On Friday, in Budapest, advisor qualification was awarded to government officials responsible for exploring corruption risks and strengthening integrity in public administration.

Taking action against corruption is one of the main objectives of the postgraduate specialist training which was completed with a successful final examination this January by 47 government officials, who obtained integrity advisor qualification and became the first qualified integrity advisors in Hungary. The qualification was formally awarded to the civil servants who successfully completed the training on 21 February in Budapest.

In his award ceremony address, Dr. Marcell Biró, state secretary from the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice (MPAJ), mentioned that one of the key objectives of the training was to restore the reputation of the work done by public officials and government officials in Hungary and to regain trust in public administration, while the integrity advisor training would also help to complete cultural change in public administration.

Photo: NUPS

Dr. Norbert Kis, vice-rector for continuing education and international affairs of the National University of Public Service, highlighted in his speech the positive international feedback received by the integrity training, which was referred to by the European Commission in its anti-corruption report published a few weeks ago as an important step in the fight against corruption in Hungary. The vice-rector added that the training programme would continue, and the second year had already started.

Photo: NUPS

Bence Rétvári, parliamentary state secretary from the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice, drew attention to the fact that all international reports on anti-corruption activities called the Hungarian training programme a positive development. He also emphasised that the newly qualified integrity advisors would have an important task, as they may have the power to raise awareness in the system of Hungarian public administration.

László Domokos, president of the State Audit Office and main patron of the training reminded the qualified integrity advisors of their task of exploring corruption risks, warning about threats, and turning the internal functioning of their organisation toward increased resistance to the danger of corruption. He underlined that combating corruption and strengthening integrity in public administration were a common concern for the Government, the Hungarian Government Officials’ Corps and the State Audit Office.

Photo: NUPS

Dr. András Jávor, president of the Hungarian Government Officials’ Corps also addressed the integrity advisors on the occasion of the award of qualifications.

The implementation of the training programme organised by the National University of Public Service on the basis of the needs of the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice will enable public service employees to recognise corruption phenomena in due time, investigate irregularities and abuses, and learn the rules of ethical interaction.

The postgraduate specialist training for integrity advisors was launched under project no. ÁROP-1.1.21 “Corruption Prevention and Overview of Public Administration Development” on 22 February 2013, with nearly 50 participants and László Domokos, president of the State Audit Office, as main patron.

The curriculum of the training has been aligned with the Government’s anti-corruption strategy and endeavours, as well as the Zoltán Magyary Public Administration Development Programme.

This gap filling training of international importance broadens the scale of sectoral postgraduate specialist training programmes offered in the field of public administration as well as law enforcement.
 
The objective of this postgraduate specialist training is to train public administration experts who have a strategic view, are familiar with the functioning and management of public administration bodies and have the necessary legal, sociological and psychological knowledge and skills to be able to reduce and prevent the risk of corruption and abuse, and to support the strengthening of an integrated management system in the public administration organisation.

Participation in the two-semester training was available for government officials who met the criteria of the selection procedure overseen by the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice.
 
The participants of the training programme could acquire theoretical knowledge and practical skills in fields such as action against corruption, integrity, organisational risk assessment, and public service ethics.

(Source: NKE, kormany.hu (MTI))