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Values Required For Civil Services | ETHICS

Civil service values | Values Required For Civil Services

  • The statutory basis for the management of the Civil Service is set out in Part 1 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.
  • Civil servants should have a minimum set of standards on which they evaluate things. Value can be used to judge things. Values can be goal oriented i.e. social, political and economic justice and means oriented i.e. empathy, integrity, discipline, impartiality etc.Since civil servants have discretionary powers the values are important to give them certain guidance to prevent abuse of power.
  • The Civil Service is an essential part of the government. It supports the government of the day in developing and implementing its policies, and in delivering public services. Civil servants are accountable to ministers, who in turn are accountable to Parliament. As a civil servant, candidates are selected on merit, on the basis of fair and open competition and are expected to carry out your role with dedication and a commitment to the Civil Service and its core values: integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality.
  • Following are some values which forms the basis of civil service ethics:
    • Impartiality
    • Objectivity
    • Reliability of administrative operations
    • Openness
    • The service principle
    • Responsibility


  • Moral soundness is integrity. An individual with integrity shall not do things that don’t agree with his values. Honest person shall not cheat or defraud but shall be truthful in his actions. Probity denotes financial prudence i.e. no corruption. A person with integrity shall not indulge in any action that violates his values but a honest officer shall follow orders faithfully whatever they are.
  • Value system should be consistent otherwise we believe in one thing but do another. Value system has to be consistent.
  • The integrity is of following types:
    • Intellectual integrity: Evaluating everyone with the same parameters.
    • Professional integrity: Enforced by the professional bodies.
    • Organizational integrity: Belief of the organization.
  • Integrity can be inculcated through training, institutional structure and by setting up a code of ethics that all members shall follow. Violations of ethics shall be monitored and published to create peer pressure or social pressure. Integrity testing is done by randomly identifying officers and trying to bribe them. This doesn’t have penal provisions but creates more fear amongst officers.

Objectivity | Values Required For Civil Services

  • Taking decisions based on prescribed rules and policy and not values and emotions.
  • Objectivity can be inculcated by training, right to be heard, reviewing decisions, transparency, information management systems for collection of data and statistics for making decisions.


  • Compassion is a form of sympathy but stronger and so a better predictor of actions. Compassion for poor made saints serve them. Sympathy is when you share the feelings of others. Empathy is a stronger predictor of behavior as when you feel empathy towards others you feel their emotions. It can be for anyone but compassion is directed towards the poor.
  • The colonial era saw very intelligent officers entering the civil service but they lacked the empathy towards Indians and focused only on maintaining the British rule over India.Bureaucracy must be taught to empathize with the common man this shall trigger his altruistic behavior. However to make him feel empathy his emotional intelligence should be developed first.


  • Empathy is the base of compassion. Compassion is needed in a divided society like India.
  • Neutrality, Anonymity and Integrity: Foundation values of civil service
  • Executive is of two types the political executive i.e. PM and Council of Ministers and the permanent executive i.e. civil service. Political executive derives power from the people as they are elected. They are responsible to the people and decide policy with the help of the permanent executive. The permanent executive is responsible to the political executive and is subordinate to it. The implementation of policies and help in framing policies is done by the permanent executive.

Neutrality | Values Required For Civil Services

  • Remain neutral in political ambitions. Serve all regimes faithfully. This is needed to ensure that political parties have faith in the service otherwise it shall affect policy making. A neutral service means political sterilization and can serve the ruling party with full dedication even if policies are against his personal interests.Passive neutrality means that the officers shall work without considering implications like violation of constitution. Active neutrality shall mean that officer shall follow orders but not violate statutes.
  • However neutrality is under threat as careerism is growing and civil service aligns itself with the ruling party. Mass transfers of officers is common after the regime changes. The inter cadre rivalry also plays a role. A neutral service means no response towards social schemes and this affects planning and implementation. The ivory tower approach of the bureaucracy has been criticised.


  • Should work behind the scenes without expectation of praise. Permanent executive should be shielded by the political executive. The power to reprimand the bureaucracy should lie with the political executive but this should be protected from arbitrariness.
  • Apart from these optimism, creativity, responsiveness, courage, efficiency and effectiveness are expected under the New Public Management system that treats public as customers demanding better service for their taxes.

Impartiality | Values Required For Civil Services

  • Impartiality is a norm of justice holding that decisions should be based on objective standards, instead of on the basis of bias, prejudice, or preferring the advantage to one person over another for unsuitable reasons. Impartiality is acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving equally well governments of different political persuasions. Impartiality means that civil bureaucrats in carrying out their official work, including functions like procurement, recruitment, delivery of services etc., should take decisions based on merit alone. Impartiality implies that the behaviour of, and treatment by a bureaucrat to any individual or entity has to be exclusively on the basis of merit. An administrator has to take numerous major decisions such as recruitment, procurement and allotment. To make such decisions effective and efficient, there has to be absolute impartiality. Impartiality is the eminence of a person where one is impartial while allocating any goods or services among several people or selecting a person from a set of people based on certain set of abilities.
  • In Impartiality, candidates must: Perform his responsibilities in a way that is fair, just and equitable and reflects the Civil Service commitment to equality and diversity They must not act in a way that unjustifiably favours or discriminates against particular individuals or interests.
  • In political Impartiality, person must:
  • Serve the government, whatever its political persuasion, to the best of his ability in a way which maintains political impartiality and is in line with the requirements of this code, no matter what your own political beliefs are.
  • Act in a way which deserves and retains the confidence of ministers, while at the same time ensuring that you will be able to establish the same relationship with those whom you may be required to serve in some future government.
  • Comply with any restrictions that have been laid down on your political actions.
  • Candidates must not act in a way that is determined by party political considerations, or use official resources for party political purposes and allow their personal political views to determine any advice they give or their actions (Reddy, et, al., 2015).

Non Partisanship

  • Non-partisanship is not being precisely owned or allied with any group, party or cause. Non-partisanship can be called political neutrality.
  • Non-partisanship infers that the officer is to do his task without any fear of, or favour to any political party.
  • The values of the administrator will flow from the constitution not from the philosophy of any political party. Non-partisanship is the process of not involving any political party even if the person has strong faith in any political thought.




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