Public Service Commission Commissioner Michael Seloane has reiterated the PSC's firm stance against corruption and nepotism in the public service.
Seloane said the values of professionalism, transparency, accountability and responsibility are the centre of development.
"Maintaining an ethical status is the responsibility of every manager of the organisation. Managing ethical behaviour is one of the most pervasive and complex problems facing the public service today," Seloane said.
The Commissioner was addressing a virtual media briefing on the PSC's Quarterly Bulletin titled 'The Pulse of the Public Service' in Tshwane on Tuesday.
"The Constitution envisions a public sector with high standards of professional ethics, which enshrine principles such as efficiency, responsiveness, fairness, transparency and accountability.
"It envisions that abiding by these principles will lead to human dignity, equality and freedom for the people of South Africa," Seloane said.
The PSC has been engaging with government departments, key societal stakeholders and citizens at large on Constitutional values and principles (CVPs).
"To build a public sector that serves South Africans in the way that the Constitution intended, the PSC embarked on a programme to promote and evaluate the CVPs.
"These engagements focused on ensuring that the values and principles are understood, adhered to and find expression in public administration daily and in the public at large," Seloane said.
Seloane said when the public sector is driven by factors other than constitutional values and principles, it inevitably leads to failures, frequently with far-reaching consequences.
He cited the Life Esidimeni, Nugent Commission and State Capture inquiries as some of the most severe recent values-failures.
"The abuse of appointments of senior public officials into government positions, as well as procurement irregularities in the awarding of personal protective equipment for COVID-19 underscores as the red flag in the public service.
"Working for government entails public office and public service, which is different to working for private institutions and other entities."
Seloane said the values of professionalism, transparency, accountability and responsibility demand that public service officials fly above partisan politics and other narrow agendas.
"Precipitated by widespread public sector patronage and unprofessional behaviour in government, the country expects its public service to demonstrate high standards of professionalism and ethics."