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Turkey : What measures to manage conflict of interest in the public sector?

OECD-MENA GfDManaging the Performance andReinforcing the Integrity of Civil Servants

Regional High Level Capacity Building Seminar

24-25 May 2007

Rabat - Morocco


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M E R H A B A interest in the public sector?


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Outline interest in the public sector?

  • Some global questions to think on

  • Turkey in general

  • Challenges and achievements

  • Conflict of interest - related regulations in Turkey

  • Code of Ethics

  • Ethics Council for Public Service


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PAUL WOLFOWITZ interest in the public sector?@ SELİMİYE MOSQUE – EDİRNE TURKEY


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Where is Turkey in this map? problem

CPI 2002 3.2

CPI 2006 3.8

We are moving in the right direction but we have to accelerate...

But “where” in Turkey?


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- Turkey - problemCorruption Levels

Sector ___2004__________2005 Tax Administration 4.2 4.2Private Sector / Business world 4.1 4.0 Customs 4.1 4.1 Healthcare Services 4.1 4.1 Local Services 4.1 4.0 Political Parties 4.0 4.1Police 4.0 4.0 Judicial System 3.9 4.0 Education System 3.9 4.0 Parliament, Legislative Power 3.8 3.9 Media 3.8 3.8 Licence and Permit Services 3.8 3.7Non-governmental organizations 3.5 3.6 Religious Services 3.3 3.4 Armed Forces 3.1 3.3

* (1) no corruption, (5) high level of corruption)

(Transparency International 2004 and 2005GlobalCorruption Reports)


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What are some main reasons? problem

  • Impunity

  • Lack of external supervision

  • Comparatively weak institutionalisation

  • Lack of expertise and professional studies on the related subjects

  • Financing of political parties and campaigns

  • State’s share in the national economy


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So what are we doing to change the “color” of Turkey in this map?

  • Legal frame (Constitution, International treaties, Penal Code, Ethic Rules)

  • Institution building (i.e. Organized Crime Departments in Police, Gendarmarie and Judiciary, MASAK -Financial Crimes Investigation Institution, Ethics Board for Public Service, KIK – Public Procurement Institution)

  • Awareness raising efforts

  • Government’s “Fight Against 3Ys Policy” [Yolsuzluk (corruption)- Yoksulluk (Poverty) and Yasaklar (Restrictions on freedoms)]

  • Action Plan on Increasing Transparency and Good Public Governance

  • Urgent Action Plan of the Government


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Strenghtening the Supervision from the Democratic Society Bodies

  • The most important “external” supervision

  • Role of NGO’s (i.e. TUSIAD-Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association, Social Ethics Association, Transparency Movement - TI Turkish Chapter, DENET-DE-Inspectors Association)

  • Think-tank Organisations (i.e. TESEV – TEDMER)

  • Academic Institutions


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Regulating Conflict of Interest Bodies- Constitution

  • No clear mention on “conflict of interest” for public service. But...

  • Constitution Article 5: Main aim and duty of the state is …to ensure the happiness, peace, and welfare of the individuals and society…

  • Article 125 : “Recourse to judicial review shall be available against all actions and acts of the administration”

  • So each and every public official is responsible to serve public interest

  • Public official – public servant; same or different? “Amir” and “Memur”? “Leviathan”?


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Regulating Conflict of Interest Bodies- International Treaties&Bodies

  • Being party to main international treaties

  • Being member of UN, CoE, OECD, GRECO and party to their efforts in this field.

  • + “EU” candidacy

  • International treaties have a constitutional power which gives them a rank between constitution and laws


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Regulating Conflict of Interest Bodies- Penal Code

  • Several articles (especially article 228 and following articles) are related to public officials’ crimes and mostly corruption crimes.

  • Among them article 257 is regulating the crimes including conflict of interest. According to this article if a public official acts against the necessities of his duty and harms other individiuals’ interests or public interest or causes illegal gain for persons, he/she shall be punished up to 3 years of imprisonment.


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Regulating Conflict of Interest Bodies- Penal Code

Art. 228 – Public service should be done in line with the related legislations. If a public officer breaches this rule the punishment is up to 4.5 years of imprisonment.

Art. 235 – Public procurement related crimes – up to 12 years of imprisonment

Art. 250 – Using the influence of his position for his/her interest or a third party’s interest – up to 10 years of imprisonment.


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Regulating Conflict of Interest Bodies- Penal Code

Breaches of respect to secrecy

– for other individiuals’ secrecy – up to 3 years (art. 239)

– for secrets related to the duty – up to 4 years of imprisonment.


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Declaration of Assets Bodies

  • Law no: 3628 and related bylaw + Code of Ethics

  • Years ending with “0” and “5” and extra declarations

  • Comparison of declarations

  • Not only the public officials

  • Spouses and children included

  • Secrecy of declarations.(Breaches up to 1.5 years imprisonment)

    Exceptions;

    - Investigative powers (inspectors, prosecutors)

    - Ministry of Finance

    - Ethics Board for Public Service.

    Relevant body should should fully cooperate with them. Failing to cooperate - up to 3 years of imprisonment


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Declaration of assets Bodies-Punishments

  • Not to declare on time - up to 3 months

  • False declaration – up to 3 years

  • Illegally obtained assets and hiding te assets - up to 5 years + forfeiture

  • Ban from public service

  • Theycannot benefitfrom The Law on Public Officials’ Trial

  • Protection of whistleblower


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Gifts Bodies

  • Forbidden (bylaw on Ethics) (for themselves, related people or third parties – directly or indirectly)

  • The only exceptions are

    - books, cd s, calendars, etc.

    - gifts or rewards of symbolic souvenir value publicly held competitions and activities,

    - Advertisement and handicraft products of symbolic value which are distributed to everyone

  • Gifts, bursaries, cost-free accomodations, travel fares, loans and credits from the people who are related to the specific public service provided by the official are totally forbidden

  • Also unreasonable cost reduces are forbidden during the transactions are forbidden

    List of the gifts should be submitted to Ethics Board for Public Service every year before the end of January.


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Gifts Bodies- A problem

  • The Law No: 3628

  • Gifts received due to international protocol rules and decency by foreign persons or institutions which exceeds 10 minimum wages limit should be given to their institution by the public official. This rule does not apply to the frames of signed pictures given by foreign state officials and international organizations.


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Post-public Employment Bodies

  • There is a law forbidding post-public employment in the same sector for 3 years

  • Code of Ethics prohibits assignment of those former employees directly or indirectly to a duty or work such as contractor, commissioner, representative, expert, interceder from their former public institution.

  • Also our Code of Ethics prohibits to give priviliges former public officials in benefiting from public services.


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Code of Ethics art. 13 BodiesTo avoid from conflict of interest

  • All sorts of interests included

  • Not only himself/herself but also relatives, friends (including girlfriends), any other person or organization

  • “Affect or seem to affect”


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Code of Ethics art. 13 BodiesTo avoid from conflict of interest

  • Personal responsibility

  • They are obliged to proceed cautiously + take necessary steps to avoid conflict of interest situations.

  • Timely notification

  • &

  • Stay away


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Some Other Relevant BodiesCode of Ethics Rules

  • Conciousness of public service in performance of the duty

  • Serving the community

  • Compliance with the service standards.

  • Commitment to the objectives and mission of the institution

  • Integrity and impartiality

  • Respectability and public trust

  • Decency and respect


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  • Notification the breaches of ethical rules to the competent authorities

  • Not to use duty and authority to gain personal interest

  • Making good use of public domain and sources

  • Avoide from extravagance

  • Respect to right to acces to information, transparency and participation

  • Liability and accountability


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The BOARD authorities

  • Ethics Board for Public Service established with the law no:5176 dated 8/6/2004

  • Members are of highest levels of public careers. A former Minister, former governors, municipal mayors, ambassadors, high courts judges, deans/rectors and a former head of occupational institutions


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Powers & Duties authorities

  • DG and above level for the investigations

  • Awareness raising and policy making powers are broader

  • Access to any document any person (including private people and sector)

  • Ex-officio investigation

  • Publish the breach on the Official Gazzette

  • Respect to secrecy


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Applications authorities

  • Anybody can apply by any means including internet.

  • Applicants secrecy will be respected

  • If the Board finds breach of Ethical Rules send the decision to the Prime Ministry to be published on the Official Gazzette


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  • Thank you... authorities

    oatalar@basbakanlik.gov.tr

    oatalar@yahoo.com


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