Contest to fete public officials | Daily News

Contest to fete public officials


Transparency International Sri Lanka announced Tuesday, that it was launching a new islandwide “Integrity Idol” contest to identify and felicitate exemplary public officials.

“(This) is a very unique public award to recognise integrity in public service,” TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere said, speaking at a press conference at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute yesterday.

“The key concept here is to ‘name and fame’ public officers,” he said. “Because we wish to recognize those public officers who have shown integrity and honesty sometimes in very challenging and difficult conditions.”

Obeyesekere asked the public to nominate people they knew at any level of government, from schoolteachers to customs officers, whom they believed performed their role with honesty and integrity. “We very frequently hear negative news around the public service,” he said. “But I think the one thing we can all agree on is that there are also many positive examples of people working in the public service that is often unrecognized.”

Islandwide voting is now open, and nominations can be made until 31 July. Five finalists will then be chosen by a panel of judges, Obeyesekere said, and then the public will select a winner through SMS voting.

“The public sector must have a high level of integrity,” retired Deputy Auditor General and one of the contest’s judges M.D.A. Harold said. “This is a good effort and good arrangement to allow the public to appreciate the integrity of public servants,” he said.

Anyone wishing to make a nomination can call TISL at 0711 295295 or 0761 178844.

Nomination forms in all three languages can also be downloaded online at, or collected at TISL’s head office at 5/1 Elibank Road Colombo 5 or its legal aid centres in Matara and Vavuniya.

After the panel selects five finalists, their stories will be filmed and shown on TV and social media. People can then vote for their favourite public official over SMS.

The final award will be given in October.

The Integrity Idol is organised with the Accountablity Lab, which has already carried out similar campaigns in Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, and Nigeria.



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