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Ethical and Deontological Codes of Civil Servants

Author

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  • Antonio SANDU

    () (University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Gr. T. Popa”, Iasi, the Center for Health Policy and Ethics, Mihail Kogalniceanu University, Iasi, Romania Lumen Research Center in Social and humanistic Sciences, Iasi Romania)

  • Ana Caras

    () (Ph.D Student, Universitatea Al. I Cuza Iasi, Lumen Research Center in Social and humanistic Sciences, Iasi Romania)

Abstract

Codes of ethics and standards of professional conduct are practical tools of management, designed to transform social power and morality and use them (Agheorghesei, 2011). The usefulness of codes of ethics is to maintain awareness of ethical issues, and to serve as reminder tool of desirable standards helping to deepen the reflection process towards new situations (Corodeanu, 2007). Codes of ethics aim at behavior of professionals in the exercise of professional responsibilities and the manifestation of their professional conduct, also controlling the professional conduct outside the duties of the job. It concerns credibility and professional prestige necessary in the exercise of job responsibilities. However, the limitations imposed by codes of ethics can target potential conflict of interest in the particular situation of the individual and the organization where he is operating. The rules of professional ethics follow the statutory of obligations with moral character as professional standards, outside the direct application of legal dispositions. Ethical codes are seen as means of self-reflexive, awareness and internalize certain moral principles and requirements in order to improve individual performance and system image (Danileţ, 2011). An ethical code (of conduct) is assumed and accepted by professionals who agree to regulate their own behavior according to looser or tighter standards, accepting these rules from “bottom to top”. Codes of ethics aim at regulating minimum standards that are required and mandatory for practitioners. Conducts regulated by codes of ethics are of general character with principles status and their violation generates unacceptable behaviors which are disciplinary sanctioned (Danileţ, 2011). Deontological Code is issued by authorities with regulatory competences in a specific area, in order to establish general principles and rules that characterize a profession. Deontological Codes should include mandatory minimum standards necessary to practice a profession. A code of deontological conduct is a means of correction required from “top to bottom” and “outlaws” unacceptable behaviors thus the sanctions are negative, disciplinary (Danileţ, 2011). Deontological Code of civil servants is regulated by Law no. 7 from February 18, 2004 *** Republished regarding the Code of Conduct of civil servants. The Code contains a series of principles which we consider of a general legal nature rather than ethical deontic, such as supremacy of the Constitution and the law (article 3, paragraph a), as well as ethical principles which are based on an ethical utilitarian egalitarian vision. Based on recommendations of good practice in developing ethical codes by Mirela Popa and Lucia Scorţar (2009), we make the following suggestions for developing codes of ethics: a. clear formulation of objectives, which can be understood and applied; b. consideration for existing legal standards, for profession and for the domain where the codes of ethics are achieved; c. flexibility and adaptability of the code to new ethical situations and dilemmas; d. formulation of the code in a clear and simple manner, without technical words or professional jargon difficult to understand by beginners or colleagues from related domains; e. assuming the code with objectivity and responsibility by the management of the organization (s) involved; f. organizing the ethical management of the organization; g. organizing the audit and ethical supervision within the organization; h. considering the involvement of experts from close institutional domains as well as interdisciplinary; i. avoiding creating unrealistic expectations after the implementation of the code; j. realistic deadlines for the implementation of the code instructions; k. establishing the cost of implementation of the code and their adequacy to the institutional capacity of the organization. Ethical counseling is a process which facilitates the identification of ethical dilemmas that individuals or organizations are facing and ways out of these dilemmas that are most congruent with the vision shared by the individual or organization.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio SANDU & Ana Caras, 2012. "Ethical and Deontological Codes of Civil Servants," Anuarul Universitatii „Petre Andrei” din Iasi / Year-Book „Petre Andrei” University from Iasi, Fascicula: Drept, Stiinte Economice, Stiinte Politice / Fascicle: Law, Economic Sciences, Political Scien, Editura Lumen, Department of Economics, vol. 0(10), pages 107-119, Decembrie.
  • Handle: RePEc:lum:rev11d:v::y:2012:i:10:p:107-119
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    Keywords

    code of ethics; public servant ethics; ethical counselling;

    JEL classification:

    • A23 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Graduate

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