DUBAI // Corruption and greed will not be tolerated among public officials, Dubai police and municipality officials warned yesterday.
They joined forces at the fifth annual Dubai Municipality Training Forum to declare zero tolerance for misconduct.
Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the chief of Dubai Police and main speaker at the three-day event, said loyalty, rejecting bribes, keenness for public welfare, and sincerity towards an employer were of paramount importance to further strengthening the city.
The police chief also warned employees not to misuse budgets, abuse the trust that had been placed in them, engage in defamation or constantly expect rewards.
"Do not just work to expect a bonus," he said. "Especially if you have completed a duty that is part of your job. Be willing to give back and love the organisation you work for."
Hussain Nasser Lootah, the director general of Dubai Municipality, said the main aim of the training event - called "Be Loyal, Be Faithful" - was to enhance the attitude of employees to better serve Dubai residents. "Loyalty is one of our major requirements, because if you do not have loyalty towards your work, you will not produce excellence towards the municipality and therefore society," Mr Lootah said.
The director general also said that with 11,000 employees, it was crucial to discourage the belief among some employees that they should work only when constant bonuses were offered.
"As in any organisation, employees have a duty to deliver, regardless of what they will gain later. Appreciation will come but it should not be expected as part of a deal."
A three-pronged approach was necessary to prevent employees from being tempted to follow the path of bribe-taking and understand the negativity behind it, Mr Lootah said.
"First, we have to convince them they are doing something wrong. Second, we have to reach out to their human spirit because they have to truly believe it's wrong. And, thirdly, we have good, watchful eyes," he said. These include an internal auditing unit and a strict system that leaves little room for crossing boundaries.
"The reason such cases sometimes occur is because there is no system, so people create ideas and implement them by themselves. This does not happen in the municipality," Mr Lootah said. "What we have in place is according to the laws and regulations."
The Food Control Department - responsible for all food in the emirate, whether indigenous, imported, or in transit - also has strict measures to combat bribe-taking, as it is one of the most critical departments for ensuring public welfare.
"Loyalty is important, because it is a part of our job and how we can improve hygiene standards. If you have loyalty, everything will be clear," the director of the Food Control Department, Khalid Mohamed Sharif, said.
With new technology, inspection reports can be filed almost immediately and if any amendments are made they can be tracked to the individual responsible.
Municipality training events such as this, he said, were beneficial to food safety staff because they have to stay focused on new developments and best practices.
Infusing in all employees the belief that they are truly contributing to the growth of the city, however, remains a challenge.
"We are a service department, so we serve the people of the city and we care about the city and want to make it excellent," Mr Lootah said. "Our challenge is to make our employees believe in this and how they need to work for the city. We are not a company; our end users are the people."
The director general also encouraged transparency by engaging in open discussions with the public and answering comments sent to newspapers.
"Everybody has the right to come and ask, and we will explain the facts," he said.