Corruption in a changing world: comparisons, theories and control strategies
Recent studies have shown that one of the most important and effective ways to ensure that public servants act ethically is through education. Although education alone does not guarantee ethical behaviour, it eliminates some of the more obvious barriers to ethical behaviour, such as ignorance of the regulations, lack of peer support, and lack of managerial role models. Gilman, who is the Associate Director for Education of the United States Office of Government Ethics, enumerates the five goals of successful ethics training, namely to recognise the ethical implications of issues as they arise; to examine ethical dilemmas objectively; to correct unethical practices that could affect personal relationships; and to communicate the need for applying ethical principles at all levels of the organisation. He then describes the training program developed on this basis by the United States Federal Government, which includes an initial ethics orientation, an annual ethics training and a written training plan. He concludes on the necessity to promote ethical behaviours among public officials, so that citizens can believe in the integrity of those responsible for carrying out the laws, and thus, recognise their legitimacy.