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TUGAR lists challenges to code of conduct implementation

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By Dennis Agbo

ENUGU-THE Technical Unit On Governance and Anti-Corruption Reforms, TUGAR, has disclosed inhibitions militating against implementation of anti-graft policies in Nigeria work places.

One of the impediments, the agency stated, was lack of environment supporting citizens to report ethics infractions.

The agency also discovered that even if or when they report, there is no guarantee that their reports will be objectively investigated and that they will suffer no reprisals for making the complaint or testifying in a related proceeding.

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Director of TUGAR, Mrs Lillian Ekeanyanwu made the disclosure while presenting report of the scooping survey and gap analysis of ethics framework in Enugu, yesterday.

She stated that “The Code of Conduct for Public Officers regimen currently applicable broadly to government agencies, while substantially addressing broad ethics subjects, does not provide detailed guidance that addresses emerging issues, and the responsible institutions have not provided an implementation guide.”

Ekeanyanwu also said that some of the gaps identified include a weak ethics management framework in the institutions/organizations surveyed.

“It was observed that once a code of conduct or ethics has been created, it rarely is subject to review/update in spite of the fact that the ethics environment and governance systems are dynamic and often affected by changes in technology, policy, environmental changes and the economy.”

Other gaps, she noted, include poor control and enforcement of existing frameworks by organizations, poor linkages between policy creation, implementation, monitoring and reporting.

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“It is also observed that there is low awareness on ethics issues. There is no generally applicable whistle blower protection regime and except for a few regulatory bodies, most organizations surveyed, have no whistle blower policy or regime.

“Many organizations do not have well defined complaints system for handling complaints from aggrieved stakeholders and private citizens. In a lot of instances where they exist, the visibility of the complaint procedure is questionable, since regular staff are sometimes unable to describe them,” she stated.

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