St. Petersburg 2013: Public Values panel

St. Petersburg 2013: Public Values panel

St. Petersburg 2013: Public Values panel

St. Petersburg 2013: Public Values panel
St. Petersburg 2013: Public Values seminar images from Leonid Smorgunov; album for the web by Jeremy Lewis

IPSA RC 48: Research Committee on Administrative Culture

RC 48 home page | Members contact list |

IPSA World Congress, Montreal, July 2014: RC-48's Abstracts | Panels

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Page reformatted 15 Jan. 2015; revised 21 July 2014, with reorganization and notes; by Prof. Jeremy Lewis,

Please visit the website for complete details on the congress.

Accepted Open Panels for IPSA Montreal 2014, with their officers and abstracts:

“Public Values and Politico-Administrative Cultures”
Panel 48.228, Sunday 20 July, 15:00-16:45 in Palais des congrès Rm. 512B
Dr. Leonid Smorgunov Chair; Co-Chair: Dr. Ashok Ranjan Basu
Discussants: Prof. Tigiripalli Krishna Kanth [not pre-registered]


Bureaucracy and Administrative Culture in India: Issues and Concerns
Mr. Vijender Beniwal, Dr. Bulbul Dhar-James, Ms. Jyotsna Tomer [not registered; paper giver did not present]
This article maps the administrative culture in India, specifically, the values and norms dominant among Indian bureaucrats. In this regard, three relationships are focused upon: relationships among bureaucrats within the bureaucracy, the interface between the bureaucracy and politics, and the relationship between bureaucrats and citizens. Further, it examines whether socio-cultural values of India affect administrative culture. The study reveals that bureaucracy in India is gender biased, caste biased and class biased among others. Therefore, elitism has implications for the kinds of values and norms that evolve among Indian bureaucrats. This is because the administration is guided strongly by particularism rather than universalism, ascription rather than achievement, by rule-orientation rather than result orientation and authoritarian rather than participatory values. One of the basic attributes of the Indian bureaucracy is that it manifests rudiments of both the classical and political bureaucracy. More precisely, this study divulges that civil servants do not follow prescribed rules while make administrative decisions. Most often, administrative decisions are influenced by informal sources rather than formal rules, i.e. political influence, paying-off, personal association (bhai-bateeja wad), and so on. Civil servants are guided by status oriented and empire building attitudes. Common administrative norms include slow decision making processes, maintaining high levels of secrecy, and shifting responsibility to others. This study also uncovered the close relationship between societal culture in India and administrative culture. In fact, Indian societal culture is determined by the caste system, family structure, and other belief systems that are ultimately reflected in the administrative system.

Public sector values and the dilemmas of transparency
Jeremy Lewis

In recent years, over ninety nation states have adopted laws under such titles as freedom of information or access to information. International financial organizations have adopted rules on public notice of distributed monetary aid. Governments have experimented with placing databases on public servers, ranging from public spending accounts to locations of dangerous chemicals and current progress of public transport. The widely adopted public value that makes these laws and actions cohere is transparency.
This paper asks, what is the role of transparency in the public sector (primarily in liberal democracies), among such other traditional values as representativeness, responsiveness, answerability, effectiveness, efficiency, honesty in accounting, and the absence of luxury? What does transparency in governance provide, protect or preserve? What rationales have been advanced for increasing transparency both in national governance and in international organizations? Does transparency mean different things according to the type of regime involved? Does transparency enhance honesty in government, and if so, under what conditions? Does transparency enhance citizenship? Does it undercut national security and criminal law enforcement? Does it rank among the deeply felt, widely shared, core values of a politico-administrative culture?
This conceptual essay draws upon comparative and empirical literature to consider the relationship of transparency to other values. It constructs a framework for ideas of transparency among politico-administrative, public values.

Public Value' As a Normative Framework: A Comparative Evaluation and Recasting of Administrative Cultures in India and Nepal
Dr. Arunoday Bajpai [paper giver did not present to panel]

One of the serious administrative challenges faced by the developing countries is the steady decline in the public trust and legitimacy of public management. This constrains the capabilities of public management in realizing the goal of good governance. As a successor to the NPM, the Public Value Approach, as articulated by Mark H. Moore in his book 'Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government' (1995), may be useful as a normative framework to address this issue. The Public Value approach has the potential to create and sustain an alternative administrative culture quite distinct from the one propagated by the NPM. The 'public value' rests on the premise of active participation of public managers as well as citizens in defining the purposes, ensuring the accountability, and measuring the success of public management. It has full faith in the professional abilities of public managers. Thus, it tries to integrate 'democratic principle' with the 'efficiency' of public management through a continuous interface between citizens and administration (Stoker: 2006). Talbot (2009) argues that 'Public Value' is the 'Next Big Thing' in public administration. Coats and Fisher (2006) identify four promises of public value approach: developing a healthy respect for professional judgment without the danger of 'producer capture'; emphasis on involvement of citizens in the objectives of PM; placing high value on 'voice'; and allowing assessment of policies against their outcomes and their consistency with the principle of accessibility and equity rather than 'outputs' only.
However, this Paper argues that the 'Public Value' has enormous value as a normative framework in the developing countries to guide and recreate the prevailing politico-administrative culture, which is characterized by lack of developed civil society, nepotism, casteism, parochial 'public interest', patronage, integrity deficit, and self-seeking political leadership and public managers. Many of these elements are common in the administrative cultures of India and Nepal. It attempts to compare the administrative cultures of India and Nepal and tries to identify the process and steps as to how the core elements of prevailing culture may be recast within the framework of public value to realize the ideal of good governance. However, given the nature of prevailing 'authorizing environment', 'task environment' and 'operational capabilities of administration in the two countries the recasting process will have to negotiate many potential challenges. Thus, it also assesses the viability of ongoing administrative reforms in India and Nepal in view of these challenges.
Three Ethoses and three contradictions of public administration
Prof. Lidiya Timofeeva [paper giver was unable to travel]
The "political" floor and the "administrative" floor in public administration are connected with the ethos or life-style of some public group. Each of them is characterized by its own culture, with an accepted hierarchy of values. The politicians and bureaucrats have quite different cultures. For politicians there is an inherent idea-narrative culture, which has high regard for some values and in opposition to other political values (those belong to "others", they are "not ours"). Inherent to bureaucrats  is a document-normative culture, in which they have comparatively apolitical positions and are disconnected from the political race, but, as a rule, lag behind from changing political reality. Understanding this helps us to recognize the essence of conflict between those political and administrative floors in public administration.
Besides that, public administration includes also social power which is realized by means of moral rules. These self-promised rules, although "unwritten rules" which people create themselves, compose the public interest and are founded on national culture, differing from the constitutional (or juridical) document of the culture by greater uncertainty and width of the interpretation. The society of bureaucratic organizations withstands this moral organization of citizens. But on the other hand, a self-rule community places a burden during conflicts on an equitable mediator, a role filled by public administration. So we draw a conclusion about the contradictions between three cultures and three ethoses in public administration. All of it is the reason of conflicts between them, but as well as the source of the development. When and where will conflicts or development occur? Those are the questions, which need answers.

"Cutback Management and Administrative Culture"
Panel 48.227, Monday 21 July, 1300-14:45, Palais des congrès Rm. 522a
Dr. Leonid Smorgunov, Chair [unable to travel]; Dr. Jeremy Lewis co-chair; Dr. Ashok Ranjan Basu discussant


Administrative culture in less developed states: With special reference to Bihar
Dr. Ashok Chaudhary [did not present to the panel]
Administrative culture marks perception, interpretation and behaviour patterns of public official. In recent time in particular the modernization discourse promoted the argument with the phenomenon "administrative culture" Public administration proves very change resistant. Likewise-paradoxically-cultural change is at the same time regarded as starting point and as a goal of administrative modernization. The results have not been commensurate with our hopes and needs. Further, besides persistence of problems of administration with increasing severity, we have also witnessed in succeeding decades acceleration in the process of degeneration in our socio-economic-political and administrative scenario. Today the situation has become so alarming that even the law and order situation in many parts of the country, rural as well as urban, presents a depressing picture. There are many other burning issues also such as like propriety in the exercise of administrative discretion; paralysis of political will and capacity for decision making; mounting administrative corruption and political venality, leading to erosion in the credibility and effectiveness of democratic institutions. Today people expect a prompt and effective response to their problems and concerns in this Information Technology era. In India the assumption in the context of democracy, is that the civil servants work more for the rules and regulations and less for the people.
Against this background, the present paper aims at studying the administrative culture in the less developed society, with special reference to Bihar.

Cutback management and new administrative culture in the French Ministry of Defence
Miss Alicia Paya y Pastor

Most European countries are currently experiencing significant budgetary restraint and often unprecedented cuts in expenditure. This context of austerity undoubtedly affects public service. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to analyse the multiple effects of the economic crisis and the new public policy choices made by the French government on the French Ministry of Defence. The French Land Forces have been restructuring (since 2009) to fit the new standards of public service: difficult budgetary choices, drastic staff reduction, army downsizing, rationalization of the Defence system...

How does the economic pressure impact the French Ministry of Defence? What are the new principles of management developed in the French Land Forces in order to comply with the contemporary budgetary imperatives? In which way the implementation of such new management principles constitutes a revolution in terms of professional practices and administrative culture? To address these questions, we will focus on:

* The recent and not-yet-finished reform of the “military map” that is the implementation of a new level of management in the French Ministry of Defence founded on the creation of new entities called the “Bases of Defence”.

* The publication a few months ago of the 2013 French White Paper on Defence and National Security (Livre Blanc), the reference book that defines the French strategic orientations for the next five years.

The paper aims at analysing the complete reorganisation of the military infrastructures of the Defence system on the national soil (a reform process called “restructurations” in french) and its effects on the daily professional activity of the civil servants working within the Ministry of Defence (be it military operational staff or civilians) as well as on the perception of the military profession. The new paradigms on which the military reform is based are: “budgetary restraints, rationalisation and mutualisation of the capacities (sharing)”. How can the military institution adapt to these new principles that are common to all the government services in France?

What can institutional analysis tell us about agricutural Budget negotiation in Mexico?
Prof. Ana Joaquina Ruiz-Guerra

Budget negotiation is a traditional space where political actors interact and power struggles are evident. Even though the rules for budget negotiation are relatively stable, actors tend to influence policy-making by assigning funds to the programs of their preference.
The rules for budget negotiation as well as the role of actors have been traditionally studied as a political economy problem with an emphasis on power distribution (Wildasky, 2004; Hallebert,, 2010, Wehner, 2006). However the budget negotiation process is hardly studied in an institutionalist perspective, while this perspective has a lot to say regarding, for example, how the rules are set and how they constrain actors (North, 1991; Shepsle1986), how networks (Ansell, 2006) and coalitions (Scokpol, et. al., 1989) take place and the role of ideas (Hall, 1989) and interests (Campbel, 1989).
This paper explores what institutional theory has said about budget negotiation and what approaches can be used to study budget negotiation. Its purpose is to set a state of the art, particularly to set the analytical tools that can help explain the process of Mexican budget negotiation in the case of agricultural budgets.

“Transparency in public administration and culture”
Panel 48.226, Tuesday 22 July, 09:00-10:45, Palais des congrès Rm. 518B
Dr. Jeremy Lewis, Chair; Luke Heemsbergen, discussant; Prof. Niranjan Pani discussant


Building Government-Society Relations and Institutional Learning: Russian Case of ‘Open Government’
Prof. Leonid Smorgunov [paper giver was unable to travel]
The paper concerns contemporary trends in transforming government-society relations and institutional learning through implementation of transparency in governmental activities. Building government-society relations is based on institutionalization of access for different social and business associations into sphere of governmental activities. The main problem of the efficiency and effectiveness of these institutions lies in the transparency of government activities. In the developing public administration systems often cooperation between governmental institutions and civil associations demonstrate partial effect, which is associated not only with blanks of implementation of good institutions , but also of imitation of its activity. "Open Government" in Russia is often called like such incomplete ( imitational ) institution. However, institution building, even with the effect of imitation is important factor of learning that can play a positive role in making imitation of cooperation in the chain of institutional improvement of the whole system of cooperation. The article describes the process of institutional learning in a incomplete or imitational institutions of cooperation between government and society, and its value for the transformation of collaborative culture.
Governance and Election Management in India-Towards a Culture of Efficiency and Transparency
Dr. Rachna Dutt Goswami
India is biggest democracy of the world. It has population of 1.23 billion people out of which 750 million exercise right to franchise. Parliamentary elections are scheduled in mid 2014 in India .In a democratic form of government conduct of free and fair elections is very important as it leads to establishment of peoples’ elected government. It is a process in which all stakeholders of democratic government participate. In India Election commission of India, political parties, candidates, electors, media, researchers play their role in electing new government. Population figures and diversities make Indian elections more challenging which the world follows. Stable and growing India is important for countries who are interested in Indian consumer markets and its large workforce. Thus it is important to conduct transparent, free and fair elections. In times of economic crises Indian budget for scheduled election is 50 million dollars .This research paper studies how elections are conducted with efficiency and transparency in India. Role of Election Commission and administrative machinery in this process .It evaluates mechanism of promoting universal adult franchise. Discusses electoral reforms needed for effective parliamentary democracy, the future challenges and strategies to meet them.
Transparency and Open Government Data in India (Himachal Pradesh): Building a 21st Century Local e-government
Dr. Nittam Chandel
In recent time governments all over the world are taking various initiatives to make administration more transparent, collaborative and people- oriented. One of such initiative is Open Government Data. Open Government Data is Information and data collected, produced and reproduced by government or government controlled agencies and is made available free for anyone to use, re-use and re-distribute. In fact, it plays an important role in bringing transparency and accountability in the government system. International Organizations like United Nation, World Bank and IMF etc. are stressing member nations to bring transparency in their administrative system by adopting modern technology in their administrative system. In order to give more emphasis for Open Government Data G8 countries signed a charter of making information resources accessible, discoverable, and usable by the public which can help fuel entrepreneurship, innovation, and scientific discovery. The open government data in 21st century is expected to bring collaboration, participation and public engagement which can enable government and administration to take effective decisions. Similar initiatives have been taken by the Government of India in the form of Right to Information and sharing of open Government Data on Portal ( Local level Institutions of Local Governance, which have been established by 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments, are executing various national welfare programmes. However, these institutions still lack in establishing transparency and effectiveness in their governance. The present paper, therefore, focuses on various aspects relating to e-government and open government data of Local Institutions in the Indian State of Himachal Pradesh.
Transparency in Public Administration and Culture
Dr. Ashok Ranjan Basu
Transparency, generally, implies openness, communication, and accountability. Transparency operates in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed. In politics, transparency is used as a means of holding public officials accountable and in fighting corruption. A transparent political regime is one that provides accurate information about itself, its operations, and the country as a whole, or permits that information to be collected and made available. Kopits and Craig (1998) identify transparency as “openness toward the public at large about government structure and functions, fiscal policy intentions, public sector accounts, and projections. . It involves ready access to reliable, comprehensive, timely, understandable, and internationally comparable information on government activities so that the electorate and financial markets can accurately assess the government’s financial position and the true costs and benefits of government activities, including their present and future economic and social implications.” Transparency as a concept wraps (a) event transparency ;( b) process transparency; ( c) real-time transparency;), or retrospective transparency (Hood, 2007). While a liberal democracy can be a plutocracy, a participative democracy is more closely connected to the will of the people. Participative democracy, built on transparency and everyday participation, has been used officially in northern Europe for decades. In the northern European country Sweden, public access to government documents became a law as early as 1766.
Transparency and accountability are interlinked. The term accountability encapsulates three main elements ;(i) answerability- the need for justification of actions ; (ii) enforcement- the sanction that could be imposed if the action or justification of actions is found to be unsatisfactory (iii)and responsiveness - the ability of those held accountable to respond to the demands made. Interwoven in these core elements is the notion of transparency, which is defined as the degree to which information is available to outsiders that enables them to make informed decisions and or to assess the information made by insiders.
Mendel (2004) lists the international and comparative standards that should underpin freedom of information legislation: ?Principle 1. Maximum disclosure. Principle 2.Obligation to publish; Principle 3. Promotion of Open Government. Public bodies must actively promote open government; Principle 4. Limited Scope of Exceptions; Principle 5. Process to Facilitate Access. Requests for information should be processed rapidly and fairly and an independent review of any refusal should be available; Principle 6. Individuals should not be deterred from making requests for information by excessive costs; Principle 7. Meetings of public bodies should be open to the public. Principle8.Disclosure takes Precedence. Principle 9. Protection for Whistleblowers.
Administration has a vital bearing on a country and its people. In ancient India right from Vedic Days, it has been avowed objective of administration to be responsive, transparent, accountable and citizen friendly. The administration of Koutilya during the Mouryan period was more or less centralized with an effective system of intelligence gathering. During Mogul period the concept of centralized administration continued with greater vigor. Accountability and transparency in this centralized administration was conspicuous by their absence. During the British rule, the basic format was of a centralized administration.. Though the administration was efficient, it had hardly responsive, accountable and transparent. It was not responsive and not citizen-friendly.
Democracy cannot grow in an environment of secrecy, as the free flow of data is imperative for people to follow and inspect the operations of a representative government, assess the policies and decisions. It strengthens the structures of accountability by applying the necessary means to reduce wrongful conduct by a public official and corruption in public organizations. The immoderate exercise of bureaucratic discretion in a closed secretive environment or the influence of non-transparent corporate culture and the almost unbound volition of oligopolies to control competition in the market place result in corruption. Thus in the symbiotic relationship between corruption and opacity, discretion and monopoly are critical factors, and the social and economic fallout of inordinate opacity and pervasive corruption can be a bane for democracy and development. Civic engagement is understood as the active participation of citizens in public life and their contribution to the common good. The level of trust in the government and public agencies is a key factor that determines the extent and quality of civic engagement. Trust in public bodies is affected by two things:
o the quality of services that individuals and their families receive; and
o how open and honest organizations are about their performance, including their willingness to admit to and learn from their mistakes.
Administrative culture, in its broadest sense is understood as the modal pattern of values, beliefs, attitudes, and predispositions that characterize and identify any given administrative system. In this inclusive definition both the private and public spheres of the managerial ethos are covered, for societies in general possess certain specific ways of “getting things done”, which transcend the official sphere. The construction of an administrative mind-set presents significant difficulties.
Two main perspectives may assist us in understanding the politico -administrative culture of an organization. First, the government administration in all nations happens to be larger and more complex than any single organization, being composed of many departments, agencies, and corporation and so on. Second, policies and administrative decisions get implemented through the state apparatus, state financial and other resources are distributed, and the entire society is affected in many ways by attending administrative culture. The behaviour of the state apparatus depends on the kind of political and administrative culture prevailing in a country. Lack of transparency and professionalism are symptoms of malaise prevailing in the administrative culture of certain nations. No administrative culture is monolithic; instead it is part of wider culture of a society including its constituent parts such as political, economic, social, religious, corporate, and civil society cultures.

Different Dimensions of Transparency

Transparency is to be ensured in different dimensions namely (i) Openness in public dealings ;( ii) Right to information relating to service delivery process;(iii). Right to information relating to criteria and their applications ;( iv). Right to information to public expenditure / contracts’ ;( v) Enactment relating to Right to information ;( vi) Code relating to access to information ;( vii) Openness in the cost of the project, quality standard etc.

Institutions of Transparency in India

The early tidings of open and transparent government in India can be said to have begun with the landmark judgment of Justice P. N. Bhagawati of the Supreme Court of India in 1981, (Gupta S.P. vs. Union of India (1982), Supreme Court of India, AIR 1982SC149) where, besides giving a general description of open government he stressed the need for increased disclosure in matters relating to public affairs. Noting that open government means information available to the public with greater exposure of the functioning of government which would help assure the people a better and more efficient administration? he went on to describe Open Government in India to be, "the new democratic culture of an open society towards which every liberal democracy is moving and our country (India) should be no exception”.
The promulgation of Right to Information Act (2005) set the stage for the transparency in the functioning of the government and its various agencies. In effect, RTI Act is a vehicle for greater transparency about the manner of functioning of public agencies.
The paper deals with the constitutional provisions of the Indian Constitution and also supplements it with the case laws. The Supreme Court of India has recently given a constitutional status for the right to know. The various provisions of the Right to Information Act of India have been discussed. The constitutional provisions as well as the mechanism for the right to information act have been discussed. The set up and the procedure to be followed for the implementation of the Act have also been discussed. Important case laws of U.K. and U.S.A have also been referred to. ). Making government more open and transparent is a process involving three important areas of focus:

  • Right to information laws – this establishes the constitutional/legal right for a citizen to access the information that they want;
  • Proactive transparency – this commits governments to publishing as much information as possible in an accessible form;
  • Open data approach – this enables us to reconfigure government data into forms that provide useable and accessible information.
Though the Right to Information Act is a central Act but the different States in India have their own rule for the implementation of the Act. A comparison of FOI legislation in India has also been attempted. The accountability in Indian Governance has also been discussed. Comparative views regarding the RTI legislation in India as compared to other developed countries have also been made. Similar comparisons of RTI Legislations of India with Developed Nations as well as with South Asian countries have also been made.
The Citizen’s Charters & Service Charters; Redressal of Public Grievances;
Publishing Annual Performance Report; Financial Transparency in Government; Public Access to Information on Public Finances; Fiscal Responsibility Legislation; and Transparency in Public Procurement Legislation have also been discussed . The shortcomings of the existing legislation have also been referred to.
Brief descriptions of Global Movement towards Transparency have also been made. Finally developing a Framework for Transparency and strategy for transparency and good governance have also been proposed.
India is a vast country having heterogeneous regions, and inhabited by people of different religious groups, different linguistic groups and different ethnic groups as well.The cultural context also varies from regions to regions. Despite some differences of emphasis, culture is the way of life of a given society.
A good and transparent administration is vital for citizens and requires an effective delivery system as an instrument of good governance. Governments are in the business of politics and power. The primary responsibility, however, for securing transparency in administration lies and will continue to lie on the people themselves. A vigilant and well informed public opinion, people's participation in administration and development, an honest media are essential for promoting a transparent and efficient administrative system. Efforts have to be made to educate the mass to the benefits of the provisions of the Act so that they can participate effectively in the decision making process of the Government.
Despite this entire shortcoming, legislation guaranteeing the right to information is a major step towards ensuring a participatory development process in India. To make the law truly effective, the active participation of the community at large is very much essential.

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