Strengthening Public Sector Capacity to boost Integrity in Samoa

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Samoa’s senior government officials are working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) project, in a two-day workshop to analyse where Samoa is tracking on performance, ethics and anti-corruption practices, and to identify challenges still needed to be addressed to boost integrity in the public service.
Enhancing integrity and good governance is a key objective in two of the most important national strategic documents – the Public Administration Sector Plan (PASP), and the Strategy for the Development of Samoa (SDS).
This is a clear demonstration of Samoa’s commitment to combating illegal practices and ensuring the application of relevant integrity standards across the public sector.
Since 2016, UNDP has worked closely 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 Pacific Unity against Corruption Vision.
To maintain the momentum, UNDP, in partnership with the Office of the Public Service Commission (PSC), organised a Ministries Human Resource Coordinators Forum on Ethics, Performance and Governance. The Forum, held on Tuesday and Wednesday this week at the Orator Hotel, brought together more than thirty representatives from Government Ministries.
The workshop sought to improve the understanding of participants about ethics, complaints management, UNCAC, violence and harassment in the workplace, overviewing the existing integrity mechanisms, and stimulating the adoption of measures aimed at delivering public services more efficiently.
“The Government of Samoa is committed to strengthening public confidence in the integrity of the public administration.
This is to be realized through a number of initiatives as outlined in the Public Administration Sector Plan, which includes putting a stop to the mismanagement and misuse of Government resources, and zero tolerance towards dishonest and fraudulent conduct in the public service,” said the PSC Chairman, Nonu Saleimoa Vaai, during his opening remarks at the forum.
UNDP highlighted the importance of promoting integrity practices as a key strategy to achieving sustainable development.
“Eliminating corruption is imperative to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is well documented that corruption undermines development by weakening good governance, slowing economic growth, and negatively affecting the delivery of public services,” said Programme Analyst, Taupa’ū Joseph Mulipola, who spoke on behalf of UNDP at the forum.
“We will continue to work closely with the Government of Samoa and other partners for the implementation of sustainable and effective anti-corruption measures.”
“Senior government officials are showing a commitment in the workshop to embrace more meaningful community consultation and accountability for their actions. 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 forum is supported by the United Nations Regional Anti-Corruption Project (UN-PRAC), funded by the New Zealand Government, and facilitated by Anti-Corruption Consultant, John Hyde.