Public sector ethics

Ethics in the public sector is a broad topic that is usually considered a branch of political ethics. In the public sector, ethics addresses the fundamental premise of a public administrator's duty as a "steward" to the public. In other words, it is the moral justification and consideration for decisions and actions made during the completion of daily duties when working to provide the general services of government and nonprofit organizations. Ethics is defined as, among others, the entirety of rules of proper moral conduct corresponding to the ideology of a particular society or organization (Eduard). Public sector ethics is a broad topic because values and morals vary between cultures. Despite the differences in ethical values, there is a growing common ground of what is considered good conduct and correct conduct with ethics.[1] Ethics are an accountability standard by which the public will scrutinize the work being conducted by the members of these organizations. The question of ethics emerges in the public sector on account of its subordinate character.

Decisions are based upon ethical principles, which are the perception of what the general public would view as correct. Ensuring the ethical behavior in the public sector requires a permanent reflection on the decisions taken and their impact from a moral point of view on citizens. Having such a distinction ensures that public administrators are not acting on an internal set of ethical principles without first questioning whether those principles would hold to public scrutiny. It also has placed an additional burden upon public administrators regarding the conduct of their personal lives. Public sector ethics is an attempt to create a more open atmosphere within governmental operations.