The Ethics of Public Service in Estonia
In 2005–2006 a study commissioned by the State Chancellery was conducted in Estonia, entitled “Roles and attitudes in public service”.
The report is available on the State Chancellery’s Public Service page. The goal of the study was to gain a broad-based overview of what values are important to public servants, where are the primary ethical bottlenecks in the public servant sphere, what sort of behaviour is condemned, and what means of promoting ethics are desirable. The most important conclusion drawn by the study is that Estonian officials are ethical and accept the position that public servants should be subject to higher ethical requirements than employees in the private sector. At the same time, focus group interviews organized during the study showed that officials are not used to viewing many problems conventionally considered ethics issues as such – they tend to consider them organizational or related to public service. Thus people do not think to utilize ethics-related approach in resolving such problems.