Table of Contents

Ethics and Integrity of Governance

Ethics and Integrity of Governance

Perspectives Across Frontiers

New Horizons in Public Policy series

Edited by Leo W.J.C. Huberts, Jeroen Maesschalk and Carole L. Jurkiewicz

This book provides critical, up-to-date reviews on the field of ethics and integrity of governance, along with fresh future perspectives. Focusing on Europe and the US, it addresses the key dimensions of public service values, the integrity and rationality of governance, ethics management, and the ethics of governance politics. In each of these four areas, leading international scholars tackle the main issues and controversies facing the world today. The final chapter synthesizes these views and provides an ambitious and critical outline for future work in the field of ethics and integrity of governance. Emanating from the much heralded ‘transatlantic dialogue’, this study integrates both the European and American perspectives into a common voice for action.

Chapter 8: Ethical Governance in Local Government in England: A Regulator’s View

Gillian Fawcett and Mark Wardman

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies, politics and public policy, leadership, public policy, regulation and governance

Extract

Gillian Fawcett and Mark Wardman INTRODUCTION Overview High-profile corporate failures underpinned by poor standards of behaviour and/or corruption (‘sleaze’) have brought ethical governance into sharp focus in the United Kingdom in both the private and public sectors. The need to increase public trust and hold managers and politicians to account more effectively are recurring topics in debates about publiclyfunded bodies in the UK. Low levels of trust, it is argued, are caused or sustained by poor standards of behaviour. There has been, therefore, a growing emphasis on the need for officials and politicians to adhere to the highest ethical standards to help increase the public’s trust in public bodies. Trust is at the heart of the relationship between citizens and government. It is particularly important in relation to services which influence life and liberty – health and policing. But it also matters for many other services – including social services and education. In these cases, even if formal service and outcome targets are met, a failure of trust will effectively destroy public value (Kelly and Muesrs, 2002). The qualities the public looks for in different leaders and professions varies according to the nature of the role. Honesty and trustworthiness are the most significant personal qualities for public leaders. In contrast, the public looks to Civil Servants to be efficient, competent and honest, while experience in running a business and professionalism are considered more important for business people. Therefore, while honesty and trustworthiness are important...

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