Some advantages of having an independent, permanent and impartial civil service are as follows

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Some advantages of having an independent, permanent and impartial civil service are as follows:

(i) The spoils system has the propensity to degenerate into a system of patronage, nepotism and a corruption. Having a credible recruitment process through an impartial agency provides a defence against such abuse.

(ii) Public policy today has become a complex exercise requiring in-depth knowledge and expertise public affairs. A permanent civil service provides continuity and develops expertise as well i institutional memory for effective policy making.

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(iii) A permanent and impartial civil service is more likely to assess the long-term social payoffs any policy whereas the political executive may have a tendency to look for short term politic gain.

(iv)A permanent civil service helps to ensure uniformity in public administration and also acts as unifying force particularly in vast and culturally diverse nations.

(v) A permanent civil service like any other reputable profession is likely to evolve over time ethical basis for its functioning.

A healthy working relationship between Ministers and civil servants is critical for good governance while the principles governing the roles and responsibilities of Ministers and civil servants are defined in political theory, in the actual working of this relationship this division of responsibility becomes blurred with both sides often encroaching upon the other’s sphere of responsibility.

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In any democracy, Ministers are responsible to the people through Parliament and therefore the civil servants have to be accountable to the Minister.

However, an impartial civil service is responsible not only to the government of the day but to the Constitution of the land to which they have taken an oath of loyalty. At the same time, implementing the policies of the duly elected government is a core function of civil servants.

That is why the division of responsibility between the civil servants and ministers needs to be more clearly defined. A framework in which responsibility and accountability is well defined would be useful.

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