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Integrity Day – 7 December 2012

Asserting a culture of integrity to respond to civil society demands was the spirit with which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs celebrated Integrity Day today, ahead of the UN’s Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December.

This year’s meeting is dedicated to the public administration’s new challenges following the entry into force of the anti-corruption law. The areas to be addressed by the foreign ministry include cooperation activities, visa issuance and citizenship, as Under-Secretary Staffan De Mistura pointed out, underscoring that the interface with external experts is sign that “we have our eyes open” on the question of transparency. Visas and citizenship are “precious assets” for anyone wishing to work in Italy and put public servants at risk of corruption, said Director General for Italians Abroad Cristina Ravaglia, according to whom employees are in need of permanent ongoing training on de-bureaucratization and personnel rotation in order to combat “position payoffs”.

Italy is 72nd of the 176 countries on the Transparency International corruption index as a result of political and public administration scandals, President of the Italian section Maria Teresa Brassiolo recalled, adding that, by contrast, “we are second in Europe for business system quality”.

In order to make progress, the public administration must facilitate citizens’ “easy access” to information “on the use of resources and on the what and how of production”, asserted CIVIT President Romilda Rizzo. The instruments exist, explained Court of Auditors judge Ermanno Granelli, insisting on the need for all administrations to enact laws obliging the publication of budgets, estimates and accounts.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ three-year Transparency and Integrity Plan

Integrity Day is part of the 2012-2014 three-year Transparency and Integrity Plan of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The term “integrity” is intended to mean the protection by the public administration and its employees of the efficiency, impartiality, independence and confidentiality of its institutional activities. Implicit to that end are fairness in relations between policy and administration, personal impartiality of managers and employees and adequate professional commitment; relations with external private entities; control of administrative and accounting activities; and protection of the image of the country and the administration. The goal is to raise awareness among employees and citizens with regard to these concerns.

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