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Title:Barriers to the implementation of code of conduct within the public sector in anglophone West African countries: perspectives from public managers
Authors:Kojo Sakyi, Emmanuel
Bawole, Justice N.ISNI
Periodical:African Administrative Studies (ISSN 0007-9588)
Geographic terms:West Africa
English-speaking Africa
Subjects:civil service
professional ethics
Abstract:This paper reports on a focus group study of senior and middle-level public managers' perceptions about barriers to the implementation of a code of conduct in the public sector in five anglophone West African countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The study was conducted in March 2008. The findings indicate that if managed effectively, a code of conduct could be a useful tool for controlling irresponsible behaviour, red tape, favouritism and corruption within the public service. Interviewees agreed that the reintroduction of codes of conduct in African public management has affected behaviour in terms of punctuality, hard work, adherence to rules and good work culture. Inadequate education of employees, too many inconsistencies and lack of impartiality in code administration, unavailability of a copy of the code, senior managers' failure to practise the contents of codes, difficulty in comprehending the language of the code, lack of exemplary leadership, poor supervision and monitoring, prevalence of a syndrome of leniency, an ineffective system of rewards and punishment, and unsupportive public service organization culture were identified as the major constraints to the implementation of a code of conduct. Leadership by example, education of employees, simplification of the code into simpler and readable units, increased access to the code, and rigorous application of a reward and punishment system were amongst the remedial actions suggesed by discussants. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]