May 17, 2013

Public service impartiality: what it is and why it matters

Public service impartiality: what it is and why it matters.

This is an excellent explanation provided by the Public Service Commission of Canada.

Among the listed dangers of a partisan civil service are the following.

1. Services to the public being influenced by partisan considerations (either delivery is aligned to a political ideology, or service is denied or varied, depending on the partisan history of the citizen);

     This is what happened in USA tax office.

2. Protracted periods of turmoil during government transitions as large numbers of public servants are replaced;

     This is what happens in Singapore Town Councils. Not only civil servants are replaced. Even computer software is replaced

3. Fewer checks and balances, with the principle of good government taking second place to partisan considerations; 

    This is what happens in Singapore Town Councils. From the Town Council Review Report 2013:
Latitude has always been given to TCs to exercise autonomy, where they see fit, in engaging those who share their political agenda or are affiliated to their parties.

4. Elections and, by extension, democracy being greatly influenced by a governing party being able to call on the assistance of a partisan public service during campaigns.

5. Constant suspicion about the legitimacy of purchasing and contracting practices.

A good citizen-ownership democracy needs a good democracy as the foundation.

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