Report ethics in government service


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Report ethics in government service

  2. 2. The Government of the Philippine Republic INTRODUCTION TO ETHICAL REASONING • Ethics really has to do with all these levels-acting ethically as individuals, creating ethical organizations and governments, and making our society as a whole ethical in the way it treats everyone. • • What, then, is ethics? Ethics is two things. First, ethics refers to well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues. Ethics, for example, refers to those standards that impose the reasonable obligations to refrain from rape, stealing, murder, assault, slander, and fraud. Ethical standards also include those that enjoin virtues of honesty, compassion, and loyalty. And, ethical standards include standards relating to rights, such as the right to life, the right to freedom from injury, and the right to privacy. Such standards are adequate standards of ethics because they are supported by consistent and well-founded reasons. Secondly, ethics refers to the study and development of one's ethical standards. As mentioned above, feelings, laws, and social norms can deviate from what is ethical. So it is necessary to constantly examine one's standards to ensure that they are reasonable and well-founded. Ethics also means, then, the continuous effort of studying our own moral beliefs and our moral conduct, and striving to ensure that we, and the institutions we help to shape, live up to standards that are reasonable and solidly-based. •
  3. 3. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • • • • • • • The Seven-Step Path to Better Decisions Stop and Think Clarify Goals Determine Facts Develop Options Consider Consequences Choose Monitor and Modify Values are what we, as a profession, judge to be right. They are more than words-they are the moral, ethical, and professional attributes of character.
  4. 4. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • • • 4 Organizational values---loyalty, duty, selfless service, integrity 4 Individual values- commitment, competence, candor, and courage The organization's core values - in this case, integrity, professionalism, caring, teamwork, and stewardship- were deemed important enough to be included with the statement of the organization's vision.. Making Ethical Decisions Everything we do, or don’t do, is a choice that can affect our lives and the lives of others. Ethical choices are based on principled decisions, not on self-interest or easy-returns. Such principles are based on universal values that have been held across time, culture, politics, religion and ethnicity. Any decision can be evaluated in terms of these universal values or core ethical principles — trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
  5. 5. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • • • • • • The Process of Making Ethical Decisions Ethical decision making refers to the process of evaluating and choosing among alternatives in a manner consistent with ethical principles. In making ethical decisions it is necessary to: Notice and eliminate unethical options - right vs wrong. Ethical thinking requires a sensitivity to perceive the ethical implications of decisions. Evaluate complex, ambiguous and incomplete facts. It is often difficult to obtain all necessary information. Select the best ethical alternative. Resolve any ethical dilemmas - right vs right. Not all ethical responses to a situation are equal. Have ethical commitment, ethical consciousness, and ethical competency. Ethical thinking and decision making takes practice. Making Decisions Making good ethical decisions requires a trained sensitivity to ethical issues and a practiced method for exploring the ethical aspects of a decision and weighing the considerations that should impact our choice of a course of action. Having a method for ethical decision making is absolutely essential. When practiced regularly, the method becomes so familiar that we work through it automatically without consulting the specific steps.
  6. 6. The Government of the Philippine Republic • EMPOWERMENT • The way ahead will involve empowering public servants at all levels to find new, more cost effective ways to deliver better services to PEOPLE and provide higher quality advice to the Government. All public servants have a role to play in this effort. Our future – our vocation as public servants – is in our hands.” • “Ethics are not a set of rules or values waiting to be discovered, that provides all the answers. In the complex world of public administration,
  7. 7. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • • • • • • ETHICAL VALUES norms and values rarely provide clear-cut answers to difficult problems. Ethics should be thought of as helping to frame relevant questions about what government ought to be doing and how public administration ought to go about achieving those purposes”. "Norms are standards of behaviour within the organisation which serve as a guide to all its members. For example, one of the earliest norms in public administration was that of neutrality, meaning that public officials should be apolitical policy implementation functionaries rather than policy-makers. Within the context of public administration, the emphasis on norms is associated with the recommendation of certain values that are viewed as desirable by their promoters. The common denominator of nearly all people problems is to be found in the area of values. It is widely recognized that values often differ widely from person to person and from culture to culture. The influence of values on people's thinking, acting and behavior is underestimated.
  8. 8. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • • • • Influence of values (i) They principally determine what he/she regards as right, good, worthy, beautiful and ethical. (ii)They provide the standards and norms by which he/she guides his/her day-today behavior. (iii) They chiefly determine his/her attitudes toward the causes and issues such as political, economic, social and industrial with which he/she comes into contact daily. (iv) They determine which ideas, principles and concepts he can accept, assimilate, remember and transmit without distortion. In addition to the above, it is accepted that individuals may temporarily or permanently discard their value systems in favor of specific goal attainment.
  9. 9. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • • • • • • • • • • An Ethical Decision-Making Process: Recognizing and Resolving Value Conflicts Step 1 Recognize the value conflict and decide whether to resolve or refer it. If resolving it… Analyze the Value Conflict Step 2 Identify all relevant decision-makers and facilitate their input (it is important to identify all decision makers so as not to bias the process). Depending on circumstances and your leadership role, you may be the only “relevant” decision maker. Consult the Operating Principles, Governance Matrix and Leadership and Decision Making Styles to determine relevant decision makers. Step 3 Decision makers should agree on the conflict to be resolved. Gather enough information to define the value conflict clearly. Consider the following… Facts: What, who, when, how, why? Factors: Medical, social, economic/financial, political, legal, religious, etc. Step 4 List the alternative choices that address the conflict, and for each… Identify the relevant stakeholders (stakeholders are persons, organizations, or institutions affected by the choice). Predict effects on stakeholders (this step may require extensive informationgathering; if confidentiality permits, discuss alternatives with affected stakeholders).
  10. 10. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • • • • • Evaluate the Alternatives Step 5 Make the “right” or best decision by evaluating the effects of each alternative on the relevant stakeholders Effects will be positive, negative, or neutral in light of PHS Mission and Core Values, the PHS Operating Principles, and the wider Catholic moral tradition (e.g., official church teaching documents; Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services). Also consider other standards for evaluating effects (e.g., professional, personal, social, legal, financial, or political standards; also self-interest and feasibility). Loop back to previous steps, if necessary. Implementation and Follow-up Step 6 Communicate decision as required.
  11. 11. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • • • ETHICAL VALUES AND ETHICAL POINT OF VIEW Values are what we, as a profession, judge to be right. They are more than wordsthey are the moral, ethical, and professional attributes of character Ethics deals with such questions at all levels. Its subject consists of the fundamental issues of practical decision making, and its major concerns include the nature of ultimate value and the standards by which human actions can be judged right or wrong. Ethics is not a matter of factual knowledge in the way that the sciences and other branches of inquiry are. Rather, it has to do with determining the nature of normative theories and applying these sets of principles to practical moral problems. Ethic value denotes something's degree of importance, with the aim of determining what action or life is best to do or live (Deontology), or at least attempt to describe the value of different actions (Axiology). It may be described as treating actions themselves as abstract objects, putting value to them. It deals with right conduct and good life, in the sense that a highly, or at least relatively highly, valuable action may be regarded as ethically "good" (adjective sense), and an action of low, or at least relatively low, value may be regarded as "bad". What makes an action valuable may in turn depend on the ethic values of the objects it increases, decreases or alters. An object with "ethic value" may be termed an "ethic or philosophic good" (noun sense).
  12. 12. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • Ethical value denotes something's degree importance, with the aim of determining what action or life is best to do, or at least attempt to describe the value of different actions. It may be described as treating actions themselves as abstract objects, putting value to them. It deals with right conduct and good life, in the sense that a highly, or at least relatively highly, valuable action or may be regarded as good, and an action of low, or at least relatively low, value may be regarded as bad. ETHICAL POINT OF VIEW What people in government do, and how they do it, is of exceptional importance. Ethical leadership in the public service is not only for the formal cadre of leaders to apply. All of you, regardless of position, make choices in your work that impact the public. You have the opportunity to demonstrate ethical leadership on a regular basis. Ethical reasoning needs to be nurtured, developed, and expanded over time. Your decision to attend a talk on ethics in the public service is one step in an on-going commitment to ethical practice.
  13. 13. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • • • • • • • RULES, PRINCIPLES AND DECISIONS The Golden Rule The golden rule - sometimes called the global ethic or the ethic of reciprocity - is present, in different forms, in many cultures and most religions. The wording and emphasis varies but the central idea is this: Treat others as you would like to be treated. Formal rules exist outside the decision maker and are typically imposed upon that person. The model suggests three sets of formal rules: law, regulation and policy. Law can be characterized as society's voice. Government promulgates laws to define what is or is not acceptable as a means of building commitment to a specific standard of conduct. Regulation resembles law and differs primarily in its source. Regulations typically originate within an administrative body versus legislative body, in the US federal system for example but still external to the organization. Policy, still external to the decision maker, is a bit closer as it typically refers to rules imposed by one's employer. Often, policy details the specific procedures for implementing law and regulation. It describes the specific manner in which the organization wants certain persons (most often employees - but can include others such as vendors, suppliers, and subcontractors) to perform specific, prescribed tasks. Collectively the formal rules are considerations the ethical decision maker ought include in the ethical reasoning process, as failing that, the decision may violate the rules and fail to meet the standard of compliance. In most cases legal, regulatory and policy compliance are considered minimums for ethical decision making. The exception (unethical rules) must be mentioned but it should be noted that this is a rare exception reserved for issues such as legalized segregation or slavery that may be 'legal' at a given point in time but lack moral authority.
  14. 14. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • • • The 3 classic ethical principles of justice, sufficiency and solidarity. Justice and sustainability The classic formal principle of justice is that equals should be treated equally unless there is a sufficient reason to treat anyone (or anything) unequally. It is clearly relevant in the field of ethics called environmental justice Sufficiency and compassion The principle of sufficiency mandates that all forms of life are entitled to enough goods to live on and flourish. The principle also means no one should waste or hoard resources intended for the sufficiency of all. Upholding the norm of sufficiency makes demands upon individuals - to share, to live more simply, to think creatively - and on human communities: to ensure that everyone has access to the goods that they need to live a life of dignity Solidarity and participation The principle of solidarity invites us to consider how we relate to each other in community. It assumes that we recognize that we are a part of at least one family our biological family, our local community, or our national community - but then challenges us to consider the full range of relationships with others. There are three qualities individuals must possess to make ethical decisions. The first is the ability to recognize ethical issues and to reason through the ethical consequences of decisions. The ability to see second and third order effects, one of the elements of strategic thinking, is very important. The second is the ability to look at alternative points of view, deciding what is right in a particular set of circumstances. This is similar to the ability to reframe. And the third is the ability to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty; making a decision on the best information available. Ethical Decision Making Model God's morals = Our values = Our decisions = Our outcomes
  15. 15. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ETHICS AND PUBLIC ORIENTATION An ethical posture toward work in public organizations requires not only knowing the right answers, but also being willing and able to do what is right. As public manager, you will often face difficult ethical choices. These choices may present themselves in several ways. Understanding the moral implications of your actions and resolving the dilemmas they pose is one of the most difficult problems you will face working in the public sector. Consequently, your ability to understand the context in which public problems arise and to work them out in a careful, reasoned and ethical fashion will be essential to your success and your own sense of personal well-being. Leading thinkers in Public Administration long ago recognized that the critical issues of government ultimately involved MORAL CHOICES. The definitive policy decisions by public officials often have at their base conflicting ethical issues such as whether to give precedence to the public interest or to the narrower demands of profession, department, bureau or clientele.
  16. 16. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • CONCEPT: Competing Ethical Obligations For more than a millennium after the fall of Rome, during a period in which government all but disappeared in the West, the relationship of the two powers, the SACRED and the SECULAR – for most purposes to be equate with church and secular authority, was at the center of political philosophy and political controversy; but the theoretical and logical supremacy of the HIGHER LAW was seldom questioned. With the emergence of the modern state a new era opened. The authority of a State, even a secular State, to determine right and wrong for its citizens was powerfully asserted by political theorists. On the other hand, the long era of Higher Law thinking had left an indelible imprint on thought and attitude. That there is something to which provides guidance on right and wrong remains a strong feeling even among those who regard themselves as completely secular. The discussion on higher law has indicated that the initial duality of PUBLIC MORALITY and the PRIVATE MORALITY was simplistic.
  17. 17. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • • • The Different ETHICAL OBLIGATIONS 1st. OBLIGATION TO THE CONSTITUTION. This is a legal obligation of course, but it is also a source of ethical obligations, which may be symbolized and solemnized by an oath to uphold and defend the constitution. 2nd. OBLIGATION TO LAW. Law made under the constitution are a source not just of legal obligation but also of ethical obligations, as public service codes of ethics normally underscore. 3rd. OBLIGATION TO NATION OR COUNTRY. By most interpretations, a nation or country or people is separable from regime and plainly sense of identity with a nation, country or people creates ethical obligations. 4th. OBLIGATION TO DEMOCRACY. It came to be accepted as an ideology or ethics and as a set of practices that somewhat overlie and somewhat intertwine with the constitution. The emotional and intellectual acceptance of democracy creates obligations that are acknowledge and usually felt by the public administrator.
  18. 18. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • 5th. OBLIGATION TO ORGANIZATIONAL – BUREAUCRATIC NORMS. These may be logically divided between those that are generic and those that are specific. The generic obligations are deeply rooted, perhaps in human nature, certainly in history and culture. They are associated with such terms as loyalty, duty and order, as well as productivity, economy and efficiency. Specific obligations will depend upon circumstance – the function, the clientele, the technology. 6th. OBLIGATION TO THE PROFESSION AND PROFESSIONALISM. A profession, a well-developed occupation, has an ethos that concerns actions pertaining to fellow professionals, clients, patients, employers and humanity in general. 7th. OBLIGATION TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS. Obligation to family is bedrock in most if not all morality.
  19. 19. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • CONFLICTS BETWEEN PRIVATE AND PUBLIC MORALITY IN PUBLIC ADMINSTRATION The problem of conflict between a public official’s private moral commitments and the public interest has troubled scholars since the earliest works of literature. In modern political theory, it is often characterized as the problem of “DIRTY HANDS.” Examples of the problem of dirty hands include that of the head of State who must lie, despite his private belief in total honest disclosure, to protect highly sensitive information. In another example, a social worker recognizes a personal moral obligation to provide funds to an impoverished family but must deny them to keep the agency’s budget in balance. Such conflicts have often been interpreted as oppositions of two distinct and incompatible moral systems, one PUBLIC and the other PRIVATE. Some ethicist regard the opposition as so irreconcilable that the moral characters of the private individual and the public official should be different to conform to the different systems to which each is subject. Under such an interpretation, the head of State and the social worker must choose between separate moral structures, one PRIVATE and one PUBLIC.
  20. 20. The Government of the Philippine Republic • • • • Such a dichotomy between PUBLIC and PRIVATE MORALITY contradicts the concept of a UNIFIED ETHICS, which encompasses different conclusions and different styles but subsumes them under the same moral frame work. The UNIFIED ETHIC is not a combining of a distinct professional ethic with a private morality but the application of one moral structure within the context of professional obligations, which sometimes may be overridden if the ethic so demands. The alleged dichotomy between PUBLIC and PRIVATE MORALITY also overlooks the importance of private moral convictions in justifying the legitimacy of government action. For example, let us suppose that a society is convinced that its best financial interests would be served by the military takeover of a small, powerless nation. Would the public official then be, required by the conditions of his office to follow the public wishes? If our theory is correct, the answer could be negative. We maintain that the obligation to act in the public interest derives from a prior, more fundamental moral based in the unified ethic. That ethic, because it is more fundamental, would bind the public official more than would public opinion. There are cases in which the public interest threatens to overrule the private morality of individuals. Power relationships may resolve such issues by an appeal to force rather than an appeal to morality. Those in positions of power may dispute that it was the sole determinant in the moral decision and claim that ethics was the true victor. To that effect, they may argue that, since they believe themselves to be morally correct, there is no conflict between might and right; both, they would assert, are on the same side. However, what is needed in such cases is a higher order of ethical analysis.