11 December 2010

This week, the Queensland government published a code of conduct for people working in State agencies. The code will replace existing agency-specific codes. It will come into force on 1 January 2011. It specifies four public service principles, the values inherent in each principle, and the standards of conduct expressed in statements to reflect and support the principles and values.

The four statutory principles are
integrity and impartiality,
promoting the public good,
commitment to the system of government, and
accountability and transparency

The code booklet includes 12 pages of values and standards explaining these principles.

Some characteristics of the New Zealand State Services code of conduct are reflected in this new Queensland code. Most notable is the collective ownership of the principles. Queensland has adopted the expression “we will…” to introduce each of the behaviour standards in the code. This was central to the NZ code when issued in 2007 and is now increasingly common in private sector codes.