Topic– Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions
7) Distorting and/or withholding public information goes against the grains of basic ethics of public service. Critically comment and substantiate your arguments.(250 words)
Why this question
The article talks about the the poor record of the government when it comes to data transparency and how it goes against the principles of good governance that we read about it paper 4. The question touches upon topics of paper 2 and 4.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to provide our view on the importance of making available public information and how withholding or playing with it does not bode well for governance and democracy. The question expects us to substantiate our views with such instances and provide a fair and balanced view on the ethics of such measures.
Critically comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Highlight that off late data related to GDP, employment etc have raised several debates regarding their authenticity. Highlight that lack of transparency on the part of government and its agencies has cast aspersions on several data critical for economy.
- Explain how distorting and/or withholding public information is a blow to principles of good governance and democracy. Highlight why transparency in such matters is important.
- Highlight the various instances as discussed in the article where data in public domain has raised questions such as the employment data, GDP data etc and others where routine datasets have not been released.
- Critically comment on what it indicates and the impact it will have
Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward.