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Feb 16, 2023

An Innovation Accountability Lab to Build the Integrity of the Public Sector

Today at Dream Valley Resort in Teakettle Village, Cayo District, an integrity innovation training commenced for public officers. It builds the capacity of the participants to provide training for others within the public sector, namely the clerical promotional program, the secretarial promotional program, and the professional development program that includes a mandatory good governance module. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Public officers from a wide cross-section of government departments are once again engaged in capacity building training as it relates to achieving a high level of integrity when carrying out their duties and services within their respective departments. C.E.O. in the Ministry of Public Service Rolando Zetina says that it is about ensuring that there is good governance within the public sector.


Rolando Zetina, C.E.O., Ministry of Public Service

Rolando Zetina

“All that has to do with integrity and how we treat people, how we behave in the workplace, the things we do in order to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in the service and in whatever we do in our public lives. It starts with us. Each one of us, every little act that we do, if it goes against the grain of good governance, it is an act of what we would refer to as corruption. So it has to start with us. So this project encompasses the entire aspect of good governance.”


The process started last year with the training of trainers course that included partnership with Galen University. Thirty-nine participants successfully completed that program and today, twelve were selected to be a part of this integrity innovation lab project implemented by the Love Foundation and being funded by the U.S. Embassy.


Cheri-Leigh Erasmus

Cheri-Leigh Erasmus, Accountability Lab Representative, U.S. Embassy

“It’s a real honour to join hands with partners on the ground, with civil servants and also as part of this program with young change makers who are committed to changing how we think about social accountability challenges in Belize and people who want to make a difference. At accountability lab, we believe that new narratives can be shaped and social norms can be changed to serve all communities and especially those most vulnerable among us.”


Among the trainees is the administrative assistant Cordelia Belezaire from the Civil Aviation Department. She and the other participants will now form a part of the facilitators’ pool for the training unit of the Ministry of Public Service.


Cordelia Belezaire, Administrative Assistant, Department of Civil Aviation

Cordelia Belezaire

“Numerous actions in which to help public officers to do the right thing, to lead a life of integrity even when no one is looking; just doing the right thing at all times. As a trainer, this training will really help to strengthen my capacity and to give me that opportunity, give me all the necessary tools and guidance that I would need to ensure that within our respective work places that we are able to deliver better public services which is the goal in order to be able to be a true servant of and for the people of Belize.”


Things as simple as the importance of kindness by public officers when carrying out their duties are among the values that are expected to be taken away from the training. Sandra Diaz-Cadle is the Coordinator for Training and Development within the Ministry of Public Service.


Sandra Diaz-Cadle

Sandra Diaz-Cadle, Coordinator, Training & Development, Ministry of Public Service

“When it comes to corruption, when it comes to lack of integrity, lack of accountability, we are all responsible. As public officers it is important for us to note how we contribute to corruption with the little overtime, treating the public bad, taking home ream of paper for your kids – these are things that we don’t normally look at. We look at the politicians and the C.E.O.s, but it is something that encompasses everything. It also calls into play the community because the community is also a part of this corruptive process; without their involvement, there wouldn’t be need. They want the bribe and they want service quickly and so it is a combination, it’s an involvement of everybody if we are to work towards this process.”



“It will also help to weed out the ones who are causing issues within the system as well.”


Rolando Zetina

“Yes that’s is one of the objectives and it is our hope and it is our hope – and that is what I said in my remarks – that each of us has to play a role and it has to be internalised. If you as a person feel that it is not your responsibility then it won’t happen. It has to come from each and every one of us.”


Diaz-Cadle says that good governance is now a compulsory part of all in-service training programs for the public sector.  Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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