High-ranking public servants must be accountable to citizens – Min. Teixeira

High-ranking public servants must be held accountable to the citizens as they manage their affairs, leading to good governance and effective management of the systems which promotes equitable access, fairness, and transparency in Guyana.

This includes Permanent Secretaries, Regional Executive Officers, Procurement Officers, and other technical persons and government agencies like the Ombudsman.  

Minister Teixeira and other members that were a part of the roundtable discussion

The point was robustly stressed by Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira, who was speaking at the opening of the round table discussion, on ethical behaviour within the public service at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown. on Tuesday.

The discussion focused on developing the capacity of public officials to eliminate instances of corruption.  It was held under the theme ‘Promoting integrity and effectiveness in public bodies and authorities responsible for preventing corruption.’

“When you’re a politician [and] if you want to be elected, you have to be accountable to the people… that goes for permanent secretaries who hold power, as well as regional executive officers, overseers at the local government level, Toshaos at the Amerindian village council level, and the treasurers of that level,” the minister pointed out.

Some of the public servants that were present at the discussion

She noted that individuals in these positions have a moral obligation to ensure that citizens receive value for the money spent by the government.

We are now looking at how we develop capacity, what are the kind of training we need to do to make sure that every public servant who is at the highest level knows very well what the rules are…and [these are ones] that does not condone corruption,” Minister Teixeira emphasised.

The minister reminded participants of the importance of abiding by the Integrity Commission, as they represent the people. She opined that they must operate and build a culture that is fair and transparent.

The government is working on amending the Integrity Commission law to ensure that these individuals report as required and within the specified timeframe.

“We have to now reach a point where, as a government, as a public service, that we are holding ourselves to high standards,” the parliamentary and governance affairs minister stated.

The discussion aimed to identify mechanisms to prevent the abuse of public funds and strengthen institutions so they can function more effectively.

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