AI Content Chat (Beta) logo

Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis.

Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis

Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis. - Page 2

Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis

OAS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Organization of American States. Summits of the Americas Secretariat. Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis / [prepared by the Summits of the Americas Secretariat, Organization of American States]. p. ; cm. (OAS. Documentos oficiales; OEA/Ser.E) ISBN 978-0-8270-7433-0 1. Summit of the Americas. 2. Civil Society--America. 3. Democracy--America. 4. Political Corruption—America. 5. Public Health—America-- COVID-19. I. Title. II. Series. OEA/Ser.E DERECHOS DE AUTOR© (2021) Organización de los Estados Americanos. Todos los derechos reservados bajo las Convenciones Internacionales y Panamericanas. Ninguna porción del contenido de este material se puede reproducir o transmitir en ninguna forma, ni por cualquier medio electrónico o mecánico, total o parcialmente, sin el consentimiento expreso de la Organización. Los contenidos expresados en este documento se presentan exclusivamente para fines informativos y no representan la opinión o posición oficial alguna de la Organización de los Estados Americanos, de su Secretaría General o de sus Estados Miembros. Preparado y publicado por la Secretaría de Cumbres de las Américas de la OEA. [email protected]

ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES 17th Street and Constitution Ave, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20006, USA Internet: All rights reserved Luis Almagro Secretary General James Lambert Secretary for Hemispheric Affairs María Celina Conte Director of the Summits of the Americas Secretariat This policy note Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis is part of the cooperation initiatives promoted by the Summits Secretariat in the framework of implementing the Mechanism for Follow- up and Implementation of the Lima Commitment and the upcoming Summit, under the direction of María Celina Conte. It is the result of collaboration between the Summits Secretariat and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Its preparation was entrusted to consultant Miguel Peñailillo López. For coordinating the drafting of the policy note and the efforts that nurtured its preparation, noteworthy contributions were made by Frédéric Boehm, OECD Directorate for Public Governance, and Nohra Eugenia Posada, Summits Secretariat, as well as the technical assistance of Felicitas Neuhaus, OECD. Special thanks is extended to the institutions of the states participating in the different phases of the drafting: Argentina, with Nicolás Gómez, National Director of Strategic Affairs, Anti-Corruption Office; Brazil, with Carolina Souto, General Coordinator for Public Integrity, Office of the Comptroller General; Chile, with Francisco Silva, Head of Legal and Institutional Affairs, and Daniela Carrizo, Responsible for Civil Service Ethics and Integrity; Colombia, with Liliana Caballero, Assistant Prosecutor for Preventive Oversight of the Civil Service, Office of the Prosecutor General of the Nation; Costa Rica, with Armando López Baltodano, Prosecutor for Public Ethics, Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic; Ecuador, with Ricardo Moya, Vice-Minister of Public Service, Ministry of Labor; and Peru, with Cynthia Su Lay, Manager of Civil Service Management Policies, National Civil Service Authority. Thanks is also extended to María Fernanda Trigo, Mike Mora, and Helena Fonseca of the OAS Department for Effective Public Management, and Andrew Stevenson, of the Summits Secretariat, for their comments on a preliminary version of this document, as well as Laura Martínez, of the Technical Secretariat of the MESICIC, for her guidance and participation in the initial stage of this effort. Preparation for and publication of this document were made possible thanks to a contribution from the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF). The ideas and proposals found in this edition are the exclusive responsibility of their authors and do not compromise the official position of CAF.

Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis. - Page 6

Table of Contents Prologue 1 Executive summary 3 1. Background 5 2. COVID-19 crisis in 2020 creating demands on public administration and civil service 9 3. Commitments and reforms 13 3.1. Background and evaluations of commitments to integrity in the civil service in Latin America and the Caribbean 15 3.1.1. Frameworks for reform from the standpoint of international stakeholders 16 3.1.2. International statutory commitments to integrity in the civil service 18 3.2. Principal reforms recommended by the MESICIC in connection with the Lima Commitment 20 3.2.1. Equal opportunities and transparency in access to government employment 20 3.2.2 Codes of conduct for integrity 21 3.3 The OECD’s vision on public integrity and civil service 23 4. Analysis of reforms and context of crisis in six countries 25 4.1 Functioning of the state in an emergency 27 4.1.1 An overview of integrity policies in the civil service during the pandemic 28 4.1.2 Continuity and change in reforms when the pandemic broke out 28 4.2 Civil service and integrity in the pandemic 30 4.3 Risks of corruption and abuse in an emergency were evident before they materialized 32 5. Challenges for the success of the reforms identified by experts 37 6. Recommendations 43 7. Bibliography 47

Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis. - Page 8

Prologue Luis Almagro Secretary General of the OAS Chair of the JSWG In response to the complex and multifaceted nature of the Public Administrations of the Americas” (OAS, 2017), the corruption, heads of state and government of the Americas Summits Secretariat convened a capacity-building workshop for adopted the “Lima Commitment: Democratic Governance the member states in connection with mandates 9, 10, and 11 of against Corruption” (OAS, 2018) in the framework of the Eighth the Lima Commitment, geared to promoting a culture of integrity Summit of the Americas held in Lima, Peru, on April 13-14, in the region’s civil service as a key aspect of the fight against 2018. The Lima Commitment deems that corruption is one of corruption, as well as to highlight the practical experiences our Hemisphere’s major challenges and exhaustively addresses of public administrations in the merit-based selection of civil actions to prevent and combat this scourge, as well as its servants and conflicts of interest in public administration. implications for democratic governance. As for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and The OAS, through the Summits of the Americas Secretariat Development (OECD), in its Recommendation on Public Integrity (hereinafter the Summits Secretariat), as the technical secretariat (2017), it recommends promoting professional development of of the Summits process, has undertaken since 2018 a series of civil service, based on merit and dedicated to public values and actions to support the efforts of member states to implement the good governance to guarantee responsibility and ethics in public mandates adopted in the Lima Commitment, including actions service. The OECD Action Plan on Integrity and Anti-Corruption to strengthen coordination of the institutions making up the Joint drawn up as a follow-up on the Lima Commitment and adopted Summit Working Group (JSWG). as a result of the Third High-Level Meeting of the OECD Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Programme (LACRP), The Mechanism for Follow-up and Implementation of the Lima held in Lima, Peru, on October 18-19, 2018, contains a series Commitment: Democratic Governance against Corruption was of recommendations to strengthen civil service in line with the proposed by the Peruvian Government chairing the Group at the guidelines of the OECD Handbook on Public Integrity. time and was adopted by the states participating in the Eighth Summit in the framework of the Summit Implementation Review With this objective, the OAS Summits Secretariat and the OECD Group (SIRG) in November 2018 (SIRG, 2018). Likewise, a Directorate for Public Governance convened the workshop on Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the institutions “Integrity in the Civil Service,” which was held online on September of the Joint Summit Working Group (JSWG) in September 2018 30, 2020. Delegations from the region’s public administrations, to harmonize and coordinate its efforts (JSWG, 2018), along coming from both anti-corruption offices and those in charge of with the JSWG Action Plan (2019-2021) (JSWG, 2021). These civil service issues, shared challenges, experiences, and best efforts made it possible to steer actions to support the states practices in connection with building a culture of integrity in their in effectively implementing the mandates adopted at the Eighth administrations, marked by the specific context arising from the Summit of the Americas. COVID-19 pandemic. Moderated by the OECD Directorate for Public Governance (Integrity Division), the workshop benefited On the basis of this background and the recommendations made from the participation of the Technical Secretariat of the in the “Guidelines for the Management of Policies for Probity in Mechanism for Follow-up on the Implementation of the Inter- Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 1

American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC), and it document, and the second workshop for validating it. Their reviewed the status of recommendations in connection with the contributions made it possible to examine the policy responses provisions on integrity in public service in the region. to integrity from member states in the context of the pandemic. Special thanks is also extended to the Development Bank of The workshop was attended by delegates from Argentina, Latin America (CAF) for its support of the Summits Secretariat, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru, who which has allowed this initiative to be undertaken, and for the reflected upon the challenges that civil service administrations technical assistance to meet the requirements of the states in had to tackle because of the pandemic: Were the civil services diverse sectors to move forward with the implementation of the prepared to respond to the risks of fraud and corruption emerging mandates issued by the Eighth Summit of the Americas. from the crisis? How can the region’s governments work to ensure a professional, stable, and merit-based civil service that This effort is part of the cooperation initiatives promoted by the is developing a culture of integrity, which is key to reactivating Summits Secretariat in the framework of the implementation of economies after the pandemic? How can governments enhance the Mechanism for Follow-up and Implementation of the Lima the civil service and bolster public trust? Commitment with the participating states, JSGW entities, civil society, and social stakeholders. Picking up on the discussions and best practices addressed during this workshop, the Summits Secretariat and OECD entrusted the independent consultant Miguel Peñailillo López with the drafting of a policy note. The information obtained from the workshop was supplemented with information provided by the states attending the Eighth Summit of the Americas, via an online platform of the Mechanism for Follow-up and Implementation of the Lima Commitment, in the framework of MESICIC, as well as with recommendations made by OECD. Interviews with officials from government institutions of the member states participating in the workshop were added to the above. The present published version incorporates the revisions and comments made by the Summits Secretariat and other relevant entities of the OAS and the OECD Directorate for Public Governance. The present policy note “Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis” intends to provide an overview of the relevant reforms in terms of integrity in the civil service that focus on transparency and equal opportunities in civil servant procurement processes, codes of conduct, and promoting a highly professional public sector. The practices address the cases of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Peru. The OAS, in particular the Summits Secretariat, thanks the authorities and civil servants of the six countries that took part in this effort for their valuable contributions and the time spent on the initial workshop, interviews, the drafting of the present Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 2

Executive summary The sudden outbreak of the health crisis caused by COVID-19 and address the absence of political will of government authorities has laid bare what could be identified as an impending crisis of to exercise self-control over their discretionary powers when governance in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). procurement staff, as well as the need to build up the capacity of The pandemic has exerted adverse impacts on governance in the government institutions to respond ethically and the need to promote region which also have their origins in preexisting conditions. The integrity in the civil service by means of coordination arrangements low trust in government institutions, political and social polarization, between natural partners and allies. and a perception that the state has been taken hostage and that political parties are powerless have led LAC into a crisis that has In response to the different challenges the region is facing in terms spilled over the confines of a mere public health emergency to of integrity in the civil service and the need to strengthen integrity become a governance emergency. in the midst of a crisis, six experts from diverse countries of Latin America have been consulted. On the basis of that information, the At the start of 2020, all governments of the region were commitments made by several countries to ensure integrity and the implementing—with differing degrees of forcefulness—measures reforms they undertook, as well as those reforms that were made in and policies to ensure integrity in the civil service. In line with the the context of the pandemic, were examined. Taking into account the 1 specific recommendations made by the MESICIC, some of them challenges of the region that are hampering the implementation of consisted of broad reforms to ensure the widespread practice successful reforms for integrity, policy recommendations are being and coverage of transparent, competitive, and merit-based civil proposed to take up the most salient challenges in terms of integrity service procurement. Others involved improving staff management in the civil service and to contribute to the regional dialogue on the or promoting a culture of integrity in government institutions, in matter. accordance with the vision fostered by the OECD. In 2017, the OECD Council in its Recommendation on Public Integrity emphasized The recommendations that are being made are as follows: integrity leadership in the public sector as a way to actively promote and boost integrity and to provide personal models of commitment to integrity leadership by those with high profiles of responsibility in government institutions (Principle 6). It also underscored the value The state serves the people better if at least it has an 1 of a merit-based civil service as the key foundation for developing ethical bureaucracy, which is trained and has high a culture of integrity. By applying the principles of merit and degrees of autonomy in its administrative decision transparency, the Recommendation asserts that professionalism making. Implementation of civil service reforms must can be strengthened and practices, such as favoritism and nepotism, be accelerated. undue political interference, abuse of position, and misconduct, can be prevented (Principle 7). It is necessary to implement fair, transparent, and equitable Despite progress that was being made in the region, the crisis remuneration systems for public servants and professional unleashed by COVD-19 has brought Latin America to a standstill advancement structures. These employment systems must include on the subject of integrity in the civil service. In most countries, key features, such as competitive merit-based procurement questions have been raised about the lawfulness of the processes processes, reasonable job stability, performance evaluations, involved in the procurement and distribution of medical supplies and greater constraints on political discretionary power in the and protection equipment. In several counties, the weakness of procurement of staff. Furthermore, it is necessary to fast track internal and external oversight was highlighted, in particular at the the reforms with respect to the political will of governments and subnational level, and scant accountability and insufficient openness key stakeholders, including legislative bodies, political parties, and access to information underscore the challenges to ensuring and trade unions. With this perspective, it is necessary to clarify transparency, in addition to nurturing the climate of mistrust in the political-institutional coordination to reach agreements that would region. In all of these areas, civil servants are on the front line to make it possible concretize the reforms. defend citizens against abusive practices. Diverse traditional challenges for civil services that were present or unfolding during the years prior to the present crisis became even The cornerstone of the public integrity challenge is 2 more evident during the pandemic. Those challenges involved the cultural, and tools must be used to manage a culture incontrovertible need to undertake a cultural change in government of integrity in government institutions. institutions, a change that would focus their attention on integrity Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 3

Integrity leaders can create and consolidate cultural patterns in society and government institutions. Because of that, ethical leadership and The public and groups of interest are the beneficiaries the example of those at the helm of government, their supporters, 4 of state action and, at the same time, they shape the and government officials are key to promote adequate conduct institutional context. Therefore, improving the ethical among other political and institutional players and to give them performance of public institutions means including the greater legitimacy in the eyes of the public. Of even greater relevance public in the problem and the solution. is the establishment of a culture of open government and integrity that will make it possible to monitor more efficiently and effectively the public sector without undermining its flexibility and incentives The last recommendation is based on the need to involve the public for innovation. Excessive control over public administration, in more. It must be recalled here that mechanisms of transparency, response to public mistrust in civil servants, has prevented flexibility public participation, and whistleblowing contribute substantially to and innovation, which are elements of the utmost importance when reducing fraud and corruption. The absence or weakness of these building responses to scenarios of crisis. To achieve the above, mechanisms, however, contribute to the current climate of mistrust ethical leadership is being proposed as a criterion for selecting all that the region is encountering. high-profile management positions in public institutions, as well as for appointment or advancement procedures. Furthermore, preparation, Because of the above, mechanisms for transparency, public compliance with, and updating of codes of integrity in each sector participation, and whistleblowing, which contribute substantially to of public administration must be firmly promoted. These codes must reducing fraud and corruption, and also implementation of mandate emerge from participatory dialogues and must be the focus of skills- No. 20 of the Eighth Summit of the Americas in connection with the based training. adoption of the Inter-American Open Data Program to Prevent and Combat Corruption (PIDA),3 in the context of a pandemic, have been Finally, governments must consider strengthening a preventive culture valuable allies in protecting public resources and the well-being of that gives incentives to upright conduct in public service, including the population. The absence or weakness of said mechanisms leads policies that publicly reward and commend exemplary conduct. to information that is unclear and scattered, pointless debates, or politically motivated accusations and feuds, which in turn build up a climate of mistrust. Policies and reforms for a civil service that excels in Participation via adequate mechanisms such as open government 3 can provide solutions to decision- making, regulatory, and its duties must be mainstreamed into key government policies, associating merit and transparency with performance problems, as occurs when public consultations are improvements in the delivery of services to the public. conducted. Social auditing can help detect problems from the standpoint of the beneficiaries of institutional actions. Whistleblowing is also an important source of information about acts of fraud and corruption that can undermine government efforts. One way of The challenge of the emergency for governments is not merely ensuring institutional capacity building, especially in a merit-based about health, it is also about democratic governance. As a result, system for the civil service, is the availability of effective systems for the implementation of reforms to ensure a civil service with integrity whistleblowing and reporting, which everyone can have access to, can help to tackle the present and future crises of other kinds. including civil servants and candidates running for public office in the administration, and which can guarantee protection to whistle- The process of drawing up said reforms can rely on technical blowers. Finally, dialogue, risk assessment, and risk management cooperation from current intergovernmental mechanisms such as are highly efficient ways to shift from reactive institutions to proactive the Organization of American States (OAS), the Summits of the ones that have a higher capacity for anticipating and correcting the Americas, the Mechanism for Follow-up on the Implementation of the activities pertaining to management, which can contribute to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC), the Inter- efficiency and governance of the organizations. American Cooperation Mechanism for Effective Public Management (MECIGEP),2 and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Develpment. Furthermore, at the national level, the drafting of said reforms should start with a context of greater coordination 1 MESICIC: Mechanism for Follow-up on the Implementation of the Inter- and synergy among the diverse institutional stakeholders and American Convention against Corruption. policymakers working together to support their viability. 2 MECIGEP: This mechanism is an institutional tool for regional cooperation to facilitate peer dialogue, exchange of experiences, and technical cooperation Finally, the ultimate goal of these reforms is to create public value strategies to support the pursuit of national goals and priorities set by each OAS member state. supported by the trust of the public. Because of that, the process of 3 Program whose purpose is to strengthen policies for open information achieving these reforms must promote public participation, in order and boost the capacity of governments and citizens to prevent and combat to create a response by the state that is more coherent and inclusive corruption on the basis of open data: AG/RES. 2931 (XLIX-O/19), Resolution on Strengthening Democracy, section on Open and Transparent Digital to tackle cases of fraud and corruption. Government. Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 4

1. Background

Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis. - Page 14

The recent health crisis has amplified the systemic vulnerabilities that already existed, both in terms of risk of corruption and fraud and in terms of challenges to achieve a professional civil service with high standards of integrity. Regarding this, the Summits Secretariat, as the Technical Secretariat of the Summits of the Americas process, and the OECD, which is member institution of the JSWG, for which the Summits Secretariat also servs as its Secretariat, are striving to draw up policy recommendations for the region, taking as its baseline the general progress and challenges in the region and information from six countries in particular, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Eighth Summit of the Americas brought together heads of The present policy note provides a summary of the context of the state and government of the Americas to focus on the subject health emergency for the reforms and commitments that were of democratic governance against corruption. At the same time, promoted, as well as the challenges for their implementation, the OECD- LAC Action Plan on Integrity and Anti-Corruption and concludes with policy recommendations. (LAC Action Plan), was adopted as a result of the Third High- Level Meeting of the OECD Latin America and the Caribbean This effort is made in the framework of the follow-up and Regional Programme (LACRP), held in Lima, Peru, on October implementation of the Lima Commitment in view of the 18-19, 2018. upcoming Summit. 4 The Lima Commitment includes two mandates directly related to managing the integrity of human resources in the public sector. The first consists of guaranteeing transparency and equal opportunities in the selection process of public officials (Commitment No. 9) and the second promotes codes of conduct for public officials containing high standards of ethics, honesty, integrity, and transparency (Commitment No. 11). At the same time, the OECD Recommendation on Public Integrity of 2017 stresses integrity leadership in the public sector as a way to actively promote and manage integrity and provide personal models (principle 6), and also underscores the value of having a merit-based civil service as the cornerstone on which to develop a culture of integrity. By applying the principles of merit and transparency, the Recommendation asserts that professionalism can be strengthened and that practices such as favoritism and nepotism, undue political interference, abuse of position, and misconduct can be prevented (principle 7). Nevertheless, various weaknesses in the civil service in the region’s countries are undermining the efforts to create a culture of integrity in government employment. For example, to effectively implement basic values and standards, institutions must educate and train their civil servants on an ongoing basis. Nevertheless, training efforts customarily rely on the procurement status of public sector employees and therefore they do not include staff who are not part of any administrative career stream. At the same time, short-term service contracts involve specific risks in 4 “Lima Commitment: Democratic Governance against Corruption” available at: LimaCommitment_en.pdf ( connection with integrity. Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 7

Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 8

2. COVID-19 crisis in 2020 creating demands on public administration and civil service

Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis. - Page 18

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), after the constraints on health staff, because “the limitation of human the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China, it spread rapidly resources hinders the efforts of countries to locate contacts and to communities, regions, and the world. On January 30, 2020, treat patients in quarantine.” the Director General of the WHO declared that the COVID-19 outbreak was a global public health emergency. According to the Governments used special or extraordinary budget plans and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the first case in the took measures to reinforce the capacity of the public health Americas region was confirmed in the United States of America system in order to respond to the demand for outpatient care on January 20, 2020, and Brazil notified the first case in Latin and hospital admission, as well as epidemiological follow- America and the Caribbean on February 26, 2020. Since then, up. Medical care and hospital procedures, as well as public the epidemic has spread to the 54 countries and territories of the procurement processes in the area of health to meet the needs Americas region. of the emergency, were subject to unprecedented pressure to act, especially bearing in mind that most public health systems in the The crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic required all continent have traditionally been insufficient to tackle the regular governments, without exception, to respond rapidly and urgently to health needs of their populations. The OAS called upon the region a demand, first of all, for protecting the health of their populations to draw up a hemispheric response to the crisis, on the basis of and to ensure law and order, and afterwards for protecting the democratic leadership, cooperation, and solidarity, and sought to economy. This urgency led to the indefinite postponement of involve multilateral institutions to support national efforts to tackle many government policies and programs or to the modification of economic, health, and security impacts. In several countries, the their implementation. Governments focused their priority efforts hospital system was overwhelmed at the most critical moments on adopting a health strategy that would contain the epidemic of the emergency. In others, it was necessary to adopt urgent and economic measures to mitigate the impacts of the disease, measures to expand its capacities by incorporating resources as well as measures to protect the population. Over the short from the private sector or procurement additional staff. The state term, the attention of governments focused on the dual need to health sector was effectively required to provide an extraordinary protect civil servants, while upholding the capacity to fulfill core response to an exceptional threat whose characteristics were as and emerging government priorities, as well as the need to ensure yet not clearly specified. that public administration would be more efficient and transparent by providing a wider range of online procedures and services for In Latin America, 120 days after the first case was reported in the citizenry in the midst of lockdown. the region, the figure of infected persons had risen to 5,136,705 and the number of deaths to 247,129. The shortage of health In Latin America, albeit not only in that region, the principal health staff continued to be a challenge for governments, and PAHO strategies that were implemented by the countries were based kept warning that insufficient human resources were blocking on the following: (a) declaration of a state of health emergency efforts of the countries to locate contacts and treat patients in or something similar; (b) closure of all international borders, the quarantine, while drawing attention to two additional aspects: (a) suspension of international flights, and the mandatory quarantine infected health staff, because staff who are ill or in quarantine can of travelers arriving from abroad; (c) promotion of more stringent overburden health systems; and (b) shifting staff and resources measures of personal hygiene and the mandatory use of face from other programs (HIV, tuberculosis, non-communicable masks; (d) the search and tracing of suspected cases; (e) social diseases) to the treatment of patients ill with COVID-19, which in isolation measures for suspected cases; (f) social distancing turn jeopardized the continuity of those treatments. or lockdown or both; (g) restrictions on the mobility of persons and vehicles; (h) suspension of public transportation; and (i) The international body also identified the challenge of meeting suspension of collective and group activities (schools, shopping the need for adequate logistic systems as “[m]any countries are centers, public spaces, among others). not as yet prepared to administer the distribution of supplies and equipment.” The pandemic continued to spread and the availability By March 31, 2020, 188,949 cases and 3,561 deaths had been of skilled staff to respond to it in the public health system and confirmed. In view of this scenario, many governments received government procurement became increasingly important. technical guidelines from PAHO to restructure their health services, in particular for triage, isolation, and intensive care By the end of September 2020, there were already more than of adults and to estimate the necessary expansion of hospital half a million dead and more than 16 million infected persons. admission capacity. In that month, PAHO had already alerted PAHO identified, among the several pillars of the response to that one of the challenges of the countries in the region would be the pandemic, caseload management, which depends on skilled Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 11

and sufficient health staff and adequate support for operations and logistics. By early December 2020, the figures had reached 753,210 dead and more than 28 million infected. The international organization reiterated its assessments and recommendations to governments to ensure a coordinated and effective response. COVID-19 and social distancing measures continue to expose governments to new public management challenges. As indicated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), “the responsibility of responding to the pandemic depends, to a large extent, on the state, which as an institution is currently facing a crisis of legitimacy and trust. But the public is now expecting the state to provide health services, relief, protection, and even comfort at this time of uncertainty.” Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 12

3. Commitments and reforms

Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis. - Page 22

3.1 Background and evaluations of commitments to integrity in the civil service in Latin America and the Caribbean Latin America is considered to be a region with states that using national and local public administration to build networks traditionally have had difficulty meeting the needs of their citizens. of political patronage for electoral purposes and concludes One of the factors associated with this historical deficiency is, that, although there is broad agreement about the need to first, the absence of a stable bureaucracy and, second, the lack reform the civil service, there are vested political interests in of an efficient civil service. While recognizing that there are upholding the status quo. differences between the countries of the Caribbean and Latin America, studies by the Economic Commission for Latin America According to ECLAC, over the past few years, most Latin and the Caribbean (ECLAC) suggest that historical tendencies of American and Caribbean states have drawn up and implemented asset hoarding and vested private interests, leading to practices several successive reforms with diverse scopes, modalities, of state capture, have been one of the causes of this situation. and outcomes, which, while discarding models, respond to the As for the OECD, it points to a series of institutional weaknesses pragmatism of what is possible. Twenty years ago, IDB studies in several dimensions of public governance in Latin America that summarized the evolution of civil service in Latin America and explain the vulnerability of many of the region’s countries to the the Caribbean throughout the twentieth century as recurrent inefficiencies stemming from waste, abuse, and takeover of the attempts to implement administrative reforms, characterized by state by self-serving interest groups, as well as to exogenous actions to modernize civil service systems based on the state’s economic shocks. central role as a coordinator of social ties, except over its last decades. From that standpoint, the reforms of the eighties were carried out using an approach that sought to downsize or curtail the state, with certain changes in the ninetieswhen, in a second stage, efforts were made to better integrate the state’s organizational and functional rationale. One noteworthy contribution: in early 2016, the OAS Department for Effective Public Management (DEPM) drafted a Study on Integrity, whose purpose was to carry out an assessment of how countries in the Latin American region were tackling the issue of integrity from the standpoint of human resources management, as well as to examine other international experiences and best practices. One of these dimensions is the civil service in general and the Taking into consideration the assessment and conclusions, a professional development of that service in particular. According proposal for Integrity Guidelines was drawn up and developed, to the OECD, evidence shows that “although the public sector based on the principles of transparency and rationalization in the countries of LAC tends to be comparatively small— of public management procedures. These guidelines were accounting for 11.9% of total employment in LAC, in contrast subsequently approved in 2017 by the leading civil service to 21.1% in OECD countries, according to figures for 2018—, institutions of 12 countries of the region at a meeting held in public employment in various countries of LAC is not based on Mexico, under the leadership of that country’s Civil Service merit.” The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) agrees with Secretariat. The Guidelines that were approved contain the OECD that many political and party leaders in the region are specific recommendations in connection with the duties of a Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 15

public servant, integrity institutions, the system of human quality, and public management in general, highlighting the importance of 3.1.1 referring to an integrity system. Frameworks for reform from the standpoint According to the IDB, at the start of the decade of 2000, in almost of international stakeholders all the countries staffing had been more or less substantially reduced and there was no predictable ratio between the size of the civil service and the population, or between that and the workforce. It fluctuated between slightly more than 5 % (Chile) and more than At that time, the IBD promoted policies for the civil service that it 17 % (Uruguay). Twenty years ago, civil service systems of Latin called next-generation policies aimed at improving management America and the Caribbean had the following characteristics: rather than downsizing the state. These reforms included actions geared to restructuring the organizational aspects of the administrative apparatus, redesigning the state’s permanent staff, 1. The organizational charts of public administration show streamlining bureaucratic administrative norms, procedures, evidence of increasingly frequent horizontal structures that and paperwork, installing merit-based administrative career integrate the organizational structure, which creates, for stream systems, providing the staff with continuous training and the staff, a dual hierarchical and functional dependence. professional development, and improving information systems and their related computer supports. It also disseminated an analytical framework for the institutional assessment of civil 2. The designation of authority and responsibility to service systems, with which it would promote the implementation organizational units is based predominantly on functional of assessments in the systems in Latin America and the criteria rather than on results. Caribbean. 3. The criteria used to hire staff do not take into account Shortly thereafter, the Latin American Center for Public general procurement procedures based on competitive Administration and Development (CLAD), which was promoting bidding or the strict application of impartial transparent reform of the state and the civil service as a focus of study criteria. and making proposals, gave impetus to the Ibero-American Public Service Charter, adopted in June 2003 at the Fifth Ibero- American Conference of Ministers of Public Administration and 4. Responsibility for the process tends to be in the hands State Reform. The Charter summarizes a series of underlying of the director (or superior) of the body that ordered the principles for the civil service, which concur with various aspects procurement process to fill a job vacancy. of IDB’s proposals and that were used by several administrations to draw up their policies. 5. There are virtually no cases where there is an effective These benchmark criteria are as follows: and widespread application of formal performance evaluation systems. a) The preeminence of persons for the sound functioning of public services and the need for policies 6. Staff training consists more of an indiscriminate supply that guarantee and develop to the utmost the value of of courses, instead of a realistic identification of training human capital made available by governments and needs. public sector organizations. 7. In most countries, the salaries of lower-echelon state b) The professional development of the human employees are comparatively higher than those for resources at the service of public administrations, as equivalent staff in the private sector, whereas the opposite a guarantee for higher-quality public services provided is true for staff holding higher-echelon positions. to citizens. Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 16

c) The stability of government employment and its One of these benchmarks is merit as a mechanism to ensure state protection from arbitrary dismissal, without detriment to the efficiency, but also protection from arbitrariness, state capture duration that is set, whether indefinite or temporary. by patronage, or politics. Another is the operational capacity of the systems, that is, their capacity to exert a positive impact on the conduct of government employees, directly related to d) Flexibility in organizing and administering government professional qualifications and performance incentives, including employment, which is necessary to adapt, with the ethical conduct and the system’s flexibility. greatest efficiency possible, to the transformations in the environment and the changing needs of society. A decade later, the situation of civil service showed progress achieved in regulatory frameworks pertaining to next-generation reforms, the mainstreaming of competitive merit-based e) The accountability of government employees for the procurement systems, and professional development and work they perform and the results of their work, as well as executive management initiatives. respect for and involvement in the development of public policies set by governments. It is very useful to examine closely the main findings stemming from the application of IDB’s analytical framework for institutional assessment as it allows an overview of the general situation f) Compliance, by all staff included within the scope of their in 2012, reflecting variables that are still prevailing today. The enforcement, with all ethical principles for civil service, situation in the region could be summarized as follows: namely, honesty, transparency, and conscientiousness in the management of public resources and the application of constitutional principles and values. • Human resources planning is especially weak in most of the region’s countries, except for Brazil and Chile. Progress achieved stems from budget-based planning g) Leadership from senior public officials and ownership of efforts. their role as those principally responsible for managing the persons under their supervision. • Organization of the work is not well developed. The design of structures and job descriptions are highly deficient in most of the region’s countries. In Argentina, h) Promotion of communication, participation, dialogue, Chile, Mexico, and Brazil, management of posts is transaction, and consensus for the general benefit of being supplemented by the introduction of skills-based the public, such as instruments of coordination between management. government employers and their staff, in order to achieve a more conducive working environment and a greater • As for the management of government employment, alignment between the objectives of the organizations and it is noteworthy for its differentiation of recruitment the interests and expectations of their staff. and appointment procedures, as well as advancement processes, which range from extreme political interference and attempts to develop merit-based i) The promotion of active policies favoring gender equality, systems that are difficult to implement to certain sound the protection and mainstreaming of minorities, and, in merit-based systems with elements of flexibility. The general, inclusion and nondiscrimination for reasons of mainstreaming of merit has been mostly developed gender, social origin, ethnic belonging, disability, or other as a statutory framework, but in almost all countries causes. attempts to implement it have encountered diverse levels of success. Among the latter, Brazil is noteworthy These benchmarks for reform led to a series of policies and draft for having achieved more than other countries: it shows bills of law in Latin American countries, with varying degrees the use of open recruitment based on suitability of staff, of progress. This impetus coincided with several aspects of guarantees against arbitrariness, skills-based selection, key elements of international anti-corruption commitments in mechanisms for staff advancement, and dismissal for civil service or government employment (which for the present failure to perform devoid of arbitrariness. purpose are viewed as synonymous). Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 17

• Job performance management has not been truly 3.1.2 implemented, and when it is applied it is a formal process International statutory commitments to subject to adaptive conducts. This subsystem is the least integrity in the civil service developed in most of the region’s countries; for example, Central American countries, except for Costa Rica, have formal performance evaluation processes that are left virtually unimplemented. At the First Summit of the Americas, held in December 1994, • Management of compensation is characterized by 34 countries of the Hemisphere declared that “[e]ffective a widespread system of internal inequality in terms of democracy requires corruption to be comprehensively fought, salary. There is limited information about employment and as it constitutes a factor of social disintegration and of distortion remuneration, and it is presumed that in Peru, Ecuador, of the economic system undermining the legitimacy of political El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, and Paraguay there is institutions.”5 They drew up an Action Plan that asserted the severe internal and external unfairness. governments’ pledge to develop “a hemispheric approach to 6 ending corruption in the public and private sectors.” This was • As for the promotion of employees and training, there is a the first public step toward negotiating the first international wide range of situations, from the total absence of career treaty against corruption. After two years of negotiations, the streams and certain cases where career streams suffer Inter-American Convention against Corruption (IACAC) set a from problems of rigidity to exceptional cases where there series of standards governed by international law to prevent are elements of flexibility. The management of professional and punish corruption, as well as to cooperate to combat it. development is marked by higher levels in Brazil and Chile, followed by Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia, and The IACAC started recognizing that “representative democracy, Costa Rica. an essential condition for stability, peace and development of • The scant capacity for mainstreaming a human resources the region, requires, by its nature, the combating of every form system is evident in the widespread absence of policies of corruption in the performance of public functions, as well as for the management of the working environment and acts of corruption specifically related to such performance.” communication, and coverage of social security benefits Because of that, the signatory states agreed that the purposes is not generally provided for temporary contract-based of that international instrument would be to “promote and procurement, which contributes to the precariousness of strengthen the development by each of the States Parties of the the employee relationship. In Brazil and Chile, initiatives mechanisms needed to prevent, detect, punish and eradicate have been observed geared to consolidating merit-based corruption” and to “promote, facilitate and regulate cooperation criteria for career advancement and efforts have been among the States Parties to ensure the effectiveness of made to steer training towards strategic goals. measures and actions to prevent, detect, punish and eradicate corruption in the performance of public functions and acts of • It has been confirmed that institutions in charge of corruption specifically related to such performance.” promoting or administering human resources policies have As for the present note, the treaty included Article III on shown little maturity, except for certain cases that show greater continuity and benefit from more political support, preventive measures that committed signatory states to as in Colombia and Costa Rica. consider a series of norms, mechanisms, and systems, among which there were some focusing on integrity in public office. That norm provided as follows: Over ten years, much progress has been noted, although at varying degrees, and it is possible to see, in greater detail, the complexity “For the purposes set forth in Article II of this Convention, the and difficulties still being encountered by reforms in the civil service. States Parties agree to consider the applicability of measures In subsequent sections herein, the situation of integrity in the civil within their own institutional systems to create, maintain and service shall be examined within the context of the pandemic. strengthen: Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 18

Despite the cautious wording of the standard on preventive 1. Standards of conduct for the correct, honorable, and measures, which included a strong rule of safeguard for states, proper fulfillment of public functions. These standards over time this provision has gradually acquired, as a result of its shall be intended to prevent conflicts of interest and interpretation and throughout its intergovernmental monitoring, mandate the proper conservation and use of resources a broader and deeper content. The Follow-up Mechanism for entrusted to government officials in the performance of the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against their functions. (…) Such measures should help preserve Corruption (MESICIC), created in 2001 in follow-up on the the public’s confidence in the integrity of public servants Third Summit of the Americas (Quebec 2001), was gradually and government processes. establishing the scope of these provisions throughout its many rounds of review, which turned out to be in agreement with, and receptive of, the visions and frameworks on reform and integrity 2. Mechanisms to enforce these standards of conduct. in the civil service established over the past two decades in the Hemisphere. This aspect shall be reflected in the next section. 3. Instruction to government personnel to ensure proper To conclude, it is important to highlight the commitment made understanding of their responsibilities and the ethical rules by the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean in that governing their activities. (…) matter as reflected in the resolutions of the OAS General Assembly on Strengthening Democracy, in its section “Public Management Strengthening and Innovation in the Americas” 5. Systems of government procurement and procurement where the countries pledge to promote codes of conduct with of goods and services that assure the openness, equity high standards of ethics, probity, transparency, and integrity and efficiency of such systems. (…) and to support efforts of awareness-raising and training in these topics, taking as a reference the recommendations contained in the “Guidelines for the Management of Policies for Probity in the 12. The study of further preventive measures that take into Public Administrations of the Americas.” account the relationship between equitable compensation and probity in public service.” In connection with these provisions, it is important to stress that, from the standpoint of subjective actions, the IACAC set forth the binding elements for understanding what it meant by public function and civil servant, providing a broad-based definition. By public function it meant “any temporary or permanent, paid or honorary activity, performed by a natural person in the name of the State or in the service of the State or its institutions, at any level of its hierarchy.” It also indicated that it viewed the terms “public official,” “government official,” or “public servant” as synonymous, in the understanding that they meant “any official or employee of the State or its agencies, including those who have been selected, appointed, or elected to perform activities or functions in the name of the State or in the service of the State, at any level of its hierarchy.” From that wide-ranging standpoint, all kinds of activities carried out by a natural person on behalf of or in the service of the state and its agencies are subject to international obligations, which are applicable to any authority or employee of the state or its agencies, regardless of the origin of the relationship or hierarchy. Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 19

3.2 Principal reforms recommended by the MESICIC in connection with the Lima Commitment The present section intends to provide a summary description of consolidated information on a series of reforms that MESICIC a) To give high priority to access to government employment has been recommending in matters concerning the civil service and suitable staff management in the civil service by and responds to the mandates adopted by governments at the promoting competitive, merit-based public procurement Eighth Summit of the Americas. It is based on the final reports processes and an administrative career stream by doing of the Fifth Round of Review of MESICIC of the six countries the following: consulted. The section helps to understand what kind of reforms emerging from the IACAC were still pending implementation in 2018, after several years of intergovernmental monitoring via • Ensuring observance of the principles of publicity, equity, and MESICIC. It shows the status of the reforms still pending when efficiency as provided for in the Convention in the different the Summit was held. First, the mandate of the Lima Commitment procurement systems or appointing staff in government is highlighted and then the series of recommendations made by institutions, as well as special career streams and other systems. MESICIC in connection with said mandate is examined. • Ensuring that competitive, merit-based procurement and permanent staff employment become the rule in the management of government employment. 3.2.1 • Adopting the necessary measures to put an end, in the country’s Equal opportunities and transparency in executive branch of government and in territorial institutions, to access to government employment procurement on the basis of service outsourcing and all other kinds of transient employment modalities, as a way of making sure permanent staff perform the duties that pertain to their position. • Monitoring the implementation of special or exceptional statutes Lima Commitment No. 9. Ensuring transparency on the recruitment of professional and technical services, when and equal opportunities in the selection incidental activities not customarily pertaining to the institution processes of public officials based on objective must be carried out, to ensure that this system does not lead to criteria such as merit, fairness, and aptitude possible successive contract renewals and that these exceptions are not used as a mechanism to avoid competitive, merit-based recruitment processes. • Adopting measures to ensure that lawful percentage limits Principal recommendations made by MESICIC providing contents restricting staff procurement via service outsourcing and all other to the Lima Commitment: kinds of transient employment modalities are duly met, thus Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 20

avoiding surpassing the maximum percentage authorized for this the number of staff in the state’s different bodies, with a breakdown type of procurement relative to permanent staff positions. of their employment system and the results of the procurement processes, including for senior officials and managerial posts. • Conducting periodic audits to identify, correct, and eventually punish irregularities in connection with temporary procurement and service outsourcing. d) To strengthen the operational and technical capacity for implementing competitive, merit-based systems by the issuance of the necessary administrative regulations, the b) To boost the efficient implementation of changes in adoption of instruments that would make it possible to conduct systems that guarantee a merit-based and transparent public recruitment processes, the use of competency-based approach to staff procurement in the state by doing the employment profiles and the use of online government following: concluding the transition to new civil service employment information and management systems. systems currently being implemented; regularizing, on a timely basis, situations of prolonged vacancies or transient employment; ensuring more efficient and timely selection processes; and extending to more government bodies e) To establish mechanisms that curtail the capacity of and agencies systems for appointing senior government political authorities to overrule competitive, merit-based officials and executives based on competitive, merit-based procurement processes, providing them with selection criteria recruitment processes. and requiring them to specify the grounds for their decisions. • Concluding the transition to new civil service systems that are currently being implemented. 3.2.2 • Using mechanisms that render selection processes more Codes of conduct for integrity efficient and make it possible for public sector institutions to benefit from suitable staff for shorter periods of time, preferably by using international technical cooperation and online systems for government employment. Lima Commitment No. 11. Furthering codes of • Adopting the necessary mechanisms to publicize calls to conduct for public officials that contain high applicants to participate in competitive, merit-based public standards of ethics, honesty, integrity, and procurement systems to fill civil service career vacancies or those transparency, using as a point of reference the involving temporary appointments or interim duties. “Guidelines for the Management of Policies for Probity in the Public Administrations of the • Adopting measures that strengthen or extend mechanisms for Americas” and urging the private sector to develop publicizing announcements of vacancies in the executive branch similar codes of conduct. of government via online systems. • When a competitive, merit-based procurement system for senior Principal recommendations by the MESICIC that have given government officials or executives is in place, expand it to the content to the Lima Commitment: highest number of government bodies and agencies. a) To increase the scope, coverage, and effectiveness of c) To improve statistical information on government training on ethical duties and public integrity by doing the employment for decision making, access to employment, following: and accountability to the public: • Requiring staff of the country’s public administration, regardless Ensuring the management and publication of statistical data and of the procurement system, to attend said training as a compulsory specific information that would make it possible to know in detail activity. Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 21

• Ensuring that said training focuses specifically on compliance with codes of ethics in force and on the risks of corruption. f) To strengthen the bases for managing public integrity in government institutions by adopting measures to build • Appointing authorities or public officials in charge of implementing up the institutional role of the body in charge of public said codes and training programs. integrity, guaranteeing that it benefits from the necessary budget to autonomously discharge its duties. b) To implement mechanisms to ensure that the staff receives from their institutions, on an ongoing basis, clear g) To efficiently move forward in drawing up and using instructions about the performance that is expected of basic instruments to promote ethics in government them, the obligations pertaining to their posts, as well as employment such as, for example, general and information and guidelines about the ethical duties they are institutional codes of ethics and integrity plans, programs, required to fulfill by doing the following: or strategies in every government institution. • Delivering handbooks, guidelines, or other kinds of instruments h) To adopt, implement, and provide transparency to and modern technologies providing guidance to civil servants on an equitable remuneration system for public officials how to adequately perform their duties and warning them of the risks which provides adequate merit-based incentives that of corruption pertaining to the discharge of their responsibilities, as allow advancement and overcome existing salary well as the scope and interpretation of the ethical norms governing discrepancies in the civil service based on impartial and their activities and the consequences of failing to observe these transparent criteria. norms for the civil service and for the offenders. • Adopting induction and re-induction programs for their civil servants, regarding their responsibilities in their posts and on the In short, over the past two decades, MESICIC has made ethical norms that are applicable to them, using current codes of recommendations that focus sharply on transparency in the ethics and modern technologies especially for this purpose. mechanisms to hire and promote public officials, to build capacities for the management of integrity for and in government agencies, • Transmitting guidelines from the leading body in charge of the to enforce integrity norms and mechanisms for authorities and civil service, in order to ensure that the institutions governed by the senior officials, to strengthen the professional development of civil civil service system provide their staff with consistent information servants, and to improve information and guidance on integrity about their responsibilities and ethical duties. and civil service. The recognized follow-up mechanism for the first international c) To ensure that senior authorities adequately know and treaty against corruption has carried out technical monitoring work understand the norms, instructions, and guidelines on over a long period of time to mainstream legal reforms and draw public ethics that are applicable to them and monitor the up policies on integrity in public functions. In addition, the OAS has effectiveness of activities for that purpose. promoted, in its many forums and resolutions, a direct connection between civil service and integrity, as in the “Guidelines for the Management of Policies for Probity in the Public Administrations of the Americas (2017),” which called upon states to manage d) To ensure that every public official can receive and policies for probity on the basis of a series of guidelines focusing request information and guidelines about ethical norms on formal and informal mechanisms that have an impact on the and duties, as well as answer queries about the scope and rules of conduct of public officials relative to appropriate behavior interpretation of said norms. in public administrations. As for the Summit of the Americas, it has been a high-level political forum which, on a permanent basis since 1994, has been promoting probity and combating corruption. The hubs of action of the Lima Summit described in the present e) To require institutions belonging to the executive section show the very close linkage between legally binding branch of government to report annually on the activities commitments between the states parties to the IACAC and the carried out to ensure their staff adequately understand the international policy mandates and commitments promoted by the responsibilities of their position and their ethical duties, so OAS and the process of the Summits of the Americas to promote, that the state can duly examine and assess those activities in the Hemisphere, policies that mainstream and strengthen the and ascertain whether or not they are adequate. linkage between probity and the civil service. Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 22

3.3 The OECD ’s vision on public integrity and civil service A professional and effective public administration is a key factor the commitment and exemplary conduct of senior-level public to ensure trust in public institutions. An OECD document, as officials, as well as a clear explanation of responsibilities among yet unpublished, forecasts that the future of work shall be the different stakeholders so that the system can be efficient. The characterized by greater uncertainty and by changing and second pillar promotes the development of a culture of public unpredictable circumstances and crises. The challenge for the integrity, by anchoring a perspective that includes all of society and future is to develop a civil service with a vision for the future, the adoption of measures that promote a culture of transparency, one that can be flexible to withstand crises and meet the needs especially in public institutions. The recommendation’s third pillar of civil servants. The OECD Recommendation of the Council requires the creation of accountability instruments, in particular on Public Service Leadership and Capability sets forth 14 those involving internal audits, risk management, repressive principles to support countries in establishing public services mechanisms, and external oversight. that are competent, responsible, and capable of providing society with high-quality services. It promotes an effective public This vision has led to a series of assessments, developments, administration based on a values-driven culture and leadership, and compilation of best practices carried out in the member qualified and effective officials, and responsive and adaptive countries of the international organization, nurturing the dialogue government employment systems. It fosters collaboration and on public policymaking. In 2018, the OECD released a series of innovation in designing and implementing public policies and integrity policy findings and proposals in the study entitled “Public services, while mainstreaming values and principles into the Integrity in Latin America and the Caribbean 2018-2019, from strategic management of human resources. Recognizing that reactive governments to proactive states.” public leaders play a key role, the recommendation places them at the heart of the efforts and calls upon the countries to provide This wide-ranging study considered a merit-based civil service as public leaders with the mandate, skills, and conditions to act as a pillar to achieve a culture of public integrity in Latin American coordinators between the political sphere and the administrative and highlighted the following aspects: one and to provide impartial evidence-based advisory services. At the same time, the OECD Recommendation of the Council • Transparency as the key principle for public actions, on Public Integrity provides policymakers with a strategic vision as a result of which it is vital for government and of public integrity. It replaces ad hoc integrity policies by policies administrations to benefit from an organizational that take into account the context in which they are implemented, structure that is transparent and accessible to the public, using a behavioral and risk management approach and placing which must also be reasonable and clearly identifies special emphasis on promoting a culture of integrity throughout posts and duties. society. On the basis of this recommendation, the OECD steers countries in the practical implementation of cross-cutting integrity • The impartiality of the procurement process as a key strategies that encompass the entire government and all of condition so that the system for admission into the society. To this end, the OECD provides 13 principles structured state is perceived as fair. In that regard, this involves under three pillars (as indicated in the inset shown below). The not only providing standards for the system, but also first focuses on building a coherent and comprehensive public integrity system. The recommendations of this first pillar include Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 23

merit-based processes, there are more favorable conditions for ensuring that it is impartial and perceived as such, by understanding and taking ownership of the control function by the open publication of vacancies available and the managers and, as a result, for effective accountability. process, for example, as well as the design of decision- making systems that reduce the possibility of arbitrary An integrity culture can be consolidated where every member of or discretionary decisions, the mandatory declaration an organization takes charge of managing the risks of fraud and of family ties at the time of the recruiting, and the corruption and where a system geared to preventing them from management of conflicts of interests when procurement materializing is mainstreamed. Thus, education and training of next-of-kin and relatives, among others. public servants must also focus on a full understanding of their responsibilities and the ethical conduct that is expected of them, • An approach ensuring better performance and as well as on the technical capacity to fulfill their duties. The reducing risks of corruption, for which it recommends codes of ethics must guide them to participate in protecting their investing in capacity building of public employees, organization’s tangible and intangible assets and ultimately the ensuring that they are driven by ethical values when rights of their beneficiaries. in their decision making, and developing a structure of incentives with clear benefits and aligned performance From a macro perspective, the OECD has a broad vision evaluations that include ethical performance. of integrity which makes it possible for it to propose public policies for integrity, best practices, and the use of tools for • Investing in measures that comprehensively promote the development and amplification of a culture of integrity that ethics and public values in public management, such encompasses the diverse sectors of society. It also proposes as the provision of guidance and training to identify a vision of public administration that provides an environment and manage situations of conflicts of interest and to that makes it possible for civil servants to build up and benefit resolve ethical dilemmas. And although the OECD’s from the necessary capacities and resources to design and vision is preventive rather than punitive, it also points implement public policies and services allowing them to tackle to the need for the effective penalization of violations the challenges of the future. The MESICIC is also the extension by public servants, as well as sanctions through of an international treaty and proposes statutory frameworks disciplinary codes. and mechanisms arising from the standards agreed upon in the IACAC and developed throughout its review process. Taking this into account, it is possible to visualize how dynamic aspects pertaining to public policies and the structural aspects inherent to Furthermore, the OECD identified certain aspects directly related an international statutory baseline complement each other. to the culture of integrity in public organizations pointing to a preventive approach. One of those aspects is risk management, including the risk of corruption and fraud, where one of the most important challenges of the countries is to ensure that the administration takes ownership of its risk management and uses it for decision making. This challenge becomes clearly relevant every time acts of corruption appear in public institutions, especially when it is confirmed that said events could have been avoided on time, that is, before they actually happened. According to the OECD, public institutions are better prepared to avoid corruption scandals that undermine the public’s perception when they can count on prepared staff who take over risk management and when policies and instruments for corruption risk management are used for decision making. As pointed out by the OECD in the above-mentioned study, in those Latin American countries where 5 Further information at: dec_en.pdf the system of recruting services and admitting new staff into the 6 Further information at: administrative career stream favors transparent and competitive poa_en.pdf Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 24

4. Analysis of reforms and context of crisis in six countries

Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis. - Page 34

4.1 Functioning of the state in an emergency This section addresses a contextualization of the state and its early release of measures and legislation on telecommuting in policies for integrity and the civil service when the pandemic the public sector, the implementation of this modality came up appeared and spread in 2020 in order to identify common against underlying conditions and capacities of Latin American challenges or problems in the six countries consulted. states in terms of digital government and telecommuting.7 Some countries were better prepared than others to meet the The sudden outbreak of a global health crisis impacted policy public needs of the population in its many sectors, owing to a priorities in almost all countries, which led to the urgent need higher capacity for digital government and more, albeit relatively for an effective governmental response to tackle the COVID-19 small, experience than others in using telecommuting. The pandemic. In Latin America, the UNDP indicates that many of practice of telecommuting involves a series of variables of different the situations stemming from the pandemic have their origin in kinds, among which, regulatory frameworks, organizational conditions that already existed in the region, for example, low culture, the digital divide, and access to Internet. In this matter, levels of trust in government institutions, political and social the experts point to the importance of digital capacity building polarization, a perception that the state has been taken hostage of states in this matter, via digital skills training in organizations and that political parties are being undermined. The UNDP and implementation of strategies that make it possible to attract, asserts that, in this region, COVID-19 was more than just a health develop, and keep qualified public servants. crisis; it must also be understood as a governance crisis. What is certain is that the region’s governments are encountering a high Throughout the crisis, in the midst of new circumstances and demand for responses to a situation of uncertainty and, in many contexts, public administration was required to carry out its work, cases, the different government agencies must adapt to a new for which it was faced with the imperative of rapidly adopting way of doing things. new technologies and tools. This provided the opportunity to promote change, for example, new procedures and protocols for In several of the countries consulted, the pandemic impacted, telecommuting, the acceleration of recruiting, and work mobility at first, the regular activities of public functions. Although programs to quickly reestablish priorities in terms of posts and government agencies adapted quickly, because governments key areas and to redistribute the workforce to address changes first adopted measures and then established regulations to in demand. At the same time, the crisis highlighted the value promote telecommuting and the onsite activity of public servants, of innovation, collaboration, digital skills, resilience, and crisis it can also be said that, in certain countries, the emergency at management skills, in particular for the public leaders in charge times—especially during the first 100 days—brought the state to of responding effectively to the challenges and uncertainties that a standstill or at least constrained its regular activities, despite were emerging. After reflecting upon and reviewing the changes the implementation of the necessary measures to contain the introduced, governments can take advantage of new tools and the epidemic and protect the public servants themselves. know-how acquired to place themselves on a more sustainable ground to draw up a long-term strategy for public administration. On the one hand, the countries of the Americas had more time than At the start of 2020, all governments continued to implement— the countries of Asia and Europe to be warned of the approaching with varying degrees of emphasis—integrity policies or measures danger, which led to early measures for containment of the in public functions, aimed at the civil service or government health emergency. On the other hand, despite the above and the employment. Some of them consisted of broad reforms and Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 27

measures to expand the practice and coverage of transparent, competitive, and merit-based public processes to most groups 4.1.2 of staff employed by the state and to better manage the culture Continuity and change in the reforms when the of integrity in public institutions. In other cases, governments pandemic broke out made adjustments to their staff procurement and management systems, in accordance with their government programs, in line with the specific recommendations of MESICIC or introducing elements of integrity management in accordance with the During the health emergency in 2020, national authorities in vision promoted by the OECD. In that respect, some national charge of promoting a culture of integrity in the civil service and policies were tackling reforms or enhancing their capabilities to directing and regulating government staff recruitment processes a greater extent while others were focusing on moving forward continued to fulfill their duties. Their daily tasks were naturally with their policies or correcting failings or distortions in their staff restricted or redirected, first of all, because of the initial difficulties management systems in the public sector. to operate which affected all the other public institutions and, second, because the government’s agenda focused on adopting health measures and protecting the population, and in this case the front-line government institutions were those of the health 4.1.1 sector, law enforcement, and border control. An overview of integrity policies in the civil service during the pandemic According to the specialists who were consulted, virtually all six countries gave continuity to their integrity policies in the civil service. In Argentina, the line of work to regularize the situation of temporary civil servants in the state’s administration was The countries attending the Eighth Summit of the Americas in upheld and, although all policy efforts were geared to deal with 2018 adopted the mandates to strengthen the civil service and the emergency, progress was made in evaluating the Nation Anti- ethical leadership in the state, and virtually all countries consulted Corruption Plan for 2019-2023, after which it expects to choose have followed through with their integrity policies in the civil the themes for a national strategy. service. Also in the period, training on integrity was upheld and, in some In Argentina, despite the pandemic, the line of work to regularize cases, even increased. In Brazil, the Comptroller General of the the situation of temporary civil servants and revise the national Union (Controladoria-Geral da União—CGU) upheld the audits Anti-Corruption Plan was upheld. In Brazil, audits of staff on staff procurement and the progress achieved in introducing recruitment was upheld, and progress was made in developing a meritocracy, even in positions of trust of the government a merit-based bureaucracy and a culture of integrity. In Chile—in and in state enterprises. In addition, work has continued on an effort similar to that of Brazil, albeit with a different degree of developing a culture of integrity, that goes beyond the codes of implementation—codes of conduct have been adopted in public ethic with a punitive approach that are in force in all entities of the institutions and integrity committees have been established. In executive branch, in order to move forward toward the drafting of Colombia, the main challenge over the past few years has been codes of integrity. The CGU has also continued to promote the to correct distortions undermining the administrative career development of integrity offices in different public institutions in stream. And in Peru, there have been no changes in the area of charge of implementing risk-based integrity programs. reform in the civil service since 2018, but efforts have been made to implement a high-standard integrity model. In Chile, in 2016 codes of conduct had already been introduced in public institutions, and these codes continue to be drawn In almost all countries, there has been ongoing induction and up and implemented in the executive branch of government, training activities on integrity in the civil service, with varying thereby striving to secure wider coverage. Also, in the National degrees of breadth and depth. Governments have fulfilled their Civil Service Department (Dirección Nacional de Servicio Civil— obligation to inform their civil servants, both clearly and using up- DNSC) integrity committees have continued to be established to-date approaches, about the norms and instructions to which formally in a large number of public institutions of the executive they are subject, the conduct expected of them, and the ethical branch, although with challenges when assigning them a role duties that should be guiding their actions. in strengthening ethical leadership and managing a culture of Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 28

integrity in each institution. In Colombia, the challenge over the past few years has been that of correcting distortions that can undermine the administrative career stream, such as regularizing the situation of temporary staff on the basis of competitive public procurement procedures. Nevertheless, there has also been changes both during the pandemic and because of it. In Brazil, the CGU started focusing on the vulnerability of the government procurement system, taking the crisis as an example. This institution started reflecting upon the lessons learned from the emergency, and as a result of said reflection, it is scheduling, for the year 2021, a risk-based planning exercise and support to a government agency to tackle the challenge of ethical leadership in public administration. It is the Ministry of Agriculture that has been identified as the government institution with a broad outreach that is to be supported in establishing a culture of ethics. In Costa Rica, since 2018 a change has occurred in the public discussion, and a dialogue has started on the subject of government employment and its challenges. At the end of 2019, the government convened a range of stakeholders to draw up a transparency and anti- corruption strategy, which has led to a national integrity and corruption prevention plan which shall be released in the first quarter of 2021. In these cases, the pandemic has been an additional factor for reflection on, and further development of, integrity policies in the civil service. As for training, the pandemic prevented institutions in charge from conducting traditional training activities and required them to change their strategies and use digital tools. After a short period of learning, public institutions of most of the six countries consulted were able to reach wide nominal range of trained staff and have exceeded many times over the targets that had been set. But it should also be observed that coverage data continue to be insufficient, bearing in mind the universe of staff who should be trained and the growing challenge of ethical leadership over the course of a pandemic. Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 29

4.2 Civil service and integrity in the pandemic In the countries of the Americas, there is a differentiation between the institutions in charge of steering and regulating the government • To guarantee public health measures in those workplaces staff procurement processes and those responsible for promoting where government employees would not be able to work a culture of integrity in the civil service. The former normally from their homes and telecommute. pertain to finance secretariats or ministries of the economy, public function or civil service departments, authorities, or • To organize telecommuting, providing civil servants secretariats. The latter consist of government ethics offices, anti- with the necessary tools and resources and drawing up corruption commissions, anti-corruption offices or secretariats, or policies to structure telecommuting. external oversight bodies. In the context of the emergency, the institutions in charge of conducting government procurement in • To take advantage of digital skills in order to foster the six countries consulted performed their duties without any telecommuting and provide effective services to the public. additional requirements to their work plans and policies, other than the specific difficulties of operating under new operating arrangements and without any, or very low, onsite attendance at the workplace. To promote continuous learning, in particular to acquire new skills, such as the use of new technologies and ways of In these countries, most of the governments did not engage in working to perform their duties. In particular, leadership and massive recruitment of new government employees, whether management skills were key to manage the transition to new permanent career staff or temporary employees. According to working environments with integrity and in line with the values the experts who were consulted, staffing in the health sector of the institution and the public sector. At the same time, it was reinforced or reassigned, and mass recruitment was the was necessary to take up challenges in connection with the exception rather than the rule. That is why the public sector had to telecommuting modality and the related risks of undermining quickly ascertain which jobs and areas were essential, identify the integrity because of the greater interconnection between private competencies that were necessary and available, and redistribute and public spaces, such as the use of professional equipment, the workforce to meet changing demands. Several tools were working hours, confidentiality, among others. used, mostly consisting of temporary reassignments inside the ministries and the accelerated use of existing recruitment In this regard, criticism targeting government measures, when procedures. To achieve this redistribution, it was essential to there was such criticism, focused on the suitability of the identify the competencies of the employees and to ensure the measures proposed by the authorities and the capability of civil availability of tools to reassign them over a short period time. servants in charge of managing a health crisis. In addition to restructuring the workforce to address the changes In that general context, a difference must be noted between in demand, governments also had to ensure that the capacity situations where there was no new recruitment, others where of public administration was upheld to meet the government’s recruitment remained normal, and yet others where recruitment priorities and protect its civil servants. Because of that, was exceptional. Thus, when the pandemic appeared, government institutions in charge of public employment had to Argentina was already officially in a state of economic, financial, draw up new policies and instruments to do the following: fiscal, administrative, social security, tariff, health, and social Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 30

emergency. In February 2020, before the declaration of a health of possible corruption and coordinated actions with the Office emergency, a presidential decree had imposed restrictions on of the Comptroller General of the Republic and the Office of the the recruitment of new staff in the federal government. In those Attorney General of the Nation to provide a response that would countries where competitive recruitment processes were being instill trust among the citizens with respect to the state’s actions undertaken or where the status of temporary staff was being to protect government resources. regularized, the institutions in charge continued following their plans and assignments—as in Colombia and Peru—and hired The population is not indifferent to this type of action undertaken staff on a regular basis. One exception was Chile, where the by government agencies in response to breaches of the principle government adopted an emergency recruitment program to of integrity. When cases of corruption or gross negligence in employ 9,000 additional health professionals and technicians high-profile institutions that are important to the population are to meet the requirements of higher demand for health services. disclosed, public trust in the government is severely impacted, which in turn brings harm to governance. The timeliness and The demand for the activities of the institutions in charge of visibility of the response also influences public perceptions. An ensuring public integrity, however, was quite distinct. In most example of the above can be seen when protection supplies cases, there was a demand for action, whether preventive or were purchased for the Peruvian police force: in April 2020, the reactive, in response to criticism and whistleblowing. At the start Ministry of Justice investigated direct purchases of protection of the pandemic, in several countries consulted, government equipment by staff of the National Police, with evidence of measures to protect the population were criticized, to differing overpricing, from companies not engaged in supplying the above- degrees, by several stakeholders, which is characteristic of mentioned equipment. It was one of the many cases involving healthy democracies. In many cases, the criticism paved the senior commanders and officers of the institution. This occurred way for opportunities to participate, provide information, and in August 2020 after more than 400 police officers had already improve the situation analysis, which led to a better response died of COVID-19, an affair that led to radical repudiation and from the state. In other cases, the criticism challenged, through disparagement of the government by the Peruvian population. institutional media, the capability of authorities, and that was the case in Chile, where charges on constitutional grounds Furthermore, in several countries, lower levels of oversight at were filed against the minister of health at the time. subnational levels were clearly evident. In Colombia, although there were national authorities investigated for corruption, many But in most countries consulted, questions were raised about of the whistle-blowing cases processed by the Office of the the uprightness of government procedures and there were even Prosecutor General of the Republic brought charges against reports of illegality in procurement and distribution processes subnational authorities (governors and mayors) who were involving medical and protection supplies, as a result of which involved in decisions for the purchase of medical supplies and the integrity of certain public institutions was targeted for for the irregular distribution of resources. The same happened in investigation. Brazil, and it is assumed that these failings are common to most of the region’s countries. The weakness of internal and external In this type of case, the ethical leadership signals transmitted oversight at the subnational level, as well as organizational by authorities at the head of government and senior authorities environments with a more vulnerable culture of public integrity, in charge of the institutions involved turn out to be of vital exposes civil servants to illegitimate pressure from corrupt importance to inspire trust or prevent mistrust from spreading decision makers and deprives citizens of the urgent services that among the public. In Argentina, for example, in response to the state must provide in times of crisis. whistleblowing about government procurement of allegedly overpriced medical supplies, the President of the Republic ordered measures declaring the suspect procurement null and void. Furthermore, the staff involved in managing said procurement were dismissed, and monitoring of operations was tightened to prevent further difficulties. In Colombia, external oversight authorities, who perform a key role in promoting and protecting government integrity, responded to a call for action from the public, which required them to work in a coordinated fashion. The Office of the Prosecutor General of the Nation received more than 1,000 whistle-blowing reports Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 31

4.3 Risks of corruption and abuse in an emergency were evident before they materialized The pandemic triggered a widespread fear among the population, especially during the first months, but also made it more sensitive • Striking a balance between technical, legal, and ethical to the response it was expecting from the state in a context of criteria for open data, in order to respond effectively to the need. In certain cases, corruption has been informally labeled the emergency and be aware of the risks to privacy. second pandemic and government procurement decisions were more exposed to the scrutiny of a sensitive public. But it does not • Promoting the implementation of a media communication merely involve perceptions of the population. strategy that is informative, data-based, and evidence- The risk of corruption in a pandemic is real, and international based. organizations and civil society organizations commended for • Ensuring that assistance resources for COVID-19 from combating corruption, such as the OAS, the OECD, Transparency international organizations to governments go hand in International, and the World Bank, alerted the world about it. In hand with measures of openness, transparency, and early 2020, Transparency International drew the attention of oversight as an indispensable condition for the granting governments to the risk of corruption in a pandemic and stated of funds or urging the use of the COVID-19 budget that, in a pandemic, corruption finds fertile ground to thrive, transparency guide and participation in the preparedness especially when oversight institutions and mechanisms are process, including data on stimulus plans, sources of weak and public trust is scant. On the basis of their experience revenue, and subsidy beneficiaries, among others. with previous world health emergencies, such as the Ebola virus and swine flu, they encourage states to keep in mind the • Establishing mechanisms to monitor and oversee lessons learned and to identify the risks of corruption in order to budgeting, spending, and recruiting with social consolidate a global response to the pandemic. stakeholders and civil society. In follow-up on this declaration, Transparency International • Promoting conditions for the correct functioning of the and the OAS, through its Department for Effective Public democratic system and the state’s three branches of Management (DEPM) launched, on April 27, 2020, a dialogue government. with civil society entitled “Challenges of democratic governance with respect to COVID-19 and the promotion of the principles of • Draw up democratic control mechanisms to restrict open government,”8 from which certain recommendations were drawn, among which the following: emergency measures that breach the democratic principles of freedom of expression and access to information. • Bolster official two-way communication with evidence- • Upholding a proactive approach to open data in all sectors. based and data-based explanations. • Promoting data-based and evidence-based public policies • Implement co-creative government forums with social and actions in response to the pandemic. stakeholders supporting processes to design, implement, and monitor COVID-19 measures. Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 32

Likewise, on May 20, 2020, Transparency International, in an equipment being awarded to companies of doubtful origin had open letter to the OAS Secretary General,9 called for “urgent already been recorded, as well as rising prices of medicines and action from the OAS in order to make sure that, in the Americas, basic health equipment, physicians stocking treatments for friends corruption risks are minimized, transparency is strengthened, and family, and various types of online fraud, among others. and emergency powers are reasonably exercised” during the COVID-19 crisis and recommended five anti-corruption measures Along with this, the OECD called upon governments to focus in response to COVID-19. special attention on three aspects: • Articulate and demonstrate OAS and JSWG commitment • Challenges to integrity in government procurement, to anti-corruption during the COVID-19 crisis. because experiences from other humanitarian and health crises have shown that emergencies are • Reasonable exercise of emergency powers and state vulnerable to abuse. of emergency. • Accountability, monitoring, and oversight of economic • Transparency and accountability in public procurement. stimulus packages. • Audits by internal audit bodies and third parties. • Rise in the risk of breaching the principle of integrity in government organizations. • Implementation of existing anti-corruption and anti-money laundering frameworks. In April 2020, the World Bank also identified10 areas of government International and regional organizations members of the Joint response to COVID-19 where there were risks of corruption and Summit Working Group (JSWG), chaired by the OAS, also how they could escalate: (1) response to the health emergency; drew attention to the risks of corruption and how the pandemic (2) response to food insecurity and livelihood precariousness, entrenches these risks. At its fourth special meeting on the impact and (3) the adoption of emergency powers to address economic of COVID-19 in the Americas, the senior authorities of the JSWG, and health crises and to uphold public law and order. The World in their Joint Declaration “Addressing Corruption, Integrity, and Bank drew attention to the risks of corruption in various areas and Democratic Governance associated with COVID-19,” reiterated proposed that governments should adopt a series of measures their concern that progress made in tackling corruption would to prevent, reduce, or mitigate risks of corruption and implement run the risk of being undermined “as national and subnational those that ensure that government agencies have the capacity authorities in the region rush to implement new policy responses to act correctly in the case of a health emergency. Many of the and emergency measures, including the rapid disbursement measures proposed by the World Bank and the OECD coincide, of large amounts of public resources and new lines of and both institutions issued early warnings about the threat of credit, sometimes without the necessary anti-corruption and corruption. accountability safeguards.” In this Joint Declaration they also Among the measures to ensure the integrity of procurement warned that “the arbitrary elimination of adequate oversight that processes, the OECD first advised ensuring that there would is evident in many jurisdictions, whether as a result of restricted be a team of trained civil servants with the skills to implement access to public data and the limitations of accountability emergency procurement procedures. Along with this, it also measures or the diminishing opportunities available to civil recommended the following measures, among others: society to guarantee transparency, runs the risk of undermining democratic norms and the effectiveness of regional governance.” In April 2020, the OECD drew timely attention to preliminary • Documenting procurement processes and ensuring evidence suggesting that corruption and fraud were occurring the greatest openness in terms of information, during the health crisis, and previous experience indicated that its including open data. impact would probably escalate in the near future. Regarding this, the OECD noted that cases of contracts for personal protection Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 33

employees have high standards of integrity, but highlighted that • Ensuring all emergency recruitment processes are the evidence from previous recessions has shown that they subject to auditing and oversight, and including an lead to greater occupational fraud, embezzlement, bribery of analysis of corruption patterns. public officials, and other breaches of integrity. Nevertheless, it also noted that the risk increases when financial pressures, • Permitting remote access to auditors and opportunities, and rationalization come into play, as they did in the oversight bodies. COVID-19 emergency. Furthermore, it recognized that emerging scandals of corruption can also adversely impact the perception • Creating digital tools that make it possible to follow up that citizens have of corruption and, as a result, undermine on emergency recruitment and provide easy access to support for government measures and reforms. the public. In response to this, the OECD pointed out that public sector For accountability, monitoring, and oversight of economic stimulus organizations can proactively improve controls to prevent packages, the OECD noted that, paradoxically, governments are and detect corruption and fraud, especially by reviewing and relaxing control in order to fast track the use of funds. It pointed strengthening current public integrity systems in organizations. out that this situation increases the risks of corruption, fraud, As for the World Bank, it pointed out that urgent procurement waste, and abuse, which could undermine the effectiveness and processes must last as long as the emergency, thus avoiding efficiency of these programs. In that respect, the OECD issued a the artificial prolongation of staff, but agrees that staff with fit-for- call to do the following: purpose skills should be hired. Following this advice, governments will clearly benefit from clearly setting forth the qualifications that are required for the jobs to be filled, especially those for positions • To coordinate clear responsibilities and lines of of high-level responsibility and public management. Furthermore, communication to ensure that all civil servants are held they would benefit from publicizing the need for merit and accountable for their actions. In view of the relaxation of emphasizing this aspect of recruiting operations. controls, it warned that civil servants continue to be on the One successful example of a measure of this kind was the “front line” of protection and that it is necessary to transmit program “I serve my country in the emergency” (Yo sirvo a mi to the entire staff that they are expected to monitor public país en la emergencia), promoted by the Ministry of Health of funds permanently. Chile in partnership with the DNSC. This program facilitated the • To ensure an adequate assessment of integrity risks, timely recruiting of 9,000 civil servants for the health sector on in which civil servants are encouraged to document and the basis of a competitive and merit-based process at the worst report any obstacle or deviation that might appear. moment of the pandemic (May and June 2020). Its purpose was to call upon health professionals and technicians throughout the • That external oversight bodies should adopt a risk-based country, so that they would bring their skills and talents together to cooperate in the health emergency triggered by the coronavirus.12 and data-centered approach. This program made it possible to substantially absorb the highest demand for qualified health staff in the midst of the emergency, and it was devoid of any whistleblowing and accusations. It is To strengthen accountability, the OECD especially recommended thus an experience of fast-tracking cooperation between public establishing specialized oversight bodies and ensuring they health bodies and the civil services. have a clear and consistent mandate in connection with existing stakeholders for accountability. As a complement to this, the In view of rising risks because of the pandemic, the OECD also World Bank recommended that “when a specific fund has been recommended the following: created, an explicit oversight mechanism must be established. Said oversight mechanism must guarantee clear management and leadership and include a special board, special audits, and • Raising awareness about standards of integrity to ensure earmarked resources to enhance supervision and follow-up.”11 that all staff continue to abide by the rules and uphold the As for the rise in the risk of integrity breaches in government highest standards of public sector values. institutions, the OECD recognized that most public sector Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 34

Challenges must be addressed from a human rights perspective • Ensuring basic internal oversight, such as the and with respect to international obligations.”13 In said declaration, administrative certification of financial statements, anti- the Commission called for the adoption of measures compatible fraud policies, surprise audits, and job rotation. with human rights and pointed out that it was essential to ensure access to accurate and reliable information, as well as to the • Taking advantage of and improving digital tools to promote Internet. integrity and accountability, especially by guaranteeing that relevant information from the government is available Ethical leadership builds trust and one of the most important in a format that is open and reusable, enabling social measures to highlight this is ensuring the transparency of records oversight and ensuring the effectiveness of online whistle- of operations, submitting information to official and public scrutiny, blowing mechanisms. and using that same information and participation to bolster the implementation of the measures and policies to tackle the emergency. In short, transparency of public action is a measure As for this last item, the OECD and the World Bank agreed on the that helps to prevent risks and build greater public trust. importance of keeping records and public access to these records, in order to facilitate social oversight. As for the recruitment of staff, the World Bank recommended the following for governments in the emergency: In a region noteworthy for its progress over the past decade in making information accessible, transparency in the emergency has remained oftentimes undermined, which has led to mistrust in “To define clear principles for the recruitment of new or the public. The publicity of records for evidence, medical statistics, temporary staff. The mobilization of additional human and procurement was at first suspended or restricted in various resources needed to tackle the crisis must be based countries of the Americas, generally on the grounds that there were on the principles of transparency and accountability, urgencies to attend to and that it was difficult to provide information duly documented and guided by clear principles when while ensuring protection measures for public officials. In many exceptions are authorized or required. This does not cases, these measures of secrecy, confidentiality, or opacity have necessarily require prolonged competitive processes been amended and today there is more information available to that might be inconsistent with the urgency of the the public than in 2020. Nevertheless, even in the continent there response. Rather, the emphasis should be on highlighting are exceptional cases in which governments are restricting access the qualifications required for a job which would make to information on evidence and procurement, far below what it possible to revise it subsequently. The appointments international organizations have recommended. must be for a limited period of time to tackle urgent needs or must be subject to revision after the immediate emergency has disappeared.”14 Civil society called early upon governments to respect and not restrict access to public information, and international organizations stressed the importance of keeping records and taking information on the beneficiaries of loans or subsidies and ensuring adequate Attending to the health emergency has also required allocating staffing for record-keeping departments and noted that they would and implementing special financial resources, as mentioned be essential for public agencies and civil servants to be held by the OECD. In the different countries, special budgets and accountable. The OECD urged the use of digital technologies and emergency funds have been enacted, and in some cases underscored the importance of open data to spread transparency financial cooperation mechanisms established with the private and make sure that, despite social distancing measures, citizens sector. These special budgets and funds have been financed by would be able to participate in the response to the health their own resources, including state reserves and national debt, emergency, express criticism, and contribute solutions. which has impacted the finance and borrowing capacity of states. International organizations have clearly indicated that there can Transparency is a factor that empowers society’s other stakeholders be no special funds without oversight. to participation in the problem solving, drawing up proposals, and abiding by government policies. In April 2020, the Inter-American When using special funds, regular oversight mechanisms must be Court of Human Rights issued a public statement addressed to used or mechanisms that can also be special must be established, the States Parties to the American Convention on Human Rights, while ensuring clear management and leadership and including entitled “COVID-19 and Human Rights: The Problems and resources to enhance this monitoring and oversight. One initiative Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 35

of this kind was the creation, in El Salvador in March 2020, of to the values of integrity in the civil services, that is, merit-based an Emergency Fund and subsequently a Citizen Monitoring and systems. And they must also rely on an effective system for Oversight Committee for the Emergency Fund and Economic integrity risk management and oversight, that is, with preemptive Recovery amounting to US$2 billion. This Committee was formed mechanisms that guarantee effective accountability. What the by civil society organizations with the power to access government numerous cases of corruption being investigated during the information and with the mandate to deliver periodic reports to pandemic are highlighting is that, when government agencies that the Legislative Assembly and the public.15 Although this special are not yet robust enough to benefit from suitable committed staff body was not allocated with any of its own resources when it was are required to deal with breaches of legal and ethical standards established, it was a pioneer initiative in its field, which is on the by a civil servant or a group of public officials, they find that they 16 right course and has issued a valuable report on the distribution do not have the capacity to anticipate, detect, or use external of resources. oversight mechanisms in order to prevent them. As can be observed, according to international organizations and bodies, most of the risks and whistleblowing involving corruption are in connection with government procurement, food distribution, and allocation of subsidies or assistance to persons and companies, not the recruitment of staff. Nevertheless, there are two aspects that reveal that these whistle-blowing reports and investigations are directly related to the integrity of the civil services: ethical leadership and institutional capacity to ensure effective oversight systems and a culture of public integrity. According to the OECD, it is expected that public-sector leaders will be effective, capable of steering their teams, inspiring their workforce, and instilling a culture promoting innovation while consolidating public sector values, with high standards of integrity and ethics. And this notion does not apply merely to administrative heads or national executives, but also extends to ministers and heads of government. It is impossible to decouple ethical performance in the many echelons of authority from the impacts their conduct, example, and guidance exert on subordinate public officials, stakeholders, 7 and the community. Ministers, governors, mayors, generals, For example, the government of Costa Rica issued, on March 10, 2020, a directive and senior government officials hold offices for which ethical with measures for inter-agency attention and coordination to tackle the health alert performance has an impact on the culture of integrity of their because of the coronavirus and then, on September 30 of the same year, a law governing telecommuting for both the public sector and the private sector. 8 public institutions and on public trust. When a scandal breaks OAS, Report of the Talk with Civil Society on “Democratic Governance Challenges out with respect to overcharging, bribery, illicit enrichment, or of COVID-19 and the Promotion of Open Government Principles” http://portal.oas. org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=fucAB2YCUXk%3d&tabid=1814 VIP vaccines, it is no longer a mere problem of procurement and 9 Transparency International: Open letter to the OAS: https://images. distribution processes. It involves persons and, in the case of a political office, the failure of ethical leadership, which in turn 10 World Bank, Ensuring Integrity in the Governance and Institutional Response to COVID 19, April 2020. undermines governance and public trust. 11 Ibid. 12 See the initiative at the following link: The other relevant aspect of the materialization of corruption 13 OAS, Statement of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to the States risks in the emergency is that it highlights evident failures of Parties to the American Convention on Human Rights, “COVID-19 and Human Rights: The problems and challenges must be addressed from a human rights institutions—and sometimes between institutions—to prevent perspective and with respect to international obligations,” 2020. See at: https://www. and detect gross breaches of basic agreements on integrity in 14 World Bank, Ensuring Integrity in the Governance and Institutional Response to public affairs. The OECD Recommendation of the Council on COVID 19, April 2020, see: Public Integrity (2017) contends that public institutions must hire 15 To learn more about the initiative, see: professional and qualified individuals that are deeply committed 16 See the report at: Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 36

5. Challenges for the success of reforms identified by experts

Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis. - Page 46

In 2018, the OECD noted that a common characteristic of the This conviction has appeared at the same time as circumstances entire region of Latin America and the Caribbean is the growing have been highlighting a series of realities that indicate resistance disconnection between citizens and the government institutions to this change in culture. charged with representing them. The international organizations drew attention to the fact that the scant attention paid to the A culture of integrity can be installed more firmly in organizations calls for greater transparency and integrity in the exercise of where the virtues of policy options can be freely discussed, government functions has triggered public mistrust, which in turn without fear of any deterioration in personal or collective working jeopardizes the social contract and undermines sustainable and conditions or fear of retaliation. It can also be more easily installed inclusive economic growth. in those organizations where it is possible to report inappropriate conduct or corrupt practice, where there is reasonable certainty The OECD also observed that, despite efforts to draw up anti- that the whistle-blower will not be targeted for retaliation, and corruption policies and strategies, it continues to be a challenge where inquiry, investigation, and remediation mechanisms will be to implement said policies and strategies, and to promote, activated. The positive perception of staff members of government alongside this, a broader culture of integrity in both public and agencies about themselves and about the sound stewardship of private institutions. Along that same line, MESICIC in its rounds their superiors at the service of the common good is a signal that of review has made recommendations to tackle these challenges, they are part of an organization with a living culture of integrity. by stressing the need to provide clear instructions to civil servants, Transparent decision making creates an environment of greater apply basic instruments to promote ethics, and look for more trust in the integrity of the authorities and department heads who equitable remuneration systems. are exercising their leadership in each area of the institution. To achieve a culture of integrity in the public sector, according But the reality that many public officials are living is different. to the OECD it is also primordial to benefit from a civil service Government institutions in Latin America and in the countries that is competent, professional, and committed to public values being examined are profoundly impacted by the formalism of and interests. According to this body, although most countries of the standards, where the symbolic and effective value of the the region have made progress in installing a merit-based civil laws and norms on public integrity in particular is relative and service, there continue to be several challenges that have to circumstantial and is affected by conditions of control, opportunity, be tackled. The OECD’s approach gives priority to policies and and incentives. The indicators measuring the perception and practices, but the challenges that have been identified coincide, victimization of corruption show that, as a rule, Latin American to varying degrees, with the mechanisms that MESICIC has been countries have high levels of corruption, with certain exceptions. recommending to the countries of the Americas for the civil service In those countries, perception indicators show that bodies of the and are closely related to the commitments of the Lima Summit. executive branch of government register high levels of corruption and low levels of public trust. To better ascertain the scope of the reforms for integrity and the civil service and its challenges in times of the pandemic, In Latin America, there are low levels of whistleblowing by public government experts were consulted in the six countries, who officials against corruption. According to persons interviewed, identified important current challenges to their implementation. there is still fear among public officials that reprisals will be taken by heads and authorities. Some even mention that it is very Some of these challenges could be called traditional challenges difficult for a civil servant to oppose any of the decisions or orders because they were there before or unfolding over previous of their superiors, even when said decisions and orders might be years and had emerged in normal times of health and showed unlawful. This information coincides with the MESICIC’s insistent persistence in times of crisis. Other challenges were contingent recommendations that states must establish a legal framework on, and were rooted in, or gained momentum during, the and mechanisms that can provide protection to civil servants and pandemic. individual citizens who report, in good faith, acts of corruption using either administrative or criminal law remedies. Cases of improper procurement, overcharging, or corruption in the context a) In bodies in charge of public management, staff of a crisis shows that internal oversight might have failed and that management, and integrity, the need for a change in an important part of the failure is due to the human factor, because culture in government agencies has become evident, the pressure exerted by outside persons or powerful public officials leading to a resolute perspective in favor of integrity. is capable of adversely affecting the willingness of subordinate civil servants to voice their legitimate objections or even rendering null and void their oversight and whistle-blowing activity. Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 39

Some of the experts interviewed stressed that public perception of the state in general is negative and that this impacts the service, which impacts professional development and can organizational climate of the institutions, because they socialize an lead to political patronage and favoritism, undermining its external perception into the internal environment, which affects the loyalty to the public and diverting it toward a political party image that civil servants have of the institutions where they perform of the “boss” in power. The high rate of staff turnover can their duties. The negative internal perception fosters a belief in the jeopardize the stability of management and the continuity advisability of taking opportunistic decisions and undermines the needed to carry out reforms. institution’s integrity from the bottom up. Furthermore, the same public officials who know their institutions well from the inside may have a bad impression of their institutions and directors. The loss of trust in institutions has one of its roots in this deeply The survey conducted by the Office of the Comptroller General entrenched practice in Latin American public administrations. In of the Republic of Chile with 16,000 persons shows a distressing most of the six countries consulted for the present note, the heavy perception of corruption in the state. According to this poll, those influence of politically motivated appointments to public office on areas where there is the greatest corruption are government discretionary recruitment of staff has been observed, which in turn procurement (71.8 %) and staff recruitment (65.3 %). What is leads to high staff turnover, owing to the changes in said posts (as most striking, however, is that 31 % of the persons interviewed in Peru), an accumulation of persons with precarious employment were public officials themselves. Behind these perceptions there (as in Chile) or who are permanently transient (as in Argentina), may be a belief that decision-making systems and processes, resorting to subcontracting/outsourcing services (as in Colombia), for example, for government procurement in an emergency, are or even a failure to provide protection to those dismissed for vulnerable and that the rules governing them can be bent if there political reasons. is someone with enough power to do so. b. There is a traditional lack of political will on the c. To secure better integrity performance from public part of government authorities to restrict their institutions, it is necessary to build up their capa city discretionary powers for staff recruitment. for responding ethically. The experts consulted observe that, in government procurement Today public institutions and governments are subject to greater processes in their countries, the influence of political authorities public scrutiny than a few years ago, and public responsiveness over decision-making in recruiting staff and keeping them in office to suspicions of corruption is even more acute during an epidemic. is strong and that this discretionary power impacts, to varying Institutions have encountered a scenario with greater urgency, degrees, the meritocracy in government administrations and but also greater discretionary power in their decision making and senior officials. This challenge has been identified by the OECD incentives to be more opaque, while also subject to greater demand when it points out the following: for them to be held accountable for the outcomes of their decisions and use of public resources to tackle the emergency. In the region, high staff turnover in the civil service is In short, public institutions have encountered a high risk of more the norm than the exception and this is fostered probable whistleblowing and scandal. To respond to this risk, they by its heavy dependence on political cycles. The survey need technical and political competencies, but also institutional of experts on the quality of governance (…) confirms capabilities for integrity. The scandals of corruption in certain that public administration in Latin America is strongly countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, Peru, or Colombia, have politicized, which on average (3.0) is perceived to be shown that the failure of internal oversight mechanisms were to below the average for G20 countries (4.4) and OECD blame, as well as the importance of the message being transmitted countries (4.6). In fact, even countries with the highest from top management. It also shows that public institutions against ratings, Brazil and Costa Rica, obtained scores below which charges are brought do not always have the capacity to the average for G20 and OECD countries (Figure 3.3). anticipate and respond to integrity risks. In cases of overcharging, This is an indicator of the extent to which politics and/ it seems there is no institutional capacity for assessing risks, or political affiliation influences recruitment in the civil discerning in time the consequences of their decisions, informing citizens on time, and ensuring satisfactory accountability in order to mitigate the suspicion of corruption. In cases of obvious corruption, Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 40

institutional and even inter-agency oversight has been bypassed But the insufficient capacity to manage risks of corruption also as a result of decisions taken by public officials who have not come stems from the insufficiency of the systems to professionalize up against any checks to their scope of discretionary power. In public management and reduce the high turnover of staff. those cases, the institution has no capacity whatsoever to oppose Executive management, selected on the basis of skills and the source of the corruption. merit, benefits from higher technical skills to understand the challenges of both public management and fraud and corruption Some of the experts interviewed have pointed out that it is important risk management. Furthermore, recruitment systems restricting to increase institutional capacity to identify risks of corruption. In the discretionary powers of the authority to select or dismiss most countries of the region, the notion of risk management has officials and guaranteeing reasonable conditions of stability been introduced to public institutions, and those countries are now promote greater individual freedom and the administration’s in various stages of developing risk management. Furthermore, greater capacity to offset the legitimate objectives of government both Canada and the United States benefit from dynamic and long- by means of controls that ensure the use of legitimate means for standing evolution in that direction. In Latin America, at least Brazil, the implementation of policies respectful of the law. Chile, Colombia, and Mexico now benefit from specific principles and practices to manage risks to integrity and of fraud. According Government institutions can also consolidate their strength by to the study on public integrity in Latin America in connection promoting a culture and mechanisms for responsible whistle- with risk management, including the risk of corruption and fraud, blowing and timely accountability of civil servants and authorities. one of the three most important challenges for the countries in In this aspect, various interviewees provided valuable data on that area is ensuring that administrations take ownership of risk whistleblowing by citizens in the pandemic, but few were able to management. It is the public manager who must identify and provide relevant data on whistleblowing by civil servants in their manage risks, including those involving fraud and corruption. And own institutions to report corruption. Although public officials the best evidence of an adequate understanding and ownership of are qualified informants in cases of corruption because, more risk management is that the information about risk is used by the than citizens, they are knowledgeable about internal operating, administration continuously to take its decisions. decision-making, and oversight mechanisms, the prevailing culture punishes internal whistleblowing and by far most civil But to reach that point, the OECD report identified that Latin servants seem to be held back from whistleblowing for fear of American countries have to overcome three customary obstacles: retaliation. As mentioned, the establishment of real mechanisms (a) lack of knowledge of civil servants in diverse institutions about for reporting corruption and protecting whistleblowing is a task the existence of risk management norms, policies, or guidelines; that, for governments, is still pending. The question remains about (b) a failure to understand risk management processes and their the real possibilities of a subordinate civil servant actually telling usefulness; and (c) a decoupling of those in charge of management his or her superior or even a public authority that certain things and those in charge of identifying and evaluating risks, as if two cannot be done. Except in the United States of America and separate functions were involved. Canada, this is a key task that is still pending in almost all member states parties to the IACAC. The absence of knowledge depends, to a large extent, on the existence of an apt information system to communicate rules Likewise, accountability mechanisms in many Latin American and guidelines for public management and an organizational countries that do not come from an Anglo-Saxon tradition and environment that is suitable for their adoption. The absence culture, involve the attendance of yearly events for the purpose of understanding usually depends on the level of institutional of informing, unilaterally, the population about the government capacities and the training of operational staff and the supervisor. or institutional goals or successes, with scant conditions for The decoupling, in many cases, seems to be associated with the receiving any public feedback or political criticism. Accountability feeling that risk management duties is not one of the obligations is oftentimes viewed as an event instead of a dialogue that would that civil servants must fulfill. All of the above aspects are an make it possible to redirect public management and policies. integral part of any state with respect to its civil servants: due Furthermore, despite notable examples of performance-based information and training about the standards governing them and management, in the public institutions of many countries, the notion what is expected from the performance of their duties, including of accountability towards superiors is not fully understood, which ethical performance, all of which the IACAC has required states constrains efforts to evaluate performance and responsibility. parties to commit to and that governments have promoted in observance of the Lima Commitment. Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 41

agency dialogue and coordination around common objectives may d. Promoting integrity in the civil service becomes explain the difficulties that some of the countries consulted, such more effective and feasible if there is coordination as Brazil, have had in moving forward further in their ambitious between natural parties and allies. objectives. The implementation of integrity policies in the civil service is a task that goes beyond the missions of each one of the bodies in charge and requires joining political and institutional forces. In some of the countries examined, integrity policies and civil service policies have usually run on separate tracks and have only crossed paths occasionally. The specialty of institutional missions can be added to the task and are necessary to benefit from the assessments, proposals, and skills of implementing reforms in the civil service with an integrity-based approach. The policy processes to successfully change ways of recruitment by mainstreaming competitive selection processes, transparency mechanisms, and merit-based criteria, and reducing the discretionary powers of government decision-makers, require years to achieve. The reports issued by MESICIC show that certain countries, after almost 20 years of recommendations and over successive government administrations, still have challenges deemed to be basic in the matter, such as, for example, extending institutional coverage of the competitive processes and making the respective information about them available to potentially interested parties. Civil service reforms are for the long term and many of them have moved forward thanks to public agendas arising from scandals of corruption and calls made by the public, as occurred, for example, in Chile and Brazil over the past 15 years. Other recent progress has required a dialogue promoted by strong institutional stakeholders, although addressing institutional and non-institutional partners. This is what has occurred over the past few years in Colombia, where it was possible to secure sufficient resources to authorize competitive public recruitment processes for 24,000 vacancies over the medium term, and in Costa Rica, where it was possible to adopt a broader integrity strategy that includes not only the civil service, but also government employment. For a long-term task of this kind, the bodies in charge of the civil service and those responsible for promoting integrity are natural partners. The alignment of several institutional stakeholders around certain policy objectives has shown that this alignment can facilitate the possibility of implementing reforms in the civil service with an integrity-based approach. Furthermore, the absence of inter- Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 42

Recomendations Over the past thirty years, a series of reforms and initiatives right course. The biggest challenges require, on one hand, for integrity in the civil service has taken place in the continent, giving further impetus to the reforms under way, along with although they have moved forward unevenly, focusing on greater transparency, participation, and efficiency in the state, statutory frameworks and the introduction of career stream and on the other hand, achieving a decisive change of culture mechanisms, competitive recruitment process, and skills- in public institutions, moving forward toward a perspective based training. At the same time, incremental adjustments have marked by integrity and accountability. been gradually taking place in the countries, although use of temporary recruitment and outsourcing systems has persisted, To this end, the following areas, among others, should be where public integrity is neglected for the benefit of greater considered as topics for the next agendas of the Summits of flexibility in government management. the Americas: As indicated in the UNDP and OECD studies, as well as international indicators on governance and anti-corruption, • There is an international consensus that the state democratic governance has been shaken over the past two will better serve the population if it can rely on an decades by state corruption scandals and public demand for ethical bureaucracy that is well trained and enjoys better government performance. As for transparency, it has been considerable autonomy in managing decision making. mainstreamed more widely in most countries for 10 years now, Reforms of the civil service must be implemented which has led to increasingly greater publicity for competitive more quickly. selection announcements and the social scrutiny of civil service. At present, with standstills and advances in civil service • The basis of the challenge for public integrity is integrity, the crisis arising from the COVID-19 pandemic has cultural and tools must be used to manage the culture required rapid and effective responses from governments to of integrity in public institutions. protect the population although the emergency itself is putting • The policies and reforms for a civil service constraints on the state’s traditional way of working. The of excellence must be mainstreamed toward experts consulted from the six countries have underscored key government policies associating merit and how increasingly important integrity in decision making and transparency with improvements in service to the government performance has become for citizens in the midst public, but must be interconnected with similar of the crisis and the challenges that civil service institutions are policies that reinforce the linkage between ethics, facing to move forward with reforms and implement measures merit, and transparency, which will boost public trust. to consolidate integrity and prevent corruption in government agencies. In addition, the absence of public information has • Citizens, beneficiaries, and interest groups are the been called the “second pandemic.” And in some countries, targets of state actions, although they arise from an years of backtracking in terms of access to information are even institutional context, because of which enhancing being reported. At a time of noteworthy progress in terms of the ethical performance of public institutions transparency, digital agendas, and higher electronic capacities means including the citizenry in the problem and of governments, the refusal or insufficiency of information on the its solutions, which reinforces the possibilities for pandemic, government resources, and results does nothing but effective accountability. foster a climate of mistrust, which in turn undermines the support given to policies to tackle the pandemic and its consequences. The pandemic is still under way and its impacts will continue a. There is an international consensus that the to be felt for several years more, especially in less advanced state better serves the public if at least it can countries. Nevertheless, there are already lessons which rely on an ethical bureaucracy that is well trained government initiatives and policies can use to promote integrity and with considerable autonomy in its decision in the civil service. making Reforms in the civil service must be The analyses, initiatives, and development that have been implemented more quickly. promoted by international organizations in general are on the Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 43

There is virtually no disagreement about what constitutes to adequate conducts among other political and institutional adequate procurement and civil service career systems, as stakeholders and to bringing greater legitimacy to groups well as human resources management. As repeatedly indicated of citizens. Just as in the private sector where the message in the reports of the MESICIC and by experts in the matter, it transmitted by senior management is widely promoted, in the involves implementing consistent systems for procurement and public sector the population is daily calling for a renewal of the developing government employment, on the basis of competitive ethical commitment of government authorities. In organizations, public procurement processes, reasonable job stability, ethical leadership has an even greater impact, because it performance evaluations, and greater constraints on arbitrary promotes or inhibits opportunistic or oligarchic conducts. Ethical and disproportionate political discretionary powers in recruiting leadership must be clearly included in all profiles of responsibility staff. The differences are specific to each country, driven by the in public institutions as a criterion for the selection, appointment, history of the states, rooted in past practices, and government and advancement of leadership positions. policy needs, including the existence of pressure groups that run the risk of losing something because of the change. In the case of government managers, ethical leadership should be constantly assessed. At the same time, leaders need to be Accelerating reforms requires the political will of governments supported so that they can become value-based leaders. This and key stakeholders, including legislative bodies, political means that they must receive training and the tools to cultivate a parties, and trade unions. In most cases, governments cannot value-based culture. In addition, it is important to support them by themselves adopt legal reforms, and it is necessary to so that they can openly discuss decision making with staff and establish political and institutional coordination mechanisms to thus also support their staff so that they can take their own value- reach agreements and give them impetus. based decisions within their sphere of competence. Decisive support must be given to drawing up, observing, and updating Furthermore, there are administrative reforms that only require codes of integrity in every sector of the administration, striving the government to give them higher priority and allocate budget for them to be the result of participatory dialogues in each resources. In an effort to establish priorities, the will of the government institution. Governments must promote preventive government should, over the short term, give priority to reforms codes that guide and facilitate conducts of integrity committed that are within its sphere of duties and opportunities and, over to performance at the diverse levels of government institutions the medium term, promote core reforms, based on high-level or that discharge public duties. These codes should be the political agreements. The initiatives to publicize procurement and cornerstone for an ongoing training in ethics for public officials performance systems, as well as greater transparency in public which, based on regular competency training programs will instill decision making, are administrative initiatives of this kind, and as knowledge, procedures, and civil servant attitudes that are in a rule only require the government’s political will to move them line with the protection of the common good and the settlement forward. In these efforts, civil society can also be a stakeholder of conflicts of interest. giving legitimacy to these proposed reforms, which involves 17 tackling participatory and joint production processes, informing Governments must consider that the drafting, promotion, and and involving civil society in the entire cycle of formulating the updating of integrity codes, as well as guiding staff in cases reforms, including their design, promotion, and evaluation. At of conflicts of interest, are activities that must be assigned to the same time, governments must take the time that is needed organizational units that take up this duty with both responsibility to reflect upon the policies and tools introduced throughout the and accountability. These units may be ethics commissions, pandemic, revise them, and evaluate how they can contribute to integrity units, or similar. These units must be granted resources a modern public service. Thus, the pandemic could serve as a and set up so as to ensure that other public officials are fully driving force for change. trusted in terms of their independence and capacity for support and guidance. In addition, the establishment of such organizational structures are only the basis for implementing b. The corners tone of the challenge for public work policies, plans, and programs to exert an impact on the integrity is cultural, and tools must be used to culture of ethics in public institutions. manage a culture of integrity in public institutions Governments must strengthen a preventive culture that fosters conducts of integrity in the civil service, including by means of policies that reward and publicly recognize exemplary conduct. Integrity leadership generates and reinforces cultural patterns This would include ethical performance as a factor in the regular in society and government institutions. Because of this, the performance evaluations of public officials. At the same time, ethical lead and example of heads of government, collaborators, civil servants and the public must understand that penalties will and senior government authorities are key to giving impetus be truly enforced when civil servants fail to observe the norms Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 44

and values associated with integrity. In that regard, they must nationwide, thus highlighting consistent political will. Civil make sure that investigation and penalty systems function, service integrity, transparency, and reform policies must rely especially when high-level civil servants and public managers on permanent connections at the national level, benefiting from are involved. mutual feedback and consolidating each other. One important way of strengthening the mainstreaming national transparency, merit, and integrity policies, which are also part c. Policies and reforms for a civil service of of international commitments, is relying on policy strengths excellence must be mainstreamed into key and technical cooperation from current mechanisms of government policies, associating merit and intergovernmental policy agreement and international monitoring. transpa rency with improvements to services In that respect, the Summit of the Americas and JSWG bodies, provided to the population, but must be linked including the OAS, through the MESICIC Secretariat, and with similar policies that consolidate the link the OECD could help to give political impetus, independent between ethics, merits, and transparency, which monitoring, and technical support to the initiatives of countries in turn will boost public trust. to reform their civil service systems. Political, structural, and dynamic visions for reforms could be mainstreamed into national action plans that are given an accelerated impetus through the Summits process, special follow-up by MESICIC, including As indicated by the UNDP, the challenge of the emergency impartial data-based indicators, and specialized technical for government is not merely a health crisis, but also a crisis support from the OECD. in democratic governance. For the OECD, integrity is a In national plans, it is still a common challenge to achieve greater cornerstone for the overall good governance system, and up- coordination, especially when tackling public integrity issues. As to-date guidelines for public integrity must, as a result, foster indicated by the OECD, there is no single model, but it is vital— consistency with other key elements of public governance. as pointed out by national experts—to achieve an alignment of To this end, the implementation of reforms for a civil service the several institutional stakeholders around policy objectives, marked by integrity shall contribute not only to the response as it has been demonstrated that this will facilitate the possibility for the crisis stemming from COVID-19, but also to the next of implementing reforms in the civil service with an integrity epidemics, recessions, and disasters. Because of that, approach. governments must take measures that they know are the Experiences in various countries examined in the OECD’s studies right ones over the long term, even when concessions must on integrity show that it is better to have one or more mechanisms be made over the short term. Broad-based agreements and for the coordination and inclusion of stakeholders—even when the search for consensus in this matter can be facilitated if they are imperfect—than to have none at all. They also highlight they include directing reforms and improvements towards that, for formal coordination mechanisms to function, institutional key sectors and policies, such as those for health, economic leadership, a management function, and implementing units recovery, and crisis management. Governance and reforms authorized to steer and monitor the coordination are at least can function together if clear benefits for political stakeholders required. In addition, they add an important aspect, which is and the population are identified. the necessary search for forums of dialogue, reflection, and Along with this, reforms to consolidate integrity in the cooperation among the autonomous branches and bodies civil service and government employment require other which, without surrendering their autonomy, make it possible aligned policies to be feasible. Most of the countries of the to multiply efforts to implement public integrity agendas that continent are part of recognized international initiatives that are consistently promoted in all sectors of the state, with the favor transparency, for example, open government plans, intention of boosting their credibility and trust. Finally, they networks for transparency and use of open data, fiscal and confirm important experiences of mainstreaming civil society budget transparency, public participation, and monitoring of into anti-corruption efforts. In that respect, governments, if the implementation of international anti-corruption treaties. not the institutions spearheading public integrity and the civil Today, the search for greater public trust links merit to integrity service, can coordinate opportunities for dialogue that could and transparency. International initiatives are an opportunity lead to formal coordination mechanisms. Some of these forums that governments can take advantage of to adopt recognized could act as admittedly national initiatives or as part of broad- standards of integrity and transparency and to enforce them based international online efforts such as Open Government Partnership. These forums, as has already occurred in certain Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 45

countries of the continent, can become powerful driving forces • Promoting access to and use of open data by the public as part behind institutional interests and the public to guarantee of a national accountability, transparency, and public participation consensus around reforms and policies. They can also be a more strategy with regard to actions undertaken by the state. adequate response by the state to cases of fraud and corruption. • Capacity building of government institutions with respect to open data, including openness in government procurement systems. d. Citizens, beneficiaries, and interest groups Risk assessment, management, and evaluation is a highly benefit from state actions as they are part of the efficient way to shift from reactive institutions to proactive ones, institutional context because of which improving as it provides greater capability for anticipating and rectifying the ethical performance of public institutions management activities, which contributes to the efficiency and means including the public in the problem and its governance of the organizations. Because of that, it has been solutions, which will consolidate the possibility for adopted, to a lesser or greater extent, in most countries of the effective accountability. continent. And OECD assessments indicate that substantial progress has been made to prevent risks of fraud or corruption in certain countries. Risks in terms of integrity can be found in the different interactions The performance of institutions is taking place in a broader between stakeholders of the public sector, the private sector, context of citizens, sectors, and stakeholders that both leverage and civil society and in all stages of the political process and and constrain it, especially in terms of public integrity. Government the cycle of public policymaking. This requires an inclusive institutions must build up organizational capabilities to anticipate approach encompassing most of society when boosting public adverse events, enhance their performance, and produce integrity and reducing corruption in the public sector. In that evidence-based management solutions, thus contributing to respect, the mechanisms for transparency, public participation, accountability. That is when capacity building of national open and whistleblowing substantially contribute to reducing fraud data policies and institutional strategies for openness become and corruption. And in a context of pandemic, they have been instrumental to ensuring greater integrity and transparency. In sound partners for the protection of government resources and the framework of mandate No. 20 of the Eighth Summit of the the well-being of the population. The absence or weakness of Americas on the adoption of the Inter-American Open Data said mechanisms leads to lack of information transparency and Program to Prevent and Combat Corruption (PIDA), the following consistency, pointless discussions, and sometimes political actions are recommended, among others: accusations and feuds, which in turn creates a climate of mistrust. • To move forward with the implementation of domestic open data Participation via adequate mechanisms con bring solutions to legislation and regulations, including policies and strategies. decision-making, regulatory, and performance issues, such as those occurring when public consultations are conducted. Social • To identify series of priority data for combating corruption that oversight can help to detect problems from the standpoint of the can become open data, bearing in mind the domestic legislation beneficiaries of the institutional action. And whistleblowing is an of each member state, using as a benchmark the data series such important source of information about acts of fraud and corruption as, for example: list of registered lobbyists, declaration of interests, that undermine government efforts. A way of institutional capacity registry of companies, register of charitable organizations, building is via effective whistleblowing and reporting systems civil servants involved in procurement processes, politically available to anyone, including civil servants and applicants exposed persons, register of civil servants, list of government to public office in the administration, which would guarantee contractors, government consultative councils, funding of political protection to the whistle-blowers. Without whistle-blower parties, budget, procurement processes, licenses, public-private protection and without cultivating an open organizational culture partnerships, spending, government subsidies, international in which civil servants trust that they can talk about problems, it is cooperation, government contracts, data from audits, voting, highly likely that a whistle-blowing system will only be on paper. court rulings, records of priority infrastructure projects, minutes of meetings, changes in regulations, campaign promises, contractors penalized, complaints filed regarding procurement processes, public register of property, tax filing and declaration of 17 assets, among others. OAS: Towards participatory processes and coproduction in open government Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 46

References ACOSTA, Laura Débora, 2020. Capacidad de respuesta frente a la pandemia de COVID19 en América Latina y el Caribe [Capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean], Rev Panam Salud Pública [online]. 2020;44:e109. Available at: https: IBD, 2002, Marco analítico para el diagnóstico institucional de sistemas de servicio civil [Analytical framework for the institutional assessment of civil service systems]. Available at: para-el-Diagnóstico-Institucional-de-Sistemas-de-Servicio-Civil.pdf CAF, 2020. CAF y OCDE analizan el estado de los gobiernos digitales [CAF and OECD examine the status of digital governments]. In: CAF Noticias [online]. Available at: digitales/ CLAD, 2003, Carta Iberoamericana de la Función Pública [Ibero-American Civil Service Charter]. Available at: content/uploads/2020/07/Carta-Iberoamericana-de-la-Funcion-Publica-06-2003.pdf Comité de Seguimiento y Veeduría Ciudadana del Fondo de Emergencia, Recuperación y Reconstrucción Económica, 2021 [Follow-up and Public Oversight Committee for the Emergency, Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Fund]. Tercer informe mensual [Veeduría Ciudadana] [Third monthly report] [online], San Salvador. Available at: Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Chile, 2020. Informe preliminar de resultados. Encuesta Qué piensas de la corrupción en Chile [Preliminary report on the results. Survey on What do you think about corruption in Chile?] [online]. Available at: Inter-American Convention against Corruption. Washington, D. C. 1996. Inter-American Multilateral Treaties [online]. Available at: GEDDES, Barbara, 1991. A Game Theoretic Model of Reform in Latin American Democracies. The American Political Science Review [online]. Los Angeles, American Political Science Association, vol. 85, No. 2, pp. 371-392. Available at: stable/1963165 GERSON, Daniel, 2020. Leadership for a high performing civil service: Towards senior civil service systems in OECD countries. OECD Working Papers on Public Governance, No. 40. Paris: OECD Publishing. Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG), 2018. Follow-up and Implementation Mechanism for the Lima Commitment. OEA/Ser.E GRIC/O.6/doc.26/18 rev. 1 corr. 1. December 6, 2018. Available at: ES.doc Joint Summit Working Group (JSWG), 2018. JSWG Memorandum of Understanding, signed on September 4, 2018. Available at: http:// JSWG, 2020. Addressing Corruption, Integrity, and Democratic Governance associated with COVID-19. Joint Statement. Fourth Special Meeting of High Authorities on the Impact of COVID-19 in the Americas. OEA/Ser.E GTCC/doc.83/20, September 14, 2020 [online]. Available at: Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 47

JSWG, 2021. JSWG Action Plan (2019-2021). Available at: 2021)%20SPA.pdf OECD, 2019. La Integridad Pública en América Latina y el Caribe 2018-2019. De Gobiernos Reactivos a Estados Proactivos [Public Integrity in Latin America and the Caribbean 2018-2019. From Reactive Governments to Proactive States]. OECD Working Papers on Public Governance [online]. Available at: OECD, 2018. Integrity for Good Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Action Plan. Lima, Peru. 19 October 2018. Available at: Action-Plan.pdf OECD, 2020. Government at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2020 [online]. Paris: OECD Publishing. Available at: https:// OECD, 2020. OECD Handbook on Public Integrity [online]. Paris: OECD Publishing. Available at: ac8ed8e8-en/index.html?itemId=/content/publication/ac8ed8e8-en OECD, 2020. Medidas políticas clave de la OCDE ante el coronavirus (COVID19). Integridad pública para una respuesta y recuperación efectivas ante el COVID19 [OECD key policy measures for the coronavirus (COVID-19). Public Integrity for effective response and recovery from COVID-19]. Updated 19 April 2020 [online]. Available at: publica-para-una-respuesta-y-recuperacion-efectivas-ante-el-covid-19-c3d8f08f/ OECD, 2020. Public servants and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: Emerging responses and initial recommendations. OECD Policy Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Updated 27 April 2020 [online]. Available at: responses/public-servants-and-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-emerging-responses-and-initial-recommendations-253b1277/ OECD, 2017. OECD Recommendation of the Council on Public Integrity [online]. Available at: Recommendation-Public-Integrity.pdf OECD, 2018. OECD Recommendation on Public Service Leadership and Capacity [online]. Available at: recommendation-public-service-leadership-and-capability-2019.pdf Organization of American States (OAS), 2017. Lineamientos para la Gestión de las Políticas de Integridad en las Administraciones Públicas de las Américas [Guidelines for the Management of Policies for Probity in the Public Administrations of the Americas]. Document CP/CAJP/INF.340/17. Available at: OAS, Summits Secretariat, 2018. Lima Commitment: Democratic Governance Against Corruption. Adopted at the Eighth Summit of the Americas, Lima, Peru. April 14, 2018 [online]. Available at: LimaCommitment_en.pdf ( or http://www.summit- OAS, 2020. Hemispheric Report of the Fifth Round of Review of the Committee of Experts of the Mechanism for Follow-up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption. OEA/Ser.L. SG/MESICIC/doc.564/20 rev. 1, March 12, 2020. Available at: OAS, 2020. The OAS Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. OEA/Ser.G CP/RES. 1151 (2280/20), April 16, 2020 [online]. Available at: PAHO, 2020. COVID-19 Situation Report, n.1 (31 March 2020). COVID-19 Situation Reports [online]. Available at: handle/10665.2/52404 Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 48

PAHO, 2020. PAHO/WHO Response. 29 June 2020. Report 14 [online]. Available at: handle/10665.2/52451/COVID-19SitRep14_spa.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y PAHO, 2020. PAHO/WHO Response. 28 September 2020. Report 27 [online]. Available at: handle/10665.2/52988/COVID-19SitRep27_spa.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y PAHO, 2020. PAHO/WHO Response. 7 December 2020. Report 37 [online]. Available at: handle/10665.2/53186/COVID-19SitRep37_spa.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y OSZLAK, Oscar, 2001. The Civil Service in Latin America and the Caribbean: Situation and Future Challenges [online]. Washington, D.C.: Inter-American Development Bank. Available at: América-Latina-y-el-Caribe-Situación-y-retos-futuros.pdf UNDP, 2021. Latin America and the Caribbean: Effective Governance, beyond Recovery [online]. Available at: https://www.latinamerica. SIKLODI, Isabel, 2014. Servicio civil en América Latina y el Caribe [Civil Service in Latin America and the Caribbean], Macroeconomics Development Series No. 155 [online]. Santiago: ECLAC. Available at: S1420398_es.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis 49

Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis. - Page 58
Cultivating a culture of integrity in the civil service in times of crisis. - Page 59

ISBN: 978-0-8270-7433-0 Organization of American States Summits of the Americas Secretariat 1889 F Street N.W. Washington,D.C. 20006, USA