Presentation on theme: "Finance and the Administration of Public Funds PP520-01 Instructor: Trebor Negron Unit 9 Seminar 7/15/12 9:00 – 10:00 PM, EST."— Presentation transcript:
Finance and the Administration of Public Funds PP520-01 Instructor: Trebor Negron Unit 9 Seminar 7/15/12 9:00 – 10:00 PM, EST
2 Working Toward a Bureaucratic Ethic Importance of Ethics We entrust public officials with significant power and expect them to work in the best interest of the society. If public officials are viewed as untrustworthy, they will lose the confidence of the citizens they serve. Oaths of office, codes of ethics, and ethics laws reflect an identifiable ethos of public service.
3 Defining Ethics Ethics attempts to define and develop a systematic means to guide behavior. Ethics is the process of using reason, guided by moral standards or personal values, to make decisions regarding right and wrongdoing in one's professional and personal life, and taking responsibility for those decisions.
4 Ethics and Ethics Laws Every profession has a code of ethics, which serves to specify and regulate principles of acceptable practice. The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) has a formal code of ethics that conveys a sense of ethical behavior. More than a simple list of “do nots.”
5 Ethics and Ethics Laws Codes of ethics are helpful, but insufficient, in ensuring ethical behavior in public service. Ethics laws, often enacted in the wake of highly publicized scandals, are often reactive, taking on a “patchwork” appearance.
6 Ethics and Ethics Laws Many federal ethics laws are preoccupied with conflicts of interest, especially with financial interests. Some argue that other aspects of behavior are important but overlooked by ethics laws. Although they vary by state, most state ethics agencies follow an approach similar to that of the federal government.
7 Ethics in Public Organizations Public servants face greater demands because of their unique responsibilities. These include: (1) obligations to the poor and dependent populations. (2) regulatory and policing powers. (3) provision of basic services. (4) stewardship of national resources.
8 Ethics in Public Organizations In a democracy, public administrators are legally accountable for their actions. The higher their position, the greater the level of accountability. As a result, the bureaucracy remains accountable to the people. All public servants should be held morally responsible for their personal actions.
9 Ethics in Public Organizations Both external and internal controls guarantee compliance with ethical standards. The debate about which approach best guarantees full accountability is represented by two public administration scholars: Herman Finer and Carl Frederich.
10 Ethics in Public Organizations Finer asserts that external mechanisms are necessary, e.g., legislative oversight, judicial review. Frederich argues that internal mechanisms, e.g., individual morality, are more effective and less burdensome in the long run.
Ethics in Public Organizations Two sets of administrative values dominate public administration ethics: Bureaucratic ethos highlights efficiency, efficacy, expertise, loyalty, and accountability. Foundation: technical rationality and utilitarianism. Democratic ethos includes political values associated with governance including citizenship, public interest, participation, and social equity. Foundation: honor, benevolence, and justice. 11
12 Ethics in Public Organizations Moral reasoning is a critical skill for public administrators. Lawrence Kohlberg (1927-1987) suggests that moral reasoning skills can be developed through proper training (See next Figure). People develop morally along six stages in three levels: Preconventional level Conventional Post-conventional
14 Ethics in Public Organizations The post-conventional level is where ethical choices based on abstract universal principles take precedence over the moral convictions of a particular society. Some researchers have determined that public administrators tend to be at stage 4, the level that emphasizes law and duty in making decisions.
15 Developments in Administrative Ethics Adam and Balfour’s notion of “administrative evil” asserts that public officials sometimes unintentionally participate in systems that inflict pain and suffering on other human beings. Often effectively masked, making it possible that public officials are unaware of wrongdoing. Administrators have an important role in unmasking evil.