Topic : Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption. Case Studies on above issues.
6)Code of conduct rules reduce the domain of ethics to mere legalism. Critically comment.(250 words)
Why this question
Code of conduct remains an important tool for enforcing ethical behavior on part of the members/ employees of an organization/ government. However, the same has not been successful in meeting its purpose and violations of ethical behavior are common despite the code of conduct rules. The issue is related to GS-4 syllabus- Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption. Case Studies on above issues.
Key demand of the question
The question wants to know our viewpoint on the the statement,” whether the code of conduct rules restrict the ethics to mere legalism” and if yes then to what extent; and what purposes the code of conduct serves.
Comment- we have to form a personal opinion on the issue and also discuss, what is the importance of code of conduct rules in enforcing ethical behavior.
Structure of the answer
Introduction- define code of conduct rules and briefly discuss their prevalence and also mention All India service, Central civil service conduct rules.
Body- divide the body of the answer into two main parts;
- In one part, discuss the meaning of the phrase and then whether code of conduct rules reduce the ethics to mere legalism and how. (E.g low compliance, abuse of the provisions, low knowledge among employees and not much sincere efforts to provide the same on part of the organization/ government, conflict with personal values and global values, lax enforcement).
- In the other part, discuss the importance of the code of conduct rules. e.g they act as guiding light for the organization’s vision and employee/ members’ behavior, provide a framework for passing judgements/ rewards/ punishments, helps address various workplace issues like gender relations, employee-management relationships, conflict of interest issues, financial practices, etc
Conclusion- draw out a balanced conclusion out of the above discussion and briefly suggest in 1-2 lines, how to increase compliance of code of conduct rules (e.g awareness and education, top down approach of instilling compliance etc.).