The Government Sector Employment Act 2013 establishes a legal requirement for all people employed in the government sector to act ethically and in the public interest. Details of the 4 government sector core values and 18 principles that guide their implementation can be found in Part 2 of the Act: Ethical framework for the government sector. 

The Ethical Framework is listed below. In addition, Sections 25 and 30 of the Act make Department Secretaries and heads of agencies responsible for the ethical conduct and management of their agencies.

The Behaving Ethically guide assists employees to better understand the obligation to act ethically. 

Government Sector Employment Act 2013

Part 2 Ethical framework for the government sector

6   Objective of Part

This Part:
(a)  recognises the role of the government sector in preserving the public interest, defending public value and adding professional quality and value to the commitments of the government of the day, and
(b)  establishes an ethical framework for a merit-based, apolitical and professional government sector that implements the decisions of the government of the day.

7   Government sector core values

The core values for the government sector and the principles that guide their implementation are as follows:

(a)  Consider people equally without prejudice or favour.
(b)  Act professionally with honesty, consistency and impartiality.
(c)  Take responsibility for situations, showing leadership and courage.
(d)  Place the public interest over personal interest.

(a)  Appreciate difference and welcome learning from others.
(b)  Build relationships based on mutual respect.
(c)  Uphold the law, institutions of government and democratic principles.
(d)  Communicate intentions clearly and invite teamwork and collaboration.
(e)  Provide apolitical and non-partisan advice.

(a)  Provide services fairly with a focus on customer needs.
(b)  Be flexible, innovative and reliable in service delivery.
(c)  Engage with the not-for-profit and business sectors to develop and implement service solutions.
(d)  Focus on quality while maximising service delivery.

(a)  Recruit and promote staff on merit.
(b)  Take responsibility for decisions and actions.
(c)  Provide transparency to enable public scrutiny.
(d)  Observe standards for safety.
(e)  Be fiscally responsible and focus on efficient, effective and prudent use of resources.

8   General provisions

  1. The Public Service Commissioner has the function of promoting and maintaining the government sector core values.
  2. There is no hierarchy among the core values and each is of equal importance.
  3. Nothing in this Part gives rise to, or can be taken into account in, any civil cause of action.