Public Administration Mains 2017 : Model Question and
(Public Administration Paper I / Chapter: Personnel Administration)
(Current Based) Question
: What is administrative ethics and differentiate it with societal ethics ? (30
Model Answer :
Administrative Ethics is a set of standards that guide conduct in public
life. The moral foundation of a public service is that the office must be
treated as a 'trust' of the citizens. The Public Servant by virtue of his/her
position must uphold democratic values of equality, law, justice, rights and
freedoms of the people it serves. It must inculcate high standards of conduct,
espirit-de-corps, self-sacrifice and anonymity. The basic attributes of an
ethical Public Life have been elaborated by a Committee on Standards in Public
Life(Lord Nolan Committee), in the United Kingdom:
1. Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in
terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial
or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
2. Integrity: Holders of public office should not place themselves under any
financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organizations that might
influence them in the performance of their official duties.
3. Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public
appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and
benefits, holders of public office should make choice on merit.
4. Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions
and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is
appropriate to their office.
5. Openness: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all
the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their
decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly
6. Honesty: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interest
relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts
arising in a way that protects the public interest.
7. Leadership: Holders of public office should promote and support these
principles by leadership and example.
Societal ethics are those values which are confirmed by a particular group of
people. These may or may not have national scope. These values are followed by
those belonging to that particular group of people. Societal ethics suggest
predisposition of a particular society. Administrative ethics on the other hand
have much wider scope. Social good and development form an important domain of
administrative ethics. Administration is about working for national interest and
sovereignty which has more priority than interest of any particular society.
(Total Words- 394)
(Linkages : Administrative Ethics and Moral Foundation for Civil Services,
Administrative Ethics and Lord Nolan Committee, Administrative Ethics and