Agency ethics self-assessment

Policies and practices support the ethical performance of agencies, workplaces and employees.

The following questionnaire is designed so agencies and workplaces can assess the extent to which policies andpractices are consistent with the Ethical framework for the government sector.

Note: A full assessment of ethics performance will include employee views on work practices and individualbehaviour and customer feedback on the quality and impact of services.

 

Instructions

Step 1: Tick one response in each of the rows (below) that most applies to your agency/workplace.

Step 2: Calculate your rating to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your ethics policies and practices.

Step 3: Refer to the relevant sections in the PSC publication called Behaving Ethically: A guide for NSWgovernment sector employees for ideas to improve your score.

 

Each tick in the green zone meansyou are on track to implementing theEthical Framework.

MONITOR AND REVIEW TOCONTINUALLY IMPROVE

 

Each tick in the orange zone meansyou have gaps implementing theEthical Framework.

WORK STILL TO BE DONE

Refer to the Good Ethical PracticeGuides in the PSC ethics resourcesfor assistance.

Each tick in the red zone means youare less likely to have implemented theEthical Framework.

IMMEDIATE ACTIONRECOMMENDED

Refer to the Good Ethical PracticeGuides in the PSC ethics resourcesfor assistance.

Ethical framework for the government sector

  • My agency’s values are based on the objective, values and principles of the Ethical framework for the government sector
  • My agency’s code of conduct is based on the Ethical framework for the government sector
  • All employees understand the role of codes and when and how to use them
  • We promote my organisation’s Code of Ethics and Conduct to our employees, clients and the community
  • All of our employees are aware of the need to act ethically with customers and clients
  • My agency’s values are not based on the objective, values and principles of the Ethical framework for the government sector
  • My agency code of conduct has not been revised in the last 12 months
  • Some employees understand the role of codes and when and how to use them
  • We promote our organisation’s Code of Ethics and Conduct to our employees
  • My mangers are well versed in ethical conduct if a customer is unhappy with one of our employees
  • My agency does not have explicit values
  • My agency does not have a formal code of conduct
  • Employees do not generally understand the role of codes and when and how to use them
  • We do not promote our organisation’s Code of Ethics and Conduct
  • Most of our employees do not know how to act ethically with customers and clients

Leadership

  • I make decisions guided by the Ethical Framework and our agency values and principles
  • Where a decision is made which departs from normal practice and procedure it is explained (where possible) to affected employees
  • I ask others “What do I need to do to show you I have really signed up to the Ethical Framework values and principles?”
  • I regularly use the language of values and principles in my everyday work
  • I support and participate in ethics-related learning and development
  • The Ethical Framework is addressed in my agency’s formal leadership development training programs
  • Employees in my agency are clear on their roles and responsibilities in the Westminster System
  • My agency has well-funded policies, training, complaints handling and other measures in place to prevent and eradicate bullying
  • I use the PSC ethics resources and I encourage others to use those resources
  • Values and principles are not directly relevant to my work
  • Sometimes I explain my decision-making to others within the organisation, but not always
  • I have an awareness of the importance of values and principles; however I haven’t acted on that awareness in my day-to-day work
  • I am aware of the language of values and principles; however there are not many opportunities to use it in my everyday work
  • I participate in ethics-related learning and development
  • My agency has formal leadership development training programs; however they do not address the Ethical Framework
  • My agency sometimes trains employees on the Westminster System
  • My agency has a number of coordinated measures in place to address bullying
  • I use the PSC ethics resources
  • My agency does not have published values or principles
  • I don’t have time to explain why I made a decision to other employees
  • I don’t see that organisational values will make a difference
  • I do not use the language of values and principles in my everyday work
  • Ethics-related learning and development is not relevant to my role
  • My agency does not have formal leadership development training and programs
  • There is a low awareness of the Westminster System in my agency
  • My agency has ad hoc measures in place to address bullying
  • The PSC ethics resources are not relevant to my agency

Ethical culture

  • My agency is aware of and able to articulate its current ethical culture
  • My agency has in mind an ideal organisational ethical culture which it is working towards
  • My agency is acting to close gaps between its current and ideal cultures
  • My agency provides ongoing structured support to all employees to build skills in difficult conversations using the language of values and principles
  • In my agency I have regular one-on-one and group meetings between managers and their reports around work programs and individual projects to discuss progress and share learning
  • In my agency there are regular opportunities for open exchange of information and opinions and development of mutual understanding in and beyond teams
  • My agency actively develops individuals to be more than simply rule followers
  • The symbols, stories and unofficial history of my agency support the Ethical Framework
  • There is an informal understanding of the current culture in may agency
  • There are areas of poor organisational culture which are being addressed in my agency
  • My agency has actions in place to address culture however not in a co-ordinated or strategic way
  • My agency has an ad hoc or inconsistent approach to training and development of interpersonal and management skills
  • Managers try and meet regularly with their teams however team meetings are regularly cancelled due to lack of time or other reasons
  • In my agency there are some opportunities for open exchange of information and opinions and development of mutual understanding in and beyond teams
  • Few people in my agency diverge from policy and procedures in any situation
  • My agency has very few, if any, symbols or stories about its past
  • There is no clear picture of the current culture in my agency
  • Organisational culture in my agency is vague and largely unaddressed
  • My agency has no plan to address its organisational culture
  • Employees in my agency are expected to bring a certain interpersonal skill set to their role and therefore do not need development in relation to difficult conversations
  • Managers in my agency rarely share information
  • In my agency there are few opportunities for open exchange of information and opinions and development of mutual understanding in and beyond teams
  • People in my agency follow rules regardless of impact or consequence
  • People in my agency use stories of the past to legitimise bad behaviour and poor performance

Supporting employees

  • My agency’s training and development function effectively contributes to its good ethical culture
  • My agency has recently reviewed its training-related policies and programs to ensure that they support the Ethical Framework
  • My agency translates its values and principles into the way in which the organisation operates and people carry out their day-to-day jobs
  • My agency combines standalone Code of Ethics and Conduct training with processes to integrate ethics with daily work practices
  • My agency provides guidance in relation to key ethical challenges within the organisation
  • My agency provides support for managers and supervisors to lead and facilitate implementation of the Ethical Framework in their teams
  • My agency’s people performance and development policy is aligned with the Ethical Framework
  • People in my agency have a choice of avenues for raising concerns
  • My agency provides employees with ethical decision-making tools and support
  • My agency proactively monitors, responds to and enforces adherence to codes
  • My agency periodically tests the effectiveness of training programs
  • My agency provides appropriate rewards, recognition and incentives initiatives which support the Ethical Framework
  • My agency takes all opportunities to develop and communicate a positive ethical organisational narrative
  • My agency actively promotes the merit principle as the cornerstone of its recruitment and promotion process
  • My agency provides training and development opportunities; however there are few direct links to the Ethical Framework
  • My agency has recently reviewed some of its trainingrelated policies and programs and they broadly address the issue of ethics
  • People in my agency are aware of the agency’s values; however they do not refer to them when making decisions or deciding on appropriate behaviour
  • My agency has standalone Code of Ethics and Conduct training which is not integrated with daily work practices
  • My agency provides ad hoc guidance in relation to key ethical challenges within the organisation
  • Managers and supervisors in my agency are good at leading and facilitating implementation of the Ethical Framework in their teams and therefore do not require agency support
  • My agency’s people performance and development policy addresses behaviour but is not aligned with the Ethical Framework
  • People in my agency have one avenue for raising concerns
  • My agency provides informal support for employee decision-making but does not provide employees with decision-making tools
  • My agency reactively responds to and enforces adherence to codes
  • My agency tests the effectiveness of training programs on an ad hoc basis
  • My agency’s reward, recognition and incentive framework has no links to the Ethical Framework
  • My agency will communicate an organisational narrative in response to a negative situation
  • My agency requires selection committee members to confirm they have been trained in staff selection
  • My agency provides training and development on an ad hoc basis and there are no ethical culture components
  • My agency has not reviewed its training-related policies and programs to address ethics
  • My agency’s values and principles have no impact on the day-to-day operations of individuals
  • My agency does not have standalone Code of Ethics and Conduct training
  • My agency does not provide guidance in relation to key ethical challenges within the organisation
  • My agency does not provide support for managers and supervisors to lead and facilitate implementation of the Ethical Framework in their teams
  • My agency’s people performance and development policy does not address employee behaviour
  • People in my agency have no avenues for raising concerns
  • My agency expects employees to be equipped to make ethical decisions
  • My agency does not monitor, respond to or enforce adherence to codes
  • My agency does not test the effectiveness of training programs
  • My agency does not have a reward, recognition and incentive framework
  • My agency does not develop and communicate a positive organisational narrative
  • My agency expects selection committee members to know the rules

Ethics governance

  • My agency has extensive formal ethics governance arrangements
  • My agency’s formal delegations promote appropriate levels of authority and accountability to support ethical decision-making and behaviour
  • My agency provides appropriate levels of access to information within the organisation to enhance ethical decision-making capacity and accountability
  • My agency regularly reviews systems, policies and procedures to ensure they are practical and translate the core values into action
  • My agency’s ethics-related systems, policies and procedures are consistent and complementary throughout the organisation
  • My agency has a sound, well communicated gifts and benefits policy
  • My agency effectively considers the giving of gifts and benefits and makes appropriate decisions in relation to their acceptance, or otherwise, and treatment
  • My agency has a formal risk management plan which addresses ethical conduct
  • My agency’s audit program integrates ethical behaviour and decision-making
  • My agency has informal ethics governance arrangements
  • My agency’s formal delegations do not promote appropriate levels of authority and accountability to support ethical decision-making and behaviour
  • People in my agency can gain information within the organisation to enhance decision-making capacity and accountability; however the process is onerous
  • My agency regularly reviews systems, policies and procedures; however there are no specific links to the core values
  • My agency has a range of ethics-related systems, policies and procedures; however they are seen as isolated and inconsistent
  • My agency does not actively communicate its gifts and benefits policy
  • My agency records a very limited amount of information in its gift register
  • My agency has a formal risk management plan but it does not address ethics
  • My agency’s audit program includes some elements related to ethical behaviour and decision-making
  • My agency has no ethics governance arrangements
  • My agency does not see formal delegations as having a role in supporting ethical decision-making
  • Access to information within my agency is strictly controlled in all circumstances
  • My agency does not regularly review systems, policies and procedures
  • My agency has no ethicsrelated systems, policies and procedures
  • My agency does not have a gifts and benefits policy
  • Employees in my agency routinely accept gifts and benefits without recording them in the register
  • My agency does not have a formal risk management plan
  • My agency’s audit program focuses on other matters

Ethics communications

  • My agency’s Code of Ethics and Conduct is available on our website
  • My agency regularly communicates its expectations to employees in relation to ethical decisionmaking and behaviour
  • Ethical decision-making and behavioural expectations are clearly understood by all employees in the context of achieving organisational objectives such as quality service delivery
  • My agency has recently reviewed relevant communications documents for quality of communication about ethics
  • My agency’s communications on ethics address external parties where appropriate
  • My agency uses a range of communication methods and promotional opportunities to consistently reinforce messages about the Ethical Framework
  • My agency has a clear and user friendly complaints and appeals process for customers and clients available on our website
  • My agency’s Code of Ethics and Conduct is available on our intranet
  • My agency sometimes communicates its expectations to employees in relation to decision-making and behaviour
  • Decision-making and behavioural expectations are clearly understood by all employees; however the links to achieving organisational objectives such as quality service delivery are unclear
  • My agency has not recently reviewed relevant communications documents for quality of communication about ethics
  • My agency’s communications on ethics address internal parties only
  • My agency communicates about the Ethical Framework on an ad hoc basis
  • My agency has a complaints and appeals process for customers and clients available on request
  • My agency’s Code of Ethics and Conduct is not available on our website or intranet
  • Employees in my agency are expected to know about ethical behaviour
  • Decision-making and behavioural expectations are never discussed in the context of achieving organisational objectives such as quality service delivery
  • My agency does not review documents for quality of communication about ethics
  • My agency does not communicate about the Ethical Framework
  • My agency does not communicate about the Ethical Framework
  • My agency does not have a complaints and appeals process available for customers and clients

Measurement and monitoring

  • My agency reviews and analyses its People Matter survey results in relation to ethics, and makes relevant changes and takes appropriate action as necessary
  • My agency formally assesses client perceptions as part of our strategic plan
  • My cluster benchmarks the various agencies within its structure and my agency uses the results to assess my agency’s relative performance
  • My agency strategically identifies and monitors both lead and lag indicators in relation to the ethical health of the agency
  • My agency analyses its Workforce Profile data to identify any indicators in relation to the ethical health of the agency
  • My agency promotes the State of the Public Sector Report each year to enhance understanding by employees of sector wide ethical issues and actions
  • My agency has reviewed the St James Ethics Stocktake 2012 to provide background, context and insight to the ethical issues faced by the sector
  • My agency reviews and analyses its People Matter survey results; however I do not have a formal plan in relation to improving ethicsrelated results
  • My agency informally assesses client perceptions on an ad hoc basis
  • My cluster benchmarks the various agencies within its structure; however the results are not available at agency level
  • My agency identifies and monitors indicators in relation to the ethical health of the agency in an ad hoc fashion
  • My agency analyses its Workforce Profile data; however not in relation to indicators of the ethical health of the agency
  • My agency is aware of the State of the Public Sector Report; however I do not promote it to our staff actively
  • My agency is aware of the St James Ethics Stocktake 2012; however I have not actively used the findings
  • My agency does not review or analyse its People Matter survey results in relation to ethics
  • My agency does not assess client perceptions
  • My cluster does not benchmark agency performance
  • My agency has not identified and does not monitor indicators in relation to the ethical health of the agency
  • My agency does not analyse its Workforce Profile data
  • My agency is unaware of the State of the Public Sector Report
  • My agency is unaware of the St James Ethics Stocktake 2012