The Public Servant

Who is a public servant? More than 1 year since I left public service, I’m still enamoured with the concept of being a public servant. The idea of being able to do things that are altruistic, for the good of a nation, to serve the people for a regular paycheck sounds like a great idea.

What are our thinking around a good public servant? One who cares for the country, who works for the interest of the society, and deftly navigates the competing objectives of public policy to deliver outcomes. What are the values he or she should uphold? Surely honesty? Surely to do his or her work without “fear or favour”? But what does all of these mean practically?

Who are we really looking for to serve in the public sector besides having good grades and a good mind? Are we nurturing and promoting the public sector according to those values? Or is it usually easier to look at the ability to perform administrative tasks well? This can be incredibly difficult to tell. Who would you like it to be?