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19 March, 2019 00:00 00 AM


Civil service and ethics

Manners, etiquettes, and transparent dealings will make civil servants good administrators and managers
Dr. FoRqan Uddin Ahmed
Civil service and ethics

One of the goals of administration should be promotion of moral and ethical values among the public servants as well as the people. An officer can make his contribution in this area, if he himself is developed in ethical values. If he himself does not have moral and ethical values, how can he help in promotion of ethical values among the people? The first target of an officer would be himself. He must develop himself first in moral and ethical values.

An officer may serve the government and the people in two major ways. These may be by (a) what he is and (b) by what he does. Unless an officer is good, his performance may or may not be good. If an officer is bad, he may do good work, but his performance is likely to be bad. Therefore, the first obligation of an officer after recruitment would be to himself and he must make sincere and honest endeavours for self improvement. The government employees have reasonable security of tenure. He can plan his career remaining within the restraints of his service. If he wants to spend his afternoon in social service, there is none to stop him. If he wants to spend his time in medication of tabling, then also there is no bar. One of the objectives of the public administration would be to produce good officers. It is difficult for an immoral and unethical officer to be good officers. It may even be impossible. Goodness is an all inclusive and comprehensive word. It includes all the virtues and qualities an officer should have.

The basic quality of an officer is his truthfulness. An officer can never be good if he is a liar and his food is lies and falsehood. One fundamental tool of administration should be to inculcate truthfulness among the officers. Telephone is a blessing as well as a nuisance. We can reach a person staying thousands of miles away in a few seconds if there is direct dialing system. The public servants must have balanced and cool temper. The people have the right to be treated well. Even criminals do have good manner.

Punctuality in every conduct of life must be observed and inculcated by every believer. This is a way of life with every Muslim and any deviation from it is misconduct. The public servants are supposed to be better educated than the common people. The engineers, doctors and technicians are the products of high seats of learning. They know the art of running the country, improving the condition of the people better than the people themselves. It is the duty of the public servants to act as trainers to the people. They are to act as trainers and educators. They must take every opportunity to transmit to the people what they have learnt. The officers in magistracy and police are educated and trained in the use and applications of the law of the land relating to law and order. It should not be policy of the public servants to wait for the people to violate the law, to haul him and try him for committing the offence. The better policy would be to educate the people about what the law is and motivate them to live in conformity with the law. The role of the public servants would be to act as trainers and educators of the people, relating to whom and the area in which they have the responsibility.

The persons who want to lead comfortable and rich life should not take government service as a career. If someone wants to lead a luxurious life, he should start business. The environment of the administration is being polluted by people with inordinate desire for high living. This nation cannot afford comfortable or respectable living for its officers and too brilliant officers are not required either. It is not enough that an officer should lead honest life, but he must demonstrate that he leads a honest life. It is held in jurisprudence that justice should not merely be done but it should be shown to be done. Otherwise, judges could write a two sentences verdict. They are required to explain why they came to the conclusion of acquittal or punishment. The demonstration of honesty should not be for the vulgar motive of ego satisfaction, but, must be guided by the nobler purpose of guiding others. In religious parlance, if anything is done for the pleasure of the person concerned, it ends there. But if any demonstration is done for the pleasure of Allah, he gets the reward for not merely doing it himself but also for inspiring others to do it. He will get the reward for not being honest himself but also for the honesty of those who had been inspired by his example. The officers working in any office should be models of good conduct for others as well.

The living and life style of the public servants should be open and the members of the public should be able to learn something. He must not have habits to hide from the people. It is better to establish relationship with scholars, social workers, and persons who lead simple life and are involved in education and humanitarian activities. A good officer must not maintain link with the criminals, cheats, misappropriates, and those whose earnings are questionable. He must keep himself away socially even from officers who maintain a standard of living beyond their known sources of income. A person is generally understood by the company he keeps with.

The writer is a contributor to

 The Independent



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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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