“The Chamber has consistently advocated the strengthening of the three main pillars of good governance namely: (1) accountability, (2) transparency and (3) the rule of law. In this light, it expects complete integrity in all persons serving in public office, whether elected or appointed. They must lead by example and take the indisputable moral high ground where legitimate concerns and/or doubts concerning their conduct or behaviour are raised.”
The Chamber made this statement in its document entitled “Ethical Business calls for change” which it published and presented to the Prime Minister last January. Consequently, it was left perturbed by news emerging on Sunday that a government official was reportedly re-instated to the civil service after being convicted of fraud and interdicted. The public official was subsequently posted to China to represent and promote the country in the role of Consul General. Such revelations on Sunday followed from news that the public officer in question was charged in Court for money laundering together with his wife. Of additional concern to the Chamber was the fact that the public officer in question is the brother of the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service.
The Chamber takes note of the declaration made by the Principal Permanent Secretary distancing himself from the alleged actions of his immediate relative. However, while it is certainly not accusing Mr Cutajar of any wrong doing, highest ethical standards for which the Chamber strives for, demand actions that are exemplary and correct in the interest and expectation of any well-meaning citizen. Business expects nothing less from any other CEO in the private sector.
The Chamber is recommending the Head of the Civil Service to do the right thing in the interest of Good Governance and for the country to ensure that all individuals serving in public office, whether elected or appointed are, in fact, persons of integrity, lead by example, and take the indisputable moral high ground where legitimate doubts or concerns arise.