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Le Raccomandazioni OCSE sull’Integrità Pubblica. Ancora molta strada da fare per l’Italia

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Il 26 gennaio 2017 il Consiglio OCSE sull’Integrità Pubblica ha pubblicato le nuove Raccomandazioni su proposta del Comitato per la Public Governance.

Per prima cosa, il Comitato definisce l’integrità pubblica. Integrità pubblica, fa riferimento all’allineamento coerente e all’aderenza a valori etici condivisi, principi, norme al fine di sostenere e dare priorità all’interesse pubblico sopra gli interessi privati nel settore pubblico.

Poi, raccomanda l’adozione di 13 elementi costitutivi di un sistema di integrità pubblica “coerente e omnicomprensivo”. Li riportiamo integralmente sotto.

Da un punto di vista della coerenza del sistema italiano a questo “sistema” notiamo come alcuni elementi che rappresentano il cuore delle raccomandazioni siano assenti dalla strategia nazionale.

In particolare, il punto 8: “fornire informazioni sufficienti, formazione, orientamento e consulenza tempestiva per i dipendenti pubblici al fine di applicare gli standard di integrità pubblica al lavoro, in particolare attraverso: “… lo sviluppo di competenze essenziali per affrontare i dilemmi etici e per rendere gli standard dell’integrità pubblica applicabili e significativi nei diversi contesti.

Ed anche il punto 9: “Sostenere una cultura organizzativa aperta all’interno del settore pubblico che sappia rispondere alle questioni dell’integrità, in particolare attraverso:

a) l’incoraggiamento di una cultura aperta dove i dilemmi etici, le questioni dell’integrità pubblica e gli errori possano essere discussi apertamente e, dove è appropriato, insieme ai rappresentanti dei lavoratori e dove la leadership sia pronta e motivata a fornire orientamenti tempestivi per risolvere problematiche rilevanti.

b) fornire regole chiare e procedure per riportare le violazioni sospette degli standard di integrità e assicurare protezione attraverso leggi e regolamenti contro tutti i tipi di ritorsioni per coloro che segnalano in buona fede e per ragionevoli motivi.

c) fornire canali alternativi per riportare violazioni sospette degli standard di integrità, compresa la possibilità di segnalare a un ente che abbia mandato e capacità di condurre una investigazione indipendente

Per quanto concerne il punto 8 e la lettera “a” del punto 9, abbiamo provato a cercare nell’ultimo aggiornamento del PNA (Piano Nazionale Anticorruzione 2016) quante volte ricorresse la parola “etica” o la locuzione “dilemma etico” con risultati assai deludenti (“etica” ricorre solo una volta quando si parla di whistleblowing, mentre “dilemma” non compare mai). A differenza del PNA 2013 che metteva particolare attenzione all’etica e alla formazione valoriale, obbligatoria per tutti i dipendenti, i nuovi aggiornamenti (2015 e 2016) sembrano disinteressarsi alla questione orientando la strategia nazionale verso un approccio monodimensionale centrato su regole e procedure che rischiano di generare un atteggiamento di formale adeguamento e di informale ostilità, se non boicottaggio, nei confronti di queste politiche.

La seconda parte della lettera “a” è di particolare interesse perché fa riferimento alla cosiddetta “leadership etica“, un tema a noi assai caro e alla cultura della discuss-ability, cioè della discussione aperta di errori e critiche al capo, uno dei problemi che maggiormente affliggono le nostre amministrazioni e che coinvolgono la dinamica di selezione, assegnazione e gestione dei ruoli di potere all’interno delle organizzazioni pubbliche.

Le lettere “b” e “c” del punto 9, invece, fanno riferimento alla necessità di costruire un sistema credibile e realmente indipendente per la protezione di coloro che intendano o abbiano segnalato condotte illecite.

Ci sono altri punti della raccomandazione in cui siamo ancora, a nostro avviso, piuttosto indietro. Il punto 2, ad esempio, richiama i Paesi a definire delle “chiare responsabilità istituzionali” per coloro che sono chiamati a disegnare e attuare le strategie anticorruzione nelle organizzazioni pubbliche, che significa, dare un mandato chiaro e reali capacità di intervento per rendere concrete tali responsabilità. I nostri Responsabili della Prevenzione della Corruzione, nonostante un recente maquillage normativo e regolamentare non sono per nulla indipendenti né nel disegnare né nell’attuare le misure di prevenzione e sembra che il problema non sia nemmeno percepito dalle istituzioni che dovrebbero governare il sistema.

Anche il punto 5 è di particolare interesse: “promuovere un cultura dell’integrità pubblica a livello di tutta la società, attivando partenariati con il settore privato, la società civile e le persone“, ci sembra, attualmente, un punto assai debole del nostro sistema che è, a nostro avviso, piuttosto autoreferenziale.

Ancora molta strada da fare, dunque. Siamo ancora in tempo a correggere pericolose derive “tecnicistiche” e a dare a queste politiche, così importanti per un Paese come l’Italia, la giusta rilevanza e sostenibilità.

 

Di seguito il testo della Raccomandazione.

To this end, Adherents should:

1.   Demonstrate commitment at the highest political and management levels within the public sector to enhance public integrity and reduce corruption, in particular through:

a)ensuring that the public integrity system defines, supports, controls and enforces public integrity, and is integrated into the wider public management and governance framework;

b)ensuring that the appropriate legislative and institutional frameworks are in place to enable public-sector organisations to take responsibility for effectively managing the integrity of their activities as well as that of the public officials who carry out those activities;

c)establishing clear expectations for the highest political and management levels that will support the public integrity system through exemplary personal behaviour, including its demonstration of a high standard of propriety in the discharge of official duties.

2.   Clarify institutional responsibilities across the public sector to strengthen the effectiveness of the public integrity system, in particular through:

a)establishing clear responsibilities at the relevant levels (organisational, subnational or national) for designing, leading and implementing the elements of the integrity system for the public sector;

b)ensuring that all public officials, units or bodies (including autonomous and/or independent ones) with a central responsibility for the development, implementation, enforcement and/or monitoring of elements of the public integrity system within their jurisdiction have the appropriate mandate and capacity to fulfil their responsibilities;

c)promoting mechanisms for horizontal and vertical co-operation between such public officials, units or bodies and where possible, with and between subnational levels of government, through formal or informal means to support coherence and avoid overlap and gaps, and to share and build on lessons learned from good practices.

3.   Develop a strategic approach for the public sector that is based on evidence and aimed at mitigating public integrity risks, in particular through:

a)setting strategic objectives and priorities for the public integrity system based on a risk-based approach to violations of public integrity standards, and that takes into account factors that contribute to effective public integrity policies;

b)developing benchmarks and indicators and gathering credible and relevant data on the level of implementation, performance and overall effectiveness of the public integrity system.

4.   Set high standards of conduct for public officials, in particular through:

a)going beyond minimum requirements, prioritising the public interest, adherence to public-service values, an open culture that facilitates and rewards organisational learning and encourages good governance;

b)including integrity standards in the legal system and organisational policies (such as codes of conduct or codes of ethics) to clarify expectations and serve as a basis for disciplinary, administrative, civil and/or criminal investigation and sanctions, as appropriate;

c)setting clear and proportionate procedures to help prevent violations of public integrity standards and to manage actual or potential conflicts of interest;

d)communicating public sector values and standards internally in public sector organisations and externally to the private sector, civil society and individuals, and asking these partners to respect those values and standards in their interactions with public officials.

III.   RECOMMENDS that Adherents cultivate a culture of public integrity. To this end, Adherents should:

5.   Promote a whole-of-society culture of public integrity, partnering with the private sector, civil society, and individuals, in particular through:

a)recognising in the public integrity system the role of the private sector, civil society and individuals in respecting public integrity values in their interactions with the public sector, in particular by encouraging the private sector, civil society and individuals to uphold those values as a shared responsibility;

b)engaging relevant stakeholders in the development, regular update and implementation of the public integrity system;

c)raising awareness in society of the benefits of public integrity and reducing tolerance of violations of public integrity standards and carrying out, where appropriate, campaigns to promote civic education on public integrity, among individuals and particularly in schools;

d)engaging the private sector and civil society on the complementary benefits to public integrity that arise from upholding integrity in business and in non-profit activities, sharing and building on, lessons learned from good practices.

6.   Invest in integrity leadership to demonstrate a public sector organisation’s commitment to integrity, in particular through:

a)including integrity leadership in the profile for managers at all levels of an organisation, as well as a requirement for selection, appointment or promotion to a management position, and assessing the performance of managers with respect to the public integrity system at all levels of the organisation;

b)supporting managers in their role as ethical leaders by establishing clear mandates, providing organisational support (such as internal control, human resources instruments and legal advice) and delivering periodic training and guidance to increase awareness of, and to develop skills concerning the exercise of appropriate judgement in matters where public integrity issues may be involved;

c)developing management frameworks that promote managerial responsibilities for identifying and mitigating public integrity risks.

7.   Promote a merit-based, professional, public sector dedicated to public-service values and good governance, in particular through:

a)ensuring human resource management that consistently applies basic principles, such as merit and transparency, to support the professionalism of the public service, prevents favouritism and nepotism, protects against undue political interference and mitigates risks for abuse of position and misconduct;

b)ensuring a fair and open system for recruitment, selection and promotion, based on objective criteria and a formalised procedure, and an appraisal system that supports accountability and a public-service ethos;

8.   Provide sufficient information, training, guidance and timely advice for public officials to apply public integrity standards in the workplace, in particular through:

a)providing public officials throughout their careers with clear and up-to-date information about the organisation’s policies, rules and administrative procedures relevant to maintaining high standards of public integrity;

b)offering induction and on-the-job integrity training to public officials throughout their careers in order to raise awareness and develop essential skills for the analysis of ethical dilemmas, and to make public integrity standards applicable and meaningful in their own personal contexts;

c)providing easily accessible formal and informal guidance and consultation mechanisms to help public officials apply public integrity standards in their daily work as well as to manage conflict-of-interest situations.

9.   Support an open organisational culture within the public sector responsive to integrity concerns, in particular through:

a)encouraging an open culture where ethical dilemmas, public integrity concerns, and errors can be discussed freely, and, where appropriate, with employee representatives, and where leadership is responsive and committed to providing timely advice and resolving relevant issues;

b)providing clear rules and procedures for reporting suspected violations of integrity standards, and ensure, in accordance with fundamental principles of domestic law, protection in law and practice against all types of unjustified treatments as a result of reporting in good faith and on reasonable grounds.

c)providing alternative channels for reporting suspected violations of integrity standards, including when appropriate the possibility of confidentially reporting to a body with the mandate and capacity to conduct an independent investigation;

IV.   RECOMMENDS that Adherents enable effective accountability. To this end, Adherents should:

10.   Apply an internal control and risk management framework to safeguard integrity in public sector organisations, in particular through:

a)ensuring a control environment with clear objectives that demonstrate managers’ commitment to public integrity and public-service values, and that provides a reasonable level of assurance of an organisation’s efficiency, performance and compliance with laws and practices;

b)ensuring a strategic approach to risk management that includes assessing risks to public integrity, addressing control weaknesses (including building warning signals into critical processes) as well as building an efficient monitoring and quality assurance mechanism for the risk management system;

c)ensuring control mechanisms are coherent and include clear procedures for responding to credible suspicions of violations of laws and regulations, and facilitating reporting to the competent authorities without fear of reprisal.

11.   Ensure that enforcement mechanisms provide appropriate responses to all suspected violations of public integrity standards by public officials and all others involved in the violations, in particular through:

a)applying fairness, objectivity and timeliness in the enforcement of public integrity standards (including detecting, investigating, sanctioning and appeal) through the disciplinary, administrative, civil, and/or criminal process;

b)promoting mechanisms for co-operation and exchange of information between the relevant bodies, units and officials (at the organisational, subnational or national level) to avoid overlap and gaps, and to increase the timeliness and proportionality of enforcement mechanisms;

c)encouraging transparency within public sector organisations and to the public about the effectiveness of the enforcement mechanisms and the outcomes of cases, in particular through developing relevant statistical data on cases, while respecting confidentiality and other relevant legal provisions.

12.   Reinforce the role of external oversight and control within the public integrity system, in particular through:

a)facilitating organisational learning and demonstrating accountability of public sector organisations by providing adequate responses (including redress, where relevant) to the sanctions, rulings and formal advice by oversight bodies (such as supreme audit institutions, ombudsmen or information commissions), regulatory enforcement agencies and administrative courts;

b)ensuring that oversight bodies, regulatory enforcement agencies and administrative courts that reinforce public integrity are responsive to information on suspected wrongdoings or misconduct received from third parties (such as complaints or allegations submitted by businesses, employees and other individuals);

c)ensuring the impartial enforcement of laws and regulations (which may apply to public and private organisations, and individuals) by regulatory enforcement agencies.

13.   Encourage transparency and stakeholders’ engagement at all stages of the political process and policy cycle to promote accountability and the public interest, in particular through:

a)promoting transparency and an open government, including ensuring access to information and open data, along with timely responses to requests for information;

b)granting all stakeholders – including the private sector, civil society and individuals – access in the development and implementation of public policies;

c)averting the capture of public policies by narrow interest groups through managing conflict-of-interest situations, and instilling transparency in lobbying activities and in the financing of political parties and election campaigns;

d)encouraging a society that includes “watchdog” organisations, citizens groups, labour unions and independent media.

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