14.11.2007 General News

Public officials advised against accepting gifts

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Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, on Monday admonished public officials to be circumspect in receiving gifts from members of the public since it had the tendency to influence and undermine them in decision-making.

He appealed to the officials to recognize, appreciate, respect and use time effectively to enhance productivity.

Mr Baffour-Awuah gave the advice at a workshop on "promoting transparency and accountability in the public service: A focus on the guidelines on conflict of interest for public officials", at Abesim, near Sunyani.

The day's workshop, which was organized by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), was the fourth in a series of pilot programmes in engaging and educating public officials and assisting them to address conflicts of interest in the performance of their duties.

"Let us, as public officials, go according to the tenets of our work so that we shall expose public condemnation and ridicule", the Regional Minister stressed.

Mr Baffour-Awuah explained that conflicts of interest were becoming alarming in all spheres of life and emphasized the need to transform certain societal norms and infuse the exposure of wrong doings in our cultural heritage.

He advised the participants to take the workshop seriously and see themselves as ambassadors of change in solving conflicts of interest in their work places.

Mr Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner in-charge of education and public administration of CHRAJ, said public office was becoming more transformed and reiterated the importance to put in place the necessary plans and strategies that would benefit the younger generation.

He called on the government to improve the conditions of service of public officials to help fight corruption.

Mr Quayson took participants through the anti-corruption mandate of the CHRAJ, conflicts of interest and its importance in fighting corruption and the overview of the Whistleblowers Act 720.

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