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The program of reform identifies four key principles as underpinning a robust integrity and accountability framework. They are:

  • strong rules – clear rules and standards, balancing proscription with positive values and aspirations, so that an exemplary standard of conduct is aspired to
  • strong culture – strong leadership, training and awareness and a conscious dedication to ethical values
  • strong scrutiny – transparent government processes, strong scrutiny mechanisms and strong agency cultures leading to enhanced internal scrutiny
  • strong enforcement – a range of enforcement mechanisms and disciplinary measures in which processes are accessible and outcomes prescribed, as well as effective public interest disclosure mechanisms

The government recognised that a robust integrity system requires a public sector culture that emphasises strong leadership, training and awareness and a conscious dedication to ethical values. In addition to this, the government is introducing mandatory annual training in ethical decision-making for the public sector.

The program establishes public service ethics training objectives and core messages, which form a base package from which agencies can develop training in ethical decision-making. This conceptual approach enables agencies to develop programs to meet their agency needs, while providing consistency of message across the service.

A code of conduct plays a key role in demonstrating the government’s commitment to the highest levels of integrity and accountability, whether you work in a State government department, local council, government-owned corporation or university.

A code of conduct reflects the principles and values underlying good public administration for the public sector and should identify consistent standards of conduct for all employees.  It is designed to provide a framework for ethical culture within the sector.

A code of conduct is aspirational and clarifies for the public what they, and we, expects of ourselves, our colleagues and our organisation.

The Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 (PSEA) was amended on 20 September 2010.  A summary of the key provisions is available for information.

The PSEA outlines the ethical obligations of employees within the Queensland Public Sector. The PSEA provides four (4) ethics principles for the public sector:

  • Integrity and impartiality
  • Promoting the public good
  • Commitment to the system of government
  • Accountability and transparency.

The PSEA also incorporates a range of “ethical values” associated with each of the ethics principles.  The values provide guidance on the interpretation and application of the ethics principles.  These principles and values replace the conduct obligations detailed in the previous version of the PSEA and form the basis of The Code of Conduct.

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