[Answered]What do you understand by public service? List out the principles of Public Life as recommended by the Nolan Committee in this context.

Demand of the question

Introduction. What is public service?

Body. What are the 7 principles of Public Life by Nolan Committee?

Conclusion. Way forward.

A public service is a service which is provided by the government to people living within its jurisdiction, either directly (through the public sector) or by financing private provision of services. It includes the services provided, the contiguous interactions and the grievance redressal linked with those services. All the aspects of day to day life ranging from health, education, infrastructure and law and order among others that the government provides are under the purview of public service. Nolan Committee listed 7 principles of public life for public services.

The Seven Principles of Public Life by Nolan Committee:

  1. Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
  2. Integrity: Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
  3. Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
  4. Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
  5. Openness: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
  6. Honesty: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
  7. Leadership: Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

These principles apply to all aspects of public life. The Committee has set them out here for the benefit of all who serve the public in any way. The Nolan principles are revolutionary because they focused on behaviour and culture, rather than processes. Therefore if someone lives by these values, it will go a long way to improving behaviour. If one really practice accountability, integrity and leadership, he/she will ensure better decision making, better spending of public money wisely and is delivering exceptional service for all the people.

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