9 December 2010

Today is International Anti Corruption Day.  It seems an auspicious time to relaunch  Integrity Talking Points.

This blog began on the New Zealand Public Sector Intranet before migrating in March 2010 to the e.govt blog. With that site being redeveloped the daily posts need a new home.

The international perception about the New Zealand public sector is that we have very low levels of corruption. That is a toanga.  There is a continuing need to safeguard such treasure.  That’s the purpose of the blog.  As the name suggests, this is a vehicle to highlight integrity issues. All of us who work in the public sector, need to be aware of the importance of trustworthy behaviour and the influence our actions have on public perceptions of government.  That requires integrity.

Media, worldwide, report unceasingly about incidents of maladministration, corrupt practice and self serving officials. Knowing what occurs elsewhere can alert us to possible threats to our standards of integrity. Integrity Talking Points seeks to promote conversations about these matters. Raised awareness may help reinforce the spirit of service which permeates public service in New Zealand.


Anti Corruption Day

Some countries will be making an effort to mark this UN designated event.  Largely unaffected by corruption and therefore uninterested in the deleterious consequences corruption has in much of the world, few New Zealanders will be conscious of the day’s designation.

The UN also uses the day to focus on the UN Convention Against Corruption.  Most states are ratified parties. In New Zealand some legislative changes are necessary before we can fulfill convention obligations. Together with Germany, Czech Republic, Japan and Ireland we are the only developed countries among an equally small number of other states not to have “signed up”.

Corruption has been in the news in New Zealand recently with the court rejecting the appeal brought by former Minister Phillip Field against his conviction under Crimes Act provisions relating to corruption and bribery of an MP, and recent conviction of the first prison officer prosecuted under bribery and corruption of a law enforcement officer provisions.