OUTRAGE: Principals’ watches, microwave ovens, dinner cruises etc
It has finally come out. $167,000 of frivolous and unwarranted expenditure in the midst of depravity and there is more. What gives these vogues the gall to perpetrate such daring and mind boggling unethical acts? Is it something in the PGCPS waters or do they simply take us for morons or simpletons?
These acts of wanton unaccountability have to cease by taking the right actions after identifying the culprits. Enough is enough. What is the justification that PGCPS gets money and what are their motives by buying Gold Watches, jewelry, paraphernalia, what next? Autographed designer underwear and shapeless bras??
What has come out of this audit confirms what we have been saying all along. Maybe now the honest citizens of PG County will finally wake up and speak out against such flagrant abuse of power and public coffers. (Read more Washington Examiner ) (NBC News)
Misappropriation of public funds is not, though, the only act of corruption. Corrupt practices are many and varied. Corrupt practices range from misappropriation of public funds and deliberate misuse of public property to demanded enormous tips for favours or for routine services. Racism and discrimination are also corrupt practices which may happen in all aspects of life and have been going on in this PG district for a long time.
More than ever, nations around the world are enacting new laws and cooperating with each other to fight corruption. The change is driven by growing recognition that corruption inhibits economic growth and limits nations’ development potential. Companies like Cisco, Coca cola et al are expected to police their operations to make sure anticorruption laws are observed.
In the wake of the morally dead situation involving various unethical lapses involving several Board members here in Prince George’s county, we must do something to stop the problem. If the Board members were well-trained, they would not have engaged in Outrageous BOE Featherbedding. They could have requested assistance of teachers in their District as helpers who could provide these services at no additional costs.
This means that all of us need to be aware of the broader regulatory scope and potential risks. The things that count as bribery are more than what you might think. And the rules apply around the world, even in countries where corruption seems deep-seated.
Corruption violates the public’s trust, threatens national and international economic and social development, and substantially impedes fair trade. To combat corruption, most, if not all, of the schools with the county, elected representatives must enact anti-corruption laws and regulations.
Pursuant to these laws and regulations, it would be generally a crime to give, pay, or promise “anything of value” in order to influence an act or a decision; obtain, retain, or direct business; or secure an improper advantage of any kind.
PGCPS Internal Anti-Corruption Training
PGCPS must require the following personnel to complete global anti-corruption training:
- Superintendent of Schools
- Board of Education Chairperson, vice Chairperson and all the other Board of Education (BOE) members.
- Senior administrators involved in Management of resources.
- Legal personnel, except those who do not perform transactional work or provide compliance advice.
- Principals, Assistant Principals
- Guidance Counselors
- Central senior staff involved in directing policy.
- Employees in sales, marketing, or services organizations who are directly involved in sales transactions with customers or channel partners or distributors who are located outside the United States if any.
- Employees located outside the United States who are in the sales, marketing, or services organizations if any etc.
PGCPS Partner Anti-Corruption Training
PGCPS also requires our channel partners, distributors, and sales-supporting consultants to complete anti-corruption training. Partners may register and complete this training (This can be developed and downloaded on-line with assistance of project management led by Ms. Lisa Price).
Legal Due Diligence Process
As a part of its process to select and retain the most qualified business partners who share similar values, PGCPS must learn to follow the legal due diligence steps outlined below. “Business partner” here means any PGCPS Board member, reseller, systems integrator, distributor, sales agents, or sales-supporting consultant, legal representative such Thatcher Law firm et al.
Step One: Business Partner completes PGCPS’s on-line questionnaire.
Step One: Business Partner partner completes PGCPS’s on-line questionnaire. The process begins with the business partner’s completion of a short (under 30 minutes) on-line questionnaire.
The questionnaire includes a certification that the business partner’s representative has completed PGCPS’s Partner Anti-Corruption Training.
Step Two: PGCPS completes an internal review.
Once the business partner such as Thatcher Law firm has submitted its responses to the on-line questionnaire (including completion of the training), a PGCPS due diligence team will receive notice of the submission and review the partner’s responses. The due diligence team will directly contact the business partner if it has any questions about the partner’s responses or seeks other information.
Separately, PGCPS channel and other business organizations undertake to carefully review the business partner’s business qualifications, certifications, sales, etc., according to PGCPS’s global channel partner program requirements. If the business partner is a distributor, PGCPS’s internal Distribution Review Board will review the partner’s qualifications, etc.
Step Three: PGCPS makes the final determination to bring the business partner onboard or renew its contract.
The last step involves PGCPS’s final determination whether to bring onboard a new partner and/or renew an existing business partner’s contract. If PGCPS elects to go forward with either a new or a renewing business partner, its channel or other business teams will work with the business partner to finalize and execute the appropriate contract.
For some types of contracts or renewals, PGCPS encourages its business partners to accept the contract through an electronic “click to accept” tool as a quick and efficient way to complete the contracting process. Once adopted, the process will eliminate “No bid contract” debacle as shown by Thatcher law firm fiasco in 2011.
Technology cannot fight corruption. People can.
An online site is not a solution a lone. It is merely a tool. One cannot iterate this statement enough. Technology can empower citizens, raise awareness and pressure authorities. Yet, technology cannot fight corruption; it cannot change cultures, detect problems, propose solutions or amend laws. People can. As we are building online tools, we should remember their raison d’être: they should be part of a broader strategy of engagement and participation.
However, we are hopeful that technology if applied properly in PGCPS will result in systemic change and strengthen transparency and accountability initiatives. With the growing use of IT by the government and all sectors, transparency measures will become embedded in the system.
Citizens need to have a way to hold their government to account and to ensure that the laws on the books to stop corruption are actually enforced. This is particularly true in countries, states and counties where there is endemic corruption like in PG.
Independent oversight by civil society is the best way to check and challenge those who might use entrusted power for personal gain, our definition of corruption.
Civil society functions are the eyes and ears of citizens and PG County NAACP among others needs to stay active to make the local government and Unions accountable.
The PGCPS status quo of continuous unabated corruption, conmanship, gerrymandering and professional misconduct involving the Sasscer adminstation with the support of the unions and other conspirators etc is not the answer!