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Issues and Dilemmas of Contemporary Public Administration WK 6 - Term Paper Example

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It also incorporates the behaviors of public administrators who are majorly unelected public servants working in public agencies and departments at…
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Issues and Dilemmas of Contemporary Public Administration WK 6
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Issues and Dilemmas of Contemporary Public Administration Issues and Dilemmas of Contemporary Public Administration Public administration is primarily concerned with the formulation and implementation of government policies as well as programs. It also incorporates the behaviors of public administrators who are majorly unelected public servants working in public agencies and departments at all government levels including county, city, regional, state as well as federal level. Ethics is a formidable ingredient in public administration. As such, it addresses the justification for the actions and decisions undertaken by the public administrators in their day to day activities. More often than not however, public administrators have been confronted with a myriad of ethical obligations which include but not inclined to: public interest, administrative responsibility as well as other personal life matters such as finances, sexual misconduct and health, among many others (Geuras & Garofalo, 2009).
Public interest incorporates the welfare of the general public. Public administrators are mandated to serve the people. Thus, they are endorsed with the duty and responsibility to enhance public interest. It is therefore expected of them to conduct their activities with fairness and equality. Thus, they have an ethical obligation to maintain accountability and openness in their activities so as to ensure that they are doing what is perceived to be right within the perception of the public.
Administrative responsibility on the other hand involves the behavior of public administrators and the expectations that others have with respect to that behavior. In this regards, a public administrator is deemed to be responsible if his/her behavior conforms to the expectations. Conversely, if a public administrator’s behavior deviated from the expectations, such an administrator is considered irresponsible. The private sector has been applauded for enhancing administrative responsibility more efficiently than the public sector. Perhaps, this accounts for the increased prevalence of various governments privatizing most of their activities.
In a nutshell, privatization refers to the incidence of transferring ownership of public service, property, agency, enterprise or business from the public sector to the private sector. More often than not, privatization has been considered as a solution to the many challenges that are replete in public administration. This has seen an increase in the private sector assuming the responsibility of carrying out service delivery, which was initially carried out by the public sector.
In the recent years, many governments have resorted towards the tendency of delegating public services to the private sector. This trend, whose prevalence has gained momentum since the 1980s, has always been attributed to the notion that the private sector helps governments to save large amounts of money by carrying out these activities in a more cheaper and faster fashion, as well as managing the public assets in a more efficient and accountable manner (Stillman, 2009).
As much as this conception may stand out to be true, it is otherwise evident that this may not be the case with regards to safeguarding public interest. In this regards, it is apparent that the in the aftermath of privatizing public functions, the revenue accruing to the government reduces as it is channelized to the private sector. Also, the private sector is guided by the principle of profit making. Thus, privatization may result to scenarios such as staff down-sizing, erosion of wages with the intent of making profit.
Be that as it may, it is clear that the primary disfavor of privatizing government functions is that, the private sector does not operate in the public interest. Whereas the public sector primarily serves the people, the private sector is primarily guided by the goal of profit making. This has an implication that the private sector may make these profits disregarding the people it is serving. This may have a negative bearing on the people and thereby undermines the tenets of public interest.
Geuras, D., & Garofalo, C. (2009). Practical ethics in public administration. (3 Rev. ed., pp. 56-
57). New York: Management Concepts.
Stillman, R. (2009). Public administration: Concepts and cases. (9 ed., p. 18). California:
Wadsworth Publishing. Read More
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