Question – Why civil servants have a special obligation to maintain ethical standards? What are the major concerns for the implementation of an effective ethical standard in civil services? Explain the solution.

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Question – Why civil servants have a special obligation to maintain ethical standards? What are the major concerns for the implementation of an effective ethical standard in civil services? Explain the solution. – 30 May 2021

Answer – 

In most countries today there are increasing expectations from ordinary citizens, business leaders and Civil Society that Governments will establish and deliver higher standards of ethicality and integrity in the Civil Service, agencies of government (Ministries and parastatals), and Government itself.

In part this expectation is the result of better-focused media attention and public scrutiny, and increasing impatience by ordinary citizens and Civil Society, whose members want to see an end to the corrupt practices and systems of the past.

Bearing in mind the significant progress made in recent years in developing effective Civil Service Ethics, Codes of Conduct, transparency measures, Ethics and Integrity systems, and Anti-corruption agencies, there is now a need to concentrate on three areas of concern in particular, which are directly relevant to the problems of internalising integrity and Ethics in democratic governments and the Civil Service.

High ethical standards are necessary for civil services because,

  • The ethical standards of Impartiality and objectivity bring merit into organisation. thereby, increasing predictability, which improves economic efficiency
  • Corruption makes public service delivery inefficient, which leads to a vicious cycle of poverty and a near-zero improvement in citizen’s lives. For example, the integrity and honesty of Rajnisekrisibal, an IAS officer of Haryana cadre brought the JBT recruitment scam into the limelight.
  • Lower corruption levels also symbolises confidence in trading and operating environment which are Important for Developing countries.
  • Adding the component of compassion to day to day works makes a lot of difference to the poor families lives. Just as People’s collector S.Shankaran IAS brought to the families of bonded labourers.
  • Outcomes for society are better when the decisions of public office holders are made fairly and on merit and not influenced by personal and private interests
  • High standards of civil servants percolate down benefitting the economy through their effect on international confidence.

Civil servants are ultimately responsible and accountable for the varied and multitude of services they provide.so, to obtain assurance and in the best interests of society, they have to take care that high ethical standards are being met.

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