Understanding the six pillars of Public Administration can only be possible if we clearly define the subject. Public Administration is basically the implementation of government policies, in which these 6 pillars of public administration are of great importance today.
In the modern day world it is often regarded as including also some responsibility for determining the policies and programs of governments, different form the principles of public administration. Specifically, it is the role of public administration which include planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling of government operations. Public Administration stands on 6 pillars of Public Administration which we will delve a bit deeper into, for the purposes of this article.
Top 6 pillars of public administration
The main (six) 6 pillars of Public Administration are Accountability, Legitimacy, Efficiency and Effectiveness, Responsibility, Representation and Ethics.
As societies became more organized and the control of resources went into the hands of elected government structures, the public became dependent on these governments for services and quality is of importance. Important for providing public good in a cost effective manner is the main goal of public service. As such public administrators are held highly accountable by the constituents they serve. Accountability is a a critical pillar that has the power to make or break governments. It requires ethical decision making, equal representation, legitimacy, efficiency, effectiveness, responsibility.
For legitimacy to be carried out, public administrators should provide a conducive environment for adequate public involvement. “There must also be opportunities for empirical research and decision making in order to accomplish legitimacy in the state.” Public approval of a state’s power is the determining factor, whether or not it is legitimate. This means public administrators draw their power from the public hence they need to achieve legitimacy which can only happen if they adhere to the requirements of all the other pillars for they are the definition of legitimacy.
According to Dr. Beaumaster, “The person who has the authority and power is legitimate . Legitimacy Power is derived from authority; authority is derived from legitimacy; legitimacy is a moral or normative standing. So whenever that person makes an unethical decision, this will reflect in his power and he may lose it by not following 6 pillars of Public Administration.”
3. Efficiency and Effectiveness
Emphasis on efficiency and effectiveness evolved from an evil of the early days of public administration, where government was corrupt and politicians exercised coercive powers in order to get tasks accomplished. This was an attempt to deter corruption in government which birthed a positive principle. Efficiency and effectiveness are considered as criterion to measure performance management in government.
“Performance criteria deter corruptive, unethical behaviors in governance. Too much political control would not enable public administrations to operate effectively and efficiently; therefore, agencies would not be able to accomplish the objectives associated with the other pillars of administration.”
When looking ag the pillar in the form of Responsibility in the realm of Public Administration, you will come across a myriad of scholar emphasis regarding the importance and reasons for responsible civil servants. Exploring the topic of responsibility and its significance in the field of public service reveals a strong connection between all of the pillars of public administration. Public administrators are held accountable by the public and they cannot act on their own accord because they are held responsible to the officials who have been elected by the public.
Elected officials determine the course of action of public servants and this fact is highly relevant to the dichotomy of politics and public administration. In order for public servants to be responsible, they must adhere to certain values and principles which make them efficient, legitimate, and representative of social equity. “The highest duty of public administrators is to embrace a broad set of obligations and responsibilities that promote the public interest, demonstrate character, advance justice, and seek the greatest good.”
The fundamental building block around representation is the idea of “the people’s will!” It becomes a question of, “Who will represent the will of the people?” Are they those who are elected by the people themselves? Representation is not the cornerstone of public administration but it is the cornerstone of the entire government system. So the people chose who is going to be responsible and accountable for the country and them. All democratic power that governments yields comes from the people. So without people, the government has no power.
To conclude ethical conduct is a prerequisite in any field and public administration can not afford to be an exception. Dealing with the public calls for natural goodness and morals that can translate into intangible ethics. Understanding that being in public service places the public in a position of master which can test your ethics. These can be married perfectly with the idea of legitimacy.