Code of Ethics

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ETHICS CODES AND CODES OF CONDUCT AS TOOLS FOR PROMOTING AN ETHICAL AND PROFESSIONAL PUBLIC SERVICE: Comparative Successes and Lessons

By

Stuart C. Gilman, Ph.D.

Prepared for the PREM, the World Bank Washington, DC Winter 2005

I Introduction:.............................................................................................................................. 3 Preface........................................................................................................................................ 3 Why Ethics Codes?..................................................................................................................... 3 II. Characteristics of Codes: ........................................................................................................ 6 The Purpose of Codes:............................................................................................................... 6 What are ethics codes for?......................................................................................................... 8 The Role of Principles and Values:......................................................................................... 10 Ethics Codes:........................................................................................................................ 12 Codes of Conduct:................................................................................................................ 16 The Context of Codes:.............................................................................................................. 19 Public Administration:......................................................................................................... 20 The Legal Setting:................................................................................................................ 23 An Assessment Model: ............................................................................................................. 25 III. The Organizational Environment and Effective Codes: .................................................. 28 Integrating Codes into Existing Organizations: ..................................................................... 28 Using Codes to Re-engineer or Reform Governments or Ministries:.................................... 31 Learning from the Private Sector:........................................................................................... 33 IV. An Emerging Set of Good Practices:.................................................................................. 37 What Goes into a Code?........................................................................................................... 37 The Professional Setting:..................................................................................................... 37 The Social and Cultural Setting:......................................................................................... 39 Writing the Code: ................................................................................................................. 40 Communicating the Code: ....................................................................................................... 42 Education rather than training ............................................................................................... 44 Breadth vs. Specificity: ............................................................................................................ 46 The Geography of the Code:.................................................................................................... 49 V. Under Girding the Ethics Code: ........................................................................................... 51 Important Systems: .................................................................................................................. 51 Elements to Support the Code:...
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