n Journal of Public Administration - Responsibility, accountability and ethics : the case for public service leadership

Volume 38, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The existence of bureaucratic power cannot be overstated in the public sector. It is also important to note that the irresponsible exercise of that power arouses public concern. This article examines the responsibility of public servants or those who serve the public through the power they exercise, and assesses the ethical standards that they bring to their recommendations and conclusions. The article begins by explaining the importance of administrative responsibility and examines the interrelated issues of administrative accountability, public service ethics, and the public interest. The paper further contends that the "responsible" bureaucrat is commonly perceived as one who pursues such issues as accountability, integrity, neutrality, efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness, representativeness, and equity in the procurement of good governance in the public domain.

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