Willa Marie Bruce
University of Illinois, Springfield
Recognizing that one is a fiduciary of the public trust and responsibly serving the public interest with honesty, fairness, and integrity while overseeing the operations of government.
Administrative morality in public administration is a difficult concept to define. "Administrative" refers to those persons who occupy positions of authority within government. They perform the duties identified by Gulick in his 1937 report for the Brownlow Commission as POSDCORB: planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting, and budgeting. They may perform these functions at the executive, managerial, or supervisory levels. They may be political appointees, career civil servants, or simply persons who earn their living in federal, state, or local governments and in not-for-profit organizations. Administrators are those who carry on the business of government by ensuring that equitable and legitimate services are delivered efficiently and fairly. They are often called bureaucrats because they work in a bureaucracy.
"Morality" refers to both character and behavior. It is a term that captures who one is, as well as what one does. Moral administrators are honest and honorable. They can tell right from wrong. They serve the public interest with integrity and justice. They put the interest of the government and citizens above their own personal interest. They have an inner core of strength which enables them to make difficult decisions, and they live their commitment to uphold the law of their land.