the inspection function is not immune to corruption. The very nature of inspection work, involving site visits, frequent interactions with stakeholders, discretionary powers, and limited accountability, makes it susceptible to corruption. These aspects create potential breeding grounds for corrupt practices. Despite all the work done by the ICAC since 2008 to address corruption risks in inspection, it is still an area of concern.

It is in this context that the ICAC organised a one-day workshop for public officers involved in inspections on Tuesday 12 September 2023 at ICAC Headquarters, Moka. Mr. K. Conhye, the Secretary for Public Service, opened the workshop, underscoring its profound relevance to the daily responsibilities of public officers involved in inspection. Mr. Conhye urged participants to be persons of integrity and refrain from engaging in acts of corruption while exercising their enforcement powers.

The one-day workshop served as a platform for meaningful dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders to strengthen the inspection function and uphold the principles of integrity and effectiveness in public service.  participants were able to share their experiences, challenges and discuss key issues and principles on which effective and efficient regulatory inspections should be based in pursuit of better compliance and outcomes. They were also exposed to the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act 2002 to detect, deter, and eliminate the risks of corruption and malpractices in relation to inspection works.

Participants were also given the opportunity to discuss challenges encountered in the performance of their duties and come up with proposals to mitigate corruption risks in the inspection function.  participants reached a consensus on the adoption of a risk-based approach to mitigating corruption risks in the inspection function and to the use of modern technology – data analytics, artificial intelligence, and digital platforms to improve the efficiency of inspections. In light of the discussions held and proposals made the Best Practice Guide on Inspection Works issued by the ICAC in 2008 will be reviewed and updated.