Are you also a daredevil?
In the fight against corruption important cases compete for media attention. FIFA leads in this competition. The high level arrests in China, the deep-rooted habit of corruption in Greece, Spain, Macedonia and many other countries and the self-enrichment in our country are breaking news. They often paralyze ordinary people in the desire for honesty and altruism. If we do not consider ourselves naïf then at least we feel lonely and meaningless.
A meeting this week with 7 youngsters from Kenya, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Jordan and Indonesia gives courage. Starting their career in public administration they are curious how colleagues in The Netherlands fight corruption and improve integrity. From their side they talk about their small successes in combatting corruption. Like the use of IT and online registration systems to order information and make procedures transparent; reinforcement of scrutiny to make sure that subsidies for employment do reach citizens; the organizing of 25 workshop to educate civil servants about bribery; the creation of an independent ethical commission. These minor and major dilemmas make clear that their daily working conditions and private life are difficult:
- Should I tell my manager that a colleague and friend calls in sick but is taking a holiday?
- Should I add the personal opinion of my manager to a law text?
- Should I help a friend with an official procedure?
- Should I accept a financial gift of a member of parliament in change for information from the audit report?
- Should I change the official procedure in favour of my family?
- Should I Report the role my colleague played during a procurement procedure?
- Should I report that male colleagues don’t take me serious as their female manager?
Continue to meet
Nevertheless they travel abroad to speak with us about their dilemmas and professional values: responsibility, equality, honesty, approachability, doing what’s morally right and willingness to account for personal behaviour and attitude. They’re not the only ones! Therefore it’s good, aside from discussing big news events, to keep meeting these individual colleagues with their courage and principles, and celebrate them.
Together we reduce amorality and lawlessness. ‘We’ll never walk alone’
To all of you I wish a pleasant summer and I’m looking forward to see you again.