The 12 global principles of good governance

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

The universal definition of good governance is the responsible conduct of public affairs and the prudent and accountable management of public funds and other resources. It is encapsulated by the Council of Europe and adopted by the EU as the 12 Principles of Good Governance. These had been adopted by more than 200 countries all over the world. Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama asked me to lecture on these in the forthcoming General Assembly of the League of Cities, Philippines of which he is the National President.

The committee chosen by the Council of Europe enshrined these standards as the ultimate barometer for good governance and innovation. The Centre of Expertise endorses it to all central and local authorities as the universal moral compass for local and central executives in the performance of their official functions and in the delivery of public services. I have summarized them into four Es in Excellence, namely: Effectiveness, the achievement of pre-determined goals; Efficiency, the optimum and responsible use of resources including public funds and time; Ethics, which the uncompromising adherence to law and regulations and Empowerment which is the continuing capacity and capability building among people.

These 12 Universal Principles of Good Governance include: First, Citizens Participation and Representation; second, Responsive; third, Efficiency and Effectiveness; fourth, Openness and Transparency; fifth, Rule of Law, sixth, Ethical Conduct; seventh, Competence and Capacity; eighth, Innovation and Openness to Change; ninth, Sustainability and Long Term Orientation; Tenth, Sound Financial Management; Eleventh, Human Rights, Cultural Diversity and Social Cohesion and Twelfth, Accountability. The DTI's standards are only five: Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructures, Resiliency and Innovation.

The first principle on participation and representation requires that decisions should be with the approval of the majority of the constituents through consultation and representation in decision-making. And the rights and voices of the minority should also be heard. The second on responsiveness demands that government goals, programs, structures and timetables should respond to the needs of the people and the solutions to the problems must be in direct and prompt response to the needs of the constituencies. The third on effectiveness and efficiency demands that objectives are chosen by the people and the public functionaries should use public resources prudently and responsibly.

Fourth, public functions should be open to public scrutiny and government decisions should not be hidden from the people. Fifth, there should be an uncompromising adherence to law and deviations should be detected, investigated and punished if warranted by the facts. Sixth, over and above the law are higher standards of ethics. moral values and a sense of honor and valor. Seventh, all public officials and personnel should have adequate KASH, adequate and appropriate competence, proper and righteous attitude, well-honed skills and effective habits. Eighth is openness to change and an attitude for continuing improvement through innovation and technology.

Ninth, government functions should be sustainable and have long-term viability. Tenth, there should be a sound and wise management of finances and public resources. Eleventh, includes inclusivity, cohesion and diversity. In a world where there are many variances of gender beyond LGBTQIA ++, good governance should not judge people by their sexual orientation but by their capacity and capability to create and add value to the delivery of public services. Lastly, all governance should be accountable, responsible and answerable to the people.

All these are the criteria by which to judge local government units and evaluate the performance of mayors, governors and presidents. It is not enough that public officials are popular. They must deliver concrete results and remain faithful to all the rules. The bar of excellence has been raised higher. Those who aspire to serve the people must deliver their best There is no assurance either that their best is enough.

Expectations are moving targets. The people's demands keep rising up. Those who want to survive should ceaselessly do more and deliver results beyond the ordinary.

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