Write a paper outlining the critical need for public stewardship in budgeting. Detail the needs and methods for training public officials and staff members for ethical public budget preparation and maintenance strategies. Make sure to include:
?Detail the need and importance of public stewardship in budgeting
?Ethical requirements for leaders to consider for proper public stewardship
?Consequences of unethical or poor public stewardship
Consider utilizing a recent current events article for reference to a recent incident of unethical public stewardship of budgetary monies.
Public stewardship is a responsibility of the state government where it effectively manages and protects the state resources. Violence can be instigated when different stakeholders compete to have a piece of the state resource. This means that the government should practice effective stewardship in order to prevent conflict. In case violence happens, the government is responsible for ensuring government institutions at both national and sub national levels are restored and can function effectively. In addition to this, it should ensure that there is no civil unrest by making sure that security services are properly managed in order to protect state resources. It is also necessary to ensure that both the civil society and the government are equipped with audit and oversight resources in order to enhance effective stewardship. When the government achieves effective stewardship of national resources, legitimacy is achieved and critical revenue is protected and generated in order to provide the much needed services. Societies recovering from the aftermath of conflict need to exercise responsible stewardship to the resources they get from external contributions (United States Institute of Peace, 2016).
Integrity is a big part of responsible public stewardship. This ensures that intuitions in the state government are functioning effectively in order to gain public trust, and ensure that there are suitable conditions for the country to develop both socially and economically. For this to have results, public officials need to be trained on ethics so that public resources are managed effectively. Ethical training ensures that the quality of public governance is good and the chances of corruption are minimized or eliminated entirely. These values should be incorporated in the decision making, planning as well as budget preparation processes.
Related: Debate about police and civilian
Detail the need and importance of public stewardship in budgeting
During budgeting, the government should not only consider the current but also the future needs of the country. The budget should try to balance between the current needs of the tax payers and those of future generations so that they do not suffer a harsh economic crisis which would affect their living standards. Proper budgeting is not effective if it is not followed by proper use of resources. Effective and responsible stewardship will be achieved if there is proper oversight in both budgeting and procurement processes. Whenever there is breakdown in any form of infrastructure, the local, state or federal government is responsible for to respond this breakdown using the right emergency services. When replacement is considered, companies bid to carry out the project. Government officials are supposed to award the contracts to the company which delivers the best services at the best price possible. This is basically how procurement should be done. However, in most cases, in case of a problem in this stage, this burden falls on the procurement officials. Competitive bidding during the procurement process ensures that the public gets the best services or products at a low price and also make sure that the government is accountable for the taxpayers’ money. The quality of services or products is mostly determined by the unethical practices of the heads of departments who manipulate the bidding process.
In January 2014, a supervisor for public works in Miami-Dade County was charged taking house hold appliances worth $13,000 in exchange for influencing the department to buy lighting products from the supplier. His predecessor was previously charged with being bribed by the same company (Russell, 2014). Such a case shows that there was little oversight over the state resources and hence poor stewardship. There should be proper ethical practices during budgeting and procurement in order to ensure that the taxpayers get value for their money in the services provided.
Ethical requirements for leaders to consider for proper public stewardship
Officials in the public sector should portray high ethical standards in the course of their work. They should have high integrity, accountability and be responsible. Leaders should be able to account for their actions to the public. They should also account for the resources of the taxpayers and should accept to have their actions scrutinized whenever required to. Public office holders should be persons of integrity and should not allow themselves to be influenced by individuals or organizations to act in a certain way that is contrary to what is expected of them. They should not act or make decisions in order to order to have some material or financial benefits for themselves or others but should rather resolve to act in the public’s best interest. In order to enhance public stewardship, leaders should be responsible and be actively involved to accomplish the set goals. As stewards, they should take risks, make justifiable decisions and actively participate in order to achieve their mission. They should also be trustworthy, open and selfless in order to be considered good stewards (OECD, 2013).
Consequences of unethical or poor public stewardship
In order for a country to achieve sustainable economic development, ethical standards should be adhered to at all times. Public officers who do not portray the qualities of a good steward should have their employment terminated. In case of misappropriation of public funds or improper office use, the officers should be charged and serve prison sentence or repay the misused/ stolen funds.
United States Institute of Peace, (2016). Stewardship of State Resources. United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved 13 August 2016, from http://www.usip.org/guiding-principles-stabilization-and-reconstruction-the-web-version/8-stable-governance/stewardship-
Russell, J. (2014). The Need for Better Stewardship over the Money Government Spends. Governing.com. Retrieved 13 August 2016, from http://www.governing.com/gov-institute/voices/col-official-oversight-government-procurement-contracting-procurement.html
OECD,. (2013). ETHICS TRAINING FOR PUBLIC OFFICIALS. OECD Public Sector Integrity Network. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/corruption/acn/library/EthicsTrainingforPublicOfficialsBrochureEN.pdfOECD