In broad terms, public administration can be described as the process of developing, implementing, and studying government. There is the various definition of public administration since there is no consensus among the different scholar. However, from the numerous description of public administration, it can be described as consisting of activities that form part of the executive, whose primary objective is to marshal material and human resources to achieve the aims of public policy. Whether these activities of the state will succeed depends on the various principles of public administration and public affairs. There are five main principles of public administration and public affairs including transparency, accountability, leadership, professionalism, and ethical behavior. This essay discusses the principles of public administration concerning the United States. The first principle of public administration is the transparency in the procedures of legislative and policy development. The process of public policy making should transparent since it is critical to good governance and will help ease making and implementing the specific policy by the government. The use of transparency in good governance means that the public has an insight into the public administration bodies (Henry, 2017). The public administrators should allow openness by inspecting the work of public administration and public affairs as well as the availability of instruments for monitoring the decision-making process.
The primary concern of transparency is the decisional transparency in the elaboration of public policies and accessing the public interest information. The government should educate the population on the various policies being made (Henry, 2017). The citizens ensure that the procedures of policymaking are transparent being using either the incremental paradigm or the rationalist paradigm while keeping in mind the various models in each paradigm as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
The significant contribution of a transparent policy-making process is the building of public trust which is a constitutive democratic value function of public administration in democratic systems. Also, transparency is an ethical value that ensures the facilitation of communication between politics and citizens and of effective governance. Therefore, it should be applied at both the decision-making level and the level of implementation of public policies and their results. During strategic planning, transparency is critical to the success when setting goals, taking proper actions to implement, and when eventual favorable outcomes.
Another principle of public administration and public affairs is leadership. It is defined as the ability of an individual to organize and direct human effort towards the attainment of an objective. Leadership is critical to the success of inter-sectoral administration that involves managing and coordinating relationships among government and various organizations in the non-profit and the private sectors to help achieve policy goals (Henry, 2017). Effective leadership is an essential aspect of public administration because it is a determinant in the public service and human resource management and efficient service delivery to the citizens, which are all core areas public administration and public affairs.
Effective leadership as a principle of public administration and public affairs helps to ensure that during privatization, the interest of the citizens is upheld. Leaders in the private, public, and independent raise with the administration to ensure that the terms of contracting during privatization or federal contracting are not broken. It will eventually contribute to the achievement of the purpose of privatization by the government to implement a specific policy. The leaders at various levels in the government such as the state or local manage the resources available and work as a unit to ensure the success of the procedure.
In public administration, the government might decide to charter entities that will provide market-oriented public services as well as local and state enterprises. In such a government business, effective leadership plays a vital role in the running of their activities efficiently. As a principle of public administration and public affairs, leadership ensures there is the required number of human resources with the required level of training. Therefore, for the success of inter-sectoral administration in public administration, effective leadership is the guiding principle.
Another important principle of public administration and public affairs that should be considered is accountability. It is carried in government systems that have transparency and integrity. Heads of states and public administrators are required to develop criteria for accountability, and the accountability process needs to be fair and should not be one-sided (Shafritz et al., 2016). The primary step when implementing accountability in public administration is the recognition of the efficacy of power.
Accountability is the process through which the effective utilization of powers and public money is monitored. It ensures that public money or power are not misused by the government or the public administrators themselves. It is critical to the development of a trusting relationship between the government and the public as well as the governmental departments. In the United States, every department and institution has developed the process of accountability (Shafritz et al., 2016). This principle ensures that there is a clear accountability arrangement between citizens and institutions as well as among institutions or departments.
Accountability is critical to the promotion of intergovernmental relations, where different units of the government work together both at the federal and state levels. In the intergovernmental ties, various units of the government associate financially, legally, politically, and administratively with possession of different degrees of jurisdictional autonomy and authority. Also, there is federalism where various units of the government at state and federal level are related as well as intergovernmental administration with the aim of achieving a particular policy goal (Shafritz et al., 2016). The government should generally be accountable for their action in policy-making and implementation to ensure efficiency in its activities.
The various units of the government at different levels should be accountable for each other since in some instances their jurisdiction and authority overlap. For example, when there is fiscal federalism that is aimed to achieve specific public policy goals, the institution or the unit tasked with the implementation should be held accountable by other units and institution. Therefore, accountability as a principle of public administration and public affairs play a crucial role in the oversight of the government by the various units and institutions as well as the citizens to ensure that those mandated with task do not misuse public money and power.
Ethical behavior is an essential principle of public administration since it helps to promote good governance and business for the government and its citizens. In the United States, there are two different types of governmental ethics namely, the federal and ethics at local and state government levels. The federal ethics focuses on issues such as impartiality and conflict of financial interests while ethics at the state and local government levels cannot cover only written ethics codes (Frederickson, 2015). An ethical public administration gets characterized by administrators who observe the code of ethics strictly.
Ethical behavior in public administration and public affairs is crucial because of its role in promoting trust between the government and its citizens as well as with other institutions or units of the government. Whenever an ethical work environment is created, there is the increase in effectiveness and efficiency due to increased transparency and contributes to accountability. In this principle, there are two essential concepts of bureaucratic accountability and organizational humanism that promote decision making based on personal dignity as the ultimate value hence promoting ethics among in public administration and public affairs (Frederickson, 2015). The implementation of ethical administration will require cleaning up corruption so that the public have trust in the government through means such as paying public administrators competitively. All public administrators have the primary duty of making ethical decisions.
The final principle of public administration and public affairs is professionalism. Professional in the field of public administration implies that the public administrators are required to be visionary, besides their central role in the stewardship of public information and funds. Professionalism is the principle that determines a public administrator adheres to the other four principles of public administration and public affairs (Henry, 2017). Professional among the public administrators ensure that they comply with the codes of ethics hence promoting ethical behaviors in public administration. Also, a professional public administrator will provide that all his or her transactions and actions are transparent as well as accountable for them. Besides, a professional public administrator will take the initiative to be an effective leader and undertake the duties and responsibilities in the required manner promoting the relationship between governments, citizens, and units or institutions of the government at different in the United States.
In conclusion, public administration involves the effective use of the available material and human resources to ensure that the objective of the policy is achieved. It is characterized by five main principles including leadership, professionalism, ethical behavior, accountability, and transparency. Transparency ensures that the activities of the government and its institution are explicit hence promoting trust between the stakeholders. Ethical behavior is the principle that provides that the public administrators put the dignity of citizens as the primary concern in service delivery. Leadership is essential in helping to steer the organization towards the objective of a particular policy. Accountability is the principle that gives the government, citizens, and institution the role of oversight to ensure that there is no misuse of public funds and power. Professionalism is critical to the upholding of the other four principles since it compels a public administrator to act as a required standard.
Frederickson, H. G., & Rohr, J. A. (2015). Ethics and public administration. Routledge.
Henry, N. (2017). Public administration and public affairs. Routledge.
Shafritz, J. M., Borick, C., Russell, E. W., & Hyde, A. C. (2016). Introducing public administration. Routledge.
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