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Ethics and conduct

All people employed in the government sector are legally required to act ethically and in the public interest.

Government sector employees are required to demonstrate the highest levels of ethical conduct in their working relations with other government sector employees, clients and customers, stakeholders and the government of the day. These standards of conduct are specified in The Code of Ethics and Conduct for NSW government sector employees.

Act, regulation, rules

Guidelines

As a NSW Government employee you must act in ways that are lawful, ethical and build trust in the public sector. It is your responsibility to know, understand and comply with all the ethical and legal obligations that apply to you.

You should also take the time to learn what risks there are – in the context of your own job  – to your acting lawfully and ethically. This is especially important if you are new to public sector employment, as there are certain obligations that are different from, or do not exist in, the private and not-for-profit sectors.

Your conduct, both inside and outside the workplace, can have a significant impact on your employer, your colleagues and, most importantly, the people of NSW.

See: The Behaving Ethically guide - a package of resources designed to help agencies and employees meet their ethical obligations.

Ethical Framework

Details of the four 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 Code of Ethics and Conduct for NSW government sector employees

All government sector employees are required to demonstrate the highest levels of ethical conduct in their working relations with other government sector employees, clients and customers, stakeholders and the government of the day (Public Service Commissioner Direction 1 of 2015 (307kb)). These standards of conduct are specified in The Code of Ethics and Conduct for NSW government sector employees.

Responsibilities of Department Secretaries and Agency Heads

Under sections 25 and 30 of the GSE Act, Department Secretaries and Agency Heads are responsible for the general conduct and management of their Department or Agency in accordance with the core values of the Ethical Framework.

Contesting Elections

Government sector employees are expected to be aware of and comply with the ethical obligations that arise as well as any legislative requirement affecting their employment if they intend to stand as a candidate in an election at any level of government.

See: Circular PSCC 2018-06: Contesting Elections

More information

  • Behaving Ethically is a package of resources designed to help government sector employees to better understand the obligation to act ethically and in the public interest. It provides practical guidance that government sector employees can use in their day-to-day dealings with colleagues, clients, customers, stakeholders and the government of the day.