Why is it important for civil servants to have integrity? What can be the consequences if a civil servant doesn't act with integrity?
Integrity means honesty and existence of no gap between one’s thought, speech and action. It is loyalty to rational principles. It is important for a civil servant to have integrity for following reasons:
- Civil servants are bestowed with immense powers and responsibilities.
- They are responsible for managing public resources and money entrusted to them for the benefit of the citizens for instance funds to be used for development has been raised through taxes are used for provision of public good.
- Civil servants have an important role to play in development and achievement of goals of social, economic and political justice and equality of status and opportunity in society.
- To deal with public and their affairs fairly, efficiently and sensitively to the best of his abilities.
- Comply with the law of the land and uphold the administration of justice.
- If a civil servant does not act with integrity:
- She/he misuses his official position to further his private interest for instance taking bribe by police to file an FIR.
- Compromises his/her integrity by accepting gifts, hospitality in return of benefits provided to few members.
- Disclosure of official and confidential information.
- Governance failures may occur due to resistance to accountability, transparency.
A public servant who lacks integrity would put personal interest over public obligation and thus compromising the quality of administration.