SOPs provide ACC staff with clear guidelines and confidence

Dili – The establishment and implementation of the Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) first set of Standard Operating Procedures has for the first time provided agency officials with clear guidelines along with improved confidence in dealing with their daily responsibilities. (Lee versaun Tetum iha ne'e)

Standard Operating Procedures, or SOPs, are a set of instructions describing frequent activities that, when carried out following an established set of procedures, leads to the same desired outcome ensuring consistency from one similar action to the next. ACC started developing the SOPs at the end of 2012.

Highlights

  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) provided ACC agency officials with clear guidelines for dealing with their daily responsibilities.
  • 15 SOPs have been developed to date dealing with national and international employment, disciplinary procedures, asset management, procurement, conflict of interest, overseas training and declaration of gifts.
  • Each SOP will be reviewed and updated as needed every one to two years.

“When the ACC was established in 2010, we did not have any policies or procedures to follow and had to rely on our common sense in order to deal with daily activities,” said Mr. Alexandre F. Freitas, ACC’s Executive Secretary. “Now that we have standardized policies to guide our work, each of us has a better understanding what kind of procedures we should follow.”

Averaging about 10 pages per Procedure, each of the 15 SOPs developed thus far look at the key areas of public service administration including national and international employment, disciplinary procedures, asset management, procurement, conflict of interest,  overseas training and declaration of gifts.  Each will be reviewed and updated as needed every one to two years. UNDP’s Support to Anti-Corruption Initiatives inTimor-Leste project provided three international specialists who provided support in developing and finalizing the SOPs.

One of the notable impacts by the SOPs can be found in the one for the recruitment process. Before the development of the SOPs, there were no common forms that the staff could use for recruitment. The SOP for International Employee Recruitment and Selection includes the documents the staff should refer to at every stage of recruitment process including a Terms of Reference template, sample questions to be used during interviews and a form for assessing and scoring each candidate’s interview. Using these forms will ensure the recruitment process is conducted in both an effective and a consistent manner.

Similarly, the SOP for addressing vehicle accidents outlines the procedures for reporting and reviewing any accident or incident which results in personal and damage to ACC-owned vehicles. It defines the responsibilities of ACC personnel such as senior managers, assets and logistic managers and drivers and instructs them on the steps they need to follow to record such events.

“Developing SOPs is a dynamic process that reflects the needs and demands of the daily activities,” said Rui Oliva, the UNDP-funded specialist for internal policies and SOPs. “Policies and procedures need to be routinely audited, monitored and updated to guarantee that they are kept current according to the ACC’s practices as well as in accordance with the latest laws and regulations applicable to the ACC.”

For more information about the training and UNDP’s Support to Anti-Corruption Commission Initiatives, please contact Signi Verdial, Programme Officer at signi.verdial@undp.org.