Importance of Public Stewardship in Budgeting

Financial Management in Public Institutions

Financial management in public institutions faces a difficulty. Because they represent the entire people and thus operate as stewards of the public funds, public financial managers bear a greater responsibility to follow high ethical standards in their daily actions. As a result, it is critical to safeguard public funds and uphold strong ethical standards. Because the population contributes to government revenues through taxes, licenses, fees, and public debt, it is entitled honesty and truthfulness in the handling of public funds. Public funds are not meant just to benefit a section of the population, but as a tool for achieving equality in the provision of social services. They help in providing essential services to those in the society who cannot afford it. This helps in the creation of a cohesive society. Public funds further act as a source of daily livelihood for those employed in the public sector. These funds act as a pool for the whole population (Francesco, 2016). In addition, they are necessary for the provision of public goods and services such as defense sanitation, maintenance of infrastructure, as well as society. These services are essential for the whole population as no single individual could afford them on their own. The sources of these funds are the general public. This, therefore, calls for a higher level accountability and stewardship for public funds with the knowledge that some people are heavily dependent on these services for their survival.

Instances of Unethical Public Stewardship

In reality, this has not been the case. There have been several cases where overseers of public finances have been criticized of favoritism and bending of the law in the accomplishment of the duties. Some have used their positions of influence to change or affect the course of business deals as well as the procurement process. The procurement process is one of the areas where public stewards have cornered the public. This has been through the tendering of services and the consequential favoring of specific corporations than others with the aim of receiving kickbacks and bribes. The tendering process has been compromised in different public offices leading to the provision of low-quality services. Corporation has taken advantage of these loopholes to benefit and monopolize the provision of services to the government. They further pay back those public officials by campaigning for their retention in those public offices (Segal & Lehrer, 2012).

Ethical Requirements for Proper Public Stewardship

Public officials must uphold a high level of accountability to their duties as well as to the general public. It is important for them to declare their wealth at the time of taking office as well as interest in private holdings. They must take an oath to put their private holdings in blind trusts where they will not undertake any leadership during their time in office. Their private companies should never undertake business with the government during their time in office. This will help build public trust for these officials as individuals to be entrusted with public funds.

Honesty among the public officials is also an important consideration for personal involvement in public offices. Those in charge of key decision make positions. Procurement process must be made public and fair. There should be no favoritism in the awarding of tenders as wells as contracts (Francesco, 2016). Procurement process must precisely be based on the provision of the best quality products at an affordable price.

Public stewards must uphold a higher moral value for humanity. Their perspectives on morality must be effectively investigated before employment to determine their stand. Only those officials who have proven for past issues that they uphold a high level of morality should be given a chance in the public stewardship. Individuals with blemishes and suspicion on embezzlements of funds should not be elected into public offices.

Consequences of Unethical or Poor Public Stewardship

When a procurement process is compromised, it leads to the provision of poor service to the general public affecting the quality of life of the population. Compromise leads to further loss of accountability as well as the overseeing function of the government since the procurement committee in most cases acts as the main overseeing committee. When they have already received kickbacks, it becomes hard for them to monitor or critic the responsible corporation leading to the provision of low-quality services.

There is, therefore, a dire need for diligence in the overseeing of public funds. Corruption and bribery do not only lead to the loss of public funds but also the lowering of the quality of life of the general public at large. This, therefore, provides a great danger to the existence and survival of populations. It is highly unethical for a few officials to share any public funds that have been contributed by the larger population through taxes and license fees.


Francesco, M. D. (2016). Rules and flexibility in public budgeting: the case of budget modernization in australia. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 75(2), 236‑248. Retrieved from Accessed 7 July, 2017.

Segal, L., & Lehrer, M. (2012). The institutionalization of stewardship: Theory, propositions, and insights from change in the Edmonton Public Schools. Organization Studies, 33(2), 169-201. Retrieved from Accessed 7 July, 2017.

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