Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Ethical Aspects in the Activity of Civil Servants. Case Study Romania

Matei, Ani and Popa, Florin (2010): Ethical Aspects in the Activity of Civil Servants. Case Study Romania.

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Abstract

Preventing corruption and improving the public service management are the main goals of the promotion of ethical standards for the civil servants. Several governments have revised their policies regarding the ethical conduct in the public service, implying both the corruption issue and the decline of trust in the public administration. In Dwight Waldo’s theory, the civil servants must take into account twelve obligations before: Constitution, law, the nation and the country, democracy, the bureaucratic organizational norms, profession and professionalism, family and friends, themselves, the communities they come into contact, the public interest or the general welfare, the humanity or the world, God or religion. Romania, under the pressure of the European Union accession process, has adopted the Law no. 7 of 2004 - “Code of Conduct of the Civil Servants”. The Code establishes the fundamental rules of conduct, compulsory for all the civil servants, emphasizing a behavioural mode that was not institutionalized or observed, like avoiding the conflict of interests and the use of the position for personal interest. The Code represents both an information instrument regarding the professional conduct the citizens are entitled to expect from the civil servants, and a way of creating an environment of trust and mutual respect between the citizens and the civil servants on one hand, and the citizens and the public administration authorities on the other hand. In the view of the civil servants, the Code represents a clear collection of rules of conduct through which the civil servants are asked to ensure an equal treatment for the citizens against the public authorities and institutions as well as professionalism, impartiality and independency, honour and correctness. The Code establishes the rights and duties of the civil servants when acting, among which the civil servants’ interdiction to demand or accept gifts, services, favours, or any other advantage for them, their family, parents or persons with whom they were involved in businesses or politics and that can influence their impartiality in acting as civil servants. Breaching this principle is what the Criminal Law regulates as a “bribe-taking” infringement. But the ethical conduct of the civil servants is not limited only to the application or observance of the provisions of this code. The ethical conduct also takes into account other aspects that the present paper aims at presenting and analysing

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