PUBLIC OFFICERS’ ETHICS ACT, 2008

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

PART II

GENERAL CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICS FOR PUBLIC OFFICERS

3. General Code of Conduct and Ethics.

4. Performance of duties.

5. Professionalism.

6. Rule of Law.

7. No improper enrichment.

8. Conflict of interest.

9. Acting for foreigners.

10. Care of property.

11. Political neutrality.

12. Favouritism.

13. Giving of advice.

14. Misleading the public, etc.

15. Conduct of private affairs.

16. Sexual harassment.

17. Selection etc. of public officers.

18. Submission of declarations or clarifications.

19. Acting through others.

PART III

ESTABLISHMENT AND FUNCTIONS OF PUBLIC OFFICERS’ ETHICS COMMISSION

20. Establishment of Commission.

21. Investigation by the Commission.

22. Disciplinary action.

23. Referral for possible civil or criminal proceedings.

24. Exceptions.

25. Administrative procedures.

PART IV

DECLARATION OF INCOME, ASSETS AND LIABILITIES

26. Application of this Part.

27. Duty to make declaration of income, assets and liabilities.

28. Power to call for salary particulars and income.

29. Clarifications.

30. Information to be correct.

31. Power to call for declarations of income, assets and liabilities.

32. Procedure upon written communication.

33. Preservation of secrecy.

34. Offences and penalties.

PART V

GENERAL

35. Protection of action taken in good faith.

36. Regulations.

37. This Act to prevail over other laws.

14 of 2008,

23 of 2014,

25 of 2016.

SI 52 of 2008.

AN ACT to advance the ethics of public officers by providing for a Code of Conduct and Ethics for public officers and requiring financial declarations from certain public officers and to provide for connected purposes.

[Date of commencement: 11th August 2008]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Public Officers’ Ethics Act, 2008.

2. Interpretation.

In this Act—

“assets and liabilities” includes moveable, immovable, corporeal and incorporeal property;

“Commission” means the Public Officers’ Ethics Commission established under section 20 of this Act;

“member” means a member of the Commission and includes the Chairperson;

“Public corporation” means a statutory corporation or a limited liability company which is directly or ultimately under the control of the Government or any other body which is carrying out a government function or service;

“public officer” means an officer, employee or member, including an unpaid, part-time or temporary officer, employee or member, of any of the following—

(a) the Government of any department, service or undertaking of the Government;

(b) the judiciary;

(c) the National Assembly;

(d) any corporation, council, board, commission or other body which has power to act under and for the purposes of any written law relating to governmental functions, or otherwise to administer funds belonging to or granted by the Government or money raised by rates, taxes or changes in pursuance of any such law;

(e) any other body prescribed by regulation for the purposes of this paragraph;

PART II

GENERAL CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICS FOR PUBLIC OFFICERS

3. General Code of Conduct and Ethics.

This part sets out a general Code of Conduct and Ethics for public officers.

4. Performance of duties.

A public officer shall, to the best of his ability, carry out his duties and ensure that the services that he provides are provided efficiently and honestly.

5. Professionalism.

A public officer shall—

(a) carry out his duties in a way that maintains public confidence in the integrity of his office;

(b) treat the public and his fellow officers with courtesy and respect;

(c) to the extent appropriate to his office, seek to improve the standards of performance and level of professionalism in his organisation;

(d) if a member of a professional body, observe the ethical and professional requirements of that body;

(e) observe official working hours and not be absent without proper authorisation or reasonable cause;

(f) maintain an appropriate standard of dress and personal hygiene; and

(g) discharge any professional responsibilities in a professional manner.

6. Rule of Law.

A public officer shall carry out his duties in accordance with the law and give due recognition to the fundamental rights, freedoms and duties specified in Chapter III of the Constitution.

7. No improper enrichment.

A public officer shall not use his office to improperly enrich himself or others.

8. Conflict of interest.

(1) A public officer shall use his best efforts to avoid being in a position in which his personal interests conflict with his official duties.

(2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), a public officer shall not hold shares or have any other interest in a corporation, partnership or other body, directly or through another person, if holding those shares or having that interest would result in the public officer’s personal interests conflicting with his official duties.

(3) A public officer whose personal interests conflict with his official duties shall—

(a) declare the personal interests to his superior and comply with any directions to avoid the conflict and;

(b) refrain from participating in any deliberations with respect to any matter where his personal interests may conflict with his official duties.

9. Acting for foreigners.

(1) No public officer shall, in a manner that may be detrimental to the security interests of Seychelles, be an agent for, or further interest of, a foreign government, organisation or individual.

(2) For the purposes of this section—

(a) an individual is foreign if the individual is not a citizen of or resident in Seychelles;

(b) an organisation is foreign if it is established outside Seychelles or if it is owned or controlled by a foreign government, organisation or individual.

10. Care of property.

(1) A public officer shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that property entrusted to his care is adequately protected and not misused or misappropriated.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be personally liable for losses resulting from contravention.

11. Political neutrality.

A public officer shall not be influenced by partisan political considerations in the discharge of his official duties.

12. Favouritism.

A public officer shall not practice favouritism.

13. Giving of advice.

A public officer who has a duty to give advice shall give honest and impartial advice without fear or favour

14. Misleading the public, etc.

A public officer shall not knowingly give false or misleading information to members of the public or to any public officer.

15. Conduct of private affairs.

(1) A public officer shall conduct his private affairs in a way that maintains public confidence in the integrity of his office and shall not bring the public service into disrepute.

(2) A public officer shall not evade taxes.

(3) A public officer shall not neglect his financial obligations.

16. Sexual harassment.

A public officer shall not sexually harass a fellow public officer or a member of the public.

17. Selection etc. of public officers.

A public officer shall practice and promote the principle that public officers should be selected on the basis of integrity, competence and suitability.

18. Submission of declarations or clarifications.

A public officer shall submit any declaration or clarification required under Part IV to be submitted or made by him.

19. Acting through others.

A public officer contravenes the Code of Conduct and Ethics if—

(a) he causes anything to be done through another person that would, if the public officer did it, be a contravention of the Code of Conduct and Ethics; or

(b) he allows or directs a person under his supervision or control to do anything that is a contravention of the Code of Conduct and Ethics.

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