Professional ethics

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PROFESSIONAL ETHICS − defines the moral obligations and the imperatives and prohibitions, which should guide the staff and officials of public administration. According to Iji Lazari-Pawłowska, p.e. is a list of standards which give answers to questions regarding how, from the point of view of morality, the representatives of a given profession should or should not act. P.e. applies to all social groups. Universal ethical recommendations exist in each occupational group, they include among others: conscientiousness, integrity, due diligence, personal commitment, professionalism. The specificity of certain professions, however, requires specific imperatives and emphasis on the moral obligations imposed on a group of given employees the regulation of relations in the framework of the group. P.e. is a supplement to general ethics, as it imposes new moral obligations on a given occupational group. P.e. translates the postulates of overall ethics into professional practice and answers questions about ethical conduct in the exercise of the profession concerned, based on specific solutions. P.e. principles are created in order to match professional standards with moral principles adopted in a given culture. The goal of p.e. in public administration is to give guidance regarding the attitude an employee should adopt in order to improve the quality of his work, to build his prestige, solve professional dilemmas, suggest in moral issues, solve problems and conflicts, to avoid situations which may result in sanctions imposed on perpetrators of inappropriate behavior. P.e. is ascribed to the occupation of the → official, it is essential, because the official works for the common good, and the client/citizen has little possibility to control the actions of officials. The following factors influence the content of p.e. of officials: general assumptions, traditions of public administration, external conditions influencing the functioning of public administration, including living conditions and the needs of society, as well as the unique constitutional position of administration, socio-political system and the Europeanization and globalization processes, the nature of the tasks carried out by officials, their social rank, the position they occupy in the social hierarchy, the rights and obligations of officials, the role and tasks of the public administration management. P.e.is associated with the organizational culture of the office. The basic principle of professional liability is primum non nocere - first, do no harm. In the case of public administration p.e. has the following tasks: promoting good fulfillment of occupational obligations, gaining confidence among the public and politicians, enhancing the sense of duty, regulating the relations between officials – with a particular emphasis on factors important in the performance of any other profession, such as: solidarity, mutual assistance, kindness, passing on information and professional knowledge, especially to younger employees. P.e. regarding the public administration staff includes a set of basic rules relating to the performance of their official duties: integrity, professionalism, political neutrality, impartiality, efficiency. The sphere of p.e. also encompasses methods of safeguarding employees against temptations and abuse of power in the form of → letaprivation, → mobbing, patronage, etc. Principles of p.e. should also guide the behavior of officials out of the office [ J. Itrich-Drabarek ].

Literature: J. Itrich-Drabarek, Etyka zawodowa funkcjonariusza służb państwowych, Warszawa 2016 ■ I. Lazari-Pawłowska: Etyki zawodowe jako role społeczne, [w:] Etyka zawodowa, red. A. Sarapata, Warszawa 1971 ■ M. Środa, Etyka zawodowa, „Wiedza i Życie” 1995, nr 12.

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