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As of this year, public servants will have to adjust to new rules of behavior that will cover even their activity in the social networks. The Ministry of Public Administration (SFP) is preparing a new, more robust Code of Ethics that will regulate the digital activity of the bureaucrats of the Federal Public Administration.

In this way, public servants will have to comply with a new requirement: their social media activities they must be in accordance with public ethics and respectful of any person, regardless of ideologies.

The new code of ethics, whose project is under evaluation in the National Commission for Regulatory Improvement (Conamer), indicates that social networks are an extension of people in electronic media and although it recognizes the right to freedom of thought and expression of bureaucrats, for the institutional use of these civil servants must seek “the image of the dependencies and entities, as well as confidence in the public service.”

“In the event that public servants decide to allocate their social networks to make public the activities related to their employment, position or commission, they are placed in a level of publicity and scrutiny different from the private one, for which, in addition to the provisions of the previous paragraph, they will refrain from carrying out conduct that restricts or blocks the advertising or interaction of the account to certain people”, is established in the project.

This new rule is in line with a resolution of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) of 2019 with which he granted an amparo to the journalist Miguel Ángel León Carmona for the blocking on Twitter of the then prosecutor of Veracruz, Jorge Winckler Ortiz. “If a public servant broadcasts in his social networks content related to the reason for its commission, is voluntarily placed at a level of publicity and scrutiny other than private”, determined the highest court in the country.

Among the new behaviors to which federal public servants must abide is the abstention from making reflections before ethical dilemmas; that is, situations in which it is necessary to choose between two or more solution or decision options, in order to opt for the one that best suits public ethics, which is the set of principles, values ​​and rules of integrity that govern the actions of the workers of dependencies and entities of the Federal Government.

“The code of ethics brings together the principles, values, rules of integrity and commitments that are considered suitable to constitute an ethical reference that, in addition to guiding the performance and conduct of public servants for the sake of excellence, facilitates ethical reflection on the public function they perform. ”, points out in the document Roberto Salcedo Aquino, head of the SFP.

Like the current rules that regulate the behavior of public servants, the restriction on receiving gifts by reason of the position held, getting involved in a conflict of interest and using inclusive language.

The new Code of Ethics will be applicable to all bureaucrats of the Federal Public Administration, including the basic and unionized personnel. Likewise, it will serve as a guiding instrument for the conduct of personnel who provide social service and professional practices.

what can not

The new conduct guidelines maintain as guiding principles of public service respect for human rights, legality, honesty, loyalty, impartiality, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency.

Unlike the current rules, the new document establishes a series of behaviors that will be prohibited in order to ensure compliance with these principles.

These will be some of the prohibited behaviors for the bureaucrats of the Federal Government, according to the principles of public service:

  • undermine the dignity of people
  • acts of discrimination
  • Distinctions between men and women that foster inequality or affect access to opportunities
  • Workplace Harassment
  • Obstruct under threat or pressure, the filing of complaints
  • Carry out personnel selection processes in which competition based on merit is not considered
  • Falsify any document, signature or record
  • Deliver subsidies or support from government programs, in a manner different from those established in the corresponding regulations
  • Proselytizing during periods restricted by the electoral authority
  • Failure to submit the asset declaration in a timely manner
  • Request or receive particular benefits
  • Performing the job in an unfriendly manner
  • Unduly favor private interests or companies to the detriment of the general interest
  • Intervene or promote in the appointment for public service of persons with whom he is related by blood up to the fourth degree.
  • Establish conditions in the invitations or calls that represent advantages or give differentiated treatment to those who participate in the tenders
  • Using public resources for purposes other than those for which they were intended
  • Carrying out or tolerating acts of harassment or sexual harassment

To avoid cases of harassment and sexual harassment, public servants will be prohibited from:

  1. Making sexually suggestive signals with the hands or through body movements
  2. Having physical contact that is suggestive or of a sexual nature, such as touching, hugging, kissing, groping, pulling
  3. Giving gifts, giving inappropriate or conspicuously different preferences, or overtly or indirectly expressing sexual interest in a person
  4. Carrying out dominant, aggressive, intimidating or hostile conduct towards a person so that they submit to their sexual desires or interests, or that of another person or persons
  5. Spy on a person in their privacy, or while they change their clothes or are in the bathroom
  6. Conditioning the obtaining of a job or promotion, their permanence in it or the conditions of the same in exchange for accepting conduct of a sexual nature
  7. Forcing them to carry out activities that do not correspond to their work or other disciplinary measures in retaliation for rejecting propositions of a sexual nature
  8. Condition the provision of a procedure, public service or evaluation in exchange for the user, student or applicant agreeing to engage in sexual conduct of any nature
  9. Express comments, ridicule, compliments or jokes towards another person regarding appearance or anatomy with a sexual connotation, either in person or through any means of communication
  10. Make comments, teasing or suggestive jokes regarding your sexual life or that of another person, either in person or through any means of communication
  11. Expressing insinuations, invitations, favors or proposals to appointments or encounters of a sexual nature
  12. Emit expressions or use language that denigrates people or intends to place them as a sexual object
  13. Asking a person about sexual histories, fantasies or preferences or about their sex life
  14. Display or send through any means of communication, posters, calendars, messages, photographs, audios, videos, illustrations or objects with images or structures of a sexual nature, unwanted or requested by the recipient.

Among the obligations of the dependencies, the training and awareness of public servants on the new rules of conduct, for which they must strengthen the skills of bureaucrats to solve dilemmas, prevent and eradicate gender violence, discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment and any other behavior that violates human rights .

The Ministry of Public Function, the ethics committees that will be integrated into the dependencies and the internal control bodies will be in charge of monitoring compliance with the code of ethics.

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