- Intro – distinguish between private virtue & public probity.
- Discuss the importance of virtue in influencing probity.
The above statement tries to highlight that private virtue is essential for any person to show probity. Private virtue means moral traits or habits. Virtuous living in this sense takes as given and thus does not much care about what shape the larger society has. Being honest or trustworthy is, for instance, a trait all people can exhibit whether the society is equalitarian or aristocratic. It is concerned with the whole of a person’s life, rather than particular episodes or actions. A good person is someone who lives virtuously who possesses and lives the virtues. It allows people to maintain personal and interpersonal connections important for the good life.
On the other hand, probity in Governance is defined as adherence to ethical and moral values like honesty, Integrity, rectitude, uprightness etc. It is the presence of procedural integrity with high standards of ethical behaviour.
Importance of virtue for civil servants to maintain probity in the governance: Civil service involves decision-making in the public sphere. They have to deal with many matters that are anonymous and discrete. Due to this, prudence is an eminent desirable quality in civil servants. Smooth civil service assists to foster good policy making, effective service delivery, accountability and responsibility in utilizing public resources which are the features of good governance.
That’s why a civil servant must have strong private virtue to show probity in the governance. A civil servant with strong private virtue always shows public probity in all the circumstances. Probity is vital feature of governance which facilitates government to act ethically and perform its duty. It has been observed that due to different irregularities such as corruption; insensitivity; red tapism, irresponsibility; disregard to office and law, the governance system losing its credential people. Probity is also needed to ensure that accountability and integrity is maintained in the governance.
Hence, Private virtue is quintessential to for public servants to show probity in the governance. Probity in public service can be ensured by adopting moral and ethical virtue in private life.