Our very own International Advisory Group Member, Victoria Bainbridge, attended a CIPFA European Group members' annual seminar in Luxembourg just before the Christmas break.
The session on ethics focused on the findings of CIPFA`s 2018 ethics survey of public sector accountants. This survey found that more than half of respondents had come under pressure to act in a professionally unethical way during their career, and many of these said they felt under threat. Clearly this is a worrying statistic and it would have been interesting to further explore whether or not the proportion of females feeling under threat was greater than their male counterparts.
This led to discussion of how to ensure that suitable independent support for public financial management professionals facing possible ethical conflicts is available. Suitable mentors were identified as one source of potential support to add to the list. The PFW global mentoring programme that is now a pilot, offering mentees a process to do their own independent thinking with the support of mentors, could offer an opportunity to help develop this important component of the PFM ethical framework. This is certainly an area warranting further consideration and on PFW’s radar!
Thank you, Victoria, for sharing insights from this event.