The Integrity Chamber has submitted a letter of advice to the Government of Sint Maarten on the Civil Servant Code of Conduct. A Code of Conduct guides employee conduct and plays a role in preventing conflicts and other integrity-related issues within the organisation. It also plays an integral role in ensuring ethical decision-making, while working as a communication tool that provides internal and external stakeholders with the prevailing rules, norms, and values of the organisation.
The Civil Servant Code of Conduct was prepared by National Decree in 2019 and signed by the Governor and the Minister of General Affairs, but it has not yet been put into effect. The Integrity Chamber advised prompt implementation of the Code of Conduct and offered recommendations on how to properly embed it into the organisational structure of the administrative body. Some of the recommendations were:
- Making it accessible by distributing the Code of Conduct to all staff
- Providing informative sessions tailored for both management and employees
- Ensuring continued awareness through internal and external awareness campaigns
This advice comes in connection with a more comprehensive advice regarding confidential advisers within government, which was published in the National Gazette on June 25, 2021. A code of conduct for civil servants is necessary for confidential advisers to fulfil their roles properly.
Additionally, the Integrity Chamber advised to have an evaluation carried out after the initial implementation to determine the effectiveness, limitations and whether the goals and objectives of the Code of Conduct have been met. The Integrity Chamber can play a role in the evaluation and, if necessary, the revision of the Code of Conduct.
The Integrity Chamber will follow-up on the implementation of the advice, in accordance with the National Ordinance Integrity Chamber. The Advice on the Civil Servant Code of Conduct can be found on the website at www.integritychamber.sx.