Saipan Mayor’s Office is 1st to receive ethics training this year


Saipan Mayor Ramon “RB” Camacho, standing in red, along with Saipan Mayor’s Office staff, are seen before the afternoon session of the Office of the Public Auditor’s Government Ethics Code presentation on Wednesday led by OPA legal counsel Ashley Kost in the SMO’s conference room. (LEIGH GASES)

The Saipan Mayor’s Office is the first government entity to receive the Office of the Public Auditor’s Government Ethics Code presentation this year, which concluded last Wednesday after a two-part training session at the Saipan Mayor’s Office conference room.

Saipan Mayor Ramon “RB” Camacho and over 80 SMO staff, including all administrative and office personnel, field operations, Street Naming and Numbering Division, Dog Control Program, and others, sat down in the morning or afternoon training session to either refresh or learn about the do’s and don’ts as a government employee through the OPA’s Ethics presentation.

The OPA presentation was led by OPA’s legal counsel Ashley Kost.

Camacho later said in an interview that ethics “is not new to me. I had this training during my time in law enforcement. So, since I’m the new mayor and I deal with a large [number] of employees, this is the first thing that I prioritized, which is for them to undergo this training” as a sort of reminder about the do’s and don’ts of being a government employee.”

“I like this. This [was] a good workshop and I hope that this training goes to other [government] agencies so that we can prevent corruption or future corruption. Employees need to be educated on this subject,” said Camacho.

The presentation outlined, defined, and gave examples of acceptable and unacceptable behavior and scenarios presented upon government employees.

The topics in the presentation included political activity that is not allowed, gifts and gratuities, filing statements of financial interests, prohibited acts, and conflicts of interests.

Political activity that is not allowed in government offices during government time includes use of public funds, personnel, or equipment for political purposes, campaign for any candidate, and solicitation for political contributions.

On the topic of gifts and gratuities, it stated that acceptance of a gift by a public official or public employee from persons, other than from a spouse, children or specific relatives, is unethical and not allowed. In serving the public interest, both public officials and public employees are expected to be free from the influence of private or business interests.

Topic of filing statements stated that certain government officials and employees are required to file verified Financial Disclosure Statements in order to disclose any possible conflict of interest in the performance of their official duties.

And the topic of prohibited acts and conflicts of interest stated that a conflict occurs when an official’s responsibilities, duties, or activities conflict with the officials’ private interests, whether they are of a business, family, social, or other nature. Examples are use of government office or staff for private purposes, use of public position to obtain private benefits, use of public position to obtain benefits for social acquaintances, or participation in contract discussions where a conflict of interest is present.

To learn more about the Government Ethics Code, visit

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at

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