Headlines: July 14th, 1999

Civil Service standards are under the spotlight Public Service Minister Peter Kilfoyle told the conference of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences at Sunningdale. Bringing more people into the Civil Service from outside and increased use of short term contracts and secondments could challenge the standards of ethical behaviour. Impartiality, integrity, honesty and accountability could be undermined.

The Head of the Civil Service, Sir Richard Wilson, has been given a remit to identify a vision for the Civil Service of the future and the values and behaviour required to underpin them. This will provide a framework within which departments and agencies can develop more detailed statements of their aims and values. The ensuing report will address the issue of how the values and behaviour identified can be embedded and “lived” in the service as a whole.

In parallel with this work, departments and agencies are revisiting their business plans to see what special standards of behaviour may be applicable. Peter Kilfoyle gave an assurance that this initiative was not designed to impose an entirely new ethical framework, but a move to adapt behaviour to the needs and challenges of operating in a dynamic society.