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6-Step and 20-Point Service Code and Ethics
When You Are Honest, Can you Always Consider Yourselves Safe and Secure with Confidence?
"My conscience is clear; I have done nothing wrong and therefore I need have no fear". It can be possible to hold such a blanket faith, when you thrive in an ideal Ram-Rajya or the " Republic " of Plato, the Greek Philosopher, or in the societies of some of the Scandinavian Countries, where corruption is an exception and restricted to a few persons of the category "never-honest". However in our country, when corruption is infested deeply and widely, manifesting itself in our interaction at different points at the society, none at any level can be deemed immune and safe for ever, irrespective of the fact that he is honest or otherwise. The threat of engulfing insecurity comes from the external environment. If the atmosphere around is vitiated, you cannot avoid facing threats, irrespective of your own bonafides. A senior officer in a hierarchy is responsible for his own integrity and for enforcing the integrity of subordinates reporting to him. He can therefore suffer as a victim not only on account of his own omissions, inadvertently committed, but also on account of the misdeeds of his subordinates. On the other hand a junior down the level can be punished not only for lapses committed by him, but can also be made a scapegoat and victimized for the misdeeds of those more powerful or more influential in the hierarchy. Cleanliness & purity may not, therefore, if so facto bring you security. On the contrary these very attributes in a vicious environment may contribute towards your facing adverse situations.To be Secure and Successful You Need to be Honest, + (Plus)
be Knowledgeable, Competent and Alert.
A public servant may be honest, but he may have to function in a corrupt and polluted environment. As part of his duties, he may have to, interact with corrupt elements and consequently there is an inherent danger that despite his own bonafides, he may get entangled in the outer peripherals of corrupt transactions and allegations may also eventually stick to him. A public servant can be safe and secure only if he possess, what is expressed in abstract terms, the three "C"s, i.e. "Character", "Capacity", and "Competency". Character is represented by high motivation and integration of personal interests with those of the objectives of the organization. It provides an internal brake from committing wrong deeds. Capacity is expressed in terms of ability to achieve the accepted goals and objectives. As per definition of ISO competency is " demonstrable ability of an individual to apply knowledge and skill" for appropriate purposes.
In short a public servant must ever be alert and vigilant and prepare himself based on assessment of both the emerging opportunities, as well as the threats, that surface from both within his own organization or from the external environment. The 6 step, 20-point code of service ethics attempts to prepare you to overcome all possible threats inherent in public service.
Accept the 6-Step and 20-Point Service Code & Ethics
No doubt these guidelines are elaborate and when perfected transform you into a specialist and professional in service law. Immediately you may not become well-versed in subjects like Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 or Indian Evidence Act. But these are resources for a life-time protection and preservation. Start imparting and understanding those material that can be done immediately and go after other items in a phased manner. The best way to deal with threats to the security and interests is to take precautions to avoid getting the same, and when you happens to be an unfortunate victim to get into it, be well-armed before-hand to meet the threat. This is the objective of following the "6-Steps and 20-Points of Action".
Step-1: Secure A positive Environment Around you
He (the public servant) must be honest to the core. This saves him from pitfalls and brings him in company with other honest persons, who normally form the silent, but positive majority. He gets the sympathy and understanding of the like of him. Knowing him to be steadfast and honest, the influence peddlers and favour-seekers will choose to avoid him. This is a negative gain.
He should not only be honest, but also seen to be honest within his organization. This is possible if he follows structured procedures and maintains proper accountability and supporting records to establish the bonafides of his decisions and actions. This shields him against misdirected victimization. He is able to defend himself in any judicial/quasi-judicial forum effectively in case the need arises.
He must enforce the integrity of employees reporting to him. It keeps him in a clean surrounding and in company of an unpolluted team. He saves himself from falling a victim of misdeeds and frauds committed by his subordinates, who report to him directly. As per Regulation No.3(ii) of MYBANK Officer Employees Conduct Regulation an officer employees is not only responsible for his personal integrity, but also for enforcing discipline and integrity of all juniors reporting to him.
He should shun company of corrupt persons and desist from extending support to such persons. This will also secure him a reciprocal gain. Undesirable persons will know that he is not amenable to easy baits and will hesitate to approach him. "Keep away from the corrupt environment and thou shall be safe." This will render you as not only honest, but to be seen as honest. It will help you to avert the pitfall of inadvertently abetting misdeeds of such unbecoming colleagues or customers
Step -2: Ensure Thoroughness in the Discharge of your Job-Responsibilities
He must be well-versed and possess the knowledge content and
skill demands of his job, and up-to-date with the operational rules and guidelines prescribed therefore. Ultimately no one can be a successful manager in the modern competitive business environment of the Information age and global perspective, without an in-depth knowledge of the emerging strategies and core principles of management. Competency and integrity go together and needless to point out that incompetency and corruption sail together. Devote an average of one hour per day and learn useful things that will make an impact on your performance
He must follow structured systems and procedures and should not
exceed the boundary of authority delegated to him. Whenever you take a decision for the organization keep a record of the justifying background, i.e. the circumstances that prompted you to take the decision. This is the meaning of structured approach. A brief memorandum or note explains the reasons that prompted you to take a particular decision at a particular point of time. Also collect all relevant data and information from the customer/clients with whom you deal and in whose favour the decisions have been taken by you. For example if you allow a concession to a customer, it should be based on a request-application from the customer, and should not be allowed by you at your own initiative, or on verbal demand by the customer. The customer should seek (apply for) the relief providing full justification there for. The relief should not be allowed even then straight away. The request should be "processed". It should be verified that the customer justifiably deserves the relief and that granting the relief is within your powers. A note/memorandum from your side should be placed as aforesaid. This explains why you took the decision and also how the decision taken by you is seen justified.
Do not transgress written codes of your organization based on
oral orders of your seniors. Learn about exhaustive rules of the Government of India with regards to verbal orders.
Give prompt attention to inward mail relating to your department and reply all communications then and there. Do not keep others in suspense.
Submit all MIS returns to the prescribed authorities
promptly. Prompt information system is an index of your transparency, as well as efficiency.
Step -3: Develop Capacity for Trouble-shooting
Learn the Law that govern your personal security. He should familiarise himself with the provisions of relevant enactment and regulations that relate to Public Servants (like Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, Prevention of Corruption Act). Ignorance of law lends no shield when prosecuted erroneously for wrongs not committed. Knowledge of law relevant to a person bestows him not only self-confidence, but he is also able to defend himself properly in a crisis. An attempt to confer you this knowledge resources is made in this web site vide my page on legal supplement titled
Knowledge of Law Essential for the Common Man and pages on
Safeguards & Remedies for public servants and procedures for conducting/defending
He should be well versed with the provisions of Conduct
Regulations, Service Rules, and Discipline and Appeal Regulations applicable to his organization. These are also covered in my literature "Integrity in Public Life & Services ".
He must also be familiar with the jurisdictions and functions
of the vigilance enforcing agencies (like the Central Vigilance Commission,
Central Bureau of Investigation, Vigilance set-up of his own Organization).
The enforcing agencies are intended as much to protect the innocent and honest, as they are for punishing the wrong doers. A brief sketch on CVC and CBI is included in the Chapters on Crime & Punishment.
He must be well-acquainted with information about reputed
NGOs and other forums fighting towards purity and probity in public life and able to secure their support in exigencies. When there is a shield available, it is valuable to know its presence and avail it when the need arises. Some information on
NGOs is given in my work " Integrity in Public Life And Services "
He must be aware of judicial remedies for remedying injustices
and wrongful injuries inflicted on him in his Service. This is the line of ultimate resort to get justice, when elsewhere it fails. The procedure for seeking writ remedies and filing cases in Civil Courts seeking specific reliefs and gist of enactment relevant to public servants are explained in the Legal Supplement
Step -4: Link Yourselves to Clean Groups/Associations of like Minded Officers
and Secure Benefits of Group Synergy
Be a member of informal clubs or associations of
officers/employees for bonafide exchange of problems confronted in the service towards seeking solutions thereof.
Do not support corruption. Honest and hard-working
employees should be vigilant and join powerful anti-corruption forums with a clear
program of action to report misdeeds to appropriate authority. But do not embark
on witch-hunting or magnifying trifles. The law does not recognise trifles and legal
forums are over-burdened with overdue litigation.
Develop Group A Group of officers should combine purposefully and specialize in service matters with a complementary approach, so that they can pool their knowledge and mutually support each other and others of their community. This is the concept of the work-group, whose power is much more than the aggregate powers of the individuals involved. The concept is also termed as "Synergy" in management. The power of a group is unlimited, as its synergy adds unlimited strength to members of the group. Understand all about Team-Working and Work-Groups and informal groups.
Step -5: Understand that Knowledge is Strength and Information is Power
Acquire Strength & Become Powerful
Acquire firm knowledge about your market. Many officers may have a thorough knowledge of banking laws and practice and procedures defining internal working and operations. But they are deficient in the knowledge about their business environment. You have to be able to appraise the business capabilities and personal commitment of your customer and assess his past performance. Your success finally depends on your ability to discriminate a good project from a bad, and a customer of stable performance from a customer, who speculates for short-term results through questionable means. Knowledge needed to distinguish opportunities, as well as threats emanating from external environment is essential. In short you must possess a sound knowledge of your market.
Develop Management skill and expertise. Those who hold executive responsibilities and control specific segments of the organization, must possess basic knowledge of human resource management, behaviour sciences and organisation management.
Step -6: Keep Peter Away
Do not allow Peter Principle to overtake and retard
your competency. When moving to a new job and responsibility learn all about the new job and acquire equal proficiency therein. For this you must know about Peter Principle.
"The Peter Principle was first introduced by L. Peter in a humoristic book (of the same title) describing the pitfalls of bureaucratic organization. The original principle states that in a hierarchically structured administration, people tend to be promoted up to their "level of incompetence". The principle is based on the observation that in such an organization new employees typically start in the lower ranks, but when they prove to be competent in the task to which they are assigned, they get promoted to a higher rank. This process of climbing up the hierarchical ladder can go on indefinitely, until the employee reaches a position where he or she is no longer competent. At that moment the process typically stops, since the established rules of bureaucracies make it very difficult to "demote" someone to a lower rank, even if that person would be much better fitted and more happy in that lower position. The net result is that most of the higher levels of a bureaucracy will be filled by incompetent people, who got there because they were quite good at doing a different (and usually, but not always, easier) task than the one they are expected to do ".
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