Part One: Introduction

"Those unhappy people were proposing schemes for persuading monarchs to choose favourites upon the score of their wisdom, capacity and virtue; of teaching ministers to consult the public good; of rewarding merit, great abilities and eminent services; of instructing princes to know their true interest by placing it on the same foundation with that of their people; of choosing for employment persons qualified to exercise them; with many other wild chimeras, that never entered before into the heart of man to conceive, and confirmed in me the old observation, that there is nothing so extravagant and irrational which some philosophers have not maintained for truth."

Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels

1 The introductory section (Part One), draws heavily from the OECD/PUMA Paper No.14: Ethics in the Public Service, 1996, and on material in the Introduction to the Principles, Conventions and Practice Guidance Series.

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