Ethics Helpline

(248) 422 5517

The code emanates from the Public Officers’ Ethics Act 2008, which provides a law covering the government’s public service employment framework. It is applicable for all workers in the public sector, including government bodies and parastatals, and is seen as an important way of ensuring appropriate behaviour from staff and therefore useful for instilling discipline and promoting high standards of practice.

The code is a useful mechanism for curbing unfair treatment, red tape, favouritism and abuse of public office for private gain, but it also helps to encourage responsible behaviour such as accountability, punctuality, promptness of administrative action, respect for authority and a good work culture.

It sets the tone at the top and helps to provide a measure of consistency in dealing with key issues. Not only does it allow workers to benchmark their performance but it also provides scope for the general public to hold public officers accountable.

The Code of Conduct and Ethics for Seychelles’ public sector specifically targets all public officers regardless of their job, and aims to foster four core values in the public service –professionalism, integrity, impartiality and transparency.

In essence, these values are seen as a first step in establishing a common understanding of the behaviour expected of public officers and promoting an identity statement for the public service, seeking to capture the spirit, character and attitudes that bind employees together.

While many managers and leaders see the code as being important, carrying it out and enforcing it are weak at times, with some only paying lip service to its practice.

The code in itself is only a guide but will need rigorous application from managers to ensure its effectiveness. It is, therefore, essential for management to make sure that all employees in the public sector, from the chief executive down, know the code of ethics and behave in accordance with it.

Leadership by example, employee education and training on the code, simplifying the code and improving its access to all, as well as applying a reward and reprimand system can all act to reinforce and improve effective practice and to help embed the right behaviour at all levels of an organisation’s culture.

More importantly, leaders should “walk the talk” by role-modelling the right behavior expected from employees and lead the development of the right ethical culture in the organisation. This will ensure that employees comply with the rules and effectively work to provide quality and efficient services.

About the POEC

To administer and enforce the Public Officers’ Ethics Act which comprises of the code of conduct and ethics for public officers and declarations of income, assets and liabilities for designated public officers.