Welcome to Ethical Foundations for Public Service!

Ethical Foundations for Public Service
Part 1 : Philosophy and Principles

Principles of Public Service (continued)

Principle #2: Independent Judgement

Public servants employ independent, objective judgment in performing their duties, deciding all matters based on merit, free from avoidable conflicts of interest, and both real and apparent improper influences. Ethical ground rules that demonstrate independent, objective judgment include:

  • Make independent, fair and impartial judgments; avoid conflicting financial, social and political interests.
  • Exercise the power of office fairly and without prejudice or favoritism.
  • Make employment decisions based on merit; not patronage.

Please refer to your handbook if you would like to work through this exercise on paper.

Thinking it Through...What Would YOU Do?
  • A person who is in a significant position of influence has shown favoritism towards several people at the expense of the greater good. How would you handle this?

  • A manager in a high-profile role appears to be hiring his colleagues and friends. You’re questioning whether or not these hires were the most qualified candidates. What do you do?

  • A supervisor for whom you work has made subtle comments about a class of people that may be perceived as prejudicial. You’re concerned about how this might affect this class of people, who make up a large proportion of seasonal hires. What do you do?