MSU PRR 370 - PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND ETHICS (12 pages)

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PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND ETHICS



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PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND ETHICS

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Pages:
12
School:
Michigan State University
Course:
Prr 370 - Admin & Oper Park & Rec (W)

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Chapter Forty PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND ETHICS Carol W Lewis and Bayard L Catron Public service is a public trust If there is anything unique about public service it derives from this proposition The idea goes back at least to Thomas Jefferson in this country and it can be traced to other historical periods and other cultures as well For example in a seventeenth century Chinese manual on local administration Huang 1984 the author himself a local administrator describes the inauguration of a new magistrate listing his duties and emphasizing that he should conduct public business with complete objectivity and with no interference from his personal preferences p 146 Buddhism teaches a similar lesson If an important minister of state neglects his duties works for his own profit or accepts bribes it will cause a rapid decay of public morals Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai 1987 p 468 For a public administrator upholding the public trust means faithfully executing one s duties as determined through the political process in support of the public interest or the collective good The first provision in the federal Principles of Ethical Conduct for Government Officers and Employees Office of Government Ethics 1992 first issued by executive order in 1989 is Public service is a public trust requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution the laws and ethical principles above private gain p 1 Public administrators spend public dollars and they wield the power of the state in carrying out their role Because of this it is often said that they should be held to a higher standard than others Numerous opinion polls confirm that the public does hold government officials to a higher standard for example see Bowman 1990 They also suggest however that in the minds of the public government officials do not necessarily meet that higher standard Over many years Gallup polls have asked respondents to rate various professionals honesty and ethical standards Survey Data on Ethics 1993 p 29 Only 14



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