Ethics and Values in Public Service

Ethics is the branch of philosophy that deals with issues of right and wrong in human affairs Ethics refers to well-based standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of duties, principles, specifc virtues, or benefts to society. which can better be stated as:-

  1. Duties: Te behaviors expected of persons who occupy certain roles; that is, the obligations taken on when assuming a role or profession
  2. Virtues: Qualities that defne what a good person is; moral excellence
  3. Principles: Fundamental truths that form the basis for behavior; “kinds of action that are right or obligatory”
  4. Benefts to society: Actions that produce the greatest good for the greatest number

Administrative ethics implies applying general moral rules to specific sphere of human relations, that is to say administrative relations. Some of the most important areas of applied ethics today concern the ethics of administration. In spite of the fact that public administration is very old institution, administrative ethics is still undeveloped and it longs for specific moral rules that cover maybe the most important area of human relations – administrative relations.Public administration is a part of our daily life and to a large extent governs it. The administrative apparatus consist of people who are also members of the local community (communities). Citizens and public officials, who have access to power, have to coexist together in one area, one space. The difference between them is that public administration officials have to provide services in aid of community. Because of this work, based on public money and property the possibility of betraying public trust is probable. There is no simplest thing, than spending someone‟s money, even if we do not get direct profits. Ethical behavior and decisions maintaining citizens‟ trust, ensure effective and efficient use of resources, and allow government to preserve individual rights while assisting those who will benefit the most.

Determinents of Ethics and Human Action

  1. Honesty: To act in a truthful manner and to comply with promises
  2. Integrity: To act in accordance with relevant moral values and norms
  3. Benevolence: To act in a manner that promotes good and avoids harm for citizens
  4. Lawfulness: To act in accordance with existing laws and rules
  5. Incorruptibility: To act without prejudice or bias in favor of one‟s own private interests
  6. Accountability: To act willingly in justifying and explaining one‟s actions to relevant stakeholders
  7. Dedication: To act with diligence, enthusiasm, and perseverance
  8. Reliability: To act in a manner that is consistent, predictable, and trustworthy
  9. Serviceability: To act in a manner that is helpful and provides quality service to citizens, customers, and other relevant stakeholders
  10. Effectiveness: To act in a manner that best achieves the desired results
  11. Humaneness: To act in a manner that exhibits respect, compassion, and dignity toward others
  12. Expertise: To act with competence, skill, and knowledge
  13. Impartiality: To act without prejudice or bias toward particular individuals or groups


Essense of of Ethics and Human Action :-

 Ethical standards for public service should be clear.

 Ethical standards should be reproduced in the legal framework.

 Ethical supervision should be available to public servants.

 Public servants should know their rights and obligations when exposing wrongdoing.

 Political commitment to ethics should reinforce the ethical conduct of public servants.

 The decision -making process should be transparent and open to scrutiny.

 There should be clear guidelines for interaction between the public and private sectors.

 Managers should demonstrate and promote ethical conduct.

 Management policies, procedures and practices should promote ethical conduct.

 Public service conditions and management of human resources should promote ethical conduct.

 Adequate accountability mechanisms should be in place within the public service.

 Appropriate procedures and sanctions should exist to deal with misconduct.

Consequences of Ethics and Human Action

 Intensity of pleasure or pain :-Consequence of an action can be good or bad. How intense it is, makes the difference in the effect. E.g., eating a chocolate and eating bitter guard shows the difference in intensity. The duration :-The duration of pleasure or pain created by an action differs for stubbing one‟s toe and breaking one‟s toe.

 The certainty or uncertainty Consequences of an action can be certain or uncertain. E.g. jumping off from a higher building can cause a lot of pain to an individual than jumping onto a giant pillow from the same place.

 The Nearness or remoteness:- During the time of pleasure or pain nearness or remoteness effect follows an action. e.g. Pleasure of eating ice-cream is immediate, whereas the pleasure produced by winning a chess game is little more remote. They take a little longer to show up results.

 The fecundity Consequence of doing the action is either pleasurable or painful, but how likely the action is to be followed by more pleasure or more pain is an important question. The purity or impurity of pleasure or pain is the opposite of fecundity. This explains how likely the action is to be followed by the opposite feeling. For example, eating all the chocolate is very pleasurable at first, but it leads to a great deal of pain in the long run which creates a high level of impurity or a low level of purity.

 The extent of an action This refers to the wide effect of an action. Some actions can have an extent numbering in the millions, such as deciding whether to torture a terrorist for life-saving information.

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