From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

LOYALTY – means compliance with the legal order and respect for the constitutional bodies of the state by the public administration official. There are several levels of loyalty: to the government, to the institution, and to the superiors. Loyalty to the government means that the public administration official loyally and honestly executes its programme, regardless of his/her own convictions and political views, according to his/her best knowledge and will, without any obstruction (→ political neutrality). L. to the mother institution means a prohibition on speaking critically about the institution in the public media. L. to superiors means readiness to perform official duties while respecting the law and not making mistakes. Of particular importance is the interpretation of the principle of l. of an official to the superior, which means that if the superior body, despite protests of the official, makes a decision he/she considers erroneous, he/she performs it under the responsibility of the supervisor conscientiously and thoroughly as if he/she were totally convinced by the decision. According to Max Weber, “without this, in the strictest sense, moral discipline and self-denial, this whole apparatus would fall apart.” The public administration official should not passively look at the mistakes or errors of the supervisor but should correct them, based on experience and understanding of the situation. The limit of executing l. in service to the state is to comply with the law. In case the command or order of the superior bears the hallmarks of an offense and its effect would be a violation of the law – the officer is obliged to report it, bypassing the official escalation line. If, however, the supervisor’s command raises moral doubts or raises suspicion of bias or negative social consequences, the public administration official may try to refuse to perform the supervisor’s order. However, if the supervisor maintains his/her order and requests its execution in writing, the official is obliged to do so. Whether such behaviour is correct is continually discussed in the literature on the subject. L. to the supervisor means not hiding/withholding any significant information on the subject from the supervisor and a prohibition of any activities that might result from the desire to hinder the supervisor’s rational decision-making. This principle requires providing advice and opinion that is objective and in accordance with the best of the knowledge and will to the supervisor when preparing proposals for the activities of the institution/administration office [ J. Itrich-Drabarek ].

Literature: J. Itrich-Drabarek, Uwarunkowania, standardy i kierunki zmian służby cywilnej w Polsce na tle europejskim [Conditions, standards and directions of changes in the civil service in Poland against the European background], Warszawa 2010.