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All agency action can be classified in three categories: quasi-adjudication: order making, judicial quasi-legislation: rulemaking executive
Posted On: Nov. 20, 2017
Author: Shipra

History Friends reply: no word limit of the response. Ethics in Government Act. What is it? What is its purpose? How does it impact public employees? Be specific. 1. The Ethics in Government Act was passed in 1978. This came on the heels of the Nixon Watergate debacle. Its purpose was to “increase public confidence in the level of integrity of federal government officials, to deter conflicts of interest from arising, and to stop unethical person from entering public service.” The impact on public employees is that this act serves as a deterrent to behavior deemed unacceptable. Title I of this act is an important one because it requires government employees to disclose any gifts or money they receive while in their position and how those gives and money are appropriated. One need only look at the scandal former Mayor of Baltimore Sheila Dixon was in to know that she violated this Act. Accepting gift cards and using them for herself and family members and then taking cash and paying down debt on her credit cards is detrimental to public trust. When elected to office, one must uphold all that this entails. When that person violates those ‘rules,’ the trust is irrevocably broken. They are elected to serve the people, and if they choose to do so with their own agenda in mind, they don’t belong in office. The origin of ethics act lies in the scandals reported during Nixon’s rule as a president. The objective of the act is to make sure that the deteriorating faith in the public service and officials is reinstated. This also acted as a barrier to unscrupulous person in entering the domain of public service. To what extent it has been successful is a topic of debate. However since the purpose was to act as deterrent, it has managed to bring about awareness in the minds of prospective candidates that unethical activities will not be tolerated in government / public service. It is important to realize that once a person joins as a public servant, his responsibility towards people increases manifold. He acts as a role model and sets a standard for others to follow. He is a keeper of the law and if he only breaks the law, what kind of example would he be setting up for others to follow. So, in reality, it is important to have checks at various stages to avoid such activities, which are detrimental to good health of the country. Explain the Hatch Act and its implications. What does it mean for government employees? Has it been violated? 2. The Hatch Act was passed in 1939. The purpose of the Act was to “restrict the political activity of executive branch employees of the federal government, District of Columbia government, and some state and local employees who work in connection with federally funded programs.” The implications of the Hatch Act are the employees in certain branches of government are encouraged to vote; however, they may not influence the voting of others in any way. During Jefferson’s tenure as President, he stated that “influencing voters” would be unacceptable behavior. For the executive branch of government employees to participate in electioneering or to accept political contributions or even to use their authority during elections would be unfair to a democratic society. If they did participate in this kind of behavior, trying to sway voters in their favor would be the opposite of Americans’ freedom for the right to vote for whomever they wish. By keeping the Hatch Act in full force, this keeps a system in place whereby that cannot happen without some type of repercussion on the employee. That is, of course, the way it should be in this society. The purpose of Hatch Act is to make sure there is a curb on the political activities of public service employees. Since they are part of the implementers of law of the land, there could be a conflict of interest, which again is not a healthy sign. Any kind of political activity by public service employee is harmful for the smooth functioning of the government. There would be a question of favoritism, which can be avoided if employees are restrained from engaging in political activity at the work place. What is the ASPA Code of Ethics? What are the components? How can it help guide practicioners in making ethical decisions? What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a code of ethics (in terms of usefulness)? Do professional codes of ethics deter corruption or is how you were raised that deters corruption? 3. The American Society for Public Administration has adopted a Code of Ethics. In order to serve the public as they are called to do, these 8 components were decided on Exercise discretionary authority to promote the public interest; oppose all forms of discrimination and harassment, and promote affirmative action; recognize and support the public's right to know the public's business; involve citizens in policy decision-making; exercise compassion, benevolence, fairness and optimism; respond to the public in ways that are complete, clear, and easy to understand; assist citizens in their dealings with government; and be prepared to make decisions that may not be popular. The advantage of having this code is that the standard of behavior is expected to be adhered to. Taking a job in public administration is to serve the public. With these 8 components in place, there should be no misunderstanding as to what is expected of that public administrator, so it is important to have a system in place before that person begins the call to serve. A disadvantage would be that while this system seems easy enough to adhere to, there may one day be a case that someone has in front of him or her that won’t be easily solved by utilizing all or some of these components. Any challenges a person may face could in some way hinder their ability to make sound decisions based on It is important to have a proper code of ethics which acts as a guide to public service employees. ASPA code of ethics is one such code, which outlines the course of action one should take when in doubt or when faced with a situation that is conflicting in nature. If such a code is not in place, it would be difficult to act and award or punish a person for his actions. By having a code of ethics, employees are also made aware of what is expected of them and when they are faced with the choice of taking decisions, they should act in accordance with it.