The Integrity Chamber submitted an advice on a Ministerial Gift Policy. The Ministerial Gift Policy provides guidelines for the giving and receiving of gifts by ministers. While the exchanging of gifts is a common practice, it can present an integrity risk if the intention is to obtain favourable treatment. It is important for Ministers to remain unbiased so that the good governance of the country is preserved.
The advice to establish guidelines and a specific ministerial policy was requested by the Council of Ministers. Among other purposes, the policy serves as a point of clarification for Ministers and the public, to protect ministers against false allegations of misconduct, to outline the types of gifts that are appropriate, and to allow ministers to serve as role models for civil servants and employees of government entities.
Some of the components advised by the Integrity Chamber for the establishment of a comprehensive ministerial gift policy include:
- A clear definition of the term ‘gift’
- Establishing a monetary limit to the gift
- Determining the intent of the giver
- The establishment of a Ministerial Gift Register and a Policy Supervisor
It also outlines circumstances and gifts that should be avoided, for example, gifts given to Ministers, by applicants that have applied for a government license. The Integrity Chamber believes that the Ministerial Gift Policy will be beneficial for the furtherance of the national integrity infrastructure and is pleased to collaborate with the Council of Ministers.
The implementation of the advice will be followed-up on, in accordance with the National Ordinance Integrity Chamber. The advice on the Ministerial Gift Policy can be found on the website at www.integritychamber.sx/publications.