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President of the Public Service Association (PSA) Watson Duke says the association is prepared to protest until the Integrity Commission apologises to public servants for a television advertisement which he says puts them in a bad light. In a telephone interview yesterday Duke said he would bring the matter to the attention of international bodies and bring the same level of embarrassment to the public service, as was brought to the PSA.
“We are calling for Ken Gordon (chairman of the Integrity Commission) to resign and for the commission to make a public apology in the same manner that they paid to have an advertisement run on television that brings embarrassment to public servants,” Duke said. The television advertisement was part of the commission’s public education programme for its “Do Right” campaign.
In a release on Tuesday, the commission stated the advertisement was intended to foster an understanding of standards of integrity as mandated by the Integrity in Public Life Act. The ads were produced by the Government Information Services (GISL) which produced a series of advertisement for the commission. The video, which aired on GISL, showed two young men explaining the challenges of obtaining prompt service at an office.
One character is waiting for an application to be processed at a government office when his friend suggests he bribes someone in order for his application to be processed faster. The second character said: ”You see me standing up in any line in a government office? Pass a money, boy.” The first character objects to this and encourages his friend to do the right thing. Since Duke complained about the video, saying it “reinforces negative values,” the commission pulled it off the air.
The PSA team met with the commission’s registrar yesterday but Duke insisted that removing the video was not enough. “We affirm our commitment that Ken Gordon must resign. He has lost his way and as public servants we demand that he must go,” he added.