Principles for Managing Ethics in Public Service by United Nations

The public service, entrusted with guarding public resources and executing decisions on behalf of elected representatives, plays an important role in the development and governance of a nation. It must have in place a system of measures to create an environment promoting ethics, accountability and transparency. Public service is in the cause of the nation and there can be no service higher than that of the sovereign state. Public service is equated with not virtue of dedication and selfless service but with evils of corruption, nepotism, power and money.

Ethics is the driving force of human behaviour It helps determine one’s norms, standards and goals. It enables one to select die means to realise chosen goals and ends of action.

Principles for managing ethics in public service by United Nations

The United Nations System has also been active, with the General Assembly adopting resolutions on public service ethics.

  1. A public official holds a position of trust, to act in the public interest. They need to know the basic principles and standards they are expected to apply to their work and where the boundaries of acceptable behaviour lie. They should be expressed through the code of conduct to be followed throughout the profession.
  2. Public officials should ensure that they perform their duties and functions efficiently, effectively and with integrity, in accordance with laws or administrative policies for which they are responsible are administered in the most effective and efficient manner.
  3. Public officials should be attentive, fair and impartial in the performance of their functions and, in particular, in their relations with the public.
  4. Public officials should not use their official authority for the improper advancement of their own or their family’s personal or financial interest.
  5. In situations of possible or perceived conflict of interest between the duties and private interests of public officials, they should comply with the measures established to reduce or eliminate such conflict of interest.
  6. Public officials shouldn’t misuse information acquired officially and should interact clearly with the public.
  7. Public officials should comply with measures established by law which contains ethical standards in it.
  8. The political or other activity of public officials outside the scope of their office should be in accordance with laws and administrative policies, not be such as to impair public confidence in the impartial performance of their functions and duties.


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