Do you work in the UK Public Sector in Public Office?

Are you concerned about claims of “cronyism” and breaches of procurement law being made in the mainstream media and on social media?

So, what can you do to ensure you and your Public Sector organisation are beyond reproach when it comes to spending public funds, procurement, Conflicts of Interest, and dealing with Gifts and Hospitality?

Here is a handy 7-point guide for directors, officers, finance departments, and decision-makers:

Do these things, and you can stand in front of ‘Your Honour’ and say, with hand on heart, I did my best, and here is a clear record of my efforts to ensure probity in public office:

  1. Legislation and Regulation
    • Find out what legislation and regulations apply to you
  2.  Policy and Procedure
    • Get familiar with your organisation’s policy and procedure for procurement and for dealing with bribery, corruption, conflicts of interest, gifts, and hospitality
  3. Understand Your Obligations
    • Make sure you really understand the policy and procedure, and if in doubt, seek written clarification from your governance lead (Company Secretary, General Counsel, Director of Governance, etc)
  4. Comply with Your Obligations
    • Do what your procedure requires, show that you comply
  5. Take the Initiative – Go Beyond Compliance
    • If you think the procedure is not strong enough to demonstrate your probity in public office, approach your Chair and governance lead to discuss your concerns. Keep a file-note of what you discussed, with whom, and when
  6. Keep Records
    • Make sure your organisation keeps high-quality records that demonstrate your probity in public office, and that these are published in the public domain for everyone to see
  7. Review, Revise, and Revisit
    • Ensure your Board of Directors or other Governing Body reviews all of these six points regularly, and inspect Registers of Interest, Gifts, and Hospitality at least quarterly, and whenever a significant change occurs

Still not not concerned with Public Sector Values, or ensuring probity in public office?

Well, if the numbers being bandied about relating to potential malfeasance around COVID-19 don’t shock you, think about what bribery, corruption, and cronyism can lead to.

It truly is the thin edge of the wedge when an Executive goes rogue.