Ethics and Professional responsibility

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Government Pages: 7 (2231 words) Published: November 1, 2014
Introduction
The Victorian Government Code of Conduct is a way through which the Victorian Government has defined the duties and conduct of the State Services Authority. This has been done to support and improve the efficiency, responsiveness and integration of the public sector (L. Pullin, A. Haidar, 2003, pp. 291). The public sector is meant to be one of the most accountable, ethically sound and professional at the same time. Following are the authority’s key functions: •Improving the integration and delivery of the government services by finding opportunities for it •Promoting highest level of integrity and conduct in the department •Affirming to the professionalism and accountability of the public sector •Generating higher standards of governance and performance

Part 1: Relation to various Ethical principles
There are mainly five ethical standards on which the Victorian Government Code of Conduct is based and all the performance standards, duties and conduct are measured on the basis of these five following ethical standards: Impartiality

Responsiveness
Integrity
Confidentiality
Accountability
But, there are other ethical principles through which, the effectiveness of this code of conduct can be measured and therefore further improvements can be made based upon the irregularities. Following are some of the basic ethical principles and their application on the code of conduct: 1)Religious Ethics: This principle refers to the ethical component of the religion that is derived through supernatural revelation. Ethics is not believed to have a direct connection with religion but is meant to be settled through religion. It refers that a right conduct of a person is the key to good life (A. Potter, 2006, pp. 78). The Victorian Government code of conduct does not mentions religious conduct in a direct way but can be derived using the Responsiveness part in which Servicing the community is one of the parts. This service can be connected to the conduct of professionalism and humanitarian. Although other codes such as integrity in which honesty is included and also impartiality, all are related to good person’s conduct and thus can be connected to religious ethics. It also contradicts the argument that religion is necessary to live an ethical life by defining code related professionalism and humanitarian conduct without mentioning religion. 2)Ethical Formalism: Ethical Formalism can be defined as the ethical theory which gives a logical form to the moral judgments rather than focusing on the content of the judgment that would promote a positive fact. It is meant to be an absolute system, which states that “if anything is wrong, it will be wrong everywhere” and vice-versa. According to the Victorian Government Code of Conduct, there are various codes that point towards Ethical Formalism. A judgment of Remaining Apolitical by the public sector employees is an ethical formalism in which any participation and activities towards the political parties is considered wrong, for whatever reason it may be. Moreover using Official Information to maintain integrity is another form of ethical formalism as no matter for what purpose is the information is being used, if it is used for purposes outside the official domain, it is unethical. 3)Utilitarianism: Utilitarianism is defined as theory that believes in holding that approach that maximizes the utility. This utility can be understood as maximizing the happiness and reduction in suffering as much as possible. It is a qualitative approach to ethics and sometimes regarded as reductionist approach in which the path does not matter much if the end result has maximum utility in terms of happiness (L. Barker, 2011, pp. 351). The Code of Conduct is dedicated towards improving the outcomes for the public good, identifying various opportunities to do so and improving the outcomes of services. This is connected to the utilitarian approach as it is dedicated towards...

References: Len Pullin, Ali Haidar, (2003) "Managerial values in local government – Victoria, Australia", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 16 Iss: 4, pp.286 – 302
Andrew Potter (2006), Political Ethics and Responsible Government, in Denis Saint-Martin, Fred Thompson (ed.) Public Ethics and Governance: Standards and Practices in Comparative Perspective (Research in Public Policy Analysis and Management, Volume 14), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.71-91
Laura Barker (2011), Chapter 13 A Positive Approach to Workplace Bullying: Lessons from the Victorian Public Sector, in Charmine E.J. Härtel, Neal M. Ashkanasy, Wilfred J. Zerbe (ed.) What Have We Learned? Ten Years On (Research on Emotion in Organizations, Volume 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.341-362
Louise Kloot, (1999) "Performance measurement and accountability in Victorian local government", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 12 Iss: 7, pp.565 – 584
Bernadine Van Gramberg, Julian Teicher, (2000) "Managerialism in local government – Victoria, Australia", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 13 Iss: 5, pp.476 - 492
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