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SYNOPSIS: Insights 70 Days Ethics Plan – Day – 21


Insights 70 Days Ethics Plan 

Day – 21

1.Define/Differentiate the following in the context of public service with suitable examples:

a) Public Service Innovation

Public Service Innovation enables governments to tackle civic challenges in new ways, enhancing the design and delivery of public goods and services for the beneficiaries. The pursuit of Public Service Innovation requires meticulous planning, leadership and stakeholder alignment. Public service officers have to learn to identify social and aspirational issues that are important to the individual citizen.

An understanding of these issues enables governments to design better communication and education programmes to overcome public inertia towards new technologies, while making applications intuitive to use.

Public Service Innovation is defined by:-

  • Integration of policies and processes between government agencies
  • Transparency of public services and procedures
  • Accessibility of services and intuitive applications

With Public Service Innovation, governments can expect stronger alignment between public policies and citizen needs.

b) Confidentiality vs Privacy

Privacy is the state when an individual is free from public interruption and intrusion. It is the right of every individual to be left alone in his personal matters because everybody has his personal life.

Confidentiality refers to a state when it is intended or expected from someone to keep the information secret. 

The following are the major differences between privacy and confidentiality:

  1. Privacy is a situation when a person is free from public interference. Confidentiality is a situation when information is kept secret from the reach of any other person.
  2. Privacy talks about a person, but Confidentiality is about information.
  3. Privacy restricts the public from accessing the personal details about a person, whereas Confidentiality protects the information from the range of unauthorised persons.
  4. In privacy, everyone is disallowed from interfering in the personal matters of a person. Conversely, in confidentiality some specified and trustworthy people are allowed to have access to the information.
  5. Privacy is at the voluntary; it is the choice of a person. In contrast to Confidentiality, it is compulsory if the relationship between parties is a fiduciary.
  6. Privacy is a right. However, Confidentiality is an agreement.

c) Trustworthiness and Credibility

Trustworthiness is an objective fact: in principle you could measure the difference between what someone says is true and what is actually true, and between what they say they’ll do and their deeds. Trustworthiness concerns the degree to which you can be relied upon, both in what you say and what you 

In contrast, your credibility concerns not your trustworthiness, but other people’s perception of your trustworthiness. You may be trustworthy, but if you are not credible then people still won’t trust you. In contrast, someone may be downright dishonest, but can appear credible and therefore win people’s trust.

Credibility is subjective. It depends upon the way you present yourself, and upon the accuracy of other people’s perceptions of you.

d) Public service vs Public utility

The term public service carries different meanings. The first meaning of public service is in the sense of a public utility i.e.., it refers to the kind of services governments commonly provide electricity, healthcare, maintenance of law and order, urban and rural infrastructure etc where the prime criteria of success are availability, affordability and accessibility of services. In this connection the delivery of public services means the goods and services offered by government institutions to the public, and it includes the interface between the citizen and the administration.

A public service is a service which is provided by government to people. Services are provided or supported by a government or its agencies. Public service is done to help people rather than to make a profit.A public service may sometimes have the characteristics of a public good but most cases public services are services.

Second meaning of public service refers to all the public functionaries including all those working in the army as well as the judiciary and executive.

e) Bipartisanship:-

Sometimes referred to as nonpartisanship, it is a political situation, especially in the context of a two-party system, as is the case for countries such as the United States and some other western countries, in which opposing political parties find common ground through compromise. This is in contrast to partisanship, where an individual or political party only adheres to their interests without compromise.

2) Sometimes, dedication to public service takes a huge toll on both personal health and relationships. Why do you think such sacrifices are worth? Justify. (150 Words)


Dedication to public service :-

Dedication is the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose, thought or action. Dedication is an important personality characteristic of an individual. In organizational context, dedicated employees work towards achieving the organizational goals.

There are some professions in which personnel dedicate their lives to public service even at the cost of their personal life, fun and comfort. Where someone risks his life and comfort for anything other than physiological, safety, love ,esteem and self actualization needs, it goes outside the explanation of Maslow’s hierarchy of need.

Following factors gives explanation to this:-

  • Institutionalisation:-
    • This happens especially in case of police and army forces.
  • Altruism+Self actualization:-
    • This can be found in statesman, noble doctors and honest civil servant. In this case many person actually have altruism as their trait .They devote their time ,effort and even work life balance using their management skill, team working and knowledge to strive for better and better results in public sphere.

Challenges due to it faced by public servants :-

  • The value of public service does not require that we act heroically and put our lives in danger, but that we respect and admire those that do. 
  • This challenge of work overload reflects a tension at the heart of public sector work. While policy makers and managers are interested in the quantity of cases dealt with, for the public servant who administers the service, the quality and impact of the work are more important.
  • Lack of control
    • A lack of discretion over their work can leave the public servant frustrated when they can see what needs to be done but are prevented from doing it.
  • In carrying out activities  administrators may be faced with several obstructions like social opposition against any programme which is against their deep rooted belief, lack of support from political executive. 

Such sacrifices are worth because :-

  • The value of public service calls on all of us to respond to the better parts of our humanity and is self-reinforcing. By doing good we become good.
  • There will always be a need to help those who need help. The issue for humankind is to nurture the value of service. To see people as fundamentally the same and worthy of assistance.
  • Dedication would make sense of duty an end in itself, which will be independent of assignment.

3) How can civil servants help build trust in government among citizens? Discuss.


Citizens expect public servants to serve the public interest with fairness and to manage public resources properly on a daily basis. Fair and reliable public services inspire public trust and create a favourable environment for businesses, thus contributing to well-functioning markets and economic growth.

To build trust in government among citizens civil servants can do the following:-

  • Defining a clear mission for the public service 
    • Adapting the mission of the public service to current needs and ensuring that its core values and standards meet changing public expectations are key challenges for governments in a rapidly changing world. 
  • Safeguarding values while adapting to change 
    • The changing socio-economic environment, especially the growing demand for transparency, requires that governments review and adjust mechanisms to ensure that public servants’ behaviour corresponds to expected standards. 
  • Empowering both public servants and citizens to report misconduct 
    • Clear and known procedures that facilitate the reporting of wrongdoing and provide protection for whistleblowers assist the detection of individual cases of misconduct. 
  • Integrating integrity measures into overall management 
    • Integrity measures are not a distinct activity, but rather an integral part of all management systems in which integrity measures provide complementary support for the overall management environment. 
  • Co-ordinating integrity measures: a precondition for success 
    • Successful integrity measures consist of a combination of actions that are consistent and take into account the wider public service environment. Assessing the effectiveness of measures provides feedback to policymakers on their implementation and also lays the groundwork for future policies. 
  • Shifting emphasis from enforcement to prevention
    • Sound ethics management policy adequately combines enforcement and prevention measures. 
  • However, there is a growing recognition that increased attention to prevention reduces the need for enforcement. Prevention is a less expensive investment in the long term, with a more positive impact on the public service culture and on the relationship between the public service and civil society. 
    • Anticipating problems 
      • By anticipating situations that might weaken adherence to public service values and standards of behaviour, governments can prepare suitable responses to prevent adverse effects. For example, how can governments meet increasing public demands for more information on private interests that affect public decisions.
    • Taking advantage of new technology 
      • Exploring ways to harness new technologies can help governments find new ways to internalize integrity and inform citizens on standards expected of officials serving the public.