Trust, Service

& Accountability

Behaving Ethically

The Ethical Framework for the government sector


Part 2 of the GSE Act establishes the Ethical Framework for the government sector. 

The objective, core values and principles of the Ethical Framework are to be demonstrated in the conduct of all government sector employees and heads of government sector agencies.

Ethical Framework for the government sector


  • Recognise 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
  • Establish an ethical framework for a merit-based, apolitical and professional government sector that implements the decisions of the Government of the day.

Core values

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


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


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


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


  • Recruit and promote employees on merit
  • Take responsibility for decisions and actions
  • Provide transparency to enable public scrutiny
  • Observe standards for safety
  • Be fiscally responsible and focus on efficient, effective and prudent use of resources.

General provisions

The Public Service Commissioner has the function of promoting and maintaining the government sector core  values.

There is no hierarchy among the core values and each is of equal importance.

Nothing in the Ethical Framework gives rise to, or can be taken into account in, any civil cause of action.