Public Administration Mains 2017 : Model Question and Answer - 27

Public Administration Mains 2017 : Model Question and Answer

(Public Administration Paper I / Chapter: Personnel Administration)

(Current Based) Question : What is administrative ethics and differentiate it with societal ethics ? (30 Marks/400 Words)

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 demands.
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 Societal Ethics)

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