Government, Ethics, and Managers: A Guide to Solving Ethical Dilemmas in the Public Sector

Government, Ethics, and Managers: A Guide to Solving Ethical Dilemmas in the Public Sector

Government, Ethics, and Managers: A Guide to Solving Ethical Dilemmas in the Public Sector

Government, Ethics, and Managers: A Guide to Solving Ethical Dilemmas in the Public Sector

Synopsis

This volume focuses on the ethical and unethical behavior of elected and appointed government officials. Steinberg and Austern discuss the various types of ethical dilemmas that confront public sector managers, offer ways to analyze them, and describe a series of management strategies designed to prevent unethical behavior. The authors also suggest ways to identify the susceptibility to corruption of a jurisdiction and present model policies, procedures, and legislation which could be effective in reducing the opportunity for unethical behavior.

Excerpt

Unethical practices in the public sector have been with us since the first colonists arrived in America. Since then, no period in U.S. history has been without its own kind of fraud, waste, and abuse by the public officials appointed by the Crown, by the political party in power, or by the acts and misdeeds of elected or career public servants. It's as if the American symbols of mom and apple pie share center stage with unethical practices.

Changing times bring changes in unethical practices and, to some extent, a change in their focus. Although common threads such as political spoils, political influence, and insider information about procurements continue to poison the practice of government, changes in public perception about politicians of any persuasion have led to a narrowing of the opportunities and incentives for unethical practices. The problem of unethical practices in the public sector persists, however, and will continue as long as government leaders continue to tolerate and, even worse, contribute to the problem.

The fact that government leaders continue to contribute to the problem is the primary motivation for this book. There's a lot of funny stuff going on out there, and it's been going on for a long time. In fact, the genesis of this book was a series of regional training workshops on maintaining municipal integrity in which we were involved more than a decade ago. The series, sponsored by the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Jus-

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