Government Workers

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Government Pages: 3 (934 words) Published: December 3, 2013
thics and Governance (Aspire IAS) Part 2
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Whistle Blowing and Ethics (Very Important for upcoming examination) **********************************************

How can government encourage whistle blowing?

In an article about whistle blowing in a business context , Lilanthi Ravishankar makes a useful distinction between external and internal whistle blowing. She argues that companies should encourage internal whistle blowing so that problems are solved within the organization before employees feel they must go outside to get action. The same is true for government bodies, which need to know about problems early—before illegal contracts must be renegotiated or aquifers have been polluted or the public’s money has been squandered or unethical behavior has become front-page news. 

She makes several suggestions about how to encourage internal whistle blowing in companies. We repeat some of them here, with slight modifications for a government context: Create a policy about reporting illegal or unethical practices, which should include: Formal mechanisms for reporting violations, such as hotlines and mailboxesÿ Clear communications about the process of voicing concerns, such as a specific chain of command, or the identification of a specific person to handle complaints Clear communications about bans on retaliation

Get endorsement of the policy from top officials—mayor, manager, councilmembers, boards—and publicize the organization’s commitment to the process. Elected and administrative leadership must encourage ethical behavior and hold everyone within the organization to the highest standards, including the disclosure of activities that would have a negative impact on the public’s business. Investigate and follow up promptly on all allegations of misconduct. Report on these investigations to the council or board. What ethical dilemmas does whistle blowing present?

When a person encounters wrongdoing in the public sphere,...
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