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According to its website, the Public Service Commission “is mandated in terms of the Constitution to promote and maintain a high standard of professional ethics throughout the Public Service.”
In fact, the Public Service Commission even has an explanatory manual which aims to make the Code of Conduct more understandable for all public servants.
The manual reads, “To promote a high standard of professional ethics in the workplace, public servants should be encouraged to think and behave ethically. This manual should therefore serve as an aid in developing and presenting short training courses for all employees.”
The document contains many examples of ethical complexities in the work environment, describing how each situation should be dealt with. After all, the core purpose of the code is to promote exemplary conduct.
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“A high standard of professional ethics must be promoted and maintained in public administration generally. An employee does not abuse his or her position in the Public Service to promote or prejudice the interest of any political party or interest group. Since the Public Service serves the entire community, which consists of various interest groups, political parties and people with different beliefs, etc., it follows that Public Service employees must not be involved in any matters which could be seen as favouring one group over another.”
The Public Service Commission says that South Africa has several laws and regulations governing professional ethics in the public sector. The question is: are they actually working?
Is there a lack of professional ethics in government? If so, is the situation worse than we realise? What is being done about it?
In this BizNews noon webinar (Thursday 8 October), veteran broadcaster Tim Modise is joined by Public Service Commissioner Michael Seloane and Mamello Mosiana of Open Secrets to discuss efforts to promote professional ethics in the face of collusive networks of corruption within the public sector.
Sign up now for free-to-attend our lively Thursday Noon webinars on current affairs, with Tim Modise: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1324111475714234383
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