Forum Principles of Good Leadership & Accountability


1. Respect for Law and System of Government
(i) Respect for and upholding of democratic processes and institutions, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary and the legislature to:
(a) Allow for the peaceful and lawful transfer of power; and
(b) Respect and promote the separation of powers by ensuring the financial autonomy of the judiciary and Parliament, and ensure that the judiciary and Parliament are free from unlawful interference by the executive;
(ii) Upholding a just, fair and honest government through:
(a) Respect for and enforcement of the decisions of the courts and independent tribunals;
(b) Enforcement of lawful instructions and lawfully created policies;
(c) Compliance with the letter and spirit of the laws, which are made for the benefit of the public;
(d) Disclosure of fraud, corruption and mal-administration, of which the leader has become aware;
(e) Refraining from exertion of pressure, and abuse of persons carrying out their lawful duties;
(f) Refraining from using any legal immunity or privilege as a clock or shield for behaviour of a lower ethical standard than that reasonable expected of the leader by citizens;
(g) Establishing and empowering bodies, such as Ombudsman Commission, to independently investigate public complaints against government actions;
(h) Ensuring that the Auditor-General reports directly and in a timely manner to Parliament/Congress;
(iii) Protection of fundamental human rights

2. Respect for Cultural Values, Customs and Traditions
Respect for cultural values, customs, traditions and indigenous rights and observations of traditional protocols in the exercise of power

3. Respect for Freedom of Religion
Respect for religious beliefs

4. Respect for People on whose behalf Leaders Exercise Power
(i) Proper use of official powers;
(ii) Honesty in dealing with the people and Parliament, with any misleading information corrected at the earliest practical opportunity;
(iii) Publicising information on legal wrongdoing, ethical lapses and false or misleading statement;
(vi) Giving priority to official duties over private interests;
(v) Performance of public duties uninfluenced by fear of personal cost or any hope of personal benefit;
(vi) Public and private conduct does not lead to a conflict of interest, or in which the fair and impartial exercise of duties might not be compromised;
(vii) Ensuring that public facilities are used only for public purposes, and not for personal purposes unless authorised by legislation or by a public decision of Cabinet

5. Respect for Members of the Public
Treatment of members of the public honestly and fairly with proper regard for their rights and obligations

6. Economy and Efficiency
Ensuring that public resources are not wasted, abused, or used improperly or extravagantly

7. Diligence
(i) Exercise of proper diligence, care, and attention;
(ii) Always seeking to achieve high standards of Public administration

8. National Peace and Security
(i) Promotion of peace, security and harmony;
(ii) Refusal to give or obey an illegal order to use force against another citizen.

9. Respect for Office
(i) Exercise authority and interact with people in a manner that is open, transparent, accountable, participatory and decisive but fair and equitable;
(ii) Seek to strengthen the integrity of a leader’s Office and its effectiveness

Please click the links under Related Files  to access the Country Reports on Actual Leadership Practice against the Forum Principles of Good Leadership - Baseline Survey for the Year 2008


Budget process, including multi-year frameworks, to ensure Parliament/Congress is sufficiently informed to understand the longer term implications of appropriation decisions
- To be fully understood, the budget needs to present all the details of budget performance including the results of audits and other evaluations, and the assed impact including on the key objectives previously specified for major programs (showing estimates where final figures are not available).
- The budget presentation papers also need to include forecasts of the key budget figures for the next two years together with details of the assumptions on which they are based and the policy objectives they are meant to serve.
- Existing commitments should be distinguished from new policies.
- Budget data, including revenue, grant and expenditure date, should be presented in a way that follows international best practice and allows internal comparisons
- Budgetary processes, including the full involvement of ministers, need to be directed specifically at the generation of good estimates which are properly aligned with policy and program output intentions.
- In keeping the management of budget implementation under review during the course of the year, the government should give the legislature and the public timely reports as the year proceeds, as well as at year’s end, which contain all the details of actual performance which are needed for a full understanding of any impacts of deviations from the original budget policy intentions and estimates (using revised estimates where actual figures and results cannot be obtained).
- Government operations should be subject to audit reports.

The accounts of governments, state-owned enterprises and statutory enterprises and statutory corporations to be promptly and fully audited, and the audit reports published where they can be read by the general public
- State-owned enterprises should be subject to the full force of the accounting, reporting, disclosure and other relevant requirements of a modern regulatory framework for corporate governance adjusted to the circumstances of small island countries as appropriate.

Loan agreement or guarantees entered into by governments to be presented to Parliament/Congress, with sufficient information to enable Parliament/Congress to understand the longer term implications
- The principles to be enshrined in the law.
- Presentations to Parliament/Congress should be timely.

All government and public sector contracts to be openly advertised, competitively awarded, administered and publicly reported
- The award of contracts should be reported publicly and immediately
- The principle should be enshrined in the law

Contravention of financial regulations to be promptly disciplined
- The principal and subordinate laws and instructions governing fiscal and financial management should be comprehensive, up-to-date and workable.
- Administration of the legal framework governing fiscal and financial management should be active and vigorous.
- Ethical standards of behaviour for public servants should be clear and well publicised.
- There should ready public access to the administrative laws governing access to government benefits, the applications of taxes, duties, and charges, etc, which should be as specific as possible and which should limit the exercise of discretion by public servants and other holders of public office to the minimum compatible with good administration.
- The exercise of discretion in public administration should be guided by clear, published criteria.

Public Accounts/Expenditure Committees of Parliament/Congress to be empowered to require disclosure

Auditor-General and Ombudsman to be provided with adequate fiscal resources and independent reporting rights to Parliament/Congress
- The principle of statutory independence should be applied to the public auditor and the ombudsman.
- The law which provides for the appointment and tenure of the public auditor, and the ombudsman, and which deals with their functions, operations and resourcing should accord with international best practice in specifying the independent functions they are to perform and fully protecting their performance from being compromised.
- The law should specify the right of the two office holders to unimpeded access to Parliament/Congress where the office holder has grounds for believing that independence might be coming under threat.

Central bank with statutory responsibility for non-partisan monitoring and advice, regular and independent publication of informative reports

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