CeIO Programme: Providing Essential Organisational Ethics and Integrity Training 


In Malaysia, a certified integrity officer (CeIO) is essentially an individual who has undergone the CeIO Programme and has been officially accepted for possessing the qualifications for being one.

At present, the programme, which is carried out by the Corporate Integrity Development Centre (CIDC) of the Malaysia Anti Corruption Academy (MACA), consists of four modules aimed towards officers who hold positions of head of integrity unit and integrity officer in the public service, the private sector and government-linked companies.

The 8th Convocation Ceremony of the Certified Integrity Officer (CeIO) Programme on 14 November 2019. Photo by MACC

It is the only certified training programme recognised in Malaysia to produce CeIOs whose roles are to plan, implement and monitor the effectiveness of integrity programmes in the public and private sectors.

The CeIO Programme was created by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) through CIDC, MACA to train government and private organisation officers with regards to organisational integrity, which encompasses governance, management ethics, and laws in the fight against corruption, misappropriation of funds and abuse of power.

A brochure of the latest CeIO Programme. Image from MACC official website

It acts as a CeIO network in the prevention of corruption, abuse of authority and malpractice, and becomes a catalyst in relevant organisations to foster a work culture of integrity in both public and private entities.

The programme’s establishment followed decisions made during the Special Cabinet Committee on Government Management Integrity Meeting on 30 March 2010.

An infographic depicting the implementation mechanism of an integrity unit in a public agency (in Bahasa Melayu), which includes the CeIO Programme. Extracted from the Guideline for the Management of Integrity Unit in Public Agency

Particularly, it was – and continues to be – in line with the principal objectives outlined in Section 2 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (Act 694), which are:

  1. to promote the integrity and accountability of public and private sector administration by constituting an independent and accountable anti-corruption body; and
  2. to educate public authorities, public officials and members of the public about corruption and its detrimental effects on public and private sector administration and on the community.

The act replaced the Anti-Corruption Agency Act 1982 in 2009 to align with the people’s expectation for “a more independent, transparent and professional anti-corruption entity”, as the Guideline for the Management of Integrity Unit in Public Agency by MACC noted.

The Importance of the CeIO Programme

“We can’t fight against corruption or elements of abuse of power at the workplace immediately, in the short term or even within a day. Rather, we need to take a long-term approach towards such effort.

The CeIO Programme has been a key initiative by MACC through the Malaysia Anti Corruption Academy to cultivate the culture of integrity among Malaysians. Photo by MACC

“The provision of the CeIO programme, through MACC, is part of this intended initiative,” wrote then President of Association of Certified Integrity Officer Mohd Rezaidi Mohd Ishak in a 2014 opinion piece, stating the essence of the need to create the integrity training programme.

He added that the programme could also serve as part of an integrity officer’s lifelong learning to create and nurture positive values within an organisation’s management and administration.

This would be useful when a CeIO is confronted with challenges when fulfilling his/her duty and trust effectively, staying relevant as he/she cultivates and popularises integrity among Malaysians, and being a change agent and reference expert in integrity for every organisation.

The CeIO Programme equips integrity officers the necessary skills to prevent misconduct in organisational management and administration from taking place. Photo by MACC

“An enormous loss is when this acquired CeIO-related expertise and skills are not utilised to the fullest by an organisation. This is because officers who have participated in the CeIO programme are exposed to the relevant rules and laws that can be applied in their respective (organisations).

“I believe that if CeIOs are given the opportunity to advise during meetings involving governance management, for certain a lot of misconduct in procurement and management can be avoided,” noted Mr Rezaidi.

Impact of CeIO Programme in Sarawak Civil Service

To increase the level of integrity among civil servants, Sarawak started training CeIOs in 2019 through a collaboration between MACC and the State Integrity and Ombudsman Unit.

The Premier (14th left) with other distinguished guests and participants of Program Pegawai Integriti Bertauliah (CeIO) Siri 22 Bil 2/2019 in a group photo on 12 March 2019. Photo from https://www.oldkuchingsmartheritage.my

It was in line with the Government’s initiative to establish integrity units across all ministries, government departments and statutory bodies, where these officers will be placed upon being certified.

“The role of integrity officers is significant for the future of Sarawak as we continue with our development agenda in ensuring accountability, transparency and efficiency in the delivery system of Sarawak.

“I hope the officers will carry out their responsibility diligently in not only enhancing procedures, regulations and standard operating procedures of organisations, but also to combat corruption and unethical practices,” said Premier YAB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg during the closing ceremony of a CeIO programme in Bintulu in December 2019.

As of December 2020, there are 94 CeIOs posted in almost all government agencies in Sarawak, coming from all organisational levels – from managers and heads of department to officers.

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