Government and society cannot promote and enforce ethical behavior solely throughthe utilization of ethical codes of conduct or through the enforcement oflegislation. Communities tend to equate moral values and moral norms with values andnorms, which apply only to personal dealings. Public sector ethics concerns the moral requirements of public servants in that they are paid for and expected to offer the people. In terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996, all government departments are required to be efficient whichincludes observing particular ethical codes of conduct (Raga and Taylor, 2008). In this regard, this essay will be discussing the ethical standards and values expected of public …show more content…
Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office. Public accountability rests both on giving an account and on being held to account. All government departments have to be efficient because they have to ensure value for taxpayers’ money. Efficiency encompasses the qualitative and value-laden expectations of the society. It can be argued that accountability is the fundamental prerequisite for preventing the abuse of power and for ensuring that power is directed towards the achievement of efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness and transparency. Open, transparent and accountable government is an imperative prerequisite for community-oriented public service delivery because without it covert unethical behaviour will result.
Openness: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest demands it.
Honesty: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
Leadership: Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.