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Role of Ethetics and Accountability in Governance in Public Sector.

ABSTRACT The study was on the role of ethics and accountability in governance in the public service . Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Lagos was used as a case of study. The objectives were to examine whether public servants display good moral
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   THE ROLE OF ETHICS ANDACCOUNTABILITY IN GOVERNANCE INTHE PUBLIC SERVICE, A CASE STUDY OFPOWERHOLDING COMPANY OF NIGERIA(PHCN), LAGOS 1  ABSTRACT The study was on the role of ethics and accountability in governance in thepublic service . Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Lagos was used asa case of study. The objectives were to examine whether public servants displaygood moral behaviour at work place, to examine whether public ocials haveregards for the codes of ethics in their service activities, to examine whetherpublic ocials maintain good corporate governance aitude amongst others, Thepopulation of the study was represented by the total workforce of PHCN, Ekodistribution zone. A sample of 240 respondents was randomly selected based onthose that completed and returned their questionnaires. A structuredquestionnaire was designed and used to elicit information from the respondents.A structured questionnaire was adopted because of its high response rate and itsability to reduce incidence of bias.Frequency and percentage were used to analyse the datta and the majorstatistical tool used was chi-square(x2). The major ndings established based ondata analysis were that public servants do not exhibit good moral behaviour atwork place, public Enterprises do not maintain good corporate governance,Authority and responsibility are not clearly dened to achieve accountability andeciency by public Enterprises .The conclusions reached based on theestablished nding were that the review of existing literature shows that thethree concepts that is ethics, accountability and corporate governance principlesare abused in most public and private sector organizations and the analysis ofthe data tended to support the view. Hence, I concluded that public servants donot exhibit good moral behaviour at work place, public Enterprises do notmaintain good corporate governance , authority and responsibility are not clearlydened to achieve accountability and eciency by public Enterprises.Based on these conclusions , the following recommendations were oered; thereis need for training of sta on Ethics, corporate governance and accountability inpublic sector organizations, public servants should deliver their services basedon the stipulations of the code of work Ethics, there should be well denedauthority and responsibility to guarantee accountability and eciency in publicEnterprises and so on. 2  CHAPTER ONEINTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY The risks of ethical misconduct disaster have never been greater dueto the complexity of the global business environment. Increasingregulations and enforcement as well as stakeholder scrutiny cancreate an unexpected organization crisis.One approach of understanding business ethics is to take anindividual perspective and focus on personal morals, character, andthe person (Ferrell and Ferrell 2010). This approach assumes thatvirtues linked to the high moral ground of truthfulness, honesty andfairness are self-evident and easy to apply in a complex globalenvironment. The approach also assumes that organization valueand ethics, accountability and corporate governance training may beappropriate for individuals with unacceptable moral development. Italso assumes that employees will be able to control their decisionmaking environment independent of managers and co-workers.Another approach to understanding business ethics is to assume thatorganizational values and compliance systems are necessary toprevent workers from engaging in unethical conduct. This approachrecognizes the risks and complex decision-making environment in aglobal environment. Business ethics, accountability and corporategovernance programmes and organizations combine values andcompliance requires constant monitoring. 3  All organizations both public and private will face ethic lapses,unethical misconduct and complacency from employees when theyobserve serious misconduct.According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (2001) ethics isthe moral principles that control or inuence a person’s behaviour.Aristotle (384-322BC) observes that what forms the object of ethics isthe highest good or the good for men that is goodness simpliciter ormoral goodness. Ethics proposes to examine the morally good man,it expresses itself in terms of the good man, and then continues thisphrase by analogy with the good shoemaker as an ascription ofexpertise or technical accomplishment.The scandals and unethical conduct that have occurred globally havetaught us that some people deliberately break the law or engage ininappropriate behaviour. Many others never see ethical issues whendevising what they think as an innovating scheme for success.In the past few decades, despite huge amounts injected into it, publicsector investment in Nigeria has been ineective and unproductiveand has not produced high returns. Consequently, because of policyfailures and mismanagement, public investment could not contributesignicantly to rapid economic growth, employment generation andpoverty reduction (Eminue, 2006).Also, Adenuga (2001) maintains that: “Virtually all the regimes aregluilty of economic and nancial buccaneering. Leaders have been 4   bleeders of the national till, they have come to see public oce as anavenue to get-rich quick.Anifowose (2002) observes that “in Nigeria corrupt practices have become synonymous with governance and consequently has becomethe bane of the Nigerian society. Of course, corruption is an antithesisto ethics and accountability. (Asobie 2006). Many reasons have beenadduced for this precarious situation and these include ineectiveinstitutions, weak rule of law, low popular participation in politics,weak protection of civil liberties, closed economic and politicalsystems, poor remuneration for public servants, and so on.While these factors cannot be over looked moral leadership and truecommitment to the service of the nation are at the centre of thesituation (Ighodalo, 2001). Often these arise as a result of weak andineective public institutions. Weak institutions possess poorprocedural and ineective organizational paerns that give room formanipulation and abuse. Such organizations have a highconcentration of important internal organizational roles overseen bya few decision makers without themselves being under any control,such structure creates organizational gaps that are not likely toguarantee accountability (Anifowose, 2002).The control of public organizations must necessarily possess strongchecks and counterchecks that have everyone in its purview. Theremust not be any institutional gap that can be exploited by publicocials, no maer how highly placed (Ikeanyibe, 2006).Eective control of the public organizations must be internal andexternal. Internally, public organizations have mechanisms that are 5
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