Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has rallied the public service to place more emphasis on their responsibility to achieve an “honest, ethical and trustworthy public sector.”
“There is nothing more valuable than the principles of honesty and integrity,” the Prime Minister said.
“The price of dishonest and unethical behavior is paid by the average citizen. Because every cent you misuse and misappropriate contributes to a bigger problem, which ultimately affects the life of the ordinary person.
“Less money trickles down to the village school that is in need of more books or teachers; or to our public hospital that needs more doctors and resources; or to improve the quality of our roads, particularly for the rural communities.”
Prime Minister Tuilaepa, who is also the Minister of the Public Service Commission, made the comments in an address he was to deliver at Hotel Millenia on Monday.
It is where more than 30 senior government officials are taking part in a workshop organised by the U.N. Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (U.N.-P.R.A.C.) Project in partnership with the Public Service Commission (P.S.C.).
The Integrity Workshop for Senior Government Officials seeks to improve the understanding of participants about the U.N. Convention Against Corruption, overviewing the existing integrity mechanisms and also stimulating the adoption of measures aimed at delivering public services more efficiently.
“Each and every Samoan has every right to expect their elected leaders and public servants to remain ethical and honest, in return for paying their taxes,” Tuilaepa said.
“They place their trust in you as the public sector, to make the right decisions that will not in any way harm their livelihoods.”
Tuilaepa said he is committed to strengthening public confidence in the integrity of the public administration.
"This is to be realized through a focus on enhancing transparency and accountability at all levels, removing all forms of inequality within the workplace, putting a stop to the mismanagement and misuse of Government resources, and zero tolerance towards dishonest and fraudulent conduct in the public sector.
“I believe that Samoa is on the right path to achieving what I have mentioned.
“The development of unified integrity standards to be applied across the whole public sector will provide the momentum we need to make progress on this important issue.
“These standards will complement what is already highlighted in the law; they are an important combination, however, without enforcement, they become meaningless and will not carry any weight.
“The Government supports the adoption of anti-money laundering measures to protect the integrity of our financial systems. The important role the Office of the Ombudsman has in combating unethical behaviour reinforces the Government’s commitment to creating a culture of high morals in the public service.”