The declaration of conflict of interest
The Royal Civil Service Commission has issued a notification on the 13th of this month stating that all the civil servants are required to declare and avoid “Conflict of Interest” as mandated under Chapter of the Civil Service Code of Conduct and Ethics of the BCSR 2012. The notification says that this measure is to ensure that all the officials’ decision and discharge of responsibilities are not compromised. The Royal Civil Service Commission came to this conclusion after a series of corruption cases are being investigated by the Anti Corruption Commission. As per the report of the Anti Corruption Commission the system of declaring the conflict of interest was not practiced.
The notification reminds all the civil servants to observe the rule of conflict of interest and follow the rule strictly. Not only that the Royal Civil Service Commission also make accountable the civil servants in managerial and supervisory positions are also reminded that they shall be liable for such lapses even if they are not directly involved.
The notification further says that a civil servant shall declare the business / trade of his / her spouse / dependents to the Agency where the civil servant is employed. The Agency shall maintain a list of spouses and dependents of the employees engaged in formal and non – formal business. It may be a daunting task for the agencies but once it is put in place the system will take care of things.
The Royal Civil Service Commission has reminded all the Heads of the Agencies and Supervisors that in order to enforce the above rule and ensure strict compliance by all the civil servants. If such measures are put in place and strictly followed many of the civil servants will not get into unnecessary troubles. On the other hand in order to effectively comply with the system the Royal Civil Service Commission will carry out periodic Human Resources Audit to check on compliance and enforce accountability in line with the BSCR 2012 rules.
As per the Royal Audit Report 2014, the main causes for irregularities are due to poor enforcement of rules and regulations .The lapses and irregularities occur mostly in the areas of construction and procurement. As per the audit report these irregularities arise due to weak enforcement of relevant rules such as procurement rules in the management of work contracts and procurement of goods.
So now it becomes a paramount task for the civil servants to declare the conflict of interest with the Agency and ensure that our system is corruption free. With more that 4% of the overall expenditure of the government is being financed by loan it will have a serious repercussion on the optimal use of borrowed fund and debt service burden on the government if these funds are diverted for unlawful use through corruption.