CONCLUSIONS : Civil Service Ethics for UPSC Exams


CONCLUSIONS : Civil Service Ethics for UPSC Exams


7.1 Starting points

The starting points of the conclusions and proposals of the Working Group are, on the one hand, the results of the agency questionnaire, and on the other hand, an examination of the basis of our national systems with regard to the sub-areas of the 12-point OECD recommendation. This memorandum examines the elements of the ethics infrastructure, their realisation and emphasis in State administration in Finland as well as the development targets. In addition, the Working Group has familiarised itself with international development by studying the work of certain individual countries and the OECD, the European Union and the Council of Europe to promote high-level public sector ethics.

The changes of State administration and its operating environment require the status of civil service ethics to be evaluated in a new way. The operating environment has become more demanding and complex. Values and ethics are emphasised in a new way when developing the different activities of State administration including the sectors of management and personnel policy.

Civil service ethics and morals can be affected in many different ways. On the basis of the questionnaire of the Working Group examined above, the most effective means in order of importance were the following:

• Example of the management
• Displaying values, value discussion

These two means clearly stood out as the most important ones. The other effective means in order of importance were:

• Information
• Training
• Ethical rules/instructions

The effect of legislation was deemed slighter than that of the other means stated above.
The different factors affecting a good ethical operating environment strengthen and complement each other. Several of the elements of personnel policy are significant in strengthening and supporting ethically high-quality conduct. Skilled and motivated personnel is an essential prerequisite of the result-oriented and successful activity of an individual agency. The special features relating to a civil-service relationship as a form of service relationship provide the legislative basis of civil service ethics.

It is the responsibility of each agency and individual civil servant to promote high-level civil service ethics by means of practical measures in addition to fulfilling the requirements of result-orientation. As authority and operational freedom increase, so does responsibility. The differentiation of activities requires value discussions and the determination of values at agency level. This is not enough, however. Values have to be visible also in everyday practical activities both inside the agency and in relations with interest groups and citizens.

Personal responsibility for values and their realisation needs to be monitored. It is the duty of State administration at central level to support the agencies in i.a. the sectors of management and personnel policy so that they can acquire tools for their own continuous development work.

7.2 Development areas

7.2.1 Value discussion, determination of values

The result of the agency questionnaire study conducted by the Working Group indicated that the factors given as the values that form the basis of the civil service ethics of State administration are still appreciated. Legality, the service principle, expertise, impartiality, justice and openness were high among the most important values. After these followed result-orientation, which was, at the same time, deemed the most important value of the private sector.
The values determined by the agencies for their own activities differ from these values. This is natural because their starting point is the operations and aims of the agency in question. The values of the agencies have to complement and specify general values. They also have to be in harmony with common values. The situation can also be conceived so that common values form the foundation, on which the values of the agencies are built. Thus the common values form the basis for the more specific values of the agencies, which perform individual service or other activities.

Values may not remain as words only. Much more important than words on paper is the content which the organisation has wanted to give to them and which should be kept in mind by all civil servants. Values are present in all activities and the objective of their determination is to steer everyday activity. In an ideal situation, values can be used to find the correct solution. This can also be set as the aim: in situations uncertain from an ethical point of view, values steer towards the correct operating practice. An ability to advance so far requires persistent and determined work. Values have to be simple, clear in their interpretation and remembered by everyone in order for them to become real.

Values and result-orientation

When values are determined with regard to both internal (e.g. personnel policy) and external activities, they can be used to effect also result-orientation. Values and ethics are ways of promoting the performance of the actual tasks of the agency – e.g. taxation, police duties, higher education. The citizens have the right to expect agencies and civil servants to act in a result-oriented, effective and cost-efficient way. However, from the point of view of civil service ethics and morals, it is a question of ensuring that the activities also fulfil the requirements of high-level ethics without compromising the demands of result-orientation or effectiveness so that the citizens can rely on this. These two requirements are not contradictory, but they can be reconciled. In practice, this may be problematic, because it is not always possible to be aware of issues which require ethical choices.

In the steering relationship between a Ministry and an agency subordinate to it, also ethical issues can be paid attention to. For example, the development of an ethical code of behaviour and teaching it to the whole personnel may be set as a performance goal. The criteria for its realisation may be e.g. that, in the opinion of the personnel, the instructions and know-how are sufficient or that the issue is clarified by means of a customer questionnaire. These performance goals may be related to either personnel policy, customer service and products or even strategic issues relating for example to the operating culture and basic solutions of the agency.

It is the duty of the State Audit Office to audit the legality and appropriateness of the financial management of the State as well as compliance with the budget. These duties do not, as such, include ethical elements, which are involved with ethical audits in private enterprises.

The importance of the value process

Getting started requires a mutual value process involving the whole personnel. This is the only way to internalise the meaning and content of values – in simplified terms of individual words – from the point of view of everyone’s own work. If this does not take place, values will not have the impact that the real commitment of the personnel brings to operating practices and behaviour. In order to be functional, values have to be recognised and accepted by everyone.

The maintenance and improvement of high-level civil service ethics requires that the agencies launch their own value processes and implement in their operations the values provided by the results. The objective of the process is, on the one hand, to determine the values which are central from the point of view of the operations of each agency. The aim is also to incorporate the general values of State administration and the values of the agency itself into practical operations. In addition, the objective is to make the values a part of everyone’s individual work tasks and to acquire meaning for them in everyday work.

Values as part of practical operations

Commitment to values and ethical norms has to be apparent in the everyday management customs and practices of the organisation. When the values have been determined, they are incorporated also in the operating and personnel strategies of the agency. In addition, they can have an effect on the competitiveness and attraction of the State as an employer.

Values are also part of the communication between State agencies and organisations outside State administration – private undertakings and various associations. Different operating practices may increase uncertainty as to what is appropriate in the performance of official duties and what is not. What is possible in a private undertaking is not always appropriate in a State agency. On the other hand, the importance of values and ethics as prerequisites of successful operations has increased. They have become a competition factor. Some undertakings also set requirements for the ethical practices of their business partners. If these are not fulfilled, no business is carried on with that undertaking.

The organisations of State administration need to pay attention to these factors in their activities with third parties, for example, when subjecting operations to competitive bidding and when purchasing services. By trying to ensure the reliability of the undertaking in advance, one can act on a basis which also tolerates external evaluation. Operating practices which also every civil servant should be familiar with are thus created. This is the way to promote the internalisation of values.

Because of the increase in communication between State administration and the private sector, it must be ensured that operating procedures and practices fully comply with the requirements of impartiality, independence and equality imposed on civil-servant activities. These may not be compromised in any context nor may even an impression arise that would indicate deviating from them. Private undertakings and cooperation partners are not always aware of these issues. Agencies and civil servants should be aware of and pay special attention to this. If necessary, cooperation partners should be informed of the requirements relating to the actions of the authorities.

The same principles apply to activities in an international environment. International connections require that one is well informed of the cultures represented by the people that one is in contact with. Values and generally accepted good manners are not the same in different cultures. Therefore it is useful for civil servants in international duties to know the codes of conduct of a foreign culture. One also has to be aware of the practices which, from the Finnish point of view, are prohibited, such as corruption. In this way, one can recognise in one’s own actions the problems relating to different operating practices when they come up. Awareness does not require one’s own actions to be unethical, but helps to understand the conduct and practices of the other party.
Conscience is not a sufficient indicator when operating in one’s own culture nor in a foreign culture.

7.2.2 The clarity of norms, ethical instructions

Every civil servant should know what is expected of him. Factors promoting awareness include the clarity of norms, information on them and knowledge of their practical application. The special features of the status of civil servants are not self-evident especially to new civil servants irrespective of whether they are young people just entering working life or people who have worked for a long time outside State administration. Therefore the central employer and personnel policy unit and every organisation has to take responsibility for increasing awareness.

An individual civil servant will be faced with situations in which the correct code of conduct or practice is not clear in advance. There might be no detailed regulation or ethical guidelines. In the opinion of the Working Group, the necessity of an ethical instruction based on values and starting from the duties of one’s own organisation should be evaluated in connection with the value process. On the one hand, the instruction would clarify the realisation of the aims which are central for the agency. In addition, it could make the contents of good governance tangible in the activities of an individual agency.

The agencies could also develop a solution to ethical problems so that civil servants are provided an opportunity for ethical consultation in individual problem situations. Open discussion within the working community promotes the realisation of good objectives.

Practical aids in decision-making situations could include different questions to test ideas to evaluate the strength of a solution from an ethical point of view in advance. Questions as a tool in ethical decision-making is handled in literature relating to the topic (e.g. Tapio Aaltonen and Lari Junkkari: Yrityksen arvot & etiikka [The Values and Ethics of an Undertaking]). Decision-making is not always easy and clear and therefore it is worth to learn asking questions when looking for the right solutions. Questions can be asked from different angles. The questions may facilitate decision-making for example in situations where alternative solutions are not clearly right or wrong. There may also be situations where both of the alternatives can be either right or wrong depending on the point of view. The person making the decision has to be prepared to see that even a decision which does not feel comfortable may be right.

A list of questions of for example the following type may help before a decision is made (ibid. p. 283-284):


* Have I considered all the facts and analysed the situation sufficiently?
* Have I listened to both my reason and my feelings?
* Have I discussed the matter with others and been presented with points of view different from my own?
* Have I given the decision enough time to mature?
* Have I considered the consequences of the decision sufficiently and does the decision fulfil the requirements of justice and impartiality?
* Is the decision transparent so that I can openly present its grounds and the factors affecting it?
* Can I wake up feeling confident knowing that my decision will be discussed in the afternoon papers that day?
* Can I feel reasonably calm when I tell those involved about it?
* What is the combination of skill, expediency, imagination and courage that will help me to act in accordance with my own sense of justice?

In addition to the questions, when making a decision, one can imagine that there is a party - either an individual or an audience - present listening and looking.

Financial or other benefits offered by third parties

In public discussions, individual cases come up now and then where a civil servant is suspected of having accepted a bribe or some other inappropriate benefit. The subject of discussion is how the acceptance of the alleged benefit affects the credibility and reliability of the agency and civil servant in question. The question is whether the actions of the authorities have been performed in accordance with the public interest required or whether the civil servant has acquired a private benefit, which, in an extreme case, may even have influenced his official duties.
For such cases, there are no unambiguous provisions or instructions which apply to the whole civil servant body. The legislative basis is factually clear, but because of the nature of the issue, it is broad with regard to practical situations. The provisions provide a possibility to interpret them taking into account the values and moral requirements of society.

For example, according to the State Civil Servants’ Act a civil servant may not demand, accept or receive any financial or other benefit if this may reduce confidence in him or in an authority (State Civil Servants’ Act, section 15). A civil servant may, under the Penal Code, be sentenced to a punishment for acceptance of a bribe, ”if he for his actions while in service, for himself or for another, takes a gift or other benefit which influences, which is intended to influence, or which is conducive to influencing him in the said actions”. The offence may be deemed aggravated if the gift or benefit is of significant value. The acceptance of a financial or other benefit may also be punishable on the basis of the provisions on the violation of official duties.

There are no provisions or instructions in Finland for evaluating the value of a prohibited benefit. The criterion for evaluation is whether the demanding, accepting or taking of the benefit weakens confidence. In this evaluation, one has to consider the position of the civil servant in question in the organisation and his duties and, on the other hand, the kind and recurrence of the benefit in question as well as the other factors and circumstances surrounding the act. On the basis of the financial value of the benefit alone, it is not possible to conclude whether it is a benefit weakening confidence. Confidence may be weakened even though the financial or other benefit does not actually affect official duties if, when considered objectively, it could affect them.

The Ministry of Finance has issued an instruction in 1983 on official trips paid for by third parties. According to it, the activities of the agency are planned so that official trips can be made with the appropriations of the budget of the agency itself. This is a clear rule. According to the instruction, accepting a trip financed with other than State funds is possible only if the procedure does not endanger the impartiality, independence and equality of administration. In practice it may be difficult to draw boundaries on these grounds, and the leading principle should be that agencies themselves finance the necessary trips of their civil servants in contacts with parties outside State administration.

There is some judicial practice relating to cases of bribery of civil servants. For example, in the following case, the civil servant was sentenced for acceptance of a bribe and a bribery violation to a fine. The Ministry had issued the appropriate travel order to the civil servant.

Due to his position, the Director-General of the Ministry of Education had the opportunity to influence the State subsidies of sport organisations, which were being prepared in his department. He had participated in trips to sports events abroad which had been paid for by a sport federation receiving a State subsidy and belonging to a sport organisation and by a company owned by an association supporting this sport federation. He was found guilty of accepting a bribe and of a bribery violation, punishment 100 day-fines. (SC 1997:33).

In the case of the sentence imposed by the Supreme Court on 24 March 2000, the question was whether the members of the Water Rights Court, in the circumstances evidenced in the decision of the Supreme Court, were guilty of negligent violation of official duties when they accepted entertainment provided by a power company.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman had in 1997 ordered charges to be brought relating to the entertainment accepted by the members and presenters of the Water Rights Appeal Court and the Water Rights Court of North Finland. According to the preliminary investigation, they had participated in a total of almost 30 different events in which the company had offered them entertainment. The purpose of the entertainment events had often been either to give information on or to negotiate on issues relating to permissions pending or being prepared. Entertainment had been offered also in connection with visits to water construction sites and during events which can mainly be described as public relations. The chairman of the Water Rights Court, A, and his wife had, for example, participated in the so-called celebration skiing event arranged in honour of the retirement of the managing director of the company, which included accommodation and entertainment paid for by the company. The charges brought by the State Prosecutor in the Helsinki Court of Appeal applied to A and two members of the Water Rights Court, B and C. –

The Court of Appeal sentenced A for negligent violation of official duties to 20 day-fines and B and C to a warning (after a vote).

The Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeal i.a. that the prohibition of the Civil Servants’ Act to accept financial or other benefit weakening confidence also applies to the holidays or leisure time of a civil servant and that, according to chapter 40, section 11 of the Penal Code, the sentencing to a punishment does not require the existence of a detrimental and harmful effect. As far as the skiing trip was concerned, the Supreme Court found that confidence in a civil servant or an authority may also be weakened by the fact that the spouse of a civil servant or another person close to him is given a benefit on the basis of the office of the civil servant. Section 15 of the State Civil Servants Act and section 21 of the former Civil Servants’ Act may thus be applied also to benefits given to the spouse of a civil servant. In the case at hand, the benefits given to the spouse of A have clearly been prohibited benefits. The Supreme Court found that, in his actions, A had in this case been guilty of negligent violation of his official duties.

The Supreme Court stated the following on sentencing: When evaluating the reprehensible nature of the actions of A, B and C, one should note that as the chief judge higher requirements should be imposed on A than on B and C. The chairman, in particular, has a heavy responsibility to arrange the operations of the court in an appropriate manner. Thus the chairman cannot justifiably invoke the entertainment practice prevailing in the field as a mitigating circumstance. Taking into consideration the fact that the act A has been found guilty of consists of several incidents and the nature of the actions as a whole, conviction and sentencing cannot be waived. However, the imposition of a fine on A is severe considering that the entertainment practice has apparently been formed in the course of time and has been so extensive that even for practical reasons it has lead to the waiving of charges in the case of several judges and civil servants in almost corresponding situations. Thus the realisation of the principle of equality in this situation favours a lenient punishment practice also in the case of A. Therefore the Supreme Court feels that a warning is a sufficient sanction for A. On the other hand, the negligent violation of official duties which B and C have been found guilty of, should, taking into consideration the minor nature of the entertainment as well as the said practice, and also taking into consideration their positions as rank-and-file members of the court, be deemed pardonable in the circumstances. Thus punishment and sentencing shall be waived in their case. – The Supreme Court amended the decision of the Court of Appeal and dismissed one of the charges directed at A, one directed at B and two directed at C. A was sentenced for negligent violation of official duties on 21.- 23.4., 31.8. and 1.9.1994, 26.- 27.6.1995 as well as on 12. and 13.6.1996 to a warning. (Vote; SC:2000:40).

The question of accepting benefits offered by third parties often relates to ethical values, to what is deemed right and wrong, appropriate or inappropriate for a civil servant from time to time. The provisions provide a minimum level and allow different interpretations as society develops. It is obvious that a more and more extensive interaction between civil servants and other parties, e.g. different organisations and the private sector, has become a part of both domestic and international activities. The questions of compliance with different practices arising in connection with interaction have to be discussed both at central level and agency-specifically, where necessary. The questions which have to be discussed include i.a. why does a party outside State administration pay for official trips or other benefits, what is their value, can they influence impartiality in the performance of official duties, are they recurrent, will the civil servant remain under a debt of gratitude, what does the third party expect of the authority, is it a question of a competitive position, etc. At the same time, one has to remember that polite social relations include moderate hospitality on both sides.

7.2.3 The need to amend legislation

Legislation forms an essential part of the ethics infrastructure. Legislation pertaining to State administration and the civil servants sets the minimum requirements for the actions of the authorities and the conduct of civil servants. There is a danger that very detailed regulation may form a temptation to look for ways of circumventing them. The activities may fulfil the requirements of the letter of the law, but they are still not ethically acceptable.

In the opinion of the Working Group, the general level of Finnish legislation meets the requirements to ensure high-level civil service ethics. No actual shortcomings have emerged and it is estimated that more detailed regulation cannot, as such, improve the present situation. Legislation may need the support of clarifying instructions in cases where detailed ethical points of view need to be considered in problematic cases.

Clear and uniform compliance with the provisions on ancillary jobs, external interests and competing activities, etc. ensures sufficient openness and supervision of the conduct of civil servants. Also activities outside one’s official duties as well as post-employment activities are significant when evaluating the ethical conduct of a civil servant.

In international comparison, Finland differs from several other OECD countries and European Union Member States in that we do not have provisions or codes of conduct for a civil servant transferring from State administration to employment within the private sector. Problems relating to these transfers have been discussed also in public during the work of the Working Group in summer 1999 when European Union Commissioner Martin Bangemann, responsible for competition issues, announced that he was transferring into the employment of a company called Telefonica. What raised discussion was the fact that in his duties as Commissioner, Mr. Bangemann had acquired extensive information on undertakings within his own area of responsibility and on their operations. His intention to transfer into the employment of a company operating in a competition position raised the question of the utilisation of information received in official duties and included within the scope of business secrecy in favour of one’s own undertaking in an unjustified way. There were no provisions on transfer restrictions in the European Union. At that time, also the state of Finnish legislation and the need to amend it in this respect was raised.

According to a study completed in the OECD, there are valid transfer restrictions in a total of 16 of 29 member countries. The restrictions may have an affect on the contents of official duties prior to the transfer and the contents of the new duties for a maximum of two years after transfer. The restrictions are also included in the model regulations relating to conduct being prepared by the Council of Europe.

The Working Group has not been able to study the issue in more detail within the framework of its mandate and schedule, but considers the issue to be of importance because of the related ethical questions.

The Working Group deems that the issue of regulating the transition period of civil servants is important and requires separate preparation in the Ministry of Finance.

7.2.4 Management, the example of the managers

Management includes both the steering and management of activities and leadership and personnel management. The sectors of management are emphasised differently in different management tasks depending on the duties and level of the organisation of the agency. Leadership ability evidenced in practice is a qualification requirement for top offices in State administration. The qualifications required of the managers of State administration have clearly increased and become more diversified in the last decade. Personnel leadership in particular has a central role in the development of management.

In many ways, the work of the managers of State administration is no different from management in the private sector. The main differences relate to the values and starting points of State administration, which form the framework of the actions of the authorities. However, civil service ethics is very important especially in the actions of managers, because they influence the operating guidelines and practices the most. In addition, the managers set a standard for the personnel with their own conduct.

As the result of the agency questionnaire indicates, the conduct of managers and superiors – the example of the managers – plays a key role in promoting ethical conduct. It is clear that personnel cannot be expected to commit to the values and good objectives of the organisation if the managers themselves do not seem to act accordingly. Conduct contradictory to the values is noticed and the motivation and desire of the personnel to act in the interests of the common good decreases if the superiors set an opposite example. The managers and senior civil servants are also responsible to ensure that the agency fulfils its obligations as an employer provided for by the law. These obligations, defined in the law at a rather general level, are given their concrete contents in the operating guidelines of the agency itself and in the ways they are implemented in practice.

The example of the management and the practical implementation of values is connected to evaluating how the aims are achieved in practice. When the managers are evaluated, also their conduct in accordance with the values of the organisation can be evaluated. The managers have a key role here, because by acting in accordance with the values themselves they can promote the rooting of the values in the organisation.
A general measure aiming at good personnel policy and at the same time at ensuring high-level civil service ethics, is creating a culture based on discussion in the working community. Open discussion offering both the organisation and the individuals the possibility continuously to evaluate and review their activities, promotes awareness of issues affecting the work.

The requirement of equal treatment of civil servants (State Civil Servants’ Act, section 11) means that a civil servant may not be placed in a different position to other persons because of his origin, citizenship, sex, religion, age or political or union activities or on another comparable basis. Equal treatment has to be evident also in practice. As a result, the personnel can feel that the activities of the employer are fair and they can rely on this. In practice these issues are evident e.g. in the allocation of tasks, career planning, appointments, the development of the personnel and in reactions to inappropriate conduct. This also means that the responsibility relating to management by performance extends to every civil servant.

The main obligations of a civil servant are the duty to work and the duty to act in a manner required by his position and duties. A civil servant has the duty to follow official orders, i.e., to follow the orders of his superiors and supervisors. Non-compliance with them is deemed misconduct in office. The level of conduct relating to the duty to act and required by the position and duties of the civil servant varies according to different civil servant groups and individual civil servants depending on their duties. This affects also management. The contents of the duty to act often have to be evaluated in situations involving the appropriateness of conduct from the point of view of citizens.

Good personnel policy also ensures that civil servants are aware of what is expected of them and that fulfilling one’s obligations is required of everyone equally. Similarly, managers and those in senior positions have to take responsibility to ensure that neglect or violation of duties causes an immediate reaction when the matter becomes known.

Management requires reactions and decision-making even in difficult situations. In the area of personnel policy these issues include i.a. reacting to the inappropriate conduct of a civil servant/employee (e.g. neglect of one’s duties, unauthorised absence) and the steering of persons with alcohol problems into care. Problems require fast measures so that they do not have time to expand and affect the operations of the working community more extensively. When a decision is made in an individual case, it is useful to have procedures determined inside the agency, which also the personnel are familiar with. Confidence in impartiality and justice increases when the personnel knows what is expected and when inappropriate conduct is reacted to in ways that everyone is aware of.

The most important measures relating to problem situations are discussions, a caution by a superior, a written warning and the termination and cancellation of a civil-service relationship. In order to ensure the reliability of activities, the application of the system of sanctions in accordance with civil servant legislation must be uniform and clear.

Civil servants should have access to steering and internal consultation assistance in problematic issues (e.g. together with the private sector or different organisations)It is advisable to organise this at agency level, for example as a part of the implementation of values.

7.2.5 Selection of civil servants

The appointment process to public offices is open and public. The use of discretion in making appointments, objective evaluation and making the appointments on the basis of qualifications are the leading principles that also define the use of discretion. In appointment procedure, uniform and transparent grounds and procedures are complied with so that the appointment process is as reliable as possible.

Especially in the appointment of the highest civil servants, it is important to take into account factors relating to good civil service ethics and to ensure the personal ability of the persons recruited to act in the manner required of a good civil servant. Since 1997, the general grounds for the appointment of the highest civil servants have included ethics and morals. It is, however, necessary to pay attention to these factors also in the appointment of other than the highest civil servants.
In practice, it is important to establish how the appointee views his future duties and how they fit in with his own values. This can be done in connection with the job interview by means of different practical tests or tasks, for example. Aptitude tests or the evaluation of leadership qualities can also include evaluations relating to values and ethics.

The reform of the appointment of the highest civil servants included developing the selection process so that it is more professional than previously. The aim was also to increase the openness of the procedure, which is an essential part of the process of appointment to public offices in Finland. To ensure a professional process, the following stages are important and their use is recommended in the selection of all civil servants:

* task analysis
* information on open position and tasks
* interviewing the best applicants (an outlined interview )
* the evaluation of aptitude and leadership qualities, where necessary
* an objective comparison of the professional skills of the applicants and the personal qualities required by the performance of the duties
* drawing up a justified appointment memorandum.

Appointees to the highest public offices (those referred to in section 26 of the State Civil Servants Act) are requested to notify their interests. All these stages ensure also the ethical level of the process of appointment to public offices.

7.2.6 Familiarisation

At the beginning of a civil-service relationship, there should always be a period during which the civil servant is familiarised with his new duties and the organisation. This applies to those starting in the first jobs of their careers and persons who come from outside State administration with even long-term experience of the operations of a private undertaking for example. What they have in common is that at the familiarisation stage it is extremely important to communicate the value basis of State administration, the principles steering operations and the rights and obligations relating to the status of a civil servant. The contents of the familiarisation training naturally include the basic principles and norms which the civil servants are expected to comply with in their work.

7.2.7 Development of the personnel

After the familiarisation stage, the aim of the regular development of the personnel is to maintain and further develop the professional skills of the civil servant. The general guidelines of personnel and training policies should include values and ethical conduct. Also the civil servant himself has to take responsibility for maintaining his own knowhow. With training, it is possible to improve the awareness of civil servants and their ability to examine alternative solutions and to make also ethically sustainable decisions. In the continuous development of a civil servant one should emphasise his individual readiness to make decisions and to conduct himself in accordance with the values.

Developing expert and leadership potential is part of the development of personnel. Developing potential and career planning also relate to values and ethics. They can be seen as part of the internalisation of values and compliance with personnel policy in accordance with the values. By developing these, one can affect the commitment of individuals to the values of the organisation and thus promote the realisation of high-level civil service ethics in the agency.

However, civil service ethics should not be seen as a separate subject area, but as an integral part of all civil-servant training. With the help of training, it is possible to coach civil servants to become aware of the significance of ethical issues in their own work. This requires concrete exercises, in which the person is required to take a stand on the operating procedure that he himself would choose in the given situation. The discussions relating to the exercises and the grounds presented have an important role in the entity. New training methods need to be examined and introduced.

7.2.8 Performance and framework discussions

Framework discussions between a superior and a subordinate, which are part of management by performance, are a good tool also as a forum for an examination of ethical conduct. In the discussions, attention can also be paid to the way in which the values have been implemented in practice. In these discussions, factors promoting ethical conduct and the exemplary activity of the person can be taken up as well as any issues which still need to be developed. Individual feedback promotes the rooting of good operating practices in the working community.

In accordance with the development guidelines of personnel and employer policies, also issues relating to personnel policy, such as the working ability and work satisfaction of the personnel, should be set as the performance goals and evaluation criteria of management and the work of superiors.

7.3 Previously suggested and on-going development measures

The Familiarisation Project

The Personnel Department of the Ministry of Finance appointed a Working Group on 1 October 1999 to prepare a familiarisation programme for civil servants recruited to the State. The basis for this is maintaining the competitiveness of the State with regard to the young, trained work force entering the employment markets.

The aim of the Working Group is to develop familiarisation practices for those taking up presenter or expert tasks. In addition to the familiarisation of one’s own duties, the aim is to give the new-comer also a more extensive understanding of the working processes of the whole agency and the social significance of its duties. For this reason, the familiarisation programme should include training in the special features of the status of a civil servant and administrative procedure as well as familiarisation with the other units of the agency and/or outside organisations closely related to the operations of the agency by means of short working periods.
The familiarisation programme will be planned and implemented in the year 2000. The Working Group has to draw up its report on the results by 28 February 2001.

The Potential Development Project

The aim of the Potential Development Project, which was appointed by the Personnel Department of the Ministry of Finance on 15 December 1997, was to call attention to systematic training in superior and expert tasks and to consider potential in State administration in general. The aim of the project was also to further the opportunities of women to increase their skills in connection with training in leadership and expert tasks. The aim was, in particular, to develop operating procedures and a selection of means on the basis of the experiences of individual agencies to foster leadership and expert potential and their application also more extensively in State administration.

The final report of the Working Group "Tulevaisuuden johtajat ja asiantuntijat" [The leaders and experts of the future] (Ministry of Finance Working Group Memorandum 22/99) was completed in October 1999.

The final report of the Potential Working Group states that State administration has to be able to ensure the recruitment and keeping of qualified personnel also in the future. Challenging tasks and developing career prospects are important in this context. In order to ensure their functionality and to maintain competitiveness, the organisations of State administration have to consider the development of their future leadership and expert resources. Fostering potential is part of personnel strategy. From the point of view of the individual, it can be called a career path, the plans and valuations relating to the working career of the individual. It must be possible to combine these with the needs of the organisation as well as possible.
The Project for the Development of Management

The aim of the project appointed by the Personnel Department of the Ministry of Finance in November 1997 was to support and strengthen the responsible work of superiors and leadership and to develop their evaluation. The final report of the project was completed on 25 November 1999 (Working Group Memorandum of the Ministry of Finance 24/99).

The report of the Working Groups states i.a. the following:

”The reports of the agencies often mention values, missions, visions, aims and goals, agreement on them, their review and their adaptation to the environment. These approaches ensure that development corresponds to the needs arising from the strategies and operations of the organisation.
In many cases, the development of the management systems of the agencies included the launching and maintaining of a value discussion, agreements on values with the personnel and the rooting of values in the operations of the organisation. The central principle has been that the entire personnel has a chance to participate in the value process and that everyone can feel that the values are his own.”

The report also states that performance and development discussions have been selected by the agencies participating in the project as one of the central measures and development targets of personnel management. As far the success of discussions is concerned, mutual preparation, motivation and the authenticity of the situation seem to be essentially important. The Working Group suggests in its report that joint seminars on these subject areas be arranged with the Ethics Project and the Potential Development Project. The seminars will be open so that also persons not participating in the projects will be invited to them.

The Working Group on Sponsorship

The Working Group appointed by the Ministry of Finance has studied private financing granted to State agencies and institutions, i.e., so-called sponsoring. The term of the Working Group was 23 April 1999 – 31 March 2000. The basis of the appointment of the Working Group on Sponsorship was the fact that parallel to the actual activities of State agencies and institutions financed by the budget and the activities financed by the income from activities subject to a fee, a form of financing has been created in which the financing is supplied e.g. by undertakings. In practice, the undertakings have acquired visibility (an advertising edge) for a fee by participating in the financing of the activities of the agency.

The Working Group was given the following tasks:

• to clarify the sponsoring of the activities of State agencies and institutions at present and the operational practices used
• to evaluate the significance and acceptability of sponsoring as part of the financing of the activities of agencies and institutions as well as the possibilities to increase this private financing
• to outline the principles and practices to be applied to sponsoring agreements and to the financial management of agencies and institutions regarding sponsoring
• to evaluate the possible need to development legislation and instructions on the basis of the above, and
• to present the necessary legislative proposals and to make other proposals.

The suggestions of the Sponsoring Working Group are not available at the time of writing this.

Instructions on ancillary jobs

The Personnel Department of the Ministry of Finance is preparing a letter on ancillary jobs to agencies and institutions. The objective is to draw the attention of agencies and civil servants to the provisions of the State Civil Servants’ Act on ancillary jobs and the evaluation of the permissibility of ancillary jobs.

7.4 Suggestions for further measures

On the basis of the study presented above, the Working Group proposes the following further measures to promote high-level civil service ethics in State administration.

1. Values and monitoring them

General values forming the basis of civil service ethics and their development are monitored in a centralised way. The monitoring can be included in the evaluation and monitoring of State employer and personnel policies taking into account the proposals made by the Working Group of the Evaluation Project of the Effectiveness of State Employer and Personnel Policies in its report (Ministry of Finance Working Group Memorandum 18/98).

2. Training, information

• The Ministry of Finance will prepare a publication compiling the values that form the basis of the civil service ethics of State administration and their significance as well as a short account of the most important norms and instructions relating to the status of a civil servant and the conduct required of him.
The publication will be distributed to new-comers and it can be used in familiarisation and other personnel training. It will also be published in the Internet so that it is available to all civil servants.

• Similar material will be prepared also for citizens using information channels to be specified in further work.
• Ways of incorporating civil service ethics in management and other personnel training will be studied.

3. Values as part of practical activities – appointment of a pilot project

The Ministry of Finance will appoint a project with the objective of providing practical models for the determining of values and their incorporation in the practical activities of the agencies. The aim is to make the values common to the agency and part of their everyday activities. The project will be implemented as a so-called pilot project. A report will be drawn up of the work and the other agencies will be informed of the experiences.

The project should give answers/results in the following areas:

• How values are defined
• What these values are
• How the personnel participates in determining the values
• How the example of the management is taken into account
• How values ”become part of everyday life” so that every civil servant can internalise them
• How the realisation of values is evaluated annually
• How each civil servant has implemented the values in practice
• Ethical instructions supporting the value process (the pilot agency will draw up ethical instructions)

4. International activity

The Personnel Department of the Ministry of Finance will continue to participate in international work to promote high-level civil service ethics.
As part of this work, this report will be translated into English and sent to the OECD.
In Nordic cooperation, discussions will be held on the state of civil service ethics and on practical measures.

5. Seminars

The Ministry of Finance will arrange a series of seminars on values and ethics for the representatives of the management of the agencies. The series will be arranged in cooperation with the Project for the Development of Management and the Potential Development Project.
As part of the development of management, the aim of the seminars will be to awaken discussion on civil service ethics and to give information on projects relating to the development of management and to indicate directions for continuous development.

6. Post-employment restrictions in State administration

The Working Group feels that the issue of regulating the transfer period of civil servants is important and requires separate preparation in the Ministry of Finance.

7. Continuous cooperation between the Ministry of Finance and personnel organisations

Civil service ethics is discussed in contacts between the Ministry of Finance and State personnel organisations as deemed appropriate.


Aaltonen, Tapio - Junkkari, Lari: Yrityksen arvot & etiikka. Juva 1999.

Bruun Niklas, Mäenpää Olli, Tuori Kaarlo: Virkamiesten oikeusasema, Keuruu 1995

Essäer om etik i arbetslivet. Civilekonomerna. Stockholm 1996.

Ethics in the Public Service. Current Issues and Practice. OECD, PUMA 1996.

Hallinto muuttuu, muuttuuko virkamiesetiikka? Valtionhallinnon virkamiesetiikka julkisen keskustelun, hallinnon kehittämisen ja kansainvälisen vertailun näkökulmasta. Moilanen Timo, Helsinki. Ministry of Finance. Public Management Department, 1999.

Henkilöstöpolitiikan uusi tuleminen. Valtion työnantaja- ja henkilöstöpolitiikan arviointihankkeen raportti, Helsinki. Ministry of Finance. Työmarkkinalaitos, 1998.
Henkilöstöpolitiikka puntarissa. Valtion työnantaja- ja henkilöstöpolitiikan vaikuttavuuden arviointihankkeen loppuraportti, Helsinki. Ministry of Finance, Personnel Department, 1998.

Isaksson Paavo: Korruptio ja julkinen valta
Yhteiskuntatieteiden tutkimuslaitos. Tampere University 15/1997

Kulla Heikki: Hallintomenettelyn perusteet. Jyväskylä 1999.

Johtamisen kehittämishanke. Johtoryhmän loppuraportti, Helsinki. Ministry of Finance, Personnel Department 1999.

Johtamisen kehittämishanke. Virastojen loppuraportit, Helsinki. Ministry of Finance, Personnel Department, 1999

High-quality Services, Good governance and a Responsible Civic Society – guidelines of the policy of governance. Government Resolution, Helsinki. Oy Edita Ab, 1998.

Miten johtaja valitaan ja valitsee? A manual drawn up to assist in the appointment of civil servants. Edita Helsinki 1998.

Myyry, Liisa (toim.): Ammattietiikka yliopistoissa: eväitä työelämään. Ammattieettisen opetuksen kartoittamis- ja kehittämisprojektin loppuraportti. Tyylipaino, Helsinki 1999.

Mäenpää, Olli: Hallinto-oikeus. Juva 1997.

Nikku, Nina: Den gode tjänstemannen. Motala 1998.

Tulevaisuuden johtajat ja asiantuntijat. Kehittämishankkeen loppuraportti. Ministry of Finance, Personnel Department, 1999

VALPAS - valtion palkkaseurantatyöryhmän loppuraportti, Helsinki. Ministry of Finance, Personnel Department, 1999.

Valtion henkilöstövoimavarojen mitoittaminen. Työryhmän esiselvitys, Helsinki. Ministry of Finance, Personnel Department, 1999

Valtionhallinnon arviointityöryhmän loppuraportti, Helsinki. Ministry of Finance, Public Management Department, 1999

Government Resolution on the reform of the appointment qualifications and methods of top civil servants 6.2.1997 (VM2/22/97)
Viljanen, Pekka: Virkarikokset ja julkisyhteisön työntekijän rikokset. Jyväskylä 1990.


Further information on the implementation of the questionnaire and research ethics

The targets of the questionnaire were the top management of the agencies and institu-tions of central State administration and personnel representatives. The draft of the ques-tionnaire was drawn up by researcher Timo Moilanen, and the members of the Working Group commented on it at several meetings. The aim has been to draw up the form so that its results can be compared with the results of previous questionnaires as well as possible in order to notice any changes. Prior to the actual compilation of the data, the functionality of the form was tested by asking five persons outside the project group to answer the questions and to comment on the form. On the basis of the feedback received, the final questions were formulated.

Research ethics

In addition to the number of internal copies distributed in the agency, the person who an-swered was also asked to give his name and organisation as background information. The reason for this had not been justified separately in the questionnaire or the appended let-ter, which surprised some of those who answered. Asking personal data was necessary because the form was distributed inside the agency. Without information on the person who answered, it would have been impossible, or at leas very impractical, to send any possible return requests. It would have been necessary to re-send the form to everyone, although some had already returned the form within the period given.

Many questionnaire studies maintain a list of those who have answered, because, on the one hand, this enables return requests to be sent to those who have not answered and, on the other hand, to evaluate distortions caused by non-answering. This is generally done by means of a series of numbers on the form. Asking for the identity of the person who answers in the answer form does not endanger the confidentiality promised (the answers of individual people may not become public). After all, most interviews are based on confidentiality even though the researcher knows what has been said and by whom. In the case of a questionnaire, the situation is clearly more sensitive: it is more difficult to build trust because the person submitting the information does not meet the researcher face to face. From the point of view of the professional ethics of the researcher, the situa-tion does not differ in any way, however: facts which have been agreed as confidential will remain confidential.

In the ethics project the confidentiality of the answers has been ensured in two ways. Firstly, the questionnaire forms have been returned directly to the expert of the project, who has handled their registration. Recording the answers in the observation matrix of the statistics programme has been the responsibility of the research assistant of the Ethics Project. The answer forms have never been available to a third party. Secondly, it is im-portant to know that the name of the person who answered is not recorded in the observa-tion matrix. The name has no relevance from the point of view of the analysis of the data, it is only needed to send possible return requests. The answer forms themselves will be destroyed appropriately after the data have been recorded.

The answers

A total of 647 answers were returned, with the following distribution: 172 from heads of agencies (26.6%), 287 from other top management (44.4%) and 173 from personnel rep-resentatives (26.7%)1. The total size of the sample cannot be determined exactly, because the forms were distributed inside the agencies. With the help of the information received from the field regarding the distribution of the forms, the computed return percentage of the agencies who returned the forms can be calculated, which was 70.2%. A total of 19.6% of those who answered were women and 57.7% were men (in 22.7% of the cases the sex of the person who answered was not apparent from the form). According to the level of education, those who answered were divided as follows: almost two-thirds of those who answered had a higher university degree (61.8%) and less than one third a higher degree (22.6% were doctors, 6.7% licentiates) while the rest were divided between those with college-level degrees (3.8%) and others (5.1%). The most usual educational backgrounds were law (21.6%), natural history or technical training (21.3%) and political or social science (12.3%). The largest single age group was the 50-59-year-olds (45.7%), who were followed by the 40-49 –year-olds (25.0%), and the over 60-year-olds (10.0%) while those under 40 formed the smallest group (4.9%). Data on age were missing from 14.2% of the forms.

2. The table below lists a number of values usually considered significant in the handling of public tasks. The values are emphasised slightly differently in different countries and in different times. Many of the values in the table are evident inter alia in the personnel strategy of the State, the pol-icy decisions of the Council of State and in public debate. The following questions (3-6) aim at finding values that are of central significance in your opinion.

1) Collegiality: acting loyally and displaying solidarity towards fellow workers
2) Expertise: acting on the basis of competence and expertise
3) the service principle: acting with respect towards citizens and helping them
4) effectiveness: acting so that the goals are achieved with minimum costs
5) honesty: acting truthfully and keeping promises given
6) loyalty: acting in accordance with the instructions and decisions of superiors
7) impartiality: acting free from outside influence, independent of interest groups
8) integrity: acting with integrity, committed to one’s official tasks
9) openness: acting openly and transparently without secrecy
10) result-orientation: acting efficiently and economically
11) legality: acting in compliance with existing laws, regulations and instructions
12) commitment: performing one’s tasks zealously and diligently
13) justice: acting in accordance with the general idea of justice and equality
14) other, what:________________________________________________________

3. Which of the values in the table are the most important for State administration on a general level? Circle at most five numbers below indicating the most central values.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

4. Which of the values in the table are the most important from the point of view of the operations of your own agency? Circle at most five numbers below indicating the most central values.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

5. Which of the values in the table are the most important for the operations of the private sector on a general level? Circle at most five numbers below indicating the most central values.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

6. How well does the practical operation of State administration correspond to the ideal values re-ferred to above?

* very well
* fairly well
* hard to say
* fairly poorly
* very poorly

7. Is there a need to discuss values and the principles of good governance in your agency?

* yes, a lot
* yes, some need
* hard to say
* hardly at all
* not at all

8. Has your agency had a discussion about values?

• Among management * a lot * somewhat * hard to say * fairly little * not at all
• The personnel at large * a lot * somewhat * hard to say * fairly little * not at all

9. Does your agency have fora or procedures suitable for a value discussion?

* no
* cannot say
* yes, what ___________________

II Principles of civil service ethics and discussion about them

10. Are the central principles of civil service ethics clear, i.e., do the civil servants know everything that the handling of public tasks requires of them (administration in general)?

* fully clear
* sufficiently clear
* hard to say
* fairly unclear
* fully unclear

11. Does the personnel employed by the State have a uniform idea of ethically correct procedures?

* very uniform
* fairly uniform
* fairly diffuse
* fully diffuse, varies according to the person
* hard to say

12. Are issues relating to civil service ethics discussed at your agency?

* very much (weekly)
* fairly much (monthly)
* hard to say
* fairly seldom (once a year)
* very little (never)

13. Is there a more general need in society to discuss civil service ethics?

* very much
* fairly much
* hard to say
* fairly little
* not at all

14. Have values or other issues relating to civil service ethics been taken into account in the action strategy, personnel strategy or other personnel development programme of your agency?

* yes, explicitly (send a copy of the programme with your answer)
* yes, but it is built into the programme
* no, but a project thereon is pending
* no

15. Many professions like lawyers and journalists have their own code of ethics. In the case of civil servants, civil service ethics is supported by several provisions of the Civil Servant Act, the Ad-ministrative Procedure Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities as well as e.g. the rules of public procurement. Do you see a need or a possibility to draft separate written rules concerning all the civil service (so-called codes of ethics)?

* yes, the rules would be very necessary to guide the operations
* yes, the rules could be useful
* hard to say
* no. No rules are needed
* no, the rules would only hamper operations

III Ethically problematic situations and procedures

16. In what situations do you encounter ethically problematic situations? Circle the correct alternative.

1) all the time 2) sometimes 3) hard to say 4) seldom 5) never

• In the interaction and co-operation between the public and the private sectors... 1 2 3 4 5
• In work between different public-sector agencies………………………………1 2 3 4 5
• In internal work within my own agency………………………………………...1 2 3 4 5
• When working with political leadership……………………………………...... 1 2 3 4 5
• In personnel management…………………………………………………….....1 2 3 4 5
• In customer relationships……………………………………………………......1 2 3 4 5
• In public procurement (goods purchases, consultancy agreements)…………..... 1 2 3 4 5
• In personnel and labour-market policy ………………………………………....1 2 3 4 5
• In other issues, what ____________________________________ ………....... 1 2 3 4 5

17. How general are administrative practices that are to be considered unethical?

Generality: 1) weekly 2) monthly 3) hard to say 4) once or twice a year 5) never

1) favouring friends ……………………………………………………............. 1 2 3 4 5
2) use of excessively difficult official language………………………………..1 2 3 4 5
3) accepting economic benefits (bribery) …………….…………......................1 2 3 4 5
4) political discrimination……………………………………………………....1 2 3 4 5
5) influencing the handling of a matter despite one’s disqualification ……......1 2 3 4 5
6) sexual discrimination ………………………………………..….................... 1 2 3 4 5
7) decision-making without proper preparation ………………………….......... 1 2 3 4 5
8) withholding information………………………………………………..….... 1 2 3 4 5
9) unnecessary delaying of a matter………………………………………........1 2 3 4 5
10) identification with an interest group ……………………………………....... 1 2 3 4 5
11) reluctance for changes …………………………………………………..…. . 1 2 3 4 5
12) sexual harassment at the work place…………………………………..…….1 2 3 4 5
13) withdrawing from one’s responsibility when errors occur……………..….... 1 2 3 4 5
14) placing one’s tasks above the overall benefit …………………….……........ 1 2 3 4 5
15) scheming of job packages and trading with offices…………………..…....... 1 2 3 4 5
16) refraining from giving proper information on issues …………………….....1 2 3 4 5
17) unnecessary complicated handling of matters ..…………………………...... 1 2 3 4 5
18) harassment at work ………………………….………………………..…......1 2 3 4 5
19) protection of fellow workers …………….………………………….……....1 2 3 4 5
20) other unethical procedures, what …………………………………..……...... 1 2 3 4 5
21) _________________________________________________________....... 1 2 3 4 5

18. Which five of the above practices should it be most important to eliminate from public administra-tion? Circle below the five most detrimental practices.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

19. Do the tasks of your agency contain decision-making situations typical of you, but differing from other agencies and requiring ethics?

* no special features
* yes, these include ________________________________________________________

20. Do you encounter in your work situations in which your idea of an ethically justified practice and the official practice of the agency differ from each other?

* often
* sometimes
* hard to say
* seldom
* never

21. What is your attitude to different operating practices ré the above (question 20) situations of dif-ference?

1) always acceptable 2) depends on the situation 3) in exceptional cases only 4) never acceptable 5) hard to say

• Be loyal or resign ……………………………………………..…………………... 1 2 3 4 5
• Express the disagreement within the agency and continue in the task……………. 1 2 3 4 5
• Express the disagreement within the agency and withdraw from the task
(no resignation)………………………………………………………………..….... 1 2 3 4 5
• Open public protest (by your own name in public) …………………….…………. 1 2 3 4 5
• Covert public action (leaking the issue to the public) …….……………………….. 1 2 3 4 5
• Active work against the decision with the help of others (e.g. seeking support from
the opposition) ………………………………………………………………………… 1 2 3 4 5
• Other means, what ____________________________________________ ……... 1 2 3 4 5

IV Trips, presents, luncheons

22. Are the civil servants of your agency offered trips, presents or luncheons etc. paid by third parties and to be considered gift-like?

• trips: * a lot * somewhat * hard to say * seldom * never
• presents: * a lot * somewhat * hard to say * seldom * never
• luncheons: * a lot * somewhat * hard to say * seldom * never

23. Have these situations increased during the last decade?

• trips: * increased strongly * increased somewhat * remained the same * decreased a little * decreased strongly
• presents: * increased strongly * increased somewhat * remained the same * decreased a little * decreased strongly
• luncheons: * increased strongly * increased somewhat * remained the same * decreased a little * decreased strongly

24. Have you yourself had to refuse or forbid your subordinates from accepting trips, presents, lunch-eons or part-time jobs for ethical reasons?

• trips: * often * sometimes * hard to say * seldom * never
• presents: * often * sometimes * hard to say * seldom * never
• luncheons: * often * sometimes * hard to say * seldom * never
• part-time jobs * often * sometimes * hard to say * seldom * never

25. Does your agency have guidelines for this type of situations?

• Trips:

* no
* yes, written guidelines
* established practice

• presents:

* no
* yes, written guidelines
* established practice

• luncheons:

* no
* yes, written guidelines
* established practice

26. Is there a need for guidelines?

• trips: * no need * present ones sufficient * need to clarify * need for flexibility
• presents: * no need * present ones sufficient * need to clarify * need for flexibility
• luncheons: * no need * present ones sufficient * need to clarify * need for flexibility

V Use of different responsibility mechanisms

27. Should the responsibility mechanisms monitoring State administration be increased?

• reporting: * yes * sufficient * preferably less * not necessary * hard to say
• audits: * yes * sufficient * preferably less * not necessary * hard to say
• evaluations: * yes * sufficient * preferably less * not necessary * hard to say
• legal control: * yes * sufficient * preferably less * not necessary * hard to say
• personal resp. for results.: * yes * sufficient * preferably less * not necessary * hard to say
• other, what_________ * yes * sufficient * preferably less * not necessary * hard to say
• ___________________ * yes * sufficient * preferably less * not necessary * hard to say

28. Should a leading civil servant himself resign in cases of serious lack of trust and should firing be made easier?

• resignation * yes * no * all right at present * hard to say
• firing * yes * no * all right at present * hard to say

VI Openness of administration

29. Are the activities of administration generally open enough?

* yes
* no
* hard to say

30. How actively do the media follow the activities of your agency?

* actively
* reactively
* passively
* hard to say 6

31. Does your agency monitor the opinion of the citizens regarding openness e.g. through citizen feed-back?

* yes
* no
* hard to say

32. Do you consider it necessary that the highest civil servants declare their economic and other inter-ests? Should this practice also be extended to managers on a lower level?

• present situation * necessary * not necessary * hard to say
• extension * necessary * not necessary * hard to say

33. Does your agency have cases of disqualification due to part-time jobs or other reasons?

* weekly
* monthly
* hard to say
* annually
* never

34. Does your agency have a regular system to avoid cases of disqualification?

* no
* hard to say
* yes; what kind of system________________________

35. Do the civil servants of your agency present in public personal views differing from the official viewpoint of the agency?

* whenever the person himself considers it necessary
* in exceptional cases only
* never

36. How often are there such cases in your opinion?

* weekly
* monthly
* annually
* hard to say

VII Personnel management and development of the personnel

37. Are civil service ethics paid attention to in personnel management in your agency?

* no
* hard to say
* yes, how ____________________

38. Does your agency need outside development support (e.g. training services) to solve questions of civil service ethics?

* no
* hard to say
* yes, what ____________________

39. Do your subordinates or colleagues contact you in issues of civil service ethics?

* no
* hard to say
* yes, the issues typically relate to ______________________________________________________________________________________________

40. Are issues of civil service ethics taken into account when choosing new personnel?

* no
* hard to say
* yes, how __________________________

41. Are ethical requirements relating to a person’s civil-servant status discussed in the orientation of a new person?

* no
* yes, systematically
* it varies, depending on the person handling the orientation

42. What is the preparedness of the personnel of your agency

• to identify and solve ethical problems in their own administrative field:

* very good
* fairly good
* hard to say
* fairly poor
* very poor

• to implement the professional responsibility of an expert and applier in the administrative field in question:

* very good
* fairly good
* hard to say
* fairly poor
* very poor

• to carry on a thorough discussion on ethical issues relating to his own actions:

* very good
* fairly good
* hard to say
* fairly poor
* very poor

43. Does your agency use methods to disclose abuse or other unethical behaviour (e.g. a suggestion box)?

* no
* yes, what _____________________________________________________________

VIII Present state and future of civil service ethics

44. To what extent do the values of civil servants and private-sector personnel differ from each other?

* nearly identical
* pretty much the same
* hard to say
* fairly different
* completely different

45. How much corruption do you think exists in public administration and in business life?

• State administration
* a lot
* somewhat
* hard to say
* seldom
* very seldom

• Municipal adm.

* a lot
* somewhat
* hard to say
* seldom
* very seldom

• Business life

* a lot
* somewhat
* hard to say
* seldom
* very seldom

46. Does the convergence of the public and private sectors affect corruption in State administration?

• Increased interaction as such (joint projects, networks)

* considerable increase
* some increase
* no effect
* some decrease
* considerable decrease
* hard to say

• Use of new accounting and audit models

* considerable increase
* some increase
* no effect
* some decrease
* considerable decrease
* hard to say

• Open competitions for public services

* considerable increase
* some increase
* no effect
* some decrease
* considerable decrease
* hard to say

47. In your opinion, what is the relationship of corruption in Finland and in other EU Member States? In Finland things are

* very well
* fairly well
* like elsewhere
* fairly badly
* very badly
* hard to say

48. Are there differences between the values of different agencies?

* nearly the same
* fairly similar
* hard to say
* fairly different
* completely different

49. How uniform do you think the values of the civil service are in official acts? The values of civil servants are

* completely identical
* fairly identical
* hard to say
* fairly different
* completely different

50. How could the level of civil service ethics be maintained and improved in the future?
                                                                                          Large     Small     Hardly
effect effect any effect
• legislation and other norms...…………................….…... *             *         *
• information ........................................…………....…….. *            *         *
• training (e.g. a short course) ......................…………….. *             *         *
• the example of the management ................……………... *             *         *
• displaying the values ............................…….…………... *             *         *
• internal mechanisms of responsibility (e.g. audits)……...     *             *         *
• external mechanisms of responsibility (e.g. Parliamentary
Ombudsman)………. …………………………………… *             *         *
• control ......................................................……………….*           *         *
• taking working conditions into account (salaries etc.) .....       *          *         *
• ethical rules ............................................……………....... *           *         *
• other, what _____________________________________ *         *         *

51. What is your estimate of civil service ethics compared to the situation ten years ago? At present the situation is

* considerably worse
* slightly worse
* the same
* slightly better
* considerably better

52. Compared to the situation ten years ago, do issues of civil service ethics come up stronger today than before?

* yes, considerably stronger
* yes, somewhat
* no change
* no, fewer situations
* no, there are no such situations

53. Finally, we would like to hear your opinion on how some development trends from the last ten years show in the operations of your agency? Circle the correct alternative.

1) increased strongly
2) increased somewhat
3) no change
4) decreased somewhat
5) decreased strongly

• market guidance …………………………………….……………............ 1 2 3 4 5
• interaction with the private sector………….………….…………. .......... 1 2 3 4 5
• the agency’s own competence……………………………………............ 1 2 3 4 5
• political guidance ………………………………………………….......... 1 2 3 4 5
• discretionary powers of civil servants……………………………........... 1 2 3 4 5
• services subject to a charge …………………………………….............. 1 2 3 4 5
• responsibility for results…………………………………………............ 1 2 3 4 5
• savings policy ……………………………………………………........... 1 2 3 4 5
• normative guidance………………………………………………........... 1 2 3 4 5
• use of external services, out-sourcing……………..……………… ......... 1 2 3 4 5
• internationalisation ………………………………………………........... 1 2 3 4 5
• other, what ………………………………………………………............ 1 2 3 4 5
• ____________________________________________________ .......... 1 2 3 4 5

IX Background information

54. Name of the agency:

55. Field of administration:

56. Answers given by:

57. Official position:

58. Year of birth:

59. Education:

60. (If answers given by two or more): Were the answers easy to arrive at?

* yes, the persons were unanimous
* yes, the persons were unanimous on most questions
* hard to say
* no, the persons disagreed in several cases
* no, the persons disagreed totally

61. How did you feel about the questions? Was something important left out? (If necessary, continue overleaf or on a separate sheet):


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