Backbench panel back anti-corruption plans

PLANS to introduce new anti-corruption measures to tackle conflicts of interest, procurement breaches and the receipt of gifts or hospitality among States Members and government employees have been supported by a backbench panel.

Deputy Inna Gardiner                                                            Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30585332)
Deputy Inna Gardiner Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30585332)

Earlier this year the Comptroller and Auditor-General, Lynn Pamment, presented her Anti-Corruption Arrangements report to States Members, making a series of recommendations on how to improve policies and procedures to help identify and manage risks of corruption within the public sector.

In response the Public Accounts Committee, the States spending watchdog which is an official recipient of the CAG’s reports, has accepted all of the recommendations put to it, except one which was partially accepted.

A number of the recommendations will be responded to by the States Greffier, rather than the PAC.

In her executive summary, PAC chairwoman Deputy Inna Gardiner said: ‘The PAC is supportive of the CAG’s recommendations to improve the policies and procedures for managing States Members’ and States employees’ conflicts of interest, procurement breaches and exemptions, and the scrutiny of gifts and hospitality, and the need to review and update the Code of Conduct to include references to policies and procedures for managing the risk of corruption.’

She adds that some of the recommendations will require the Privileges and Procedures Committee to introduce a revised code of conduct for States Members for approval in the autumn.

‘The PAC will therefore follow up this work and publish further comments in due course,’ Deputy Gardiner said.

Recommendations made by the CAG and accepted by the Public Accounts Committee include:

  • Update States Anti-Corruption Policy to improve clarity with additional references to elected Members, management responsibility, conflicts and risk assessment.

  • Revise and expand the existing employee code of conduct to include reference to potential corruption risk areas such as conflicts of interest and gifts and hospitality.

  • Introduce a requirement to record gifts and hospitality given by a States employee in the gifts and hospitality register.

The PAC partially accepted a recommendation on increasing reporting requirements on corruption, pointing out the CAG’s request for an additional annual report on the issue was ‘not necessary’.

The States Greffier will reply on some of the CAG’s recommendations including reviewing the threshold for declaring States Members’ gifts and hospitality and introducing a formal annual review process of States Members’ declarations that includes review of the online register and also requires each Member to confirm completeness and compliance of declarations made.

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