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Principles for The ASPA (1981)
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Principles for the American Society for Public Administration
The American Society, for Public Administration exists to advance the science, processes, and art of public administration.
The Society affirms its responsibility to develop the spirit of professionalism within its membership, and to increase public awareness of moral standards in public service by its example. To this end we, the members of the Society, commit ourselves to the following principles:
1. Service to the public is beyond service to oneself.
2. The people are sovereign and those in public service are ultimately responsible to them.
3. Laws govern all actions of the public service. Where laws or regulations are ambiguous, leave discretion, or require change, we will seek to serve the best interests of the public.
4. Efficient and effective management is basic to public administration. Subversion through misuse of influence, fraud, waste, or abuse is intolerable. Employees who responsibly call attention to wrongdoing will be encouraged.
5. The merit system, equal opportunity, and affirmative action principles will be supported, implemented, and promoted.
Safeguarding the public trust is paramount. Conflicts of interest, bribes, gifts, or favors which subordinate public positions to private gains are unacceptable.
7. Service to the public creates demands for special sensitivity to the qualities of justice, courage, honesty, equity, competence and compassion. We esteem these qualities, and we will actively promote them.
8. Conscience performs a critical role in choosing among courses of action. It takes into account the moral ambiguities of life, and the necessity to examine value priorities: good ends never justify immoral means.
9. Public administrators are not engaged merely in preventing wrong, but in pursuing right through timely and energetic execution of their responsibilities.
Adopted by National Council December 6, 1981