Public bodies in Samoa look to enhance performance through ethics commitment

Recognising the link between better performance and governance in state-owned enterprises, senior managers in Samoa’s 27 Public Bodies are looking to operationalize their boards’ commitments to ethical practices, with training assistance from the Ministry of Public Enterprises, Public Service Commission, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) project.
“This two-day Public Bodies Continuous Learning and Awareness Program on Governance, Ethics and Performance is a collaborative effort of the Public Service Commission, the Ministry of Public Enterprises with the assistance of the UNDP in ensuring the public sector are well informed of key drivers of good performance and better public service,” said Tooala Elita Tooala, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry for Public Enterprises, at the opening session.
“Ethics affect performance. Good ethics result in good behaviour and good performance.
“We continue to uphold a public service that is transparent and accountable to its citizens. “Over the two half days, we will share experiences on ethics governance and performance with the expectation that at the end of this workshop, we will be better equipped with some of the tools developed under the Public Administration Sector Plan (PASP), and the Strategy for the Development of Samoa (SDS) to guide us when we encounter situations that call for our ethics to be effectively utilized, and display conduct that shapes good behaviour for better performance,” said Tooala.
UNDP’s partnership support with public bodies builds on UNDP’s work since 2016 with the Government and other non–governmental actors, including the private sector, women and youth entrepreneurs, civil society organizations and Members of Parliament, to strengthen integrity, in line with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, and the Pacific roadmap on anti-corruption, the Teieniwa Vision, Pacific Unity against Corruption.
The workshop, held on Thursday and Friday this week at the Orator Hotel, builds on the Government’s commitment that Public Body boards must adopt their own Code of Conduct and establish Declaration of Interests Guidelines.
“UNDP welcomes the Ministry’s aim to help managers and employees gain ownership of their own internal ethics and governance practices and to go further by putting them into action and then monitoring their compliance,” said Taupa’ū Joseph Mulipola, Programme Analyst, UNDP Samoa during his opening remarks at the training. “UNDP continues to partner with the Government of Samoa and other stakeholders for the implementation of sustainable, effective anti-corruption measures.”
UNDP welcomed participants’ aim to use the momentum gained from this workshop to finalize a public sector ethics framework, noting the importance of promoting integrity practices as a key strategy to achieving sustainable development.
“Public body managers recognise the need for a whole-of-organisation commitment to integrity and its link to better economic performance. This is very important for ensuring ownership and sustainability of integrity actions in Samoa,” said Sonja Stefanovska-Trajanoska, Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji.
The Public Bodies Continuous Learning & Awareness Program is supported by the UNDP Pacific Office’s United Nations Regional Anti-Corruption Project (UN-PRAC), funded by the New Zealand Government.