Entrenching the culture of ethical and effective leadership in the Council is the ultimate objective that Integrity Commissioner Advocate Daniel Rampai is aiming to achieve.
For Advocate Rampai, it is not so much the number of cases he has to investigate relating to the councillors’ conduct. Rather, it is the need to ensure that councillors assume the responsibility for their own character and conduct by individually and collectively cultivating values of integrity, competence, responsibility, accountability, fairness and transparency which are reminiscent of their obligations in terms of the Code of Conduct and the Standing Rules and Orders of Council.
“My door is always open, to assist and advise councillors on all matters relating to their moral and ethical obligations and the high standard of professional ethics that they need to promote and maintain including the quality of decisions they need to make in their everyday work,” he says.
He argues that the success of his office would be attributed to his endeavour in successfully increasing the ability of councillors to ensure that the municipal council is governed by democratic values and principles enshrined in the constitution. And this is possible through ethical leadership and ethical decision-making ability.
“My office would have been successful in discharging its mandate, if few cases of improper conduct and contempt that are referred to me are the results of councillors having been properly and adequately trained,” he adds.
Advocate Rampai was appointed to the position of the Integrity Commissioner last year November and he is tasked with ensuring that councillors toe the ethical line in respect to their behaviour as representatives of local communities in the Council.
The father of two boys says service delivery and moral values are not divorced from each other but are rather intricately intertwined.
“Municipalities exist to deliver effective and efficient services to residents. It is therefore the moral obligation of every employee of the City to provide services to residents equitably, effectively and sustainably, and councillors are enjoined to be accountable and report back to their constituencies,” says Advocate Rampai.
He stresses the importance of his office in remaining independent of any department as this allows the office to perform its functions independently and impartially.
The Office of Integrity Commissioner has four core functions, namely:
• Advising all councillors on any integrity and ethical issues;
• Investigating allegations of misconduct or contempt against any councillor by fellow councillors, members of the public or officials;
• Maintaining the Register of Financial interests of councillors; and
• Conducting training for councillors to leverage the competency and professionalism of councillors.