Transparency in Public Administration – UPSC Ethics

What does transparency in public administration means to you? What kind of ethical dilemmas you would face when you want to practice absolute transparency in administration? Discus. (200 Words)

Public administration in a democracy is a means ‘to serve’ the people, with their growth and development being the end. Transparency in public administration means an open and accountable government implementing policies for the welfare of the people. The elector have the right to be informed about the success and failures of government and its day to day measures affecting the common mass.
Transparency further leads to participation, consensus based policy making, redressal of grievances, efficient, effective and equitable governance. Effective measures taken by our government in this direction are Right to Information Act, Citizen Charter Act, Redressal of grievance bill etc. Though absolute transparency is desirable, it is not practical. The dilemmas faced while achieving absolute transparency are:
  1. Conflict between goals of ‘public interest’ and ‘national interest’.
  2. Procedural delays due to transparency and accountability at every stage.
  3. Increased litigation between government and citizen groups.
  4. Presence of corruption being inevitable in a modern economy, absolute transparency is a notion.
  5. Direct and Indirect administrative cost to ensure transparency.
With court’s ruling ‘right to information’ inherent part of right to life under Article 21, transparency has got a new and wider meaning. Further the concept of ‘rule of law’ and ‘good governance’ being founded on the premise of transparency, a democratic government should aspire for maximum possible transparency.



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