Mr Charles Ayamdoo, Director, Anti-Corruption of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has suggested a mandatory induction course for new employees on their organization’s vision and code of conduct.
He also called for periodic trainings on the ethics, standards and code of conduct for all staff with an officer designated to see to the implementation of the organisation’s code.
Mr Ayamdoo made the suggestion at a workshop on the Code of Conduct for Public Officers in Ghana, for heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Ho, on Tuesday.
He said letters of appointments should also make reference to ethics and conducts to commit staff to the agenda and operational blueprint of the employer.
Mr Ayamdoo said this had become necessary in view of the rising misconducts, indiscipline and other negative attitudes at workplaces, which were damaging the image of the public service especially.
The workshop was to discuss the Code of Conduct for public servants, launched by the Vice President in December 2009.
Mr Ayamdoo said the Code of Conduct for public officers was extremely important in a democratic society because it offered the framework within, which public officers could carry out their public responsibilities.
He said “at least for senior positions and for jobs involving external contact, discussion of values and their significance should have taken place at the recruitment stage.”
Mr Ayamdoo said compliance and enforcement of Code of Conduct must flow from the top and high level of organizational commitment in order for its implementation to have a truly positive impact.
He also spoke about the Whistleblowers Act, which he said was a key tool for promoting individual responsibility and organizational accountability.
Mr Richard Quayson, a Deputy Commissioner at CHRAJ said the Code of Conduct increases the probability of public officers behaving in ways generally acceptable to the society.
He said public office is a position of trust implying duty to act in the public interest and said public officers were expected to be “persons of high moral character and integrity.”
Mr Kwesi Fredua-Agyeman, Volta Regional Commander of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), wondered why many heads of departments failed to attend the workshop on such an important policy issue.
Mr Emmanuel K. Simpson Volta Regional Head of the Audit Service said heads must demonstrate the composure, which engendered transparency among their staff.
He said subordinates, who saw their supervisors waste little resources of the office including vehicles and appropriate their claims or benefits might find it difficult to conform to codes of conduct.
Mrs Janet Fofie, member of the Public Services Commission (PSC) called on those, who attended the workshop to devise means of putting the message across to their colleagues.