Behaviour contrary to this Code
The effect of behaviour that is contrary to the Code
Behaviour contrary to this Code and to the Ethical Framework for the government sector can bring:
- individual employees into disrepute
- undermine productive working relationships in the workplace
- hinder customer service delivery
- damage public trust in your agency or the broader government sector.
If you are unsure of what is appropriate conduct under any particular circumstances, discuss the matter with your Executive Director, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, with another Executive Director or the Director, People Operations.
The Chief Executive Officer may also contact the Public Service Commissioner.
If you see behaviour contrary to this Code
If you see someone act in ways that are contrary to this Code, you should in the first instance discuss that person’s behaviour with your Executive Director, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, with another Executive Director or the Director, People Operations.
If you believe certain conduct is not just unethical, but may also be corrupt, a serious and substantial waste of government resources, maladministration or a breach of government information and privacy rights, then report your concerns to the Executive Director, Strategy and Capability, the Chief Executive Officer or the relevant investigating authority (such as the Office of the Children's Guardian).
Under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994, it is both a criminal offence and misconduct to take reprisals against an employee who makes a public interest disclosure.
Examples of corrupt conduct
Examples of corrupt conduct are when a public official:
- uses a work computer and work time to develop projects for personal use
- provides preferential treatment during the registration of a non-government school
- accesses student result information in response to a request from a friend
- provides preferential treatment during an appeals process from a school and/or student
- provides false information, including on a timesheet or travel claim
- fails to make an application for leave in accordance with policy
- provides preferential treatment to a supplier or colludes with a supplier to obtain a benefit.
Actions when allegations are made
If it is alleged that you have acted in a way that is contrary to this Code, you will have an opportunity to provide your version of events. How this will happen will be proportionate to the seriousness of the matter.
In those cases where the allegation is minor or of a low level, your Executive Director will usually discuss this matter directly with you. If the allegations are more serious, a formal process may be required.
If you are investigating an allegation of a behaviour that is contrary to this Code, you must ensure your decision-making is fair and reasonable and being consistently guided by the below principles. They are:
- Procedural fairness for both the complainant and staff member.
- Investigations should be handled expeditiously. This will minimise the potential for breaches of confidentiality and lack of procedural fairness.
- Confidentiality for all parties, where practicable and appropriate, until such time as the investigation process is completed.
- Meticulous recordkeeping, including recording of reasons for all significant decisions.
Allegations of misconduct
Part 8 of the GSE Rules sets out the procedural requirements for dealing with allegations of misconduct, which include requirements that:
- you be advised of the detail of the allegation
- the process to be undertaken to investigate and resolve the matter
- you be provided an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
The GSE Act also sets out the actions that the Chief Executive Officer may take where there is a finding of misconduct against an employee. These actions are as follows:
- Terminate the employment of the employee (without giving the employee an opportunity to resign).
- Terminate the employment of the employee (after giving the employee an opportunity to resign).
- Impose a fine on the employee (which may be deducted from the remuneration payable to the employee).
- Reduce the remuneration payable to the employee.
- Reduce the classification or grade of the employee.
- Assign the employee to a different role.
- Caution or reprimand the employee.