Integrity and conduct
The integrity and conduct programme aims to build trust by supporting the institutional integrity of agencies and trustworthiness of State servants.
The State Services Commission (SSC) has three main roles in leading the State sector in all matters related to integrity and conduct:
- Setting standards of integrity and conduct that apply to most State Services agencies;
- Providing advice and guidance to State Services employees on matters of integrity and conduct; and
- Investigating matters of integrity and conduct in the State Services
Standards of Integrity and Conduct
The State Services Commissioner is responsible for setting standards of integrity and conduct across most of the State Services. He has done this in a code of conduct for the State Services. The New Zealand State Services is regarded as one of the most honest and transparent in the world. Every State servant has a part to play in acting with integrity to maintain New Zealanders' confidence in the State Services. The code of conduct provides the basis for ongoing trust in the State Services.
The code of conduct has been applied to Public Service departments, to Crown entities within the Commissioner's mandate, and to many Crown entity subsidiaries. Staff in those organisations must comply with the standards in the code. In 2007, 2010 and 2013, SSC conducted a survey of integrity and conduct across the State services. This survey measures State servants' perceptions of trustworthiness, integrity and conduct within their agencies. This information is important for monitoring and maintaining high levels of integrity and good conduct in the State Services.
- Code of conduct for the State Services - standards of integrity and conduct
- Code of conduct for Ministerial staff (PDF 77 KB) - standards of integrity and conduct
- Explaining the Code of Conduct for Ministerial Staff (PDF 70 KB)
- Agencies covered by the State Services Commissioners standards of integrity and conduct
- Integrity and conduct in the State services survey - 2013 report
Advice and Guidance
The Commission provides advice and guidance to agencies on how to interpret and implement the code of conduct in their organisations.
- Understanding the Code of Conduct - the standards in the code and what they mean for State servants in practice
- Implementing the Code of Conduct - practical guidance on how to embed the code into culture and practice
Guidance on specific matters of integrity and conduct
- Speaking up in the State services
- Interactions with Members of Parliament
- Maintaining confidentiality of government information
- Political neutrality - guidance on maintaining political neutrality
- Interaction with social media - adhering to the standards in the code of conduct when interacting online
- Unwelcome behaviour - integrated policy and practice guidance
- Sexual harassment in the workplace - policy and practice guidance on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace
- Officials and select committees - guidelines for State servants on attendance and conduct before select committees
- Positive workplace behaviours guidance - what could positive workplace behaviours look like?
- Free and Frank Advice
- FAQs for Free and Frank Advice
- Conflicts of Interest in the State services
We also maintain a 'helpdesk' to assist in the interpretation of the code of conduct and provide advice on integrity matters. State services agencies or individual State servants should feel free to contact us for advice by email at email@example.com or by phone (04) 495 6600.
Investigating matters of integrity and conduct
The State Services Commissioner may conduct investigations and make reports on matters of integrity and conduct across most of the State Services. These inquiries and reviews provide assurance to both the government and the public that the activities of agencies and individual State servants are being carried out within the law and within the bounds of proper conduct.
There is a relatively high threshold for the involvement of the Commissioner in individual matters of misconduct. In the first instance, individual chief executives are responsible for behaviour within their own organisations.