Public Service Commission warns public servants to remain neutral
The Public Service Commission has issued a stern warning to public servants and employees of the Government of Samoa to remain neutral on what they post on social media.
“We wish to remind all public servants and employees of the Government of Samoa to take reasonable care when expressing their views on social media that may undermine the political neutrality of the public service or bring the reputation of the public service into disrepute.”
In a circular memorandum issued on Wednesday, Chairman of the P.S.C. Aiono Mose Sua outlined the Commission's concerns and urged the Government employees to remain neutral.
The memorandum was sent to all the Chief Executive Officers and Heads of Government Ministries and Offices.
The circular memorandum comes a few days after the General Election where two political parties, Human Rights Protection Party and Faatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi are at a tie with the same number of seats won, with an Independent candidate not yet declaring his intention, if any, to join either party.
“The Commission recognizes that employees of the Public Service have a right to express their views on social media.
“However, this right must be balanced with the obligations of the Public Service employment and the need to be seen as a trusted and impartial public servant,” said Aiono in the memorandum.
He added that Public Service Act 2004 makes it a requirement that all public servants must uphold the Public Service Code of Conduct and Values of the Public Service such as impartiality and respect, to ensure they fulfill their duties in a professional and unbiased manner.
According to the Public Service Code of Conduct, Government employees must be honest and impartial.
“This provision requires employees to be honest and truthful in their dealings with their fellow workers, members of the public, their CEO, their responsible Minister and the Government in general. It also requires employees to act and provide advice without fear or favor of anyone and generally to make decisions on their merits alone. Employees should act apolitically and serve the Government with impartiality, regardless of which party is in power and which party they personally support.”