Roles and Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the organisation (and its employees) to comply with the code. While the overall duty to comply and to reinforce the integrity message lies with the chief executives of Public Service departments and the boards of Crown entities, this guide may assist organisations to allocate specific roles and responsibilities. The precise allocation may vary, depending on factors such as size and organisational form.

Departmental chief executives and Crown entity boards (or those with delegated powers)...

Ensure their organisation complies with the standards of integrity and conduct in the State Services Commissioner's code of conduct (see section 57, State Sector Act 1988), by:

  • maintaining an infrastructure of policies, procedures, agreements and training that is consistent with and reinforces the standards set out in the code of conduct
  • providing highly visible leadership of the standards - modelling them and articulating what they mean in the particular setting of the organisation
  • ensuring staff are imbued with the spirit of service and understand how the organisation gives effect to it
  • weaving the code of conduct into the culture of the organisation
  • establishing processes for giving effect to the 'six elements of trustworthiness' 2 and specifying who has "ownership" of compliance with the code
  • reinforcing ethical behaviour and dealing decisively with breaches of the code of conduct
  • advising the State Services Commission about serious alleged or actual breaches of the code of conduct, as well as advising the monitoring department and/or responsible Minister
  • reporting suspected fraud to the Police or the Serious Fraud Office
  • encouraging an environment where individuals feel it is acceptable to openly discuss issues of integrity and conduct
  • ensuring staff regularly participate in training on the code of conduct and on integrity and conduct issues generally
  • taking responsibility for promoting and enforcing the code of conduct.
  • being familiar with the measures set out in the Auditor-General's 2009-2010 Annual Plan for giving effect to trust and trustworthiness expectations..

HR managers...

Ensure that all staff know about the code of conduct and the standards of behaviour expected of them, understand these, are kept aware of them, and have access to explanatory resources, by:

  • examining processes of recruitment and appointment to give effect to the standards set out in the code of conduct
  • ensuring that training on the code of conduct is incorporated into induction training and other training where appropriate
  • ensuring regular assessment of the extent of compliance by the organisation with the standards set out in the code of conduct
  • ensure processes are in place for employees to report misconduct, or that a protected disclosures policy is promoted and periodically republished
  • being good role models and acting with integrity.

Communications managers....

Fully utilise communication tools so that staff and others working with and for the organisation are aware of the code, the obligation to comply, and the importance of maintaining trust in the State Services, by:

  • working with chief executives, board members, managers and HR managers to devise an internal communications strategy for raising awareness of the code of conduct and maintaining that awareness in the agency
  • incorporating in communications about the code the key messages, as expressed in the speeches and press statements accompanying the launch of the code
  • ensuring integrity and conduct issues are included in regular internal communications, such as newsletters, postings on intranets and bulletin boards
  • working with chief executives/managers/HR staff if breaches of the code of conduct occur, to discuss the best way of handling the issue and its outcome
  • acting with integrity.


Integrate the code of conduct into training, by:

  • ensuring that the code of conduct is included in the planned training programme for the year, as both induction training and as part of other training updates
  • encouraging discussion of integrity and conduct issues, and their implications for public trust in government, as part of any training
  • exploring interesting resources on integrity issues, to "bring the code of conduct to life", using DVDs, videos, scenarios, ethics quizzes and games
  • keeping abreast of integrity and conduct issues through the integrity community workspace on the Public Sector Intranet ( )
  • acting with integrity.

Managers/team leaders....

Show leadership in modelling integrity, by:

  • encouraging an environment where ethical issues can be raised and discussed in an open and safe manner
  • ensuring all staff members obtain training on the code of conduct at induction
  • ensuring staff members get regular training on integrity and conduct issues, when these are offered
  • ensuring the code of conduct is prominently displayed in the work area
  • including conversations about integrity as part of staff supervision
  • discussing integrity and conduct issues in performance reviews
  • acting with integrity.

Individual State servants...

Take personal responsibility to comply with the code, by:

  • reading and understanding the code of conduct and keeping it handy for reference
  • participating in discussions on ethical issues and making it safe for others to do so
  • fostering and promoting an integrity-rich workplace
  • supporting co-workers, team leaders and managers in upholding the code of conduct
  • participating in training on the code of conduct and contributing positively with examples from their own work area
  • reporting any suspected breaches of the code of conduct through the appropriate channels
  • acting with integrity.

2 State of the Development Goals Report 2006

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