1.2 The Ethical framework for the government sector

Part 2 of the Government Sector Employment Act2013 establishes the Ethical framework for thegovernment sector.


Section 6 of the Act identifies the overarching objectiveof the Ethical Framework, namely to:

  1. 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, and
  2. establish an ethical framework for a merit-based, apolitical and professional government sector that implements the decisions of the Government of the day.

Government sector core values and principles

Section 7 of the Act identifies the core values and theprinciples that guide their implementation:

General provisions

Section 8 of the Act specifies three 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 Framework gives rise to, or can be taken into account in, any civil cause of action.

Secretaries, heads of agencies and othersenior executives

Secretaries of Departments (section 25) and heads ofPublic Service agencies (section 30) are responsiblefor the general conduct and management of theirorganisations in accordance with the government sectorcore values of the Ethical Framework. Other seniorexecutives have similar obligations in their areas ofresponsibility as specifiedin senior executive contracts,work level standards etc


  • 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.

The Public Service Commission acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the land on which our office stands.