With the decrement of ethics and moral values and increasing demand for standards such as accountability and responsibility in public services, what are the ethical concerns and dilemmas that may arise for a public servant? How can a public servant prepare himself to face these ethical challenges so as to perform his duties efficiently? ( 10 marks 150 words)

Mentor’s Comment:

Introduction should talk about various types of dilemmas faced by the Public Administrator.

Further, as a guide throughout in order to counter such dilemmas the administrators should follow certain laws, rules, regulations and conscience. Explain how each (laws, rules, regulations and conscience) help to overcome from such dilemmas.

Next, mention how to resolve the issues of dilemmas and bring conclusion according to the content.

Model Answer:

The public administrators face various types of ethical concerns and dilemmas throughout their career. Some of them are:

  1. What favours are acceptable without being considered discourteous and rude. Should any and all kinds of gifts and hospitality be avoided? Or should it be limited to a specified minimum? It so, what should be that minimum?
  2. Is a public servant only a public servant during office hours? Or ethical norms should be practiced outside office also?
  3. Should the public servants interpret policies and programmes according to their individual; perceptions of right and wrong or should they only adhere to the values of the institutions they are serving?
  4. What should the public servants do if their personal honesty and integrity appear to be out of place in their work environment?

The various sources that guide them are laws, rules, regulations and conscience. Laws are requirements that enable one to behave in stipulated ways. Similarly, rules and regulations are subordinate form of law. Conscience is something within human beings that determines the morality of human actions. It lays down a practical rule for specific action.

To resolve the various dilemmas, it is essential one doesnot perform actions which are against the law. His thoughts and actions are guided by law. When both of above fails, the conscience guides an individual. It is wider than law and applies laws or rules to specific actions. To make sure that a public administrator who is a holder of public authority does not do anything that brings a bad name to the seat he occupies, it is essential he must take reasonable care to ensure a correct conscience.