What is a public official?

We explain what a public official is, his ethics and characteristics. In addition, what types of public servers exist.

  1. What is a public official?

The public official is a person who works at the service of the State . It is designated by a competent authority (according to legal order), to perform the highest level positions between public authorities and autonomous bodies.

It has the authority to make decisions , although it is not its exclusive function, it is only one of the characteristics that differentiates it from the rest of the charges.

All employees of the state sector (whether civil servants or other employees) are governed by the ” public administrative law “. However, the same rules do not apply to ministers, secretaries of state, members of the cabinet of ministers, or administrative employees. Each rank is governed by special contracts with a certain level of responsibilities and benefits.

The State has mechanisms to hire officials objectively (by merit or public tenders). In addition, it offers more than the private sector (such as shorter working days or more vacation days) as an incentive for better trained and qualified personnel to be interested in occupying these types of positions at the service of the State.

  1. Public official and public servant

The concept of public servant includes all workers who are part of the State (including civil servants) , who fulfill tasks in the legislative, executive, administrative or judicial sphere, or in institutions that depend on the State, such as hospitals, schools or forces of security.

In all cases, the public servant can be hired (permanently or temporarily) in exchange for remuneration and to provide a social utility service based on justice , reason and argumentation above any individual interest.

  1. Public Employee and Public Server

The public employee is a type of servant of the State that can perform functions in a ministry, a public establishment, a superintendence, an administrative department or its equivalents in the territorial scope. He is the one who performs various tasks and executes the orders of his superiors , the officials.

An example of a public employee is a social worker who performs assistance and support tasks aimed at young people with addiction problems in a given territory. In general, the social worker acts in the context of a program implemented by the State or before a specific emergency action.

  1. Types of public servers

public official ministers
Some public officials have a higher hierarchy than others, such as ministers.

There are four types of public servers:

  • The career employee. Is that person linked to a public administration by a permanent and remunerated fixed employment relationship, under a statute regulated by administrative law. This category of employee is subdivided into: group A (degree degree required), group B (senior technical degree required) and group C ( secondary education degree required ).
  • The interim employee. Is that person hired by the State in case of circumstantial or urgent need. For example, in the absence of career officials for a certain position, for the execution of temporary programs or to temporarily replace the incumbents.
  • The labor employee It is that person who, by virtue of an employment contract and according to the contracting modalities provided for in labor legislation (temporary, indefinite or public), provides paid services to the public administration.
  • The eventual employee. It is that person who performs special and specific functions (for example, advisory), whose designation is free and its termination is conditioned according to the position to which it provides services. Their remuneration comes from the budget planned and allocated for this type of charges.
  1. The ethics of the public official

The public official provides his services to satisfy a collective demand of general interest and his work is subject to a special regime of public law. His work implies a responsibility and a commitment to the community , so he must comply with certain ethical principles that depend, in turn, on the cultural characteristics of each country.

The general ethics of the public servant responds to two fundamental aspects:

  • The moral character that is proper to the individual, that is, the awareness of their actions that must conform to certain standards of conduct, with responsibility, compliance and honesty .
  • The threat of sanctions for those who commit irregularities during the performance of their duties and duties. Ethics in the public service is directly related to the worker’s behavior .

The most common values related to public service are:

  • Ensure the interests of the State , aimed at satisfying the general and public welfare over the individual.
  • Be responsible for their actions during the performance of the public function.
  • Be honest in each of your public service tasks.
  • Train and improve in your work area.
  • Respect equal opportunities , without discrimination.
  • Comply with the Constitution of your country and enforce it.
  • Know the relevant code of standards of that country and enforce it.

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