Table of Contents
Transparency in public administration is a fundamental principle of corporate governance, transparent organizations, give room for the public to enquire about the progress of various projects. More so, this value ensures accountability and responsibility in public administrators. Lack of transparency may result in adverse effects such as embezzlement of funds, and the collapse of business enterprises. However, this problem can be overcome through regular supervision of public administrator’s accountability profile, ensuring the accuracy of public service documents and much more.
` Public administration is the act of implementing government policies, it may also be considered as an academic discipline that surveys implementation and prepares civil servants to work in the public service. Transparency in public administration means openness and accountability of the government in the way it implements its policies for the welfare of the people. Therefore, this field is crucial in that it ensures proper management and policy implementation, which ensures efficient functionality of the government. Hence, the public has the right to be informed about the progress of the government including its successes and failures and its day-to-day activities affecting the collective mass. A transparent civil service system leads to maximum participation, consensus based on policymaking, equitable, and effective governance, and adequate redress of grievances (Henry 65). More so, a clear decision should fulfill the following. First, the decision made should not be arbitrary; this means that it should be as rational as possible. Secondly, transparency means that all data and facts involved in the process of decision-making are posted in the domain excluding sensitive information. Thirdly, information should be availed to anyone who seeks further details regarding a certain issue. However, several problems are facing this sector, and therefore, this paper aims to identify the main issue that affects its functionality and thereby singling out possible solutions to the problem.
Transparency is a major challenge facing public administration. Lack of this quality has a great impact on both the government and the citizens in that, to the citizens it may lead to inequality whereby public resources may be unfairly distributed, and since the records are not clear then no one is questioned regarding the issue (Henry 68). On the other hand, the government may suffer criticism by the public due to unequal distribution of resources, as public administrators are the government’s workmanship since they represent the state at the grassroots level.
Lack of corporate governance values such as transparency/openness coupled up with integrity, accountability, and honesty has led to the fall of several organizations. Most public servants violate corporate governance principles, therefore, resulting in corruption. Hence, lack of responsibility and accountability is noted in such organizations. When there is no transparency among team members, team leaders, and managers; personal biased opinions and fabricated feedback will always take control of the entire management system (Cox 73). More so, personal motives and conflict of interest take charge, which corrupts the process of decision-making. As a result, decisions made regarding employees, are based on the will of immediate supervisors or people having a special relationship with the decision makers. In most cases, the supervisors never want to disclose what is taking place on the ground; they are usually irritated whenever an employee copies a report or valuable information regarding performance to the decision makers.
Besides, performance evaluation may be compromised whereby, for an unknown reason, one may be promoted, appreciated in public meetings, or may get a salary increment whereas those that have performed well may be demoted. Consequently, this may lead to conflict and team distraction, therefore decreasing productivity regarding quality and quantity. More so, lack of transparency, integrity, honesty, trust, nepotism, unexpected loss or gain and broken promises will put the entire team or an individual in a state of confusion distracting concentration to work for a common goal. Lastly, partial relationships established among top leaders, the middle management, and other public servants might affect the accuracy regarding feedback and decisions, therefore, making them imperfect and unreliable.
Some of the feasible solutions to this problem include, first, regular supervision of records to ensure accountability by public administrators, this way, every individual will be required to account for every single action. Therefore, embezzlement of funds will be eradicated through this move; more so, legal action should be taken on those who are found guilty regarding the same, as it will be an important step in ensuring transparency in this sector. Secondly, accuracy is another element of transparency; it is important that all public service documents are presented with a high notch of precision, and therefore measures to minimize errors should be taken. For instance, use of electric mechanisms such as the Internet-based portals and databases may be considered key in reducing the margin of error that may be ascribed to lack of transparency. Erroneous records may give rise to some questions regarding the validity and reliability of the data, which in return leads to lack of clarity/openness. It is crucial that authorities communicate true and accurate information concerning their performance to the society (Cox 83). However, since the authorities always have the monopoly, then a degree of controversy comes in as there is rarely anyone to question the authorities, therefore, resulting in loss of relevant information. Hence, there should be constant communication between public officials and citizens to ensure that there is accurate and complete information.
Finally, training public administrators about transparency measures would be another important step in ensuring openness in the provision of public services, this will ensure that all civil servants are equipped with knowledge concerning this quality, and therefore those who do not exercise it will as well not be portraying a good picture of the entire sector. Therefore, I recommend that all public administrators should be vetted annually to account for the activities that have been undertaken throughout the year to ensure that transparency is a guarantee in all government organizations.
Indeed, it is essential that public administrators focus on achievement of socio-significant results by providing transparency in all their undertakings as they represent the state. Thus, the government may be viewed as a kind of social contract from which state powers are transmitted to the government institutions whereby people are the sources of power and therefore, this makes public administration automatically the most crucial sort of governance on the national scale. Hence, it translates that openness is key to this sector as it is actively involved in decision-making and implementation.
- Cox, Raymond. Ethics and integrity in public administration: concepts and cases. New York: Routledge, 2015. Print.
- Henry, Nicholas. Public administration and public affairs. New York: Routledge, 2015. Print.