Measures to improve Ethical standards in public administration

It needs to be done at two levels – first, by ensuring Personnel management and second, by improving Governance mechanism. Let’s understand this in detail.

Personnel management

  • Recruitment – Selection of competent and suitable candidates according to skills, knowledge and experience. Ignoring favouritism and nepotism aspects with more focus on the ability and moral values of the person.
  • Training – Apart from professional training, value education and training should also be an integral part in civil services/public services. Value education should be better taken care of at school and college level.
  • Code of conduct/ethics – It should be provided statutory backing for strict adherence by civil servants. In addition, focus should be shifted from “code of conduct” to “code of ethics” in administrative set-up.
  • Rewards and punishments – System of rewards and punishments should be followed sincerely to put the administrative system back on the track and bring back the trust of the citizens on the government.

Governance mechanism

  • Accountability and Responsibility – Fixed responsibility should be followed to ensure accountability of public services. This will avoid confusion as well as duplication of work.
  • Maxim of co-ordination – All levels of hierarchical set-up of governmental organizations should work following the principle of coordination.
  • Preventive vigilance – There should be surprise checks by the higher authorities to put a check on the civil servants so that they do not misuse their power or positions to meet their selfish ends. In addition, vigilance awareness programmes need to be mandatorily conducted.
  • Rule of law – The rules and regulations should be equally followed by all citizens of our country including political executives, administrators, people and other higher officials. They should not be given too much VIP treatment/benefits out of way but should be regarded as a common man so they can understand the problems of a common man.
  • Citizen charter – To ensure accountability, transparency and responsiveness in administration, proper implementation of Citizens’ Charter document should be mandatory.
  • Public service delivery – The government should set minimum standards of delivery of public services to ensure quality and make them hassle-free. Periodic evaluation should be done on the performance and achievement of organizational goals.
  • Grievance Redress – Effective redressal system should be incorporated in the organizations. A sincere endeavour should be made to improve the quality of public service delivery taking into consideration the feedback from the service users.