A values and ethics code describes the values and expected behaviours that guide public servants in all activities related to their professional duties. The code also discusses how these will be applied and the avenue for resolution.  The code includes the top most important values guiding the public service such as,

  • Respect of democracy
  • Respect for people
  • Integrity & Impartiality
  • Stewardship
  • Excellence
If you develop a values and ethics code you will need to take steps to integrate these values into your organisation’s decisions, actions, policies, processes, and systems. Similarly, public servants will need to be informed that they can expect to be treated in accordance with these values by their organisation.
Accountability can be defined as a relationship based on agreements on both the results achieved in light of agreed expectations and the means used.

This definition of accountability includes the following key features:

  • Accountability among partners. The definition allows for a shared accountability relationship between partners who might be equal or occupy different authority levels in the hierarchy.
  • Reciprocal accountability. It stresses that there are agreements made by all parties in an accountability relationship, not merely on a subordinate party.
  • Importance of both ends and means. Parties are accountable not just for results but also for the way they achieve the results.
  • Need for review and adjustment. Accountability includes not just reporting performance but also analysing and reflecting on that performance and making appropriate changes to improve it.

The objectives of an accountability framework for Permanent Secretaries and Ministers are to put forward a concept of accountability consistent with the realities of today's results-focused, partnering, and innovating public sector.

An effective accountability framework has four elements:

  1. There is a need for a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities—the duties, obligations, and related authorities—of parties in an accountability relationship.
  2. Mutually understood and accepted expectations including what each party is expected to contribute to the end result and what means are appropriate to use. The operating constraints on the parties also need to be set out.
  3. The parties in an accountability relationship need to be clear about what information is to be reported by whom, to whom, and when. Being clear includes identifying the measurement strategy to be used, that is, how the required information is to be defined, collected, verified, and analysed; by whom; and when.

Caribbean Leadership Project
Cave Hill School of Business
University of the West Indies
Cave Hill Campus
P.O. Box 64, Bridgetown, BB11000, Barbados
+1 246 417 3152