St Helena Government says it is determined its staff must behave fairly and honestly.
It made the undertaking after commissioning a report into ethics at work in both private and public sector organisations.
The survey found most workers had a good understanding of ethical practices – but a small number of senior managers said it was acceptable to favour family and friends when awarding contracts or taking on staff.
It was not clear whether those individuals worked for the government.
The report said: “Establishing a strong ethical culture throughout SHG is not something that can be done overnight, within a month, six months or a year. It is a continuous process and one that will remain on SHG’s primary agenda.
“Acting in an ethical manner must become second nature to all staff in the public service.”
The survey, by the UK-based Institute of Business Ethics, revealed that many workers had witnessed bullying and practices such as tax avoidance and fiddling hours sheets, but no all felt able to report them.
A new code of management “will provide employees with clear guidelines on how to deal with discrimination, bullying and harassment etc – and give confidence to employees that they can report anonymously and without fear of repercussions.”
The survey threw up some unexpected results, said the summary. “It was quite surprising to note that only 33% of the respondents trusted their fellow St Helenians, when St Helena is reckoned to be a tightly knit community).
“But this could be due to respondents recalling a small number of examples.”
Read the full summary – which also deals with private businesses – here.