PUBLIC AND GOVERNMENT / The role of ethical advisor in local government

Excerpt from session:

An extremely important role in the ethical infrastructure of a local government office can be played by a person who is responsible for monitoring anti-corruption risks in the office and strengthening the ethics within public administration. This position can be described as one of an ethical advisor. Ethical advisor should be a manager dealing with ethics, compliance and norms of conduct. He/she should promote ethical practices and provide an exchange of information on ethics, including appropriate strategies.

Ethics advisors should have a high awareness of ethics and be respected by employees but, at the same time, they should be able to establish relationships with employees without professional or personal barriers. In other words, the personality, character or conduct of the advisor should be conducive to building social relationships. The task of the ethics advisor is to help employees to solve ethical dilemmas related to their professional activities or to respond to sensitive conflict situations. In addition, the ethics advisor’s job is to carry out an active information policy on anti-corruption prevention, initiate discussions on work ethics and conduct internal training on ethical, organisational or legal issues.

The nature of the tasks that the ethics advisor faces means that they should be placed within the organisational structure of the office in a way which means that the professional hierarchy does not constrain the advisor’s casual contact with the staff. It is also important to avoid asituation where a senior manager becomes an ethics advisor, as this may cause difficulty among staff members to overcome the professional distance or it may cause fear of authority.

Main Takeaways:

  • Ethical advisor’s job profile
  • Ethical advisor’s  core duties
  • Advisor and messenger