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Integrity & Ethical conduct of Gov. Employees in Haiti
Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 1:20 am
In the United States Government employees of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) have to abide by the following:
[quote]You have a duty to protect and conserve government time and property, and use them economically and for official purposes. It is not unusual for individuals in both the public and private sector to monitor the activities of Federal employees. Public perception is important. [/quote]
In addition, employees [of the USDA] are governed by the following standards:
*Title 18 of the United States Code, Sections 201-2091;
*Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch; and
Does someone on this list know what the standards are in Haiti?
During the previous administrations in Haiti--not just the LAVALAS governments--government employees misappropriated funds, propert
y...etc. For the first time in a long hiatus, there are today procedures where lists are being published of such properties being held by departed employees? Why is it names have to be published on radio and newspaper (and soon on the Net) for people to return items that belong to the government and ultimately to the Haitian people?
I am sure the "engaged" people on this site will be willing to discuss these important issues which should assist us in developing a better code of conduct in the Haitian administrations and institutions.
Re: Integrity & Ethical conduct of Government Employees
Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 11:41 pm
For the first time in a long hiatus, there are today procedures where lists are being published of such properties being held by departed employees? Why is it names have to be published on radio and newspaper (and soon on the Net) for people to return items that belong to the government and ultimately to the Haitian people?
This is not the first time. If you are familiar with Haitian history, there was the "Proces de la Consolidation" in the early 1900's. These procedures were themselves tinted with corruption and political revenge. The actual process will probably not be different.
There is also a more expedited process in Haiti called the "dechoukay", which lately has been more orchestrated, targeting specific individuals depending on the power "du jour". The rule of law requires a certain tradition, which unfortunately, d
oes not exist yet in Haitian Society.
Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 12:29 am
Mwen pa fin konpran repons lòt kanmarad la a sa w di a. Mwen ta renmen li elabore plis sou lide li.[/quote]
In other words, we are witnessing a judicial "dechoukay", nothing new in Haitian politics.
Present issues in government in Haiti
Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 3:35 pm
Are people saying that the arrests/lists today in Haiti should be considered "witchunt" or "dechoukaj"?
a)How does one explain when a government official has three governmental cars at home? Why would he/she need it? Do government counselors/advisors need governmental cars?
b)Why would a government need to purchase private houses for Prime Ministers in function or former president at the cost of over US$1 million dollars? Why is it that these government employees in function could not be using their private residence?
c)Nowadays, in the US as in other countries one needs to pass a background check as well as a financial verification (including credit check) in the private sector as well as in federal, state, city functions. Why is it that in Haiti people who are applying for governmental position did not go through a similar process? The constitution of Haiti does have a process whereby people are supposed to declare their assets when taking a position and at the end of their mandate. (See the Section on Civil Service in my post below)
d)How does one explain when one purchases property, cars in Haiti or/and oustide of Haiti with a salary and expenses that do not correspond to the mortgage and car note payments?
There are so many questions we should be asking but I will leave it up to you to come up with the rest. The issue here is that many people feel that a group of people was in power for the past ten years in Haiti and was able to accumulate properties, assets, liquidity that is staggering even if you compare it to the administrations that spent much more time in power. This government campaign on transparency and was supposed to have bettered the realm and conditions of the Haitian masses.
The Civil Service - Articles from Constitution of 1987
Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 3:51 pm
Find attached the Section of the Constitution of 1987 that governs the CIvil Service in Haiti (in case you do not know it).
Pay particular attention to articles 238, 241, 242 and 243.
THE CIVIL SERVICE
Excerpt from the Haitian Constitution of 1987
The Haitian Civil Service is the instrument by which the State carries out its missions and achieves its objectives. To ensure its viability, it must be managed honestly and efficiently.
Government employees and officials shall be exclusively in the service of the State. It is their duty to abide faithfully by the norms and ethics determined by law for civil servants.
The law establishes the organization of the various Government structures and stipulates the conditions
for their operation.
The law shall regulate the civil service on the basis of aptitude, merit and conduct. It shall guarantee security of employment.
The civil service is a career. No official may be hired except by competition or by meeting other conditions prescribed by the Constitution and by law, nor may he be dismissed except for causes specifically determined by law. Dismissals must in all cases be ruled upon by the Court of Administrative Disputes.
Career service officials are not members of any particular Government agency but are members of the civil service, which makes them available to the various Government agencies.
Officials indicated by law have the obligation to declare the status of their net worth to the Clerk of the Civil Court within thirty (30) days following their entry into service. The Government Auditor must take every step he deems necessary to verify th
e accuracy of the declaration.
Government employees and officials may form associations to defend their rights under the conditions established by law.
Holders of public office or positions, particularly Ministers and Secretaries of State, officers of the Public Prosecutor's Office, Delegates and Vice Delegates, ambassadors, private secretaries of the President of the Republic, members of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Directors General of the Ministerial Department or autonomous agencies, and members of the Administrative Council are not eligible for the Government career services.
The law punishes violations committed against the treasury and unjust gain. Officials who have knowledge of such actions have the duty to report them to the competent authorities.
Unjust gain may be determined by all types of evidence, particularly presumption of
sharp disproportion between the official's means acquired after his entry into service and the accumulated amount of salaries and emoluments to which the post he has occupied entitles him.
Officials guilty of the above offenses are entitled only to the twenty-year statute of limitation. This limitation period begins to run with the termination of their duties or the causes that would have prevented any prosecution.
The State has the duty to avoid major salary disparities in the civil service.
Re: Present issues in government in Haiti
Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 5:44 pm
Are people saying that the arrests/lists today in Haiti should be considered "witchunt" or "dechoukaj"?
You bet!!! Up until now the de facto Attorney General (AG) has not been able to provide one shred of evidence against any of the people included on the list. Furthermore the selection process seems to be completely arbitrary (people included or excluded from the list(s) based on the AG's humor rather than facts or even legal opinion). Some of these people have not even been notified of their role in the process (the nature of the crime/felony...are they only material witnesses?; all this remains a mistery).
One more thing, if the statute of limitation is only 20 years, how come there is no plan to review/audit the conduct of previous governments.
I am not against transparency in public life in Haiti. I just think that Justice is supposed to be blind, I can go on and on. I call it as I see it: "Judicial dechoukay"
Response to Peanles
Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 10:08 pm
If you want me to take you seriously, you should also address the other questions I have in my posts.
Moreover, are you of the opinion that people who occupied positions in the previous administration(s) should be free to flee Haiti as in the past? It is unfortunate that the previous governments chose to close their eyes to the corruption that took place prior to their administration. I do not remember any audits being conducted. I am tempted to believe from the way they have behaved that they might not have wanted to pursue this route because they already had in mind the planned looting and misappropriation of state assets.
The legacy of Lavalas is a disaster of proportions never seen before in Haiti. The looting and misappropriation of funds that took place under Aristide II (presidential mandate #2, started in 2000) is staggering, and I believe that people who were i
n leadership position should not be allowed to flee the country with the loot and with the monies of the Haitian people.
Re: Response to Peanles
Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 12:45 am
Peanles: Moreover, are you of the opinion that people who occupied positions in the previous administration(s) should be free to flee Haiti as in the past?
Why do people feel they have to leave their homeland just because they have served their country in any administration? Why are they afraid of Haitian justice/injustice? I think the lack of due process we have observed again and again in the course of our history is to blame. For the AG to publish a list without even reviewing the facts, and without having his staff interview these people, sounds arbitrary and reckless. This would not have been tolerated in any other country where the rule of law prevails.
It is unfortunate that the previous governments chose to close their eyes to the corruption that took place prior to their administration. I do not remember any audits being conducted.
I agree with you on this point. However, it is hard for a judicial process to function in the midst of widely accepted lawlessness (characteristic of any governement change in Haiti). Again, the best way to avoid these problems is to have a constitutional transfer of power.
The legacy of Lavalas is a disaster of proportions never seen before in Haiti. The looting and misappropriation of funds that took place under Aristide II (presidential mandate #2, started in 2000) is staggering, and I believe that people who were in leadership position should not be allowed to flee the country with the loot and with the monies of the Haitian people.[/.
You seem to have a very, very short memory. There has not been a fiscally transparent government in Haiti since Dumarsais Estime (exception of a few provisory, short term administrations -Frank Sylvain, Daniel Fignole, Leslie Manigat, Ertha Trouillot and others...) I lived in Haiti under the Docs (both papa and baby), I can assure you that the Lavalas administration was made of altar boys when you compare.