What does the term ‘public servant’ mean? What are the public interest principles and procedures that civil servant must follow?

A public servant can be described as an individual who works for the state and whose main duty is associated with the welfare of the public and society. The duties include providing service to the public in the form of protection, administration, or maintenance.

The following principles and procedures must be followed by public servants:

  • Civil servants must follow the Constitution and the rule of law. 
  • Civil servants must work in the best interests of citizens and other entities by being straightforward, efficient, punctual, and methodical in their actions.
  • Civil servants must communicate with citizens and other legal entities in a way that fosters mutual trust and collaboration.
  • Civil servants must treat citizens and other legal entities with respect, understanding, and decency, and must not obstruct their rights and interests.
  • Any financial or other consideration for themselves, their families, or friends should be avoided; the public interest should be the primary consideration.
  • Parliament, the CAG, the courts, and eventually the electorate hold the political executive accountable for an irresponsible policy that overlooks public interest.

Public service is for the people’s benefit. As a result, policies and their execution should be directed by the public good. All government work is driven by public interest. Official decisions should be guided purely by public interest.

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