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Ethics in Municipal Government

Jan Perkins (2007) has recently carrier out a review on how leaders can participate in ethical culture formation in the municipal government. The modern day municipal government has the goal of getting enlightened about the ethical concerns so that they can lead in practicing the best conducts. Therefore, according to Perkins (2007), municipal government must educate the entire workforce and other stake holders on the best ethical culture. Perkins (2007) held the view that modern ethics is seen by how workforce make choices and use their official discretion while on or out of duty.

Therefore the challenge for the entire workforce in the municipal government was to invoke the right ethical leadership values as they serve the people. Perkins (2007) stressed that most municipal government workforce have the tendency of confusing ethics and legality. In a municipal government, the role of the leadership in championing ethics is to secure public funds; focus on good governance; promote ethical personalities; to perform duty in an honourable manner, lead with integrity and avoid subjectivity in decision making; to keep off temptations and avoid personal benefits using public funds.

(Perkins, 2007) In the expedition of duty in the municipal government, there are ethical mistakes that professional

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workforce commit either consciously or unconsciously. According to the study by Perkins (2007), a lot of these happen in the careless e-mails that are spammed across offices. Many managers have been accused of having affection affairs with either their juniors or seniors, thus making their decision making process subjective. Others have been accused of lying about their educational achievements in order to rise up the ladders.

Perkins (2007) gave a brief account on how the press have been exposing latest ethical scandals in the municipal government. He cited the New York Times on April 8th, 2007, for the coverage of a highly placed official in the Department of Education having conflict of interest. The officer had shared in an organization that was issuing students loans. Later the shares were sold to another committee member who disposed them making 90% profit. (Perkins, 2007).

On April 13th, 2009, the New York Times, as cited by Perkins (2007), reported that a District Attorney was pursuing up to five council workforces for embezzlement of public treasury as self rewarded perks and for non bizarre entertainments. The list is endless. Perkins (2007) cited the Harvard National Leadership Index of 2006, that report more than two thirds of the respondent believing there was a leadership crisis in USA around ethics. The state of ethics, according to this index had drastically lead to waning confidence across most key service sectors with better results in the health and military sectors.

Overall, the municipal government scored 2. 83 on an index scale of 4 and was evaluated as less than moderate. The effect of unethical behaviour at the municipal government according to Perkins (2007) study, have led to unwarranted inefficiency in the provision of services and delay of budgeted projects, loss of public goodwill, poor workforce morale, lack of interest in municipal jobs and performance competence, and inbuilt suspicion. Perkins (2007) concluded that municipal governance must not use public office for personal benefits and advantages.

The slip here is on issues like gifts. Secondly Perkins (2007) that municipal workforce has are not duty bound to award themselves extra perks without following the right procedure as required in public service. Perkins (2007) recommended that there must be total transparency and accountability in the leadership of municipal governance by being proactive and vigilant. The UNDP (2003) come up with a proposal of code of ethics that is applicable in the municipal governance as a major step towards supporting transparency and ethics.

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