Anti-corruption commissioners’ joint communique: unmasking public sector corruption

31 Oct 2019

Australia’s anti-corruption commissioners released a joint communique on 29 October 2019, ahead of the Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference in Melbourne.

The communique states: “An organisational culture of integrity that genuinely supports and encourages people to speak up is vitally important in exposing and ultimately preventing public sector corruption.”

“Addressing the organisational setting in which corruption occurs is the key to succeeding in the fight against it.”

The timely statement highlights the importance of systems and the role of ethical leadership at all levels, whether a public servant is a supervisor, governance officer, or senior manager.

The statement highlights two key strategies to fight corruption in the public sector:

  1. “Public sector leaders need to build organisational cultures that embrace the opportunity to learn and improve.”

  2. “Public sector leaders should cultivate environments where their staff genuinely feel safe to speak up.”

Public sector leaders were called on to assess their leadership ripple and evaluate corruption risk as a function of poor organisational culture rather than a case of “rotten apples”.

The commissioners stressed that ethical leadership must function within an ecosystem view, and that every actor within that ecosystem plays a vital role in maintaining its integrity.

Though Australia’s public sector has made immense strides in anti-corruption efforts, the joint communique reminds public administrators that much still remains to be done.

IPAA Victoria’s Integrity and Ethical Leadership Program (IELP) suite equips participants at all levels of the public sector with the skills to build positive integrity cultures and psychological safety in their organisations, better see their ‘system’, and grown ethical decision-making capability. Expressions of interest for the Senior Executive IELP 2020 are now open. Click here to find out more.  

Written by Judy Kuo, Programs Coordinator, IPAA Victoria

The commissioners signing the communique. Source: IBAC.

The commissioners signing the communique. Source: IBAC.

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