Ethics is a set of standards that a society imposes on itself and which helps guide behavior, choices and actions. These standards do not, by themselves, ensure ethical behavior; that requires a robust culture of integrity. The crux of ethical behavior does not lie in bold words and expressions enshrined as standards, but in their adoption in action, in sanctions against their violations, in putting in place competent disciplinary bodies to investigate allegations of violations and impose sanctions quickly and in promoting a culture of integrity.
Corruption is an important manifestation of the failure of ethics. The word ‘corrupt’ is derived from the Latin word ‘corruptus’, meaning ‘to break or destroy’. The word ethics is from the original Greek term ‘ethikos’ meaning ‘arising from habit’. It is unfortunate that corruption has, for many, become a matter of habit, ranging from grand corruption involving persons from high places to retail corruption touching the everyday life of common people.
Our group can share international best practice to install world-class ethics management programs in government departments.