Ethics and Public Sector Work
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In the midst of debate about the levels of corruption and misconduct in the APS, coupled with declining trust in institutions including government, understanding ethical codes and behaving ethically are essential skills for public sector employees. By employing interactive techniques that draw on participants’ own experiences, supplemented by research findings, this course will provide a theoretical and experiential basis for participants to become familiar with the APS’ ethical infrastructure, and understand and practise ethical behaviour across formal and informal domains.
The ethical conduct of people in organisations is currently under suspicion in both the private and public sector. High profile failures involving sexual misconduct, nepotism and corruption seem common as well as rorts and distortions resulting from unintended consequences of policy design and implementation. For example, in the public domain each annual APS survey cycle sparks fierce debate about the levels of corruption and misconduct in the APS, including the need for a national-level anti-corruption agency to oversee integrity in the Australian Government. In the private sector, Royal Commissions have exposed lamentable failures by (among others) schools, churches, banks and health care institutions and there have been high profile scandals in large companies across the globe.
In the face of this, understanding ethical approaches and codes and behaving ethically are essential skills for people in organisations generally and public sector employees in particular.
Using a range of scenarios and interactive sessions, participants will explore their own implicit ethical views and consider a range of ways to rise to ethical challenges. The range of approaches will be linked to various existing frameworks, such as the APS’ ethical infrastructure, and assist in understanding and practising ethical behaviour across formal and informal domains.
Drawing on participants’ own experiences and policy challenges, supplemented by discussion examples and research findings, this module will provide a theoretical and experiential basis for participants to become familiar with explicitly thinking about ethics and making ethical choices, linking these to the APS’ ethical infrastructure.