16 Aug 2006

Temporary CNMI lay-offs pose ethics problems

7:12 pm on 16 August 2006

Government employees in the Northern Marianas are being encouraged to contact the office of the Public Auditor if they have specific concerns on their part-time or secondary jobs.

Government employees working part-time for private companies are being reminded of not violating the ethics code and conflict of interest policies.

Customs Services employees say the furlough of at least 1,200 government employees will force them to find part-time or full-time jobs in private businesses.

And, they say they will inevitably deal with customs or other regulatory agencies.

One customs employee told the Public Auditor, Mike Sablan, that families will go hungry if jobs are not found.

But Mr Sablan says a customs inspector who regularly inspects the goods imported by a certain company, for example, can not work for that company or receive anything from that company.

He says all government employees must remember that policies are in place for a reason.