Topic– Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.
6) The top echelons of public services in most Westminster countries now face a real pressure to be partisan. Do you agree. Comment.(250 words)
Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to express our opinion as to whether or not top echelons of public services in most Westminster countries now face a real pressure to be partisan. It also wants us to write in detail as to why it is necessary for public servants to be impartisan.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the meaning of being impartisan. E.g To carry out tasks or a mission in a manner impartial to Party Politics, loyalties, advantage or agenda.
Discuss about the Westminster form of government with a shifting political setup and a permanent bureaucracy and discuss the problems of partisanship faced by public servants in such arrangements. E.g
- An increased emphasis on transparency and accountability has seen senior public servants face intense public questioning from parliamentary committees one hand and press on the another.
- Political masters inappropriately pressurize public servants to promote and defend government policies.
- The capacity of public servants to act as custodians of proper practice has broken down beginning with the developments in new public management, when the established balance of power between the political and bureaucratic executive was altered in favour of politicians etc.
- Increasing aggressiveness of the media, who seek out scandals, happily identify public servants, and routinely accuse them of wrongdoing. This pressure has been compounded by the steady concentration of power in the Prime Minister, meaning the only way to survive and thrive at senior levels of public services is to demonstrate and display personal loyalty to the PM by championing the government’s policy agenda and fending off persistent media criticism.
- Erosion of institutions and rise in political advantages associated with partisanship etc.
Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.