|Demand of the question|
Introduction. What is probity in governance?
Body. Measures for ensuring probity in government.
Conclusion. Way forward.
Probity (Satyanishtha in Hindi) literally means a complete and confirmed integrity; having strong moral principles. Probity in Governance is defined as adherence to ethical and moral values like honesty, Integrity, rectitude, uprightness etc. It is the presence of procedural integrity with high standards of ethical behaviour. It is vital for executing the governance system and socio-economic development.
Probity in Governance seeks to fulfil the following purposes:
- It preserves public confidence in Government processes
- It maintains integrity in public services
- It ensures accountability in governance
- It ensures compliance with processes
- It seeks to avoid the potential for misconduct, fraud and corruption
Measures for ensuring probity in government:
- Moral education: Moral education is a must to ensure probity in governance. To make an individual high on integrity, it is necessary to provide him with ethical training that will inspire him to improve governance. The moral education will surely ensure that this takes place. For example, training on the importance of avoiding bribes.
- Accountability: Accountability reduces chances of malpractices in governance. When an individual is expected to give answers to higher authorities, he/she avoids performing acts that will reduce his/her position. This will translate into good governance. For example, Social audits ensures accountability and thus lead to probity.
- Information Sharing and Transparency in Governance: Sharing information and transparency are indispensable pillars of good governance that compel the state and civil society to focus on results, seek clear objectives, develop effective strategies, and monitor and report on performance.
- Access to information:Many laws were enumerated to bring probity in governance for sharing information to the public by putting information in the public domain and which includes the following:
- Right to information Act.
- Ombudsman Office in the local/state level.
- Accountability bill for disclosure of Income and Assets.
- Records Management laws.
- Grievance redressal: Easy access of government officials to the public is important for grievance redressal. It can be ensured through:
- Availability of Contact numbers of senior servants to Public
- Details in Departmental websites
- Facilitation counters for citizens
- Assessment and Monitoring
- Code of conduct: Probity is maintained by formulating and employing model code of conduct for ministers, bureaucracy, judiciary, and civil society groups.
- Institutional reforms: Introducing public delivery of service agreements by executive agencies for ensuring accountability, objectivity and transparency. Allowing stakeholders like citizen committees to participate in various decision making processes and encouraging and facilitating public participation through the following:
- Public Hearings.
- Citizen Advisory Boards.
- Government Contract Committees.
- Public Watchdog Groups.
- Independent Anti-Corruption Agencies.
- Capacity building of citizens and civil society groups.
Probity is a crucial feature of governance which endows government to act ethically and perform its duty as per the norms only. It is significant for the government to follow the rules and regulations as well as adopt policies of impartiality, to gain confidence from the public. When government becomes its system streamline as well as transparent, then the public and government employees concerned to it follow the same criterion. Hence, no corruption, fraud, and irresponsibility will happen.