Discuss the ethical issues involved in giving freedom to civil servants to express their political beliefs and attitude as part of their freedom of speech. (250 words)

In the public administration organizations the civil servants are exercising their power of decision, day by day in many ways. Whether the action involves managing public resources in their role of interface with citizens or in the context of policy making, ethics represent a vital factor in creating and maintaining trust in government and its institutions.

The nature of a civil servant’s role is such that a civil servant must maintain a reserve in political matters, in order to ensure confidence in the political impartiality of the Civil Service. The restrictions placed on civil servants in relation to politics and political activity are designed to ensure that a civil servant does not do anything that could give rise to a perception that his or her official actions are in any way influenced or capable of being influenced by party political motives.

Need for a Neutral Bureaucracy:
● Neutrality depicts that public officials are not slaves to either the politicians or any other authority other than the moral authority of the Constitution.
● Bureaucracy should be neutral in terms of ideology and politics. So that there will not be an affinity to a particular class or ideology. Most importantly, it also suggests that even in the post-retirement period, public officials could make significant interventions for more noble purposes underlying the good society even without joining a particular brand of formal politics that has scant regard for constitutional principles such as freedom from fear and human dignity.
● If bureaucracy won’t be neutral then it cannot lend its whole-hearted support to the existing political system, and to the economic and political system if any radical changes are introduced.
● Without neutrality, there can be a close nexus between bureaucracy and large-scale enterprises which could further lead to crony capitalism.
● In advanced societies, there are a number of classes and this finally leads to the conflict among classes. The officials should remain neutral in this conflict. Otherwise, they will be very eager to protect the interests of the class/classes to which they belong.

Ethical issues involved if civil servants express political belief:
● If civil servants favours a particular political group or ideology, then he may seen by people as resorting to partisan politics and may lose his credibility.
● Becomes difficult for civil servants to give free and frank advice to the government impartially and without any political consideration,once they express regard /disregard towards a party
● The role of civil servant is to effectively implement the policies irrespective of rightist, centrist or leftist government and whether it is NREGA or Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. If he is too vocal about his views, he may not be able to implement the policies of the party he does not favour with the same level of zeal and motivation
● Like religion, political belief is a private matter. His political preferences may inadvertently influence the public.
● Under the influence of any political party ideologies the civil servants may discriminate against anyone, particularly the poor and under-privileged sections of society while discharging his duties.
● A person’s political beliefs if expressed openly may invite frequent transfers or promotions depending on which side he sways.
● It may place them in a position of obligation to anyone by accepting excessive favours or indulging in games of chance with subordinates or with people whom they have official dealings.
● Civil servants should be ready to take accountability for own actions and words spoken which may become difficult with political inclinations.
● Bureaucracy is accountable to the people representatives (government), if the bureaucracy itself gets involved in politics, it is becoming accountable to none.

While exercising this right, public servants should be cautious by deciding what to say and what not to speak.According to the outside world (including common citizens), public servants are the bridge that connects the government and the people.If there are any discordance due to free speech, it will question the credibility of the overall governance which may affect the overall development of the nation.

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3 years ago

Pls review
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3 years ago

Please review

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3 years ago


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3 years ago

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