Ethics for Government Municipalities
Government municipalities have to deal with a variety of ethical issues on a daily basis. This is why an ethics analysis is so beneficial.
Trying to figure out how to handle ethical issues isn’t always easy. The right analysis helps eliminate government ethics problems in the most effective way.
What Is A Government Ethics Analysis?
When ethics issues arise, it’s your responsibility to have a process in place to investigate and handle them. Otherwise, no one will report anything and the issue will continue unchecked. A government ethics analysis involves creating a process to identify, analyze and handle ethics problems. It typically involves five main steps:
· Identifying the issues – These can observed or reported. You can also perform an ethical audit to see how things are being handled in your municipality.
· Outlining your options – Gather the facts, look at current policies and uncover what details are still needed.
· Analyzing from an ethical standpoint – List the morals, values and policies that support or disprove the report.
· Evaluating both sides of the story – Study the evidence and any arguments from both sides.
· Deciding what to do – Decide on the best course of action that would be of the most benefit to your municipality and employees from an ethical view.
Giving Employees A Reason To Speak Up
Having a government ethics analysis process gives employees a reason to speak up. Without one, employees aren’t sure if you’ll do anything about issues if they’re reported. At worst, they fear for their jobs if they’re outed as the whistleblower.
However, your employees are your strongest asset for uncovering ethical issues before they have the opportunity to backfire on your municipality. This makes employees feel more confident when they observe something going on. Instead of holding back, they get to help make a positive change for the government they’re working for.
Prevent Costly Scandals
No one expects government municipalities to be perfect. However, they do expect them to try to uphold basic ethics. For instance, increasing taxes to fund downtown renovations is only acceptable if citizens see work being done. If taxes increase, but an employee is skimming money off the fund, the project won’t be able to be completed. This creates a major scandal and trust issues.
Citizens are far less likely to vote on projects in the future. If an employee reports the issue and you’re able to perform a government ethics analysis, you’ll be able to stop the problem before it goes public.
Shut Out Unethical Employees
If ethical issues go unchecked, everyone assumes it’s okay to do whatever they want. But, if employees are encouraged to report issues and they’re immediately addressed, unethical employees may quit versus risking being reported. Plus, word will get out that you’re an ethical municipality. As a result, you’ll attract more ethical employees, leading to a better run government.
A government ethics analysis isn’t a bad thing. It’s a powerful tool for dealing with ethical problems and even preventing them in the future