- Class Number 7753
- Term Code 3160
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Topic Online
- Mode of Delivery Online or In Person
- Dr Amanda Smullen
- Dr Amanda Smullen
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 26/07/2021
- Class End Date 29/10/2021
- Census Date 14/09/2021
- Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
How can public leaders exercise ethical leadership, and how can we promote clean government, given the many excuses for 'dirty hands' made by government leaders? This course provides students with an introduction to debates over public sector ethics, focusing on the roles and responsibilities of public servants and their relationships to politicians and others sharing public power. The unit uses practical examples and case studies of ethical problems from across the public sector, blending Australian and international material so that students can learn from a variety of policy frameworks appropriate to the regulation of public conduct. Students will examine core theories of ethics with the aim of relating these to prevailing theories of public policy and practices of public administration. They will also examine various approaches to codifying and enforcing public sector ethics.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- critically understand the main concepts and theories in public sector ethics;
- critically apply ethical concepts and theories to examples of public sector practice;
- access relevant source materials on public sector ethics;
- critically understand the role of ethics in professional public sector practice;
- apply critical analytical capacity to answering questions on public sector ethics.
Set readings available online
See further reading under Topics and Readings. Also see useful websites listed below:
Australian Journal of Public Administration
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice
Ethics and International Affairs
Ethics and Information Technology
Ethics and the Environment
Journal of Applied Philosophy
Journal of Political Philosophy
Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Philosophy and Public Affairs
Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly
Public Administration Review
Public Administration and Development
Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics: www.arts.unsw.edu.au/aapae
Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, ANU: www.cappe.edu.au
Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), NSW Government www.icac.nsw.gov.au/publications-and-resources/
Australian Public Service Commission www.apsc.gov.au
American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) www.aspanet.org
Center for Public Integrity: www.publicintegrity.org
Center for Global Ethics and Politics: City University of New York (CUNY): cgep.ws.gc.cuny.edu
UK Committee on Standards in Public Life: www.public-standards.gov.uk
Government of Canada: Public Service Integrity Office: www.psic-ispc.gc.ca
Institute for Global Ethics: www.globalethics.org
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): Directorate for Public
Governance; ethics and anti-corruption program: www.oecd.org/governance/ethics
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, USA: http://plato.stanford.edu
US Office of Government Ethics: www.usoge.gov
Transparency International (TI): www.transparency.org
World Bank: Topics: Governance and public sector management www.worldbank.org/en/topic/governance
Staff FeedbackStudents will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- Written comments
- Verbal comments
- Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups
Student FeedbackANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.
Like most subject headings in the social science, 'ethics' has a variety of meanings and is impossible to define categorically. In this course, we will understand it to refer to decision-making which involves the application of moral values or principles in professional contexts ('moral, of course, is another, equally slippery term). 'Public sector ethics', thus, refers to decision-making by professionals in the public sector. All decisions involve some value component, if it is only the pursuit of political goals, such as winning elections, or personal objectives, such as advancing one•s career. In practice, we reserve 'ethics' for those decisions and values that have a wider, moral purpose, such as the pursuit of the public interest or public value. More specifically, public sector ethics covers a range of values, many of them relating to the proper conduct of government processes, values such as 'fairness', 'impartiality' and 'integrity'. It can also refer to values more concerned with the outcome of government actions, such as 'efficiency' and 'the public good'.
Public sector professionals include a number of different professions that may share the same basic values but also have different public expectations placed on them. One important division is between career public servants or public 'officials' and politicians, particularly elected politicians in democratic governments. The focus of this course is primarily on the ethics of public officials, but we also cover some ethical policy choices which politicians may be asked to make, as well as the ethical tensions that can arise between career public servants and their political masters. However, we do not directly consider the professional ethics of other professions, such as lawyers, teachers and health professionals, some of whom are employed in the public sector but whose members have their own independent sets of values. The initial sessions of the course after the introduction (topics 2 and 3) therefore concentrate on the nature of public service professionalism and the contrast between ethical expectations in the public and private sectors.
Problems of professional ethics come in two broad categories. The first covers ethical dilemmas, where the issue is to decide the ethically best course of action. Ethical dilemmas typically involve a difficult choice between competing principles or values, where there is no obviously right answer. For example, is it ethical for government leaders or officials to deceive the public in the interests of public safety? When, if at all, should a subordinate official disobey a lawful instruction from a superior? When does a conflict of interest arise? Such questions have formed part of the traditional subject matter of the branch of philosophy known as 'ethics' or 'moral philosophy'. We devote a number of sessions to some of these questions (topics 5-9).
Ethical dilemmas raise fundamental issue issues about the nature of ethical reasoning. Without going into too much technical philosophical detail, we need to be aware of the main varieties of ethical theory, including consequentialism (utilitarianism), deontology (Kantianism) and virtue-based ethics (Aristotelianism) and how they affect the approach taken to resolving ethical dilemmas (topic 4).
The second category of ethical problem concerns not so much the clash of competing conceptions of what is right as the contrast between doing what is right (assuming that is agreed on) and doing what is wrong. Here we move away from applied philosophy to more practical issues in political science and public administration. How can ethical values be enforced ? Are they more a matter of institutional culture and education or is there a role for strict rules and external enforcement? What part can be played by formal codes of conduct for public servants (topic 10) and for politicians (topic 11)? How can external integrity agencies help enforce a culture of ethical practice (topic 12)?
All important and interesting question in ethics are open-ended and cannot be answered conclusively. Teaching sessions will therefore place an emphasis on questions and discussion, both in the full class, and in small groups. The success of the class depends on everyone•s willingness to contribute to discussion. The system of class assignments will provide a core of well-prepared participants for each session but all students are encouraged to study the readings and questions before each class. Attendance at classes is not compulsory but is expected, particularly for those who have prepared assignments on the week's topic(s). To assist with note-taking, PowerPoints covering the main points will be available after the class, but not before.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Topic: Introduction This week we introduce the administration of the course, setting out its objectives and allocating assignments. We also introduce the contested subject matter of ethics in public policy, defining it as a study of the ethical problems that may confront those engaged in the public sector, both public officials and politicians. Ethics covers both ethical dilemmas between competing values (alternative conceptions of the right or the good) as well as the choice between right and wrong. Examples of both types of issue are discussed.|
|2||Topic: The ethically responsible public servant This week we gain an overview of the role played by ethics in the professional life of the public official, particularly in liberal democracies, and identify the classic values associated with bureaucracy in such regimes. We examine their source in the necessity of administrative discretion and the extent of such discretion. Press, Baltimore.||Demmke, C & Moilanen, T 2012, 'The pursuit of public service ethics - promises, developments and prospects' in BG Peters & J Pierre (eds), The Sage handbook of public administration, Sage, Los Angeles and London, pp. 698-711. Thompson, D F 1985, ‘The possibility of administrative ethics’, Public Administration Review vol. 45, no. 5, pp. 555-61. Dobel, J P 2005, ‘Public management as ethics’ in E Ferlie, LE Lynn & C Pollitt (eds), The Oxford handbook of public management, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 156-81. Assignment Questions (Group A): (i) Must public officials inevitably exercise discretion? (ii) According to Dobel, what ethical values stem from ‘the classic model of public administration and accountability’? Further Reading: Friedrich, C J 1940, ‘Public policy and the nature of administrative responsibility’, Public Policy vol. 1, pp. 3-24. Finer, H 1941, ‘Administrative responsibility in democratic government’, Public Administration Review vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 335-50. Behn, R 1998, ‘What right do public managers have to lead?’ Public Administration Review vol. 58, no 3, pp 209-24. Plant, JF 2018, 'Responsibility in public administration ethics', Public Integrity, vol. 20, s. 1, pp. 33-45. Dobel, J P 1999, Public Integrity, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. Rhodes, R A W & Wanna, J 2009, ‘Bringing the politics back in: public value in Westminster parliamentary government’, Public Administration vol. 87, no. 2, pp. 161-83.|
|3||Topic: The contrast between the public and private sectors This week we consider the contrast between ethical and accountability demands on managers in the public and private sectors respectively. Some of the values and ethical standards that public officials need to observe are common to organisations in all sectors, but some are distinctive, or distinctively prominent, in only one. How far is the ‘new public management’ (NPM), which advocates private sector practices in government, compatible with public service values?||van der Wal, Z, de Graaf, G and Lasthuizen, K 2008, ‘What’s valued most? Similarities and differences between the organizational values of the public and private sector’, Public Administration vol. 86, no. 2, pp. 465-82. Mulgan, R 2000, ‘Comparing accountability in the public and private sectors’, Australian Journal of Public Administration vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 87-97 Adams, G B & Balfour, D L 2010, 'Market-based government and the decline of organizational ethics', Administration and Society vol. 42, no. 6, pp. 615-37. Assignment Questions (Group B): (i) What are the main differences between the ethical and accountability demands on public and on private sector managers? (ii) To what extent does the contracting out of government services threaten public service values? Further Reading: Allison, G 1986, ‘Public and private management: are they fundamentally alike in all unimportant aspects’ in S. Lane (ed.), Current issues in public administration, St Martin’s Press, New York, pp.184-200. Shergold, P 1997, ‘Ethics and the changing nature of public service’, Australian Journal of Public Administration vol. 56, no. 1, pp.119-24. Diefenbach, T 2009, ‘New Public Management in public sector organizations: the dark side of managerial “enlightenment”’, Public Administration vol. 87, no. 4, pp. 892-909. van der Wal, Z 2011, ‘The content and context of organizational ethics’, Public Administration vol. 89, no. 2, pp 644-60. Walton, GW 2013, 'The Limitations of Neoliberal Logic in the Anti-corruption Industry: Lessons from Papua New Guinea', Crime, Law and Social Change vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 147-164. Mulgan, R 2003, Holding power to account (Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke), ch. 4 Mulgan, R (2005), ‘Outsourcing and public service values: the Australian experience’, International Review of Administrative Sciences vol. 71, no. 1, pp. 55-70.|
|4||Topic: Theories of ethical judgment This week we consider three approaches to ethical reasoning which have been used in public sector ethics: consequentialism/utilitarianism, deontology/Kantianism, and virtue-based/Aristotelianism. We identify the main differences between each approach and how each approach contributes to analysing different types of ethical problem.||Sullivan, E and Segers, M 2007, ‘Ethical issues and public policy’, ch. 21 in F. Fisher, G. Miller and M. Sidney eds, Handbook of public policy analysis CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp. 309-27. Christensen, T and Laegrid, P 2011, ‘Ethics and administrative reforms’, Public Management Review vol. 13, no. 3, esp pp. 460-63. Beauchamp, T and Childress, J 2001, ‘Utilitarianism’, ‘Kantianism’, ‘Moral Excellence’, selected extracts from Principles of Biomedical Ethics. 5th edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 340-355, 43-51 Assignment Questions (Group C): (i) What are the main differences between consequentialism/utilitarianism and deontology/Kantianism? (ii) What are the main features of Aristotelian virtue-based ethics and how does it differ from deontology/Kantianism? Further Reading: Sandel, M J 2009, Justice: what’s the right thing to do?, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York. Darwall, S L 2007, 'Theories of ethics' in R G Frey and C H Wellman (eds), Companion to Applied Ethics (Wiley Blackwell, internet). Koven S G 2015, 'Ethical grounding: philosophical perspectives' ch. 2 in Public Sector Ethics, CRC Press (internet). Mill, J S 1861, Utilitarianism. Kant, I 1785, Groundwork for the metaphysics of morals. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics.|
|5||Topic: The problem of 'dirty hands' This week we look at one of the core ethical dilemmas in public ethics, whether the wider public interest requires political leaders to make decisions, such as sacrificing innocent lives, which would be considered immoral if made by individual citizens. We look at the classic exposition of this view in the Italian political theorist Machiavelli, as well as some modern applications of what has become known as the problem of ‘dirty hands’ and consider whether ‘dirty hands’ are an inevitable part of political life.||Price, T 2008, ‘Machiavellian necessity’, from Leadership Ethics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 145-151. Uhr, J 2015, 'Leadership dilemmas: debating dirty hands', ch. 4 in Prudential Public Leadership, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 61-5, 80-2. Bellamy, R, 2010, Dirty hands and clean gloves: liberal ideals and real politics', European Journal of Political Theory vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 412-30. Assignment Questions (Group D): (i) Why, in Machiavelli’s view, must leaders be prepared to act unethically? (ii) What features of politics make it difficult for politicians to behave ethically? Further Reading: Walzer, M 1973, ‘Political action: the problem of dirty hands’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 160•180. Sandel, M J 2009, ‘The greatest happiness principle; utilitarianism’, ch. 2 in Justice: what’s the right thing to do? Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2010, pp. 31-51. Garrett, S A 1994, ‘Political leadership and the problem of “dirty hands”’, Ethics and International Affairs, vol. 8, pp. 159-175. Tillyris ,D 2015, ‘Learning how not to be good: Machiavelli and the standard dirty hands thesis’, Ethical Theory and Moral; Practice vol. 18, pp. 61-74.|
|6||Topic: Truth, Lies and Spin This week we look at the issue of truth and deception in public life. This is another application of the ‘dirty hands’ argument that political leaders may sometimes be justified in breaking moral rules in the public interest. It also arises in relation to the question of political rhetoric or ‘spin’ which can involve misleading the public without necessarily engaging in outright falsehood.||Bok, S 1978, ‘Lies for the public good’, ch. 12 in Lying: moral choice in public and private life. Pantheon Books, pp. 165-181. Edyvane, D 2105, 'The ethics of democratic deceit', Journal of Applied Philosophy vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 310-25. Mulgan, R 2007, ‘Truth in government and the politicization of public service advice’, Public Administration vol. 85, no 3, pp. 569-86. Assignment Questions (Group A): (i) What arguments can governments use to justify lying to their citizens? (ii) How does spin differ from lying? Further Reading: Sandel, M J 2009, ‘What matters is the motive’, ch. 5 in Justice: what’s the right thing to do? Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, pp. 103-139. Nolan C J 2004, ‘Bodyguard of lies’, in Nolan ed Ethics and Statecraft, Praeger, Portsmouth, pp 35-57. Humphreys, J 2005, ‘The Iraq dossier and the meaning of spin’, Parliamentary Affairs vol. 58, no 1, pp 156-70 Manson, N C 2012, ‘Making sense of spin’, Journal of Applied Philosophy vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 200-12.|
|7||Topic: Public servants and politicians This week we further examine the relationship between career public servants and elected politicians, particularly under ‘Westminster’ conventions of public service neutrality (already touched on in topics two and five). How far should officials be responsive to their political masters? Are they ever entitled to resist political instructions in the public interest? What form can such resistance take?||Uhr, J 2005, ‘National security and government: at war with ethics’, ch. 7 in Terms of trust, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, pp. 159-86, 222-3. Mulgan, R 2008, ‘How much responsiveness is too much or too little?’, Australian Journal of Public Administration vol. 67, no 3, pp. 345-56. Grube, D C & Howard, C 2016, ‘Promiscuously partisan? Public service impartiality and responsiveness in Westminster systems’, Governance vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 517-33. Assignment Questions (Group B): (i) What were the main issues in the ‘Ponting affair’? (ii) What limits, if any, are there to the public servant’s duty to be ‘responsive’ to the government of the day? Further Reading: ?Finer, H 1941, ‘Administrative responsibility in democratic government’, Public Administration Review vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 335-50. Shergold, P. 2004. ‘Lackies, careerists, political stooges’? Personal reflections on the current state of public service leadership.• Australian Journal of Public Administration vol. 63, no. 4, pp. 3-14. 't Hart, P & Wille, A 2006, 'Ministers and top officials in the Dutch core executive: living together, growing apart?', Public Administration vol. 84, no. 1, pp. 121-46. Christensen, JG & Opstrup, N 2017, 'Bureaucratic dilemmas: civil servants between political responsiveness and normative constraints', Governance vol. 31, pp. 481-98|
|8||Topic: Whistleblowing This week we look further at the issue of whistleblowing or public interest disclosure, which we have already touched on with the Ponting affair and the limits to public service responsiveness. Whistleblowing can take many forms, not all of them public or sensational. Whistleblower laws seek to protect whistleblowers from adverse consequences but how successfully?||Set Readings: Dusseyer, I, Mumford, S and Sullivan G, 2011, ‘Reporting corrupt practices in the public interest: innovative approaches to whistleblowing’ ch. 23 in in A Graycar and R G Smith (eds), Handbook of global research and practice in corruption Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp. 429-62. OECD 2011, G20 Anti-corruption action plan. Protection of whistleblowers, OECD, Paris, pp. 15-25. Taylor, J 2018, 'Internal whistle-blowing in the public service: a matter of trust', Public Administration Review vol. 778, no. 5, pp. 717-26. Assignment Questions (Group C): (i) What is ‘whistleblowing’: to whom and about what is the whistle blown? (ii) What have been the main impediments to effective whistle-blowing? Further Reading: ?Brown, A J (ed) 2008, ‘Summary’ in Whistleblowing in the Australian public sector, ANU E Press, Canberra, pp. xxii-xxxviii. Brown, A J 2007, ‘Privacy and the public interest disclosure: when is it reasonable to protect •whistleblowing' to the media?’, Privacy Law Bulletin vol. 4, no 2, pp. 1-10. Hedin, U C and Mansson S A 2012, 'Whistleblowing processes in Swedish public organisations - complaints and consequences', European Journal of Social Work vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 151-67 Moss, P 2016, Review of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.|
|9||Topic: Conflicts of interest This week we look at a familiar issue in public sector ethics, the need to avoid conflicts of interest, which concerns both politicians and public servants. What are the interests between which conflict is problematic? How are conflicts to be identified and how are they to be dealt with?||Set Readings: OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) 2003, Managing Conflict of Interest in the Public Service OECD, Paris pp. 22-38 Stark, A 2000, 'Introduction (first section), 'The topography of conflict', 'Interest, bias and ideology' chs. 1, 2, 10 in Conflict of Interest in American Public Life, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp. 1-8, 36-40, 119-24. Dobel, J P 2017, ‘The strategic advantage of conflict of interest laws’, Public Integrity, DOI: 10.1080/10999922.2017.1331635 Assignment Questions (Group D): (i) Is the existence of a conflict of interest (actual, apparent or potential) a matter of objective fact or of subjective attitudes? (ii) What are the main methods of managing specific conflicts of interest? Further Reading: Hutton, W L and Massey, A 2006, 'Professional ethics and public service: can professionals serve two masters?', Public Money and Management vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 23-30. Brody, H 2011, 'Clarifying conflict of interest', American Journal of Bioethics vol. 11, no 1, pp 23-8. State Services Authority Victoria 2009, Conflict of Interest Policy Framework http://www.ssa.vic.gov.au/images/stories/product_files/136_PSSC_ConflictIntFrame.pdf pp. 1-9. Ochoa, R and Graycar, A (2016), 'Tackling conflicts of interest: policy instruments in different settings', Public Integrity vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 83-100. Jepson, V 2018, 'Apparent conflicts of interest, elected officials and codes of conduct', Canadian Public Administration vol. 61, s. 1, pp. 36-52.|
|10||Topic: Codes of Conduct (public servants) This week we look at the trend for drawing up codes of ethics which accelerated in the 1990s in both the public and the private sectors. We discuss the reasons behind this trend and its link with the managerial movement. Do the codes enshrine traditional values or do they also include more managerial values? What role do codes play in encouraging public sector integrity? We also look at the issue of receiving gifts.||Set Readings: OECD 2000, Trust in government. Ethics measures in OECD countries, OECD, Paris, pp. 28-39. Mulgan, R and Wanna, J 2011, ‘Developing cultures of integrity in the public and private sectors’ ch. 22 in A Graycar and R G Smith (eds), Handbook of global research and practice in corruption Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp. 416-28. Kumasey, A K, Bawole, N. & Hossain, F 2016, ‘Organizational commitment of public service employees in Ghana: do codes of ethics matter’, International Review of Administrative Sciences, vol. 83, pp. 59-77. Assignment Questions (Group A): (i) What factors prompted a renewed interest in codifying public sector values? (ii) Do public sector codes of conduct lead to improved ethical behaviour? Further Reading: Benson, G 1989, “Codes of ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics vol. 8, no. 5, 305-19. Nolan, Lord 1998, ‘Just and honest government’, Public Administration and Development vol 18, pp. 447-55. Kinchin, N 2007, ‘More than writing on the wall: evaluating the role that codes of ethics play in securing accountability of public sector decision-makers’, Australian Journal of Public Administration vol 66, no. 1, pp. 112-20. Thaler, J and Helmig, B 2015, 'Do codes of conduct and ethical leadership influence public employees' attitudes and behaviours?', Public Management Review vol. 18, no. 9, pp. 1365-99|
|11||Topic: Codes of Conduct (politicians) This week we continue our examination of codes of conduct by looking at the case of parliamentarians/legislators as distinct from public service officials. Politicians have always adopted looser standards of ethical behaviour than public servants and have resisted external supervision of their conduct. We discuss recent moves to codify their ethical principles and to introduce a form of external monitoring. We also examine the ethical status of lobbying and the issue of post-government employment ('the revolving door')||Set Readings: Williams, R 2002, ‘Conduct unbecoming: the regulation of legislative ethics in Britain and the United States’, Parliamentary Affairs vol . 55, no. 4, pp. 611-25. Commonwealth Parliament, House of Representatives Standing Committee of Privileges and Members' Interests 2011, chs. 3 and 5 in Draft code of conduct for members of Parliament http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=pmi/cocreport.htm Goldberg, F. 2018, 'Corruption and lobbying; conceptual differentiation and gray areas', Crime, Law and Social Change vol. 70, pp 197-215. Assignment Questions (Group B): (i) What factors militate against the formal regulation of the ethical behaviour of legislators/parliamentarians? (ii) How does democratic lobbying differ from corrupt influence? Further Reading: Hunt, M 2000, 'Parliament and ethical behaviour' in R A Chapman (ed), Ethics in public service for the new milennium, Ashgate, Aldershot pp 23-34. Uhr, J 2006, ‘Professional ethics for politicians’ in D Saint-Martin and F Thompson (eds), Public Ethics and Governance: Standards and Practices in Comparative Perspective, Emerald Group Publishing (internet publication), pp. 207-25. David-Barrett, E 2015, 'Nolan's legacy: regulating parliamentary conduct in democratising countries', Parliamentary Affairs vol. 68, no. 3, pp. 514-32 Bew, P 2015, 'The committee on standards in public life: twenty years of the Nolan principles 1995-2015', Political Quarterly vol. 86, no. 3, pp. 411-18. OECD 2009, Lobbyists, governments and public trust, vol 1.|
|12||Topic: Integrity systems This week we look at government-wide systems that encourage public sector integrity, particularly ‘integrity agencies’ that monitor and punish breaches of public sector ethics. Some of these agencies are longstanding, such as government auditors, others are more recent but well-established, such as ombudsmen. Many such agencies have other, wider regulatory tasks as well as integrity monitoring. Some are more custom-built for integrity purposes, such as anti-corruption agencies which have become very popular over the last decade. We conclude with consideration of the main strategies for combatting corruption.||Set Readings: Aulich, C & Wettenhall, R 2017, 'Developing an ethical culture in public sector governance; the role of integrity agencies', Australasian Parliamentary Review vol. 32, no. 2, pp 51-62. Mulgan, R 2014, 'Dealing with regulators’ ch. 7 in Making open government work, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 135-57 de Sousa, L 2010, ‘Anti-corruption agencies: between empowerment and irrelevance’, Crime, Law and Social Change col. 53, pp. 5-22. Assignment Questions (Groups C and D): (i) What are ‘integrity agencies’ and what are the respective roles of government auditors and ombudsmen in contributing to government integrity? (ii) What conditions are needed for anti-corruption agencies to succeed in reducing corruption? Further Reading: Head, B W, 2012. ‘The contribution of integrity agencies to good governance’, Policy Studies, 33 (1), 7-20. Walton, GW & Pieffer, C 2017, 'The impacts of education and institutional trust on citizens’ willingness to report corruption: Lessons from Papua New Guinea', Australian Journal of Political Science vol. 52, no. 4, pp. 517-536. Brown, A J and Head, B 2005, ‘Institutional capacity and choice in Australia’s integrity systems’, Australian Journal of Public Administration vol. 64, no. 2, pp. 84-95. Stevulak, C & Brown, MP 2011, 'Activating public sector ethics in transitional societies', Public Integrity vol.13, no. 2, pp. 97-112. van Montort, A, Beck, L and Twinjnstra, A 2013, 'Can integrity be taught in public organisations?', Public Integrity vol 15, no. 2, pp 117-32 Kuris, G 2015, 'Watchdogs or guard dogs: do anti-corruption agencies need strong teeth?', Policy and Society vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 125-35.|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Class Assignments (3)||30 %||*||*||1, 5|
|Group presentations - key conceptual ideas and real life examples from week's readings||20 %||*||*||1,5|
|Final essay||50 %||08/11/2021||02/12/2021||1,2,3,4,5|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
PoliciesANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
Assessment RequirementsThe ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.
Moderation of AssessmentMarks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1, 5
Class Assignments (3)
The class will be divided into four groups (A, B, C and D) and students in each group will individually (no group work required) prepare assignments for three classes spread through the course (Group A - topics 2, 6 and 10; Group B - topics 3, 7 and 11; Group C - topics 4, 8 and 12; Group D - topics 5, 9 and 12). Students will be asked to contribute to class discussion on the basis of their assignments.
Each assignment should be around 600 words in total and should contain answers to the questions set for that class. Some questions may require more words than others. Each question can be answered satisfactorily from the set readings. There is no need for (or potential reward from) further reading. (The further readings in the course summary are for those who wish to explore issues further, perhaps in relation to the final essay.)
Answers should be written in paragraphs of connected prose without bullet points, though headings may be used. There is no need for a separate introduction or conclusion or for a bibliography. Direct quotation from the academic sources should be kept to a minimum.
The premium is on clear and concise expression as well as focus on the questions asked. Imagine you are writing for a busy superior who wants the key issues explained in no more than two pages.
Assignments must be submitted online by the beginning of the relevant class. (Students should ignore the due date on Turnitin, which, for administrative reasons, has been set at the date of the last assignment.) Students may also bring a copy of the assignment to class to help them answer questions. Late submissions will not be accepted because they could benefit unfairly from class discussion. Students unable, for good reason, to submit in time for the class should arrange to submit an assignment for a subsequent class. Students unable, for good reason, to attend the class for which they are prepared, should notify the lecturer by email.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,5
Group presentations - key conceptual ideas and real life examples from week's readings
Alongside your three individual assignments (Task 1) which are allocated to students in each group (A, B, C, D) in 3 different weeks throughout the course, each group is also required to give a short 3 x 10 minute group presentation on the week's readings that they were allocated to provide written responses answer about. The presentations will occur during the online or in-class interactive sessions.
The group needs to:
Meet online or in class to work out their presentation and roles/tasks, and maintain contact about the undertaking of the presentation/s.
Identify (a) key concept/s or aspects of weekly readings, it can also be that you develop your own question to discuss from the readings, and present in-class (eg. what is meant by public officials' discretion and why is it ethically important?). The presentation topic should be different to, and deepen, the weekly written assignments.
Identify, at least one other (public administration/policy) scholarly reference, that discusses that concept and include its relevance in your presentation.
Provide one or more 'real-life' examples that illustrates the concept eg. (the degree to which the head of public organisation or a front-line social security administrator might have discretion, and why this might be ethically relevant).
Where relevant identify actions that could be introduced to mitigate any ethical challenges arising from application of the chosen topic/concept.
Identify a discussion question or theme from your presentation for the class.
Prepare a powerpoint to present in class and email this to Amanda.email@example.com by Monday 5pm, in the week of the presentation.
Chose presenter/s who will perform the presentation in the online/in-class session. It requires a little more coordination to have more than one presenter online, but it's possible.
Group members will be asked to rate themselves and their group members in form that can be downloaded from the wattle site. You will be asked to rate one another and yourselves both with respect to your quality of interaction to prepare the presentation and according to tasks pertaining to the presentation.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
Essay topic: Identify a particular ethical issue in a particular government organization that needs attention and recommend ways of dealing with the issue, drawing on themes and arguments from the course (2000 words).
Students are encouraged to discuss their proposed topic with the lecturer at any time during the course. They should also read more widely around the chosen topic, following up references and websites suggested in the course summary. They may also draw on their own experience where written sources are inadequate.
Due date: Monday November 8
Academic IntegrityAcademic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.
Online SubmissionThe ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
Hardcopy SubmissionFor some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.
Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.
Referencing RequirementsAccepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.
Extensions and PenaltiesExtensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.
Distribution of grades policyAcademic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.
Support for studentsThe University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Accountability, public sector ethics
Dr Amanda Smullen