|Demand of the question |
Introduction. What is public interest?
Body. What are the principles and procedures to be followed by the civil servants in public interest?
Conclusion. Way forward.
The term ‘public interest’ means matters concerning welfare of the people. Public Interest is anything that affects the rights, health, or finance of the public at large. It is a common concern among citizens in the management and affairs of local, state, and national government. Like the Prime Minister had said that civil servant should consider every action in public interest, which means the ultimate aim should be the welfare of the masses.
The principles and procedures to be followed by the civil servants in public interest are:
- Civil servants shall perform their official duties in compliance with the Constitution and law. When performing their operations, civil servants shall act exclusively in the public interest.
- Civil servants shall ensure equal treatment of the citizens and the legal entities when performing official duties.
- Civil servants shall perform their activities in the most conscientious, direct, the most efficient, timely and methodical manner in the interest of the citizens and the other entities in realising their rights, duties and interests.
- When communicating with citizens and other legal entities, the civil servants shall act in a manner that enables establishment of relations of mutual confidence and cooperation between these entities and the administration.
- In their relations with the citizens and the other legal entities, the civil servants shall show understanding, courtesy, respectability and highest possible will to help and shall not impede the realisation of their rights and interests.
- Any financial or other consideration either in respect of themselves, families or friends is to be avoided; public interest should be the sole principle consideration of decision making.
- If a policy that is being formulated is perceived by the civil servant to be against public interest, his/her responsibility is to convince the political executive about the adverse implications of such a policy. However, if the political executive does not agree with such an advice, there is little that the civil servant can do other than putting his/her views clearly on record.
- Institutional mechanisms such as the Parliament, the CAG, Judiciary and ultimately the electorate hold the political executive to account for bad policy which ignores public interest.
Civil service or public service is for the welfare of the people. As such policies and their implementation should be guided by public interest or public welfare. All government works have the overriding motive of public interest. Civil servants should be guided solely by public interest in their official decision making.